03 September 2011

Hoatzin


Late last night we returned from the jungle after four days (three nights) at Samona Lodge in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve — a wonderful time and excellent value. I'd tried to keep my expectations low but still hoped to see a few special animals, in particular the strange, prehistoric-looking hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin) and a sloth (for RR). The hoatzins were no problem (photographing them from a canoe was a different matter), but sadly the sloths remained invisible.

 
[31 August 2011 (Ecuador), Panasonic Lumix GH1, 100–300 mm at 300 mm, ISO 400, 1/200 at f5.6] 


All content © 2011 Pete McGregor

11 comments:

Zhoen said...

Strange, insane looking creatures.

Relatively Retiring said...

What a magical mystery tour for you. Were you close enough to truly experience the Stnkbird?
It's approriate that the gentle smiley sloth remains invisible, like the Cheshire Cat.

pohanginapete said...

Zhoen, they do have a slightly crazed look about them.

RR, we didn't get close enough to smell them, although the obnoxious smell I believe is most obvious when they're gutted. I guess smelling and tasting foul's a good way to guarantee survival.
    I wonder how many sloths we saw without realising?

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

What an amazing, intriguing, amusing creature. The tail is interesting ... I just can't stop looking at it long enough to find my words ;0

pohanginapete said...

Barbara, even the sounds they make are weird — wheezing, hissing, croaking. The chicks have claws on their wings, too, making them seem even more primitive and strange.

robin andrea said...

Even my imagination couldn't come up with a creature that looks like this. To know it exists is actually a delight. Photoshopped by evolution!

pohanginapete said...

Robin, as my brother said, it looks like something Dr Suess might have dreamed up ;^)

leonie said...

Ha. What a crazy looking bird! It _does_ look quite Seussian - I agree

:)

pohanginapete said...

Leonie, my aunt suggested it looked as if it had just tumbled out of bed after a rough night. I agree, and I'm sure I look like that sometimes ;^)

Lydia said...

So wonderful. I wish the sloths had come out for you. I am sort of in love with sloths, thinking they are among the most darling of creatures.

pohanginapete said...

Lydia, who knows — maybe they did, but we just weren't good enough to see them ;^)