26 April 2011

The Urban Araras

Endangered, the Blue-and-yellow-Makaws (Arara ararauna) or araras, as people call them here in Brazil, are large birds. They may reach a lengh of 33 inches, from the beak to the end of the tailfeathers and may live for 60 years, or more.

The araras are active birds and love to climb, swing, bounce and chew. Their toys should be strong, for they are known to be destructive. They have powerful jaw muscles, and chewing is necessary to keep them healthy and in shape.

Their sociability and even temperaments make them great pets. Their intelligence, willingness to learn, and talking abilities only help make them more precious in the eyes of bird lovers. The Blue-and-yellow-Makaw, like most parrots, thrives on attention from its owner and will form a steady bond with its family members (about.com)

The makaws generally mate for life. Their nest is a tree hole and the female typically lays 2 or 3 eggs. The female incubates the eggs for about 28 days, and the chick fledges from the nest about 90 days after hatching.

Ticuna & Uaiuai starting their day

I personally, have been having a joyful experience with a couple of this species:

Ticuna and Uaiuai belong to the owner of a restaurant by the lagoon, where I usually workout when I have time; and Uaiuai (the male) has learned my name. Whenever he notices me from afar, he starts screaming it really loud! This made me smile when I listened to it for the first time. But yesterday, I remarked that the single scream had turned into a "chorus". The extravagant blue-and-yellow couple was leading a bunch of kids I had never met before! O...o, araras can be fussy, indeed!!

Ticuna & Uaiuai by the sunset

Araras are such beautiful birds, but according to most bird experts they're not for everybody. Space and exercise may not be enough for a species that is prone to ear-shattering vocalizations and contact calls. Before choosing an arara as a pet, one should study and evaluate circustances. Especially if the bird is going to live in an urban environment.

And here I am, heading to the lagoon again.. Let's see what the surprise is for today....

02 April 2011

Parque do Carbono / CO2 Park

The world's largest urban natural forest is alive!


Four hundred and ten thousand seedlings of 50 different local species are to be planted to recover degraded spots at Pedra Branca State Park - just for the start.

Camorim lagoon and the white rock - from where the name of the park is originated

Pedra Branca State Park is a state protected area in the west zone of the city of Rio de Janeiro, comprehending 125 km2 of the Atlantic forest biome, and is where the highest point of the city, Maciço da Pedra Branca (1 024 m), is located.

Camorim waterfall

This green area contributes to biodiversity conservation and benefits the regional microclimate, preventing erosion and landslides. The reforestation aims to help preserve the water basins and the rich fauna and flora with their ecosystems

A view from Maciço da Pedra Branca

It was in the mid XIX century, when the city of Rio was going through serious droughts as a consequence of deforestation, that the Emperor D. Pedro II demanded the reforestation of the Tijuca barren hills, up north of town, (where Christ the Redeemer on the Corcovado mountain is placed). For this pioneer ecological event, seedlings were collected at what is now being called CO2 Park.

circuito das águas

At its own turn, Pedra Branca State Park is getting ready to meet the goal of receiving at least twenty four million seedlings for reforestation and be officially renamed

Parque do Carbono (CO2 Park).

The neighborhoods next to the park