Because I have so many sloth photos, I have to post a bit more on them--right? I know this is a birding blog, but c'mon--sloths are so cool, so iconic, attention must be paid! I wonder, are they big enough to be considered charismatic megafauna? They are bigger than many mammals and they have a lot of charisma...
We would have walked right under the sloth completely unawares by Tino our guide from Canopy Lodge. In all the excitement, I forget what bird we had just been watching when Tino nonchalantly pointed upwards and said, "Sloth." Our small group went bonkers and rightfully so. We jockeyed scopes and necks to get in the perfect position to view the sloth and I wanted to get photos.
First, it took a while to get an angle where the face was easy to see. Second, being sloth, they move rather slowly, it's going to take awhile for that head to move your way. My first several photos are of sloth tocks.
But for a sloth, this one was incredibly active and thanks to him for being in this position, we found out he was a male--apparently male sloth have this kind of shaven patch with a stripe and orange fur. It almost looked like he had some sort of odd tattoo.
But as I said, he was active and so when he would and face us, he had a knack obscuring that beautiful and aimiable looking face with leaves. Dear sloth, you are doing a terrible job of living up to your species name.
Gradually, he moved to a more open spot, this time with branches, but at least no leaves and you could see that awesome sloth face.
Then he found a spot and began a slow errand of scratching various parts of his body. He used those long three toes (incidentally, Tino said that he was a brown-throated sloth), you could practically hear him go, "Eh, eh, eh" as he scratched.
Incidentally and yet appropriately, the BBC has a story of a sloth that was probably killed by a spectacled owl in Panama. Harpy eagles will go for sloth, but a spectacled owl is much smaller and this is quite interesting. Follow the link to read more.