Thursday, January 17, 2013

An exotic bird and a native primate.

In our quick trip to southern Azuero Peninsula, the Cubilla family did a last stop visiting La Playita Resort where we enjoyed the peaceful beach... but I'm not going to bother you with any more photos of my girls enjoying  the sea... instead, I'll surprise you with the pic of a new bird for Panama!
OK, just kidding.  Evidently, this Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) is an exotic bird for this country... a pair is kept by the resort owners in the gardens to entertain the visitors.  Native from Australia, the Emus are the second tallest birds alive, second only after the Ostrich.  
They were not the only exotic birds in the property... odd looking pygmy chickens and two species of macaws flying freely were adorning the place.  The Scarlet Macaws are native to this part of the Azuero Peninsula, but these were definitively introduced birds, often mating with the Great Green Macaws (or Military? I'm not sure of the identity), producing odd-looking hybrids.
Scarlet Macaw from La Playita some years ago.
But then, I was pleased to see a troop of native Coiba Howler Monkeys resting close to the main dining room.  These are wild primates that made their way to the grounds of the resort due to the excellent patch of dry forest that still surrounds the property. 
Some authors consider this form a subspecies of the broad Mantled Howler Monkey of the rest of Panama (there is a photo at the end of this post).  The Coiba Howler Monkey is restricted to Coiba island and to the southern Azuero Peninsula, with the latter population recognized as the subspecies trabeata, the "Azuero" Howler Monkey.
This is only the third time ever I saw this species, and the first time I'm able to get photos.  Notice the golden-brown coloration that distinguishes this primate.
Nothing is best than a troop of monkeys to lighten your day!

1 comment:

  1. An emu? Cool shot! And I love the Macaw, it is a beautiful bird. I enjoyed seeing and hearing the Howler Monkeys, when I was in Costa Rica. Wonderful post and photos!