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The prescience of the Clay-coloured robin

We've been very puzzled as to why Costa Rica chose the dull Clay-coloured robin as its national bird. With a hundred more colourful and distinctive candidates, it seemed a perverse choice. Asking around we've heard several theories, of which our favourite is that this bird helpfully changes its song each year when the ground is full of worms, thus telling the Ticos that the time is ideal to plant their crops. They chose this prescient bird over its gaudier competitors.

With 900 bird species resident, it must have been an extremely difficult choice. Here are some examples of colourful competition: the Keel-billed toucan and Scarlet macaw are followed by a Ruby-throated hummingbird.





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