The Great Curassow is a pretty unique bird among Costa Rica species. It shows marked sexual dymorphism, with the female being mostly brown on the most common morph, and the male being almost entirely black. The female has a feather crest that looks just like a Roman Soldier’s helmet and it is barred black and white. Their size is about a turkey’s, yet they have the agility to climb pretty high on trees, as they typically inhabit forested areas. There is also a “barred” morph in females, but it is not common to see in Costa Rica. As a matter of fact, the only barred individual I know of lived in Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, however a Ornate Hawk-Eagle snapped it from the place and ate it, to the astonishment of the photographers present at the day. Life always has a way to leave us in wonder.
The vertical picture was taken at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Boca Tapada during a birdwatching tour with Fundación Rapaces de Costa Rica, on November 25th and 26th, 2017. It is incredible that such a big bird is able to balance itself so well on perches that are pretty high above the ground. It was even able to incline the body to the front and feed while standing there. The horizontal picture was taken at Yatama Ecolodge, where a group of no less than 5 females and 2 males foraged close to the visitor rooms.