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UK Geocaching Information & Resources Knowledge Books


Pirates Treasure: nest of lesser spotted Toucan

Hidden : 7/22/2007
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: small (small)

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Geocache Description:

This cache in located in the delightful village of Hinstock (proud winners of the '2005 North Shropshire Tourism Award'), in northeast Shropshire. It straddles the A41 and is approximately halfway between the two market towns of Newport and Market Drayton. I recommend that you park in the car park opposite The Falcon Inn, which will give you a short (10 minutes) but lovely village walk to the cache.

Toucans are A colourful, gregarious forest bird found from Mexico to Argentina, known for its enormous and colourful bill. The colourful beak of the Toucan is very light! It is made mostly of keratin (like your fingernails), supported with thin rods of bone. They have red, yellow, blue, black or orange plumage, often in vivid patterns, and feed on fruit and berries. They nest in tree holes, laying glossy white eggs (2-4) that are incubated by both parents.

The function of their enormous bill has puzzled scientists for a long time. What use is such an instrument? It is not a weapon, the toucan's usual enemies being much too strong to be fooled by even the heftiest bill. It is not a special tool for gathering food, since all toucans eat berries, seeds, and ripe fruit. A shorter, more solid bill would do just as well! Some ornithologists think it is simply a distinguishing feature, a visual threat to would-be competitors. But this hypothesis is not very convincing, since the bill of both the male and the female is exactly the same. So the mystery of the toucan's bill remains unsolved!

Toucans are very noisy members of the jungle society, and live in smallish communities, equivalent to several families. They are related to the woodpeckers, and appropriate holes in tree trunks in the same way. One might well ask how a bird like a toucan manages to sleep at the bottom of a tight-fitting hole. Quite simply, it bends double; the beak is twisted round and rests on its back, its tail is folded up on to its breast, its wings wrap round the rest of its body - and voila! A feathery ball!

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Tb hc bagb gur choyvp sbbgcngu. Guvf pnpur vf arfgvat va gur pragre bs gur gerr, 4 srrg hc, haqre n fgbar naq pbirerq jvgu yrnirf.

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



70 Logged Visits

Found it 53     Didn't find it 7     Write note 4     Archive 1     Temporarily Disable Listing 1     Publish Listing 1     Owner Maintenance 2     Post Reviewer Note 1     

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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