Tuesday, March 29, 2011
A Forest Spectacle(d)
We're on a run of great bird images, thanks to contributions from Chan Chich Lodge guests. The most recent comes from Fred and Nancy, ornithologists who are long time "repeaters" at the Lodge. We've come to really look forward to their annual visit, both for their friendship and their bird and wildlife reports.
This large and gorgeous bird is a Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata) they encountered just a couple weeks ago on Chan Chich's Sac Be trail. It's a large owl that needs mature tropical forest to survive and is often found near streams. This owl is about 18" tall and weighs just under 2 lbs. Its distinctive markings -- the white "spectacles" -- make it unmistakable. The young are simply adorable: fuzzy white as if they are wearing snowsuits with big yellow eyes.
One of my favorite things about this owl is the call, which reminds me of the boing boing boing of a bouncing ball. It's something you really must hear because the written word simply doesn't do it justice.
And once you've heard it, you'll never forget it.