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In the mountain Regions the lack of rain is also felt. At the foot of these mountains the defoliation process begins as moisture saving of the plants to avoid an excessive evapotranspiration, this occurs in the deciduous forest. This phenomenon favors the use of scarce resources to allow the reproduction of many vegetable species, which becomes the best moment to watch the arboreal fauna.

 


In this month, the rains stop and the chill strikes. With the stopping of the rains, the flow of rivers and streams has reduced little by little in such a way that the flooded lowlands has receded and the wild fauna began to move and concentrate around the tidelands.

The lowering in the flow of many rivers allows the gallery forests to be more easily explored, making that many animal species move into it.

Coastal Region January

The Orchid Tree is in bloom. It has beautiful flowers, similar to the orchid.

It is the end of the flowering season of the White Frangipani. This is a plant of xerophitic zones, and its white flower contrast with the dry and arid image of these lands.

In warm areas, the Wild Cotton opens the buds of its splendid yellow flowers.

The mating season of the Highland Tinamou begins. During this time, its song can be frequently heard at a distance, with a strong and grave sound, proclaiming its name, "cuero, cuero" (for its name in Spanish).

The Immortelles, common in the mountains of the Coastal Region because they are the favorite shade for coffee and cocoa plantations, begin to flower. When they are in bloom, they are also favorites of birdwatchers, since their flowers attract all kinds of tanagers, hummingbirds and others.

The Lignum Vitae and other species of the deciduous forest begin to flower.

The Ceiba, with its crown standing out over the forest canopy, grows in lowlying areas and slopes. The flowering of this majestic tree begins around this time. The flowers open at night, for the benefit of bats, which are its main pollinating agent.

On the deforested slopes of the hills, the pink sprigs of the "Capin Melao" sway. This is a grass, which colonizes intervened areas.

Large quantities of small yellow and oRegion butterflies of the Eurema sp. genus, can be seen on the edges of rivers which are drying out. Likewise, the Phyciodes claudima butterflies, bright oRegion with black borders and extremely restless, can be also seen perched on the sandy soil timidly sipping the salts left by the drying water.

February is the month to watch the birds of the forests that are adjacent with the moor. Early in the morning and before the sun rays rise the temperature, is a spectacle to get into those "midget" forests searching for the wonders that the nature offers

In the plains, in the basin of the Orinoco, the reduction of the levels of the water bodies leaves great beaches uncovered, that allows the turtles of the Podocnemis gender to use them as their spawn place. In other places the reptiles begin to markand defend territory, due to the proximity of themating period.

 


The local fauna movements become more noticeable, besides the accumulation of waters to locate those resources that form their diet. On the other hand, in many high mountain areas the weather is still relatively humid , due to the ascent and condensation of the air masses that rise from the lowlands and favor the forming of mixed bird flocks to locate their nourishing resources.

South of these territories the great water falls are more evident and with less flow. The big leaves plants will lose those that because of their antiquity must leave the work of the photosynthesis to the younger ones.

Coastal Region - February

During dusk, from the endings of February to the endings of March, you may listen to the Bandtailed Guan yelling the territorial scream. This consists in an acute moan that finishes in a series of three or four dry screams. It does it accompanied by a heavy and sonorous flapping when it moves from one branch to the other.

The Whitetipped Quetzal (Pharomacrus fulgidus) is active yelling a variation of its regular singing. It is in the time of courting.

Many species of the deciduous forests, such as the Pink Poui, The Inmortelle, the Bronze Shower Senna and the Jaracandas, bloom; the Red Howler Monkey can be seen on these flowered trees.

Many species of the deciduous forest, such as the Pink Poui, the Immortelle, the Bronze Shower Senna and the Jacarandas, are in bloom.

In the cloud forests, the Whitetipped Quetzal is courting and its characteristic song, like a moan, can be heard. It is the only time of the year when it allows itself to be seen.

The Groovebilled Toucanet, a toucan endemic to our Coastal Region, is also courting.

