The seasonal sound of tymbals

It is that time of year again. While I am writing this, the amazing sound of the cicada swells to a deafening crescendo, stops abruptly, only to be repeated a while later. They are a little early, this year. Last year I posted a picture of a recently molted individual on September 29th (click here for the post). This year, I have been treated to their concerts for over 3 weeks already. The sound, which is powerful but quite difficult […] Read more »

The deer of Malpais

Over the years, we’ve received several verbal confirmations. We even found tracks. But the deer of Malpais stayed hidden for us. That is, until today! Quite unsuspecting, we visited the dam once again for some video and photo work. And there he was. This young buck was still somewhat naïve. I could see he spotted us, but he kept enjoying his meal. He is probably not much older than about a year. He still has some white spots on his […] Read more »

Little yellow scoundrel + 3!

Last week I wrote a bit about the Bananaquit. It is as if our resident birds were aware of that, because they offered me the opportunity to complete the story, visually. Just check out the video fragment below. Just some loose wires sticking out from the ceiling of a small hallway we never use were selected to attach the cradle for the next generation to. After frantic building activity by the male (and critical evaluation by the female) the eggs […] Read more »

World water day

March 22 is world water day. Most of us don’t even grasp the significance of this amazing liquid. Below my short homage to this life-sustaining medium.           Read more »

Getting rid of the pellet

While fiddling with the settings on a new camera, which was pointed at a Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea) as the unsuspecting actor, I accidentally recorded this shot. Because I was not ‘officially’ recording, I did not pay any attention to the viewfinder. Only later, while sifting through the shots of that day, did I notice the amazing behaviour. Having followed the movements of a pair of Barn Owls (Tyto alba) in the past, I am familiar with their daily […] Read more »

The essential link

The actors in this first post of 2012 are members of the order Chiroptera, better known as bats. These animals fully deserve to be put in the spotlights, in my opinion, and not in the least because without them the entire ecology of Curaçao would collapse. The natural systems of Islands like ours, especially the semi-arid ones, rest on the foundation provided by a family of plants, scientifically known as Cactacea. No one needs a grade in biology to translate […] Read more »

Ten-legged alien

This beautiful and delicate creature is a relatively abundant inhabitant of the Caribbean coastal waters. It belongs to the order of decapoda which is Latin for ten (deca) legged (poda), but most non-scientists will just refer to the name crabs while talking about these creatures. The Yellowline Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis) will reach a size of about 10 cm. across its skinny legs. As with all crabs, the front pair is transformed into scissor-like tools which are used for food […] Read more »

African locals

For this post I dug up some video fragments from one of my older archives. To get these shots I had to wade ankle deep through muddy mangrove muck to a spot nearby this colony of Cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis). Surrounded by squabbling adults (they were fighting each other, not me. In fact, they barely took notice of me) I encountered several nests. The young start clambering around at a very early age, and they’ll cuddle together while waiting for […] Read more »

The amazing flank-up fish

The Peacock Flounder or Plate fish (Bothus lunatus) is an amazing creature which is extremely well adapted to its place in the ecology. Baby flounders look and act like most other fish, they swim right side up and have eyes on both sides of their head. However, after their larval stage things change dramatically. Their organs change place, their skeleton changes shape, and the right eye moves to the left side of the body. The fish then takes up a […] Read more »

Fatherly care

Years ago I had the fortunate opportunity to work with a professional nature photographer, Peter van der Wolf. He had a highly developed sense of animal behavior, and this helped him, for example, to trace nests of breeding birds. With his assistance I have been able to record this shot of a nest of white-tailed-hawks (Geranoaetus albicaudatus). The trick for this type of recording is to use a shelter tent, but the animals have to get used to it first. […] Read more »