Hawk for Breakfast: Costa Rica 2014

How would you like to have hawk for breakfast?

This year, during the time we were at “Dos Rios”, in the Southern Zone, we had hawk for breakfast almost every morning.

When staying at finca Dos Rios, the usual morning routine includes sitting on the west-facing “acera” to drink coffee and to eat toast.

This year, almost every morning, a hawk would come sit in the nearby trees.

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A very watchful hawk.

Buteo magnirostris.

A common name for this buteo is the “roadside hawk”.

Another common name is “chapulinero”.

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What’s a chapulinero?

In Spanish, the suffix “-ero” (or “ista”), added to a noun, creates a new word that describes somebody who works with that noun.

zapato (shoe) + -ero = zapatero (cobbler or shoe salesman)
vaca (cow) + -ero = vaquero (cowboy)
ingeniería (engineering) + -ero = ingeniero (engineer)
rap (as in rap music) + -ero = rapero (rapper, rap artist)

(For the complete mini-lesson on this, go to: http://spanish.yabla.com/lessons.php?lesson_id=170 )

So.

What’s a chapulin?

A grasshopper.

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Since the roadside hawk is fond of grasshoppers (and other large insects), it gets the “chapulero” nickname. If you go out for a walk and find a pair of big grasshopper wings on the ground, you can make a good guess about whose recently eaten.

Let’s go back to breakfast time on the acera.

During one morning’s visit, the chapulinero suddenly perked up and stared across the front yard. First it flew about ten yards to a nearby branch, sat briefly, and then launched itself, “Wham!”, onto another branch.

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Where was sitting a large cicada.

Which became hawk’s breakfast.

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The outdoors is this hawk’s fast-food restaurant.

Where nobody ever says…

You want flies with that?

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