Danger in nature – all snakes and no ladders

Spot the snake (answer at the end) "There's danger everywhere!" exclaimed the twelve-year-old, after her little sister told her that scorpions like to nest in dry railway sleepers of the kind they were both standing on in the backyard. The twelve-year-old retreated to the security of the house and her phone, the three-year-old found a … Continue reading Danger in nature – all snakes and no ladders

Carrapateiros and capybaras

The gavião carrapateiro is an astounding bird. It goes by the name 'Yellow-headed caracara' in English but I much prefer the literal translation 'tick hawk'. Gavião carrapateiro - @juliano.fabricante Brazil being extremely large, and the gavião carrapateiro appearing everywhere, it has a long list of aliases: caracará-branco, caracaraí, caracaratinga, carapinhé, gavião-pinhé, pinhé, pinhém, papa-bicheira, chimango, … Continue reading Carrapateiros and capybaras

Squirrels, toucans and confessions

Having once openly ridiculed a Brazilian friend who went nuts when she saw a squirrel in the Rio de Janeiro botanical gardens when I was still fresh off the boat and clinging jealously to a brief glimpse of a toucan as my only brush with tropical wildlife, I have a confession to make. I've harboured … Continue reading Squirrels, toucans and confessions

Two legs good, a hundred legs bad

I'd never really noticed until now that the word wildlife is made up of two words, and the first of those is 'wild'. I realise that even saying that is ridiculous, but living in Brazil has highlighted just how un-wild much of British wildlife is. So I have always seen animals which do not live … Continue reading Two legs good, a hundred legs bad