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Nature Calendar in a complete Year -  by Regions

 

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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.

The Llano - January

The Cedar, tree of great importance because of its valued wood, is flowering.

The Ceiba begins to flower. In the Llano it forms small oases of forests dispersed throughout the savanna. They are also found in gallery forests.

Around this time, Iguanas are very busy, digging subterranean chambers in the sand, which they will use later on to lay their eggs.

At night you may find the Yellowheaded Sidenecks laying their eggs in the beaches and banks of sand of the great rivers, as well as the fox, sniffing any nest to unbury the eggs and swallow them.

In the low Llanos of Apure State, the Llano's Sideneck is courting.

In the bodies of water close to their nests, Jabirus can be seen feeding with their young.

Around these days, the inhabitants of the Llano talk about "rolls of snakes", which is their interpretation of the mating of Anacondas, the largest species of boa in the world.

The "Morrocoy" Tortoise is nesting. This takes place mainly in gallery forests.

As the waters recede and the flow of the rivers decreases, river dolphins, electric eels and stingrays, which have remained trapped in the lagoons and rivers, can be frequently observed.

The Orinoco Goose mates at this time.

On the sandy beaches that have been left exposed by the receding waters, the Orinoco Crocodile builds its nest. This species is endemic to the basin of this river.

January is when most of the young of the Crabeating Fox are born. This coincides with the abundance of prey brought about by the birth of several species of small reptiles.

Between the mouths of the Apure and Meta rivers, in the low Llanos, the month ends with groups of Orinoco River Turtles sunning themselves on the beaches.

The Herons begin to disperse throughout the different bodies of water. They have remained in large flocks with their young until the end of the rainy season.

The Capped Herons are nesting. These birds are not easily seen because they prefer to remain hidden in the gallery forests.

The Guazuma Tree is flowering. Soon the fruit will come, and with them many animals, including the Whitetailed Deer which come to the foot of the tree to eat their favorite food.

 

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,

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.

 

 

The Llano - February

Everyday at dawn, great flocks of Barn Swallows move over the bodies of water hunting insects. These groups may get to form hundreds of individuals in few square meters, while on the other hand, thousands of Brown Ibis take off from their sleeping places towards the flooding Savannah to be dispersed in the shallow lagoons.

The Orinoco Goose and the Little Bittern move with their pigeons throughout the borders of canals and rivers of the Savannah. In the first ones, the pigeons have already changed their plumage, while the seconds still have their immature plumage.

Thousands of Whistling Ducks concentrate, together with hundreds of individuals of the BlueWinged Teal in the bodies of water. These last ones are migratory from North America and they have a faster flapping than the first ones.

Thirsty wildlife concentrates around scarce bodies of water.

This is the time which birds of prey choose for building their nests and breeding, when mortality among fish, birds and small mammals caused by the drought, offers easy prey for adults and young alike.

Parrots and Macaws begin the search for a place to build their nests, usually in a hole of a tree. Many pairs are unable to breed due to a lack of suitable nesting sites.

The Llano's Sideneck digs holes in lowlands to lay eggs.

Caymans announce their courtship period with ascending and rigid movements of the head and tail.

The Bronze Shower Senna flowers.

Anacondas move from puddle to puddle escaping the drought.

The Oak, imposing with its beautiful silhouette and reddish wood, flowers this month. And it must be very timid because its flowering season lasts but a moment, from ten to fifteen days.

 

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 Llano-March

The fruit of the Cannonball Tree, already ripe, begin to fall piling up at the foot of the trees.

The Orinoco River Turtle lays its eggs along the sandy beaches of the Orinoco river.

The babies of the Yellowheaded Sidenecks hatch. They are very similar to the Llano's Sideneck but are recognized by lighter spots on the head.

The Saman is in bloom. This tree, generous in shade and coolness, is the symbol of the Llano.

The Shower of Gold is in bloom, and if the beauty of its flowers was not enough, it is frequented by many hummingbirds.

The "Madre de Cacao" begins to flower.

In the higher parts of the Llano, where the water does not reach, the Cedar is in bloom.

The Copernicia Palm, on the contrary, is ending its flowering season. This palm is typical of the low areas which are covered by water during the rainy season.

The Pink Poui, abundant in the deciduous forests of the Llano, is in bloom.

Two species of Jacaranda are in bloom. Their typical purple flowers color the landscape.

Caymans move around searching for the few remaining bodies of water. Sometimes, if they cannot find any, they bury themselves in the mud to avoid dehydration and stay there several days.

Racoons appear at night searching for prey with their young.

 

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.


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.

