La Selva- the Jungle

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Yeah, that’s a sloth. A two-toed sloth, located directly above and next to a nice, wide concrete path running through the forest here in La Selva, an OTS Biological Station on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. It’s casual. No biggie. Sloths are just sort of the coolest and weirdest things ever. 

We arrived at La Selva, unpacked, and tumbled directly out into the jungle again. It feels like Corcovado but cooler, wetter, and quieter- the cicadas are fewer and farther between. There isn’t the same sense of inherent wildness (the warm-ish showers and solid bathroom floors help) as in Corcovado, but all the animals here seem a little closer to the paths, a little more accessible. Tapirs and jaguars are less likely here, but snakes and frogs and birds are everywhere. We’re actually doing our project here observing mixed flocks of Keel-Billed and Chestnut-Mandibled Toucans, Collared Aracaris, and Montezuma and Chestnut-Headed Oropendolas, following their calls and their flight paths through the forest.

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I’m starting to become fonder and fonder of jungles like this- I feel like nowadays I know what to look for in the riotous foliage and bright colors, and things get more and more interesting the more I learn. And they’re beautiful. When we take off in a few days for Little Cayman Island, as excited as I am for reefs and beaches (think kid-on-Christmas-combined-with-Halloween-and-birthday-excited) I think I’ll miss the big trees and the little mosses, the tree ferns, the clear streams, and the bromeliads.

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But the jungle’s not done with us yet. Still a few more days to spot the fer de lances, track the Great Potoo calls through the trees, and listen to the different calls of the toucans. And of course, write some more papers.

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2 comments on “La Selva- the Jungle

  1. Tommy says:

    The Great Patoo (is there is Lesser Patoo?) is one of mine and the boys’ favorite birds due solely to its call. We have an Audubon book with built in electronic samples of bird calls from around the world. According to the recording, the Great Patoo’s call sounds just like a hoarse person saying “ball”, except more like “baaall.” This entertains us to no end. It pleases me that the Great Patoo is mentioned in your blog. I hope you get a chance to hear one and confirm for us whether it sounds as amusing as we believe it does. We continue to follow your adventures avidly.

    • Yeah, the Potoo (I think it’s with an o?) sounds so crazy in the jungle! I’ll post a picture of the one I saw last night really soon, and try to learn my friend Colleen’s hilarious Potoo impression.

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