A Bounteous Day of Tropical Birding

We got out of the city today and headed to the foothills of the Andes. We spent the day at the Le Mayen located up the hill from El Torno, a small town about 2 hours drive west of the Santa Cruz. The increase in elevation gave us a refreshing cool climate and  lush, verdant green surroundings. I took a couple of walks before and after we had a delicious lunch at the restaurant. I spotted this Chestnut-eared Aracari (Pteroglossus castanotis). As you can see, the aracaris are a genus of the toucan family. The chestnut-eared aracari is found in the Amazon forests, ranging from Colombia to Paraguay and Brazil. There were a group of 4 of them flying through and I was able to photograph one of them. What a thrill!

A group of noisy Plush-crested Jays (Cyanocorax chrysopswere on the property all day and I finally got a chance to photograph them late in the day. They were chattering about in a banana grove . What a striking, elegant looking bird and they definitely have unusual calls for birds. Plush-crested jays have up to 20 different calls  They are a southern South America bird found in Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The last bird I want to feature is the Spectacled Chachalaca (Ortalis guttata). They are even noisier than the jays, and I managed to photograph the female below.

I highly recommend Le Mayen for the day. They have cabins and we might go back and stay for the night. I had a really great day of hiking in the forests and plantations in the hinterlands of El Torno.


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