The SwallowTanagers come from the jungles of the south of Venezuela to nest and breed their young in the high parts of the Region. Many nest in holes in the walls of Rancho Grande biological station in the Henri Pittier national park.

Another species looking for a mate is the Helmeted Curassow. This bird needs help because it is endangered. To define and defend its territory, the males emit their call, a short and deep sound which rumbles through the forest.

The Wingbarred Manakin also marks territory using its song.

One of the showiest butterflies, the Papilio thoas, appears at this time. Its main feature is the prolongation of its lower wings into tails. Its contrasting colors, black with rows of yellow spots, gives it a unique character. Its flight is fast and sinuous. It likes sunny days and flowers, of course, particularly those from citrus plants. Groups of males can be frequently seen in the puddles drinking water and salts produced by evaporation. It seems that males need these salts for their courtship dances. Females like to fly around the tops of the hills. Once fertilized, they change their habits and seek the underbrush to lay their eggs in thistle plants. Males choose to dominate the hilltops in order to copulate more frequently. The contest takes place during a spiral flight until the intruder decides to leave.

Coastal Region

March is the peak month of what is known in the plains as "summer". Throughout this period scarce precipitation is registered all along the country, which forces to an intense defoliation of the vegetable species including those in the cloudy forest. That leaf carpet determines a greater concentration of bugs on the floor, because in the canopy the excess of light and radiation do not allow the development of a rich life.


In the whole Venezuela the fauna restricts its activities to the beginning of the morning, ending of the afternoon or to the night to avoid the high temperatures that are produced during noon.

 

The spectacular Rose of Venezuela or Mountain Rose, which flowers several times during the year, begins its annual flowering period at this time. It is a small tree which grows on the slopes of the Region.

In the Guácharo Cave, in Caripe, the oilbirds are beginning their breeding season. At sundown, when the adults leave the cave in search of food, it is impressive to see thousands of birds screeching, the same way they impressed Baron Alexander von Humboldt over a century ago.

At this time, the Ornate HawkEagle flies over the mountains with its young. The eaglet calls its mother with a repeated shriek.

The Leathery Turtles are laying their eggs.

The Wild Chestnut, beautiful tree of widespread ornamental use, is flowering.

The Bandtailed Guan, common to these mountains, is nesting. It can be seen searching for fruit and seeds in the underbrush.

It is the flowering season of the Mountain and Swamp Immortelles, to the delight of birds and insects which feed on its flowers.

In the humid forests, among tree trunks and branches, the Easter Orchid begins to bloom. This orchid is our national flower.

The Lignum Vitae loses its leaves. This tree is of great medicinal value.

The Long John is covered with fruit.

The Papilio anchisiades butterflies are in abundance.

The Quetzal, with its plaintive voice, announces its courtship and breeding period.

April is the end of the drought. Many couples of parrots and macaws must be taking care of the hole where they will nest in the up coming season for two months already. However, in this month, the custody of this hole is done with more insistence due to the proximity of the reproductive period.

The flows of the rivers and streams are in their lowest level, forcing many fish to go the surface. This situation is profited by the Cranes the Gray Cranes, the GrayNecked WoodRail, such is the case of the Jabirus, which accmulate in large numbers of adults and young, taking advantage in this banquet.

In many places of the country the temperature may go higher of the 39º Celsius, reason why during


noon most of the country's ecosystems seem "off". Besides, April is the month of the retiring. Thousands of neotropical migratory birds will make their moving towards North America to begin there their reproductive period.

In what respects to the resident fauna, many mammals, reptiles and birds concentrate in the few places where there is the alimentary resource available, some maybe varying their regular diet.

April also is characterized by being the period of greater birth of bat species.

 

Coastal Region - April

The Gray Tinamou is nesting. In this species the male incubates the eggs.

The Highland Tinamou is breeding.

The Flamboyant is in flower. This tree was introduced in the country during this century and today it grows in all warm areas.

