Surprising Critter Stories

brahma chickens Puriscal, Costa Rica
Rooster as seen earlier this year.

Last week was full of surprising critter stories for me. It began on Monday when I went into the chicken palace in the afternoon to discover Rooster was missing. My mind wandered and I wondered if he was making too much noise and someone stole him. I looked around and found him dead in a corner. I was very surprised about this. He wasn't even 1 1/2 years old yet and in the morning he was fine.

We inspected his body and there were no signs of trauma. The next day I showed the body to Mario and he looked it over and confirmed there were no visible signs to determine why Rooster died. That evening Alexis consulted a local chicken expert and said it was possible he died by a scorpion bite. Apparently, the scorpions here are fatal to chickens and sometimes pigs, but not humans.

I knew in the future I had to find a new home for Rooster, but I never imagined this outcome. Now Chicky is with three of the older hens and Junior is in a separate area with the other four hens.

Insects in Puriscal, Costa Rica

Later in the week I was surprised yet again when I went into the vegetable garden at night to take care of a few slugs eating a collard plant. It was raining a little bit and the ground was very muddy. As I looked on the ground for slugs, I witnessed a caecilian burrow into the mud. I have seen this limbless serpentine amphibian a handful of times, but I have never watched it disappear into mud. The next morning, I inspected the scene expecting to find some type of hole in the ground, but there was none.

Bagworm in Puriscal, Costa Rica

Thursday evening at dusk I went to check on the chickens. I wanted to be sure the sleeping arrangements were settled with the changes from Rooster's death. I noticed a bat flying around inside the chicken palace. I thought that was odd and have never seen one inside there. I continued to observe the bat and chickens and noticed a second bat, then a third and then so many I couldn't count. The chicken palace is completely enclosed with chicken wire so I opened the door and they eventually flew out.

Insects in Puriscal, Costa Rica

The following morning, I watched them return to the palace and saw they were roosting inside a wooden post under metal roof panels that were recently installed. I consulted the internet about how to get rid of the bats and with great difficulty I installed a one way out tube over the entrance to the den. I watched in the evening and a few bats went out the tube but night came and I couldn't see any more. This morning I told Mario about the bats and he chopped open the hollow post and the bats flew away.

That concludes my week of critter surprises. I don't have photos of the bats or the caecilian so I inserted these random insect photos.