This Side of the Hemisphere: Easy Access to Wildlife

Above. The wildlife setting

In Central America, in a remote and rural place, a land of lakes and volcanoes, wild animals outnumber humans 50 to one. Here, the annual weather averages a low of 73 degrees Fahrenheit to a high of 91. Isolated from the rest of Central America by a large body of water, one huge section of it is accessible only via gravel road, which makes it even more remote.

Compared to other places in Central America, this one is noteworthy due to its natural abundance of fresh water. Therefore, animals can drink from a lake; people can walk 70 paces from an accommodation, catch fish, enjoy secluded beaches, unspoiled nature, and wildlife. Likewise, where I am staying, nothing is climate controlled or sub-urbanized; it is like I am camping, but I have a roof over my head. Therefore, a stay in a remote place like this has its adventures because any freshwater attracts animals and wildlife!

Above. The place that attracts the Magpie-Jay or the “Urraca”
Above. Magpie-Jay or the “Urraca.” Photo by Dave Brenner.
Above. The palm trees that attract the Magpie-Jay or the “Urraca”

Here I will define “wildlife” as any animal that is not tied up, lassoed, tethered, and caged. Wildlife are left to roam and have minimal human influence and no initial training from humans, which rules out dogs and chickens which are around most homes of humans. Such dogs and chickens are domesticated. Even though some dogs and chickens are allowed to roam, they are given food and shelter by humans, which they end up depending on.  In slight contrast, although most are under strict control by humans, cows and pigs can be both domesticated and wild. Of course, horses definitely can be wild.

You may ask, “How important is it for an animal to be wild or domesticated?”

Great question! In these blogs, I will tell you about the wild version of an animal, as there is a lot to learn about wildlife, and a lot to enjoy from it.  In the cities and even in the suburbs, we have come so far away from wildlife, that many of us have never had a real encounter with it, which would be a huge shame, given that we are put on this earth to at least enjoy what we can of it.

And then you may ask, “Is species identification all that important?”

My answer is “no,” if you have nothing to do with, nor do you care about wildlife, animals, and biology. Still, overall, the answer is “yes,” because I answer the broader question regarding the importance of naming a thing as what it is. For example, I call an orange an orange and an apple an apple. I don’t call an orange an apple. Even though that is a simplistic example, if given the opportunity, the sincere attempt for correct species identification, as much as possible from the very beginning, makes for easier communication.

Above. The trunk of a fallen tree – panoramic shot
Above. The trunk of a fallen tree – a close-up shot

For example, when I encounter a wild animal and see a smaller version of it or a different color, I ask myself if it is a female version of this species? Is it a different species altogether, or is it an immature version of the species?

Through on-site observation, while they are alive and without my evaluation of their internal structure, I attempt to identify the species I describe here by reading and viewing the existing descriptions and pictures. I compare these to my photographs, videos, and my on-site visual and audio observations.

All photos, if not attributed, are mostly shot by me.

At this undisclosed paradise location, I tell you about the most noteworthy aspects: the “research” center, the egrets, the “birds from heaven,” horses, cows, and other creatures. Let us start with a story regarding what I found in my room one night after some heavy rains.  See Chapter 2: Saved by a Tin Bag.

Chapters

  1. This Side of the Hemisphere: Easy Access to Wildlife
  2. Saved by a Tin Bag
  3. Revenge of the Jungle Ants
  4. The Bird from Heaven
  5. The “Research” Center
  6. TBD
  7. What A Cow Would Do That a Sane Person Would Not Do
  8. What Stands Around A Lot and Is Ready to Strike?
  9. Wild Horses that Try to Mind Their Own Business
  10. Birds Take Turns to Pick Up Food
  11. TBD
  12. The Dizzying Calls of This “Concert” Bird
  13. The Birds That Keep Their Distance
  14. TBD
  15. TBD

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