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Waking to Howler Monkeys - With Roger Melendez

Wake-up call in Costa Rica!
© Bodhi Surf School View Large

Dawn breaks in Costa Rica. As in many places around the world, people wake to the crowing of roosters . . . or in Costa Rica, it might be howler monkeys! Costa Rican birding guide Roger Melendez says that the male wants to know… “Is everybody awake? Is everybody listenin' to what I’m listenin' to?” Then again at night, like us, they “close the door.” So at night, too, the leaders check with the group, to be sure they haven't lost any individuals. They're protecting their family, just as humans do. And tomorrow – with the roosters crowing – is another day.

Full Transcript



Waking to Howler Monkeys - Featuring Roger Melendez

Interviewed in Costa Rica by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!

[Crickets +rooster crowing] 

Dawn is breaking in Costa Rica. As in many places in the world, people are waking to the crowing of roosters…or other wake-up calls! 

[Howler Monkey territorial call] 

Costa Rican birding guide Roger Melendez explains:

“Those are the Howler Monkeys… Most of the time they are doing a communication call to each other… [Roger imitates that call] call sometimes, a territorial call… [Howler Monkey territorial call]

“The males wants to know…‘Is everybody awake? Is everybody listen what I’m listen? Is everybody looking what I’m lookin’?”  That’s what most of the males do, is an alert call for the juveniles, for the females, and for all the rest of the group.” 

Then again at night, like you, they “close the door.”

“When they go back to rest at night – They need to keep in communication before they get sleepy so they need to do a communication to see if everybody’s close to me – is everybody here? So the leader wants to be sure they don’t lost any individuals in the group. So they do actually that because it’s the protecting area for them… Again, it’s like if you go back to bed you close your door to be safe, otherwise you let it open and you don’t know what’s can be! So they make that communication just to be sure, everybody’s here – close to me – because if something happen I’ll wake you up…this is my area, and this is how I can protect my family.” 

[Howler territorial call]  

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Crowing of Red Junglefowl [110920] provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, recorded by T. Sander.

Howler Monkeys recorded by C. Peterson.

BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to    April 2013   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#    howlermonkey-01-2013-03-18 howlermonkey-01     Sony G 31