Today we stopped at Parque Nacional El Palmar, a remnant patch of palm-savannah in Entre Rios province. Oddly, we didn't spend much time in the palm-savannah habitat that is unique to the park, but instead were drawn to the subtropical forest patches that were within hiking distance of the camp site.
On the first night, we encountered this neat little mammal:
The Plains Vizcacha (Lagostomus maximus), the largest member of Chinchillidae, normally forages for a variety of grasses and forbs. They live in communal burrows. The ones in El Palmar have apparently taken to scrounging for leftovers amongst the campers' picnic tables. I wonder why that is...
Supplemental feeding, anyone? I thought it strange that this portion of the sign dedicated to the Plains Vizcacha says that they get by "With a little help from my friends," the park staff that feeds them supplemental grains like cracked corn and oats. Apparently this is supposed to help "conserve the species." Not exactly a technique I learned while obtaining my Wildlife and Fisheries Science degree at Penn State...let's just say I found this to be an interesting approach!
We also enjoyed a few other common birds like this Sayaca Tanager and immature Golden-billed Saltator:
Helpful ID fact: this is the only species of saltator in South America whose supercilium is limited to the post-ocular region, regardless of age or plumage.
Off to the world-famous Iguazú Falls tomorrow!
John Yerger/Jake Mohlmann
Adventure Birding Company