Thursday, April 19, 2012

Costa Rican Birds, Part I

At the first camp Danelle and I visited on our trip to Africa in 2000, our guide noticed that we weren't marking down any of the birds we'd seen on the game drive in our wildlife guide. When he asked why, we told him we just weren't that into birds.

He sighed, shook his head sadly, and explained to us (in a tone similar to one I often use with Zak and Taryn) that if we spent the drives just hoping to see lions or elephants we'd have a lot of failures. But if we paid attention to the birds, we'd never be disappointed.

He was right, and 12 years later we were still heeding his advice in Costa Rica. Our fine feathered friends, as promised, didn't disappoint!

At our very first stop -- Poas Volcano National Park -- a Sooty Thrush greeted us from the cover of the thick foliage. Its relative, the Clay-colored Robin, is the country's national bird. Our guide Nancy told us that Costa Rica gets some grief from their Central American neighbors for having such a bland symbol.

A Common Bush-tanager at Poas.

A striking little bird from the La Paz Waterfall Gardens aviary that I can't identify. If any birders out there can help me out, I'd be most appreciative!

This one I've got -- Red-legged Honeycreeper.

A Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, a pair of which Taryn got to meet up close and personal.

An Emerald Toucanet, who definitely seemed put out by all the attention the real toucans got. Gaudy jerks.

A rather stressed-out but still inquisitive Red-lored Amazon.

A young Blue-gray tanager at Finca Educativa Don Juan.

One of many Green Kingfishers who were zipping around the Penas Blancas River during our float trip. I suppose it could have been one kingfisher pacing us the whole time, but that seems fairly unlikely.

Click here for Part II

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