El Yigüirro

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Yigüirro (Turdus grayi) – Also, commonly referred to as the Clay-colored Thrush, and formerly known as the Clay-colored Robin.

Fast Facts:
Where They Live: This bird prefers open places and can be found in gardens and cultivated areas with scattered trees. Yigüirro’s typically do not enter dense jungles.

Food They Eat: The Yigüirro feeds off various kinds of fruit trees. It also goes far in the ground digging with its beak and collecting worms, snails, insects, and perhaps small lizards.

Geographical distribution: This species is found only in the American continent, inhabited from northeastern Mexico to northern Colombia and has many different names such as “cas-cas” in Panama.

• National bird of Cost Rica, designated as such in January 1977.

Height and Weight: The Yigüirro stands about 23 centimeters tall and weighs around 74 grams

Physical Appearance: Unlike many other species of birds, both sexes of the clay-colored thrush exhibit the same colors. They have a cream-colored stomach, yellow-brown wings and a yellowish bill.

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The Yigüirro was chosen as the national bird of Costa Rica for several reasons. One of them being that the Yigüirro has a wide range and tendency to live close to humans, and therefore is well known and mentioned in many of Costa Rica’s folk songs, short stories and novels. Another reason is due to its strong and melodious song that always comes during the start of the rainy season. The males in particular are cherished for their exquisite song used to serenade potential mates during mating season. In Costa Rica, their mating season (usually April-June) coincides with the beginning of the green season, and therefore—legend has it—farmers have always taken the yigüirro’s song as the first sign of coming rains.

Hear The Yigüirro’s Song here:

Yigüirro’s also have many other beautiful songs used for different purposes, such as when threatened, before they go to sleep, and at sunrise. Definitely a sound you don’t want to miss when visiting Costa Rica!

Until next time,

Pura Vida!

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