PUERTO VALLARTA TRAVEL GUIDE

Meet six incredible animals you can spot in Costa Alegre

Meet these six species during your visit to Costa Alegre, in the Mexican Pacific. Obviously, there are many more, because the biological diversity of this tourist corridor located between Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, and Manzanillo, Colima, is amazing.

1. Osprey

This beautiful bird of prey – also known as “seahawk” – is found in almost every corner of the world, because it can adapt to virtually any habitat as long as there is a body of shallow water and a good place to build its nests. Although it usually nests in treetops, it has also been seen on billboards, high voltage towers, and communication towers.

The body has adapted to make it an excellent hunter. It has a nasal passage that prevents it from getting water when it dives to catch fish, as well as reversible fingers so that when fishing it can have two fingers forward and two backwards so that the fish do not slip.

Something curious about ospreys is that they are usually monogamous, unless the male feels that his second partner lives close enough to protect both nests. They communicate through various sounds, such as chirping, whistling and long vocalizations, and can live up to 12 years in the wild or 25 in captivity. And their offspring can reach 80% of their adult size in just one month!

2. Gallareta Americana (Coot)

It is a bird that emits a great variety of songs during the day and at night and enjoys being in the water, so it is common to see it swimming with a calm and slow pace while swinging its head back and forth.

The coots usually have one to two clutches per year. When swimming, the mothers will be accompanied by their young, who are usually ready to jump into the water at six hours after birth, although they must wait until eight weeks to be able to fly. The parents only feed the chicks when they “ask” by twisting the neck to one side and, at sundown, the young sleep on a special platform built by the father.

3. Badger (Coati)

These cute mammals love trees, they even make nests in them! They are very sociable creatures and can form groups of up to 25 females, although males usually live apart unless it is mating season, at which time they must compete for attention.

As with meerkats, coatis often mount guards to warn of the presence of predators, such as the ocelot or the jaguar. They are animals that are guided by smell and can detect buried foods and look for them with their snouts, hence in Guarani they are called “coatí”, which means “elongated nose”. However, what is most striking is its back end: a double joint that allows them to bend their ankles to climb, they can even hang from trees upside down!

4. White-Tailed Deer

Present throughout the world, deer tend to adapt easily to changing environments. They can eat different things, although they will try to find those foods of their preference unless they are scarce. When they do not find food, they are content to eat what is in their way; however, this will affect the mating process, because if their basic needs are not met, they will not have offspring.

In winter their bodies acquire a grayish tone to camouflage themselves with their surroundings and their antlers are renewed for the ritual of reproduction. When the young are born, the mother and her fawn, which will have mottled skin, move away from the herd for two weeks. The deer communicate through their urine and odoriferous glands, with which they mark their territory and warn of dangers.

5. Green Iguana

It is one of the oldest reptiles, can live for many years and spends much of its life in the trees looking for food. Its tail is very strong and they usually use it as a whip when they feel in danger. Although there are small specimens of 35 cm, they can reach up to one and a half meters long.

Although they are solitary, during the breeding season they form groups of up to eight female iguanas with a territorial male. The males are usually very aggressive and fight in this period. In addition, they do a courtship dance to be more attractive to the females, which consists of expanding their chins, moving their heads and turning in circles. Once pregnant, the female will dig many tunnels with several branches to deposit her eggs and confuse the predators.

6. American Stork

Considered the only native stork in North America, it lives in places where grass, pastures and cultivated land predominate. Its flight is slow, but it usually takes flight often on hot days. It is a solitary bird that rarely moves in groups; Its breeding season is in the spring, when the male looks for materials to build the nest and the female takes care of its construction in places near lakes and ponds.

The eggs are laid on different days, and the clutch is usually two to four eggs. Both parents are responsible for the incubation, which takes about a month. Once born, the chicks leave the nest at ten weeks but continue to ask their parents for food for another month or two.