Nicaragua Day Eight-El Jaguar and Selva Negra

Three of us began this day by searching for the Highland Guan again. Becasue it was Sunday, there was very little foot traffic on the road below El Jaguar where they can be found foraging in the open. We got lucky and several females first came out to forage shortly before sunrise. The males only came out later, after the females, several Common Agouti’s, domestic chickens, Gray-headed Woodrails, and small squirrels had been moving around for awhile.

We set up on the porch of a multi-family dwelling where a woman was already up making the days tortillas in a very primitive kitchen. She allowed us to toss corn kernals out in the road to attract the forest dwellers.

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Our first customer of the morning were Agouti’s. We had quite a few of them out foraging  It was still almost completely dark when I took this picture. There are several species of Agouti’s  which are rodents related to Guinea Pigs but are much larger
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Another Agouti
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This Rhode Island Red was busy chasing all of the hens around and was one of the first animals to get active. I believe if he could talk he would be saying  (in Foghorn Leghorns voice) “I say boy, there’s only room for one rooster in these here parts and I ‘m it!”
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A banded female Highland Guan
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The elusive and less then “manly” male Highland Guan
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Another Male Highland Guan. Definitely worth the very early start and a great way to begin the day
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I found the Highland Guan to be a striking bird
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House wren. there were plenty of these little fellas hanging around in most of the places we were at in Nicaragua
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The beautiful male Olive-backed Euphonia
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Female Passerini’s Tanager
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Another view of the Passerini’s Tanager
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Female Summer Tanager
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Male Passerini’s  Tanager

At this point we began the two hour trip to Selva Negra. I took some pictures of the landscape and dwellings along the way.

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Villagers washing clothes in a stream

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Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia) is endemic to the western forests of Madagascar but has now been introduced to tropical and sub-tropical regions worldwide. The bright orange blossoms were amazing to see

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What would a trip be without an unexpected adventure? We were traveling along the highway when there was suddenly a loud bang! We had blown the inner rear right tire. We pulled over and Elvis our driver removed the first tire but was unable to get the lug nuts of the seond tire to budge. After receiving directions, we were forced to limp slowly into the nearest town to have someone put the spare on.

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This guy passed us going uphill as we drove slowly to a tire repair shop
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And our saviors! They had us u and running in no time
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The tire shops front door was a beautiful and ornately carved wooden door from Honduras
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These buses are a primary mode of public transportation , especially in transporting people from town to town. They seemed to always bee completely full. Here an attendant steps off the bus to assist a young woman get on it
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Fruit stands were a common and colorful sight
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A man selling vegetables and fruit
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A truck transporting bags of coffee


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A dog feeding on trash while two women wait to cross the street

As we were driving towards Selva Negra Elvis spotted a troop of Howler Monkeys near the roadside so we stopped and I was able to get some decent pictures of them.

According to National Geographic Howlers are New World monkeys found in tropical Central and South America. They are aptly named for their cacophonous cries. When a number of howlers let loose their lungs in concert, often at dawn or dusk, the din can be heard up to three miles (five kilometers) away. Male monkeys have large throats and specialized, shell-like vocal chambers that help to turn up the volume on their distinctive call. The noise sends a clear message to other monkeys: This territory is already occupied by a troop.

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As we turned off of the highway to go to Selva Negra, there was an old Sandanista military vehicle that had apparently broken down during the war and was towed to that spot and left there.

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Sandanista tank
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Selva Negra (Black Forest) is a combination organic farm, eco-lodge, and bird-friendly coffee estate was established by German immigrants. It was certainly the most luxurious place we stayed. As soon as we got there and settled into our casitas we were on birds. They were all over and we had some great species there, among them the strikingly patterned Rufous-naped Wren.

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Band-backed Wren


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Band-backed Wren
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Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush
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I never get any decent pictures of Wood Thrushes in Wisconsin so was ecstatic to get this one
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Yellow-winged Tanager
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Summer Tanager
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A stretching Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
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The Chestnut-headed Oropendola

2 thoughts on “Nicaragua Day Eight-El Jaguar and Selva Negra

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