Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Escuela Bella Vista, Shining-green hummingbird (Lepidopyga goudoti)

This tiny emerald machine literally dropped out of the sky for lack of enough sugars Well done to the 7th grade girls who found him at the lunch tables (Greta Mici and friends). It took about 20 min of passion fruit juice and love, before he scratched himself (like a green dog with a sword) and zoomed off to be what he was meant to be. What a wonderful creature.
Gotta love Venezuela. Maybe we need to put out hummingbird feeders, so that we keep our shiniest inhabitants happy at EBV.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Rainbow Cloud (The little green iguana) and Mr Napo with the Incredible Hulk

Mr Napo, wrestling the incredible hulk at school yesterday. Our campus seems to be green Iguana refuge. What awesomeness
This little guy was found in a bewildered state in the passage past the main offices. Please keep an eye out for our resident Iguanas.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Hummer stunner.

I am blown away by the intelligence and friendliness of the hummingbirds at school. Not having any South American experience, I am tentatively identifying this little beauty as a Buffy Hummingbird (Leucippus fallax). Just LOVE, the diversity of our campus. Thanks to Wikipedia for the distribution map.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Monarch (Danaus plexippus) at Escuela Bella Vista.

Thanks to wikipedia for the distribution map
 These stunning butterflies feed on Milkweeds including common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Many milkweeds contain cardiac glycosides which are stored in the bodies of both the caterpillar and the adult. These poisons are foul tasting and cause birds to vommit. After tasting a Monarch, a predator might associate the bright warning colors of the adult or caterpillar with an unpleasant meal, and avoid them in the future.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

An asphalt mimicry strategy? (designed to avoid predators?)

The green Iguana (Iguana iguana) inhabits the trees around the school but being vegetarian, comes down to feed on the plants in the grass. Every now and again, one can be seen in the parking lot, some of them are colored so close to the grey asphalt that they could be said to "mimic" the tar.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Magnificent frigatebird(Fregata magnificens)

Truly this bird was well named, and standing in the Escuela Bella Vista parking lot with twenty of them sweeping over the skyscrapers of Maracaibo makes one grateful for such beauty. The massive wingspan enables them to hang effortlessly in the city thermals. Charles Darwin was apparently so captivated by this species that he named them the "Condor of the oceans". There is clear sexual dimorphism in all frigatebird species. Males have the huge red gular sac, and the females (which I photographed over our school today) have the gorgeous white head. Thanks to Wikipedia for the close up images and the distribution map

Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis) at Escuela Bella Vista

These delightful little fellows were in the trees around the primary school parking lot. They seem to be common in our area, and they are not flighty. They watch you with a cautious interest. They may adopt a nest cavity that other birds have used, or make a hole in a termite heap like the one shown here at the Garden Botanico Maracaibo. Thanks to wikipedia for the distribution map.