The Geiger Tree flowers in ravines and along roadsides.

The American Crocodile is nesting in the coastal lagoons and mangroves.

The Slatethroated Redstart, one of the few warblers which is not migratory, builds its nest at this time.

The Vermilion Cardinal begins to stake out its territory with its song.

"The Children", those gigantic trees which only grow in the highest parts of the Coastal Region, begin to bear their fruit.

It is the time when the Papilios pyranthus butterfly is most abundant. 

With May comes the water, and with them, the insects, the birds and the amphibian sing in unison, as if they were celebrating the arrival of the resource of life. In this month and during the next bimester the greater amount of nesting will occur in almost all the tropic's representative ecosystems.

In the Regions, the Hummingbirds fly at amazing speeds like wanting to take nectar from every available flower in their zone of forage.

The plains come to live at night, owls actively hunting to feed their pigeons can be seen. The most dramatic change occurs when the savannas get dressed with an extraordinary green color that does


not remind at all the desolation of the late drought.

The rivers south of the Orinoco recover slowly from the scarce flow they use to have. The great water falls nourish from the rains to form huge free fall flows.

The most transcendent event takes place in the country's great caves. There the oil bird (Steatornis Caripensis) concentrates in numerous groups to begin their reproductive period, as well as most of the bat species, that can be observed in their brood's birth and nursing period.

 

Coastal Region - May

The African Tulip Tree flowers.

The Papilios pyranthus butterfly, which lays its eggs between April and May, is abundant.

In June it rains all over Venezuela, this is why it is commonly known as the "winter month" or "of the water entrance".

All along the Caribbean coast the sea turtles begin their spawn period, being this an ancestral behavior of the surviving species.

In the plains, and product of a more accented sedimentation from the Andes, the rivers get colored in different tones that go from dark brown to brick red, being this haulage the ingredient that will stimulate life in this area.

If up North it rains everyday, in the South it rains


the whole day. Guayana is a sole scream of adult and young parrots and macaws directing to the sleeping and eating places. Whit this begins the dispersion of many species to the areas distant from the damp areas. Now there is water everywhere.

In the Orinoco, the beaches and sand banks disappear under the growth and the waters go back into the shallow lagoons that are all along the great river, which will serve as a breeding place for many fish species, which will feed from seeds and small plants that are in the bottom of the lagoon.

 

Coastal Region - June

The Leathery Turtle is laying its eggs.

The Strangler Fig loses its leaves. This species begins as a parasite of other trees and can end up being one of the giants of the forest.

The Papilio astyalus, cleotas, androgeus and anchisiades butterflies become particularly abundant.

The House Wren, a nice little bird common to populated areas, usually nests in houses and buildings.

The Papilios pyranthus butterflies can be observed more frequently.

The Rothschildia jacobae Moth appears at night. Some individuals can have a wing span of up to 20 cm.

Another butterfly found frequently at this time is the Papilio xanthopleura, one of the largest. The male is dark brown, with a row of yellow spots on the upper wings. The females are totally different, both in shape and color. These butterflies like the flowers of citrus plants and their flight is very calm.

In July the raining period begins. During this months, the rainfalls seem neverending, however, in the Coastal Region and due to a particular regime, a dry period will begin and it will last until mid September.

In the bird world, the plumage of the immature, juvenile, subadult and adult get confused all over. The great number of pigeons actively looking for seeds, fruits or an insect represent an identification challenge for the observer.

Both the plains and Guayana are saturated with water. Now the general animal behavior is oriented towards the search of the few dry places such as a high branch of a gallery forest, medium height mountains or even the "bank from the plains".


The Andes are filled with life. The lands from the "páramos" show gorgeous colors due to the greater period of flowering, that is why it is common to see Hummingbirds (Trochilidae), Spinetails (Furnatidae) and Thrushes (Turdidae), actively moving among the Espeletias.

