Great potoo by the night, Pantanal, Brazil

Potoos are most often found in Central and South America along the Amazon Basin. But these birds have been around the world, too. Potoo fossils were found in France and Germany, and date back some 40 million years. There are seven different known species of Potoo, and some of them look quite different. The two most common being the great potoo and the common potoo. Potoos are nocturnal creatures. That means they are the most active during the nighttime and are usually asleep during the day. All of their hunting is done under the cover of the night. When they hunt, they use their large mouths like a net. It helps them catch more insects, like moths, beetles, and other flying bugs, when it’s dark out. The great potoo has a distinct and unsettling vocal sound. Scientists have described it as a loud tiger-like or frog-like “baaaaao” sound. They vocalize in spaced-out intervals and typically become the most vocal on moonlit nights. Not only are their features great for camouflaging, but their demeanor is as well. They will pick a random spot on a tree to sit down. Then, they’ll squint their eyes and fluff the feathers on their head […]

Violet capped Woodnymph male feeding on Canna indica, Brazil

The violet capped woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found in forest (primarily humid), dense woodland, gardens and parks in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, and far north-eastern Argentina (primarily Misiones Province). Violet-capped Woodnymphs inhabit a wide range of habitats from untouched forests, to scrub, to suburban and city gardens. They gather nectar from both native and non-native flowers and also hunt for insects. During certain parts of the year, Violet-capped Woodnymphs migrate short distances. Males have a bluish violet cap and sparkle with dark green above and gold-green below. Females are dark greenish above and off-white below. During the breeding season, these woodnymphs adorn the outside of their nests with ferns and lichen. The violet capped woodnymph Forages for nectar at a great variety of native and introduced plants, from low in understorey to canopy level. The male is distinctive, being overall green with a blue cap and deeply forked dark blue tail. It is occasionally confused with the swallow-tailed hummingbird. The female lacks the blue crown, has entirely greyish-white underparts, and a shorter, white-tipped tail. It is widespread and generally common, and therefore considered to be of Least Concern by […]

Brazilian ruby female perched on Canna indica, Brazil

The Brazilian ruby (Clytolaema rubricauda) is a species of hummingbird found in forest edge, second growth, gardens and parks in eastern Brazil. It is the only species placed in the genus Clytolaema. Although sometimes placed in the genus Heliodoxa, with the brilliants, the Brazilian Ruby is more typically treated as the sole member of a monotypic genus, Clytolaema, one of a great many hummingbird genera described by John Gould. It is common and among the species regularly seen at hummingbird feeders within its range. It is a relatively large hummingbird. Both sexes of this hummingbird are attractive and distinctive. Males are primarily clad in deep green, with a brilliant deep red throat patch, a small but obvious white postocular spot, browner wings, and a bright red tail, while females share the spot behind the eye and the tail color of the male, but are otherwise rich orange over the entire underparts and on the rump. The male is overall green with a coppery back and rump, a coppery-rufous tail and, as suggested by its common name, a highly iridescent ruby throat that can appear black from some angles. Females are green above and cinnamon below. Both sexes have a white […]

Humming bird silhouette, Atlantic rainforest, Brazil

The violet capped woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found in forest (primarily humid), dense woodland, gardens and parks in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, and far north-eastern Argentina (primarily Misiones Province). Violet-capped Woodnymphs inhabit a wide range of habitats from untouched forests, to scrub, to suburban and city gardens. They gather nectar from both native and non-native flowers and also hunt for insects. During certain parts of the year, Violet-capped Woodnymphs migrate short distances. Males have a bluish violet cap and sparkle with dark green above and gold-green below. Females are dark greenish above and off-white below. During the breeding season, these woodnymphs adorn the outside of their nests with ferns and lichen. The violet capped woodnymph Forages for nectar at a great variety of native and introduced plants, from low in understorey to canopy level. The male is distinctive, being overall green with a blue cap and deeply forked dark blue tail. It is occasionally confused with the swallow-tailed hummingbird. The female lacks the blue crown, has entirely greyish-white underparts, and a shorter, white-tipped tail. It is widespread and generally common, and therefore considered to be of Least Concern by […]

Female Bare-faced curassow, Pantanal, Brazil

The bare-faced curassow (Crax fasciolata) is a species of bird in the family Cracidae, the chachalacas, guans, curassows, etc. It is found in Brazil, Paraguay, and eastern Bolivia, and extreme northeast Argentina, in the cerrado, pantanal, and the southeastern region of the Amazon basin. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest. It forages on the ground in forest and forest edge, where it can be fairly common. It is easiest to detect in early morning and late evening, when individuals or pairs wander into clearings or deliver their deep, booming songs. Like other Crax curassows, this species is sexually dimorphic: the male is mostly black with a white vent, while the female is barred black above with orange to rufous underparts. The Bare-faced Curassow is the only curassow with extensive bare black skin on the face. The bare-faced curassow is a large bird reaching a length of 82 to 92 centimetres (32 to 36 in). The sexes differ in appearance. The male has black upper parts faintly glossed with greenish-olive, with an unfeathered face with yellowish bare skin, a small black crest, and white underparts. The female, on the other hand, […]
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