 

 

The Llano- April

The young of the WoodStorks and Jabirus, which left their nests in February, concentrate around the swampy areas to feed with the adults.

The King Vulture, which builds its nest on the large branches of the trees, hatch their young.

The Aplomado Falcon is also busy building its nest. It must be very lazy because it occupies nests abandoned by other birds, as long as they are located in open places with easy access.

 

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.

 

 

The Llano -May

The White Capped Heron is concentrated in groups of up to fifteen individuals. Their reproductive behavior consists in yelling guttural calls while extending their necks vertically. This interaction between two individuals is usually interpreted as a competition.

The mating season of the Yellowknobbed Curassow begins. The summer flocks separate in small family groups of one male and several females. They can be heard singing at dawn and sundown.

The Rufousvented Chachalacas are mating.

The Great Potoo already has one or two young. The nest is nothing more than any slight hollowness on the curve of a branch.

The Giant Anteaters have their young. The newborn remains in the den waiting for the mother to feed it; but when it begins to grow, it goes out to search for food riding on the back of its mother.

At this time, the Crabeating Raccoon and the Crabeating Fox are also breeding.

There is an increase in the number of baby monkeys.

Several species of Cassia, such as the Bronze Shower Senna and the Shower of Gold, are in bloom.

The little red cherries of the Barbados Cherry ripen. They are a favorite of many birds.

The young of the "Morrocoy" Tortoise are born at this time.

The Mucovy Duck is courting. The male moves its head rhythmically forwards and backwards at the same time it lifts its crest, extends its neck, slightly lifts its wings and vibrates its tail. The female responds with similar gestures.

The reproductive period of the Green Ibis begins. It is an ibis of solitary habits which builds its nest in the gallery forest.

The Scarlet Ibis, on the other hand, moves from the Llanos to the coast, where it builds its nest and then breeds. It flies in small flocks in "V" formation.

Large flocks of Whistling Ducks which had congregated in summer, now disperse. They build their nests on the ground towards the end of the rainy season.

 

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

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.


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.

 

The Llano - June

The scarlet Ibis begins moving towards the higher plains, due to a saturation of the water in the lower plains and a greater availability of shallow waters in the high ones.

This is the season when monkeys with newborn babies are seen most frequently.

Flooding favors the dispersion of the Caymans towards the permanent bodies of water.

Arrival of the Forktailed Flycatcher and the Smallbilled Elaenia from the south of South America. They come fleeing the southern winter.

Certain Seedeaters are nesting at this time. This fact seems to be related to the abundance of shoots from a large group of grasses.

The breeding plumage appears in Herons, as they concentrate to breed. Likewise, the Olivaceous Cormorant concentrates to nest along with the Herons.

The Horned Screamer is nesting. Its nest is a platform in the middle of large bodies of water with little intervention and dense vegetation.

Same thing do the Blackbellied Whistling Ducks. The couple mates in January and the nests are made in a hole of a tree or in the soil depending on the species.

 

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.


The plains 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 Llano - July

The "Viudita Acuática" begins to prepare the nest all along the bodies of water. The structures look like a small balloon hanging from its side and built with the soft parts of plants and small feathers.

The nesting period of the Pionío WoodStorks begins. This consists in a one meter diameter platform in a tree top of a naked tree next to a mata. It is probable to find nesting of three or four nests per group. Both adults participate in the process.

The reproductive period of many other species brings along a changing in the plumage, such is the case of the Reznera Heron whose yellow big feathers in the back indicate the beginning of that moment.

The guire duck moves towards "the sticks" of the flooded forest areas to allow the reproductive period, as well as the Hoitzin, whose segregation in couples indicates the proximity of such a moment.

The Greater Ani is nesting. It forms family groups of 3 to 5 individuals.

The young of the Greater Longnosed Armadillo are born at this time.

The Crabeating Raccoon and the Crabeating Fox are also giving birth at this time.

The Herons of the Egretta, Casmerodius and Ardea genera begin to incubate their eggs.

The Sungrebe is nesting. It has the peculiar ability of carrying its young under its wings.

The Blackcrowned NightHeron is also nesting, forming its own small colonies.

Likewise, the Barefaced Ibis nests at this time. It prefers to do it in relatively large groups, in thorn bushes or palm concentrations on the savanna.

 

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 The  Plains 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.

 

 

 

The Llano - August

The lonely Jabirus constructs a huge platform in a tree with easy access. That indicates that the reproductive period begins, being both adults participants of the event.

The Gray Tinamou becomes more numerous in the lower plains. These birds follow the flooding pattern of the Great Orinoco River basin.

Nesting period of the White Capped Heron, the Blue Hen and the Brown Heron, as well as the common Cacique.

