So we came up with the idea of starting a series of entries dedicated to our national symbols. To provide additional information regarding our way of life and identity as a people. And we have decided to start with our national bird.
The birds of countries located in the tropical areas are well known for been colorful, pompous and gifted singers. Some examples of these vibrant birds are the mystical Quetzal [Pharomachrus mocinno] or the colorful Macaw [Ara-…] or the amazing Toucan [Ramphastidae -…] to named a couple of the several amazing birds that inhabit Costa Rica.
However and despite this and many other examples of vibrant birds Costa Rica went in a different direction regarding our national bird. Choosing in 1977 the Yigüirro [Turdus grayi] as the national bird. The Yigüirro a variety of the Robin [Turdus migratorius] got its place in the national symbols list sponsored by the poet Eliseo Gamboa and the deputy Deseado Barboza. The reason behind its nomination and posterior acceptance was its powerful and very characteristic singing that signifies the beginning of the rain station in Costa Rica. It is for this reason that is very common to say that the Yigüirro is singing asking for the rain to come. Both don Eliseo and don Deseado argue the significance of its singing and how recognizable it has been for the Costaricans trough the history of the land.
Usually it starts singing around 4:30 in the morning some times earlier, even waking up the roosters. And depending of how close your bed is to a window (talking for a personal experience here) You can star to develop an interesting hatred towards one or two particular individuals that choose to sing each and every single day in the same spot very close to your window. Personal vendetta behind. Its singing in something quite beautiful to hear. The Yigüirros are use to live in both Urban and Rural areas. Making it very common in the entire country.
Its vulgar name Yigüirro comes from the indigenous language Huetar meaning “Water Bird” its diet consists in of fruits, snails, worms and insects. Its feathers are brown, and so are the beak and legs. And so we let you with is characteristic singing for you to identify in the given case you ear it. Enjoy.