In another place, in the Coastal Region occurs one of the most beautiful butterfly migrations. In the natural migratory areas, dozens of individuals of the Pieridae family can be seen. In the Arahuaca tongue these butterflies were called Taras, which means yellow or oRegion, clearly making allusion to its most outstanding characteristic. This name is still used.

 

Coastal Region - July

The young of the American Crocodile are born.

Certain marine turtles, such as the Leathery Turtle and the Green Turtle, lay their eggs.

The Rosebreasted ThrushTanagers have formed pairs and sing actively defending their territory.

The LongTailed Sylph is nesting all along the mountains.

The Dwarf Palm, endemic to the Coastal Region, is flowering, as well as the Holy Palm, the leaves of which are those sought by the "Palmeros" (palm collectors) in El Ávila national park for the celebration of Palm Sunday.

Certain butterflies are particularly abundant, such as the Papilio pyranthus, astyalus, cleotas, androgeus, erithalion, anchisiades and the Caligo illioneus.

The Dusky Mouse Opossum, a small arboreal mammal which lives in the cloud forest, has its young.

According to French entomologist Theophile Raymond, who visited Venezuela at the beginning of the century, the Papilio torquatus orchamus butterfly would appear in Caracas around these months.

During August, the beaches of the Caribbean serve as a scenery for the arrival of migratory shorebirds of North America. These birds concentrate around the coastal damp areas where, among Flamingos and Herons, they feed from the rich fauna of the salty waters.

In Guayana and in the rest of the country a great silence is felt all the time. With a good weather for


the breeding, and the ending of the reproductive period, most of the birds seem to rest from the active months with a silent behavior.

On the other hand, in the Western coast of Venezuela, in Falcón State, a short rain regime begins.

 

Coastal Region - August

The Scarletfronted Parakeets arrive at the lowlying areas of the Coastal Region. The songs of these parakeets are characteristic screeches. They feed in large flocks, and sometimes they descend on fruit or corn plantations.

The Caligo illioneus butterfly is abundant at this time. Its wings have two large circular spots which resemble the eyes of an owl. It is said that this is to drive away the possible predators.

The Milk Thistle and the "Macanilla" Palm, which grows in large colonies, bear fruit.

The breeding season of the Ninebanded Armadillo begins. It differs from its fellow species of the Llano in that it lives almost exclusively in the forest.

The SwallowTanagers have finished raising their young, and flocks can be seen returning towards the south of Venezuela.

The Papilio anchisiades butterfly is very abundant.

Many butterflies of the Papilio sp., Ascia monuste monuste and several others form their chrysalises to emerge during the month of August; while those that formed chrysalises in October emerge in May of the following year.

September is the best month for the watching of frogs and toads. A ride along any damp area would be impressive because of the quantity of singing and croaking at dusk and dawn.

The birds begin the formation of "flocks of mixed species".


In the plains any mata surrounded by water serves as rookery for the nesting. During the following months its a spectacle watching how these "maternities" begin leaving their space for the reproduction of waders. This process will last until the endings of December.

 

Coastal Region - Region

The "Chiquichiqui" or "Mucuteño" begins to flower.

The Osprey begins to arrive in our country searching for fishing territories where to spend the winter, and scattering around rivers, lakes and coastal lagoons.

As in the Andes, birds which have already finished their nesting in the Region form mixed feeding flocks.

The Green Turtle is laying its eggs.

The Handsome Fruiteater, one of our most spectacular endemic birds, can be frequently observed as it feeds on small fruit in the cloud forest.

"The Children" remain in flower.

Initial flowering of the "Molinillo" cane.

Huge flocks of Barn Swallows can be seen arriving from North America.

This is the month of the visits and the ending of the rains in the plains, where the rain falls are now sporadic during noon.

Regarding the visits, the arrival from the Northern hemisphere of bird flocks searching for a refuge towards the south. One can see them crossing the lower areas of the Regions to continue their pass towards South America. At least some 70 species of birds, that include Shorebirds, Gulls, Swallows, Songbirds and Hawks lodge in the ecosystems of our country or pass through them on their way to


other warm areas of the tropic.