The "zamuritas" are Ibises that move throughout the gallery forest with material to construct their nest.

The flocks of Crested Bobwhites completely disperse to breed, build their nests and incubate their eggs.

The young of the Greater Ani abandon their nests.

The Giant River Otters begin their reproductive period.

The Bronze Shower Senna is loaded with the seedpods of its fruit.

The Caymans begin to build their nests.

The females of the Brazilian Duck, a species exclusively from South America, are incubating their eggs.

 

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.

 

The Llano - September

The nesting season of the Whitefaced Whistling Duck begins.

The Wattled Jacana begins its courtship.

The Yellowrumped Cacique, an icterid with brilliant yellow and black plumage, is nesting in its long sacks woven with grasses and twigs.

The Giant River Otters give birth to their young.

The new leaves of the Cassia begin to sprout.

The hatching period of the Herons ends. This process began in August.

Nesting season of the Rufescent TigerHeron in the gallery forest.

The Graynecked WoodRail can be seen with its young in the gallery forest.

 

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.

 

 

The Llano - October

The Cayman is a reptile that zealously takes care of its nest. This consists in leaves and decomposing material that when it degrades it liberates energy through the heat, benefiting in this way the hatching of the eggs. This nest is zealously watched by the female.

The Helmeted Curassow makes its nest cleaning the soil of gramines in the "bank". Usually this nest contains two kakicolored eggs with dark spots. Once the eggs bloom, the adults will protect their pigeons through movements that call the attention of the predator to drive away the danger.

The Gray Tinamou moves with up to five pigeons, who have a dark brown plumage with yellow spots in the face.

The last nests of the Hoitzin are observed all along the gallery forest in the basin of the Orinoco.

The peak of the nesting of the Buffnecked Ibis happens, while the Pionio WoodStorks is already advanced. They can be observed shepherding the savannas near to the nest in groups of up to even eight adults and more than eleven juveniles.

The Whitefaced Whistling Duck is nesting.

The Cedar begins to flower.

The eggs of the Cayman begin to hatch, as well as those of the Anaconda.

The courting and mating season of the Orinoco Crocodile begins.

 

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 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.

 

The Llano - November

The "Guayabita", a tree from the gallery forest, is full of fruits which are digested by the Yellowknobbed Curassow, who at the same time acts as a dispersing agent.

The movement of the Scarlet Ibis towards the lower plains begins.

Considering as a successful reproductive strategy, the WoodStork concentrates by hundreds in the rookeries to begin the reproductive period. That space has already been used before by the Capped Heron, the Blue Hen during previous months.

The eggs of the Anaconda or Water Snake (Eunectes Murinus) bloom, which are within the female in a pseudoplacenta. This bag may carry up to 82 babies.

The waters begin to "lower", which forces many species from damp areas to move towards the Orinoco river.

The Pygmy Kingfisher moves from the gallery forest to the exterior heading towards the beginning of any stream where the hunting of small fish is more effective.

End of the breeding season for the WhiteFaced WhistlingDuck.

The Salmwood or Spanish Elm, a tree of excellent wood, begins to flower.

End of the breeding season for the Crested Bobwhite. Adults and their young are beginning to form flocks.

The migration of the Ibis towards the coast begins. Their arrival in the twilight and their departure from the roost in the morning are spectacular.

During this season, the Giant Anteater is in the nursing period. Occasionally a female can be observed crossing the plain with its young on her back.

The communities of bats are formed mostly by adults at this time.

The eggs of the Cayman hatch until December. They begin to concentrate in permanent bodies of water where they will remain during the dry season.

 

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.

The Llano - December

The Llano´s Sideneck is mating.

With the retreat of the waters, the Scarlet Ibises migrate slowly from the high Llanos to the low Llanos.

The "Morrocoy" Tortoises are building their nests throughout the gallery forests.

The Ceiba begins to lose leaves to allow the flowering.

The eggs of the Caymans hatch. The adults begin to concentrate in the permanent bodies of water.

End of the molting season and beginning of the mating season of the Orinoco Goose. At the beginning of this period, males have violent fights and make a terrible racket, while the females remain at a distance. This is the only Venezuelan goose and it forms a pair for life.

Peak nesting period of the Buffnecked Ibis in the "matas" (isolated patches of forest) of the Llano.

Beginning of the molting period of the Blackbellied WhistlingDuck, remaining unable to fly during two or three weeks. At this time they are easily attacked by Hawks and Caracaras.

Arrival of migrations of Bluewinged Teals, which is the only North American duck that regularly migrates to the Amazon Basin.


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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