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This Morning Outside

by Diane Porter

December 13, 2015
Lodge at Pico Bonito
Honduras

Hanging from a vine like a trapeze gymnast, a Collared Aracari twists around and with its oversized bill delicately plucks a fruit. Somehow I expected the aracari to be huge. But when I saw it in Honduras last February, I realized it's not very big. About as long as a crow, and that's mostly bill and tail. And it weighs only half as much.

For a bird whose upper mandible is shaped like some weird kind of wire-stripping tool, this bird is graceful. The sight of it makes me hear music, maybe a minuet, with dancers in Elizabethan costumes.

Sometimes, in Iowa, in December a birder's mind drifts to memories of the tropics.

Tufted Titmouse

—Diane Porter

Chickadee on hand

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