The gallery forest disguises of nests of different sizes. Platforms with sticks, gramine balls and feathers, bags hanging in an exposed branch and even fifty centimeters diameter platforms of dry sticks in the lower branches of the bushes. When in the interior of this last one two white color eggs can be observed, that indicates the presence of the Rufescent TigerHeron.

 

Coastal Region - October

The Northern Waterthrush begins to arrive from North America. This bird likes to frequent swampy areas and wetlands, and it is easily recognized by its short and repetitive call.

The eggs of the Green Turtle are about to hatch.

The Heliconius erato butterfly becomes particularly abundant. This genus is generally formed by individuals with highcontrasting colors.

The Avocado Tree begins to flower. Along with corn, the tomato and the potato, it is one of the plants originating in America which has become widespread throughout the world.

 

November is known as the month of the lowering, even when the dry season begins in the whole country, in some areas isolated patterns continue. In the Venezuelan Eastern coast it rains, in the Andes during the morning the atmosphere will be cleaner, and in the plains almost the whole savanna seems flooded, but without so much precipitation.

In the Coastal Region, the ascent and condensation of the masses of air favors the lasting of regular rains in the cloudy forest. In the Andes the rains


end later than the rest of the ecosystems.

In the plains the water begins to stop and the damp areas begin to dry gradually, being this a process that ends in April. However, this soil continues to receive an important flow of those rivers that pour their waters through the eastern side of the Andean Region.

 

Coastal Region - November

The White Frangipani, common in xerophytic areas, is in bloom.

Feeding flocks of mixed passerine species can be observed moving through the forests. The most common families are the woodcreepers, ovenbirds, spinetails and foliagegleaners, certain species of flycatchers, peppershrikes, vireos and greenlets and tanagers.

November is the peak flowering season and the end of the fruiting season for the gigantic trees which the local people call "The Children" which grow in the cloud forest.

The false palms are beginning to renew their leaves.

It is the mating season for eagles and hawks which live at the higher elevations. These are mainly the White Hawk, the Ornate HawkEagle, the Black HawkEagle and the Solitary Eagle.

The Wattled Jacana begins its nesting season which lasts until December. In this species, the family is a matriarchy and it is the male who takes care of the eggs.

The Geonoma simplifrons palm, endemic to the Coastal Region, flowers and bears fruit.

The flowering season for the Cupey begins. This contributes to the abundance of hummingbirds which feed on its flowers.

Flowering of the Coconut Palm along Venezuelan coasts

December is famous for bringing in the cold. This happens because of the arrival of the soft trade winds, which move from the East towards the West, or said in other way, in the opposite direction of the great rivers as the Orinoco and the Apure.

In the high areas the temperature lowers significantly in the early morning. In the plains the dry season or "summer" has already begun, and with it, the regular processes of this time of the year are showing: the floggings go away, the Savanna's grasses turn yellow and the water fauna begins to feel the radical changes in the bodies of water.


From November the different migratory warblers may be found in the mountain forests. For many hunting birds this month marks the beginning of the courting and reproduction period, while some aquatic birds are initiating their process of flying with their babies.

The lower forests seem drier everyday and the falling of the leaves from the deciduous trees speeds up.

 

Coastal Region - December

The White Frangipani flowers. This is a shrub which grows among xerophytic vegetation in coastal lowlands.

The Palebreasted Spinetails sing along the streams.

The Cupey flowers. Its fruit will later attract many parrots and parakeets, including the Spectacular Lilactailed Parrotlet.

Flocks of Whitetipped Quetzals can be seen flying through the forest in search of food.


Nature Calendar in a complete Year -  by Regions

 

Nature Calendar - Andean Region Nature Calendar - Coastal- Region Nature Calendar - Guayana Region Nature Calendar

 

Andes - Coastal - Guayana - Los Llanos



 

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