Saturday, April 29, 2017

Greater Coucal: Spirit of the Tropical Garden

During my many stays at the Furama Resort Danang I have heard a haunting bird call from the high tree canopy of the lush tropical garden.  Only my most recent stay was I lucky to get a quick view of the bird responsible...the Greater Coucal (Centropus sinensis).

This shy crow sized member of the cuckoo family (Cuculidae), is rarely seen, but it's haunting call is often heard...

Widespread and of least concern throughout Asia, they are commonly called the Crow Pheasant and their deep calls are associated with spirits and omens in many versions of Asian folklore. 
The Furama is a wonderful resort on the site of the old "China Beach" R&R Center and has many memories for vets like me.  Then it was a respite from combat it is a restful and luxurious home away from home for Vets With a Mission teams after working in the mountains and countryside.

A quiet place to sit and listen to the the lagoon pool in the midst of the tropical early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Papilio polytes: Common Mormon Butterfly

 This tropical swallowtail, Papilio polytes, or Common Mormorn butterfly is widely distributed across Asia.
It mimics the toxic species Red-bodied Swallowtails (Pachiopta polydorous) and several other red- bodied and inedible species.
This mimicry is evident in the female which is polymorphic...
wiki photo

This beautiful female was seen nectaring in the tropical garden of the Furama Resort Danang, Vietnam
Proof is, as always, in the binomial ....  Papilio means butterfly in Greek ... polytes means many.  Thus Mormon is reference to the practice of many different wives! 
Lots of interesting things to see when traveling....keep your eyes open and camera ready!