We put a bird feeder in the back yard and it has become a popular spot for many birds. It seems like everything here eats fruit. We bought bird seed and it was totally ignored. We bought peanuts for the squirrels and they walked right over them. But fruit? Everything likes fruit and papayas seem to be a favorite.

We have seen these large birds as they glide silently from one spot to another. We have heard them occasionally when they  get wound up with their loud, sharp calls. Most of the time though they are silent and hidden in the trees. You can imagine our surprise when a whole flock of them showed up in our backyard. As long as we sat quietly at the table they didn’t seem to mind that we were talking and photographing them.

People here call them paisanas, and I believe in English they are called chachalacas. They seem to prefer walking along branches to flying, and aren’t especially graceful when landing. I was surprised to hear them peeping (much like baby chickens). It is so quiet you wouldn’t hear them unless you were quite close. My neighbor told me that they are often captured and sold as pets. When I looked for information on line I did find a number of ads for these birds.

These are fairly large birds so the feeder was cleaned out in a short time. I’ve been photographing some of our other visitors too so there will be more photos coming. It’s pretty darn nice to sit on the patio in my outdoor office and watch all the wildlife!

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to Paisanas!

  1. I love all the exciting wildlife you share with us! It’s so obvious you guys are enjoying your new country (and all these new experiences!) so very much! Keep the new flora and fauna coming!!!


  2. D. Quijote says:

    It makes sense, birds from the jungle won’t find many grains to eat but fruit! Just make sure you don’t give them pavo tomorrow. Feliz dia de accion de gracias.


  3. Rosalie says:

    Apparently they like to cross them with the local chickens to get tougher fighting cocks which is great sport here


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