Birds, Volunteers and Visitors / 22.07.2011

[caption id="attachment_2219" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="2010 Conservation Birding Group"][/caption] There is no place more unique or pristine to go birding than where the rainforest meets the sea.  The Osa Peninsula harbors over 460 species of birds including the healthiest population of Scarlet Macaws in Central America, three species of Leking Manakins, Yellow-billed and Turquoise Cotingas and even the endangered Harpy Eagle.  Home to the largest remaining tract of tropical lowland rainforest and intact mangrove ecosystems along the tropical Pacific coast of Central America, the Osa Peninsula is the wildest and...

Birds, Volunteers and Visitors / 19.04.2011

[caption id="attachment_1988" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="International Migratory Bird Day 2011"][/caption] Just to set the scene… the following is a bit of what I wrote to you last October 2010 in recognition of a well known day that pays homage to migratory birds all throughout the Americas. “Have you ever sat and marveled at the wonder of bird migration; the journey that birds undertake between their winter and summer homes?  Well if so, you’re not alone, and it is a cause for celebration!  Each year hundreds of thousands of people gather to...

Birds, Volunteers and Visitors / 23.12.2010

[caption id="attachment_1870" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Red-lored Parrots"][/caption] This year Friends of the Osa organized the first annual Costa Rica Osa Peninsula Christmas Bird Count, a more than century long Audubon Society tradition.  This year actually marks the 111th Audubon CBC and on December 17th 2010 Friends of the Osa along with Osa Peninsula lodges, the Osa Peninsula Birders Association, Osa bird experts and enthusiasts headed out at dawn and dusk to count as many birds that could be seen, heard or flushed out from under foot. All throughout the Americas citizen...

Birds / 26.11.2010

[caption id="attachment_1840" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Male White-crested Coquette"][/caption] Of all the hummingbird species, the coquette males that are most highly adorned with ornate feathers that are there to likely help in territorial defense and enhance species recognition.  The White-crested Coquette (Lophornis adorabilis) is the only coquette found here on the Osa Peninsula and is regionally endemic to south western Costa Rica and Western Panama. The male of this species, which is also sometimes called Adorable Coquette, is known for its white crest and long green cheek tufts and may be arguably...

Birds / 07.11.2010

[caption id="attachment_1814" align="alignleft" width="240"] Gray-headed Tanager at Playa Piro[/caption] So how do birds survive in a tropical rainforest when it rains a lot?  Let me be clearer; when it rains nearly every day for 2 weeks straight?  The rainy season here in Costa Rica lasts from May to November increasing in the amount of rainfall as the season progresses.  October and November are notorious for being the wettest months of the year. Well, the pattern seems to be holding up this year as expected.  Over the last few weeks the...

Birds / 31.10.2010

[caption id="attachment_1774" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Female Rufous-tailed Jacamar"][/caption] Some might say that the Rufous-tailed Jacamar (Galbula ruficacauda) is reminiscent of a Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher for its similar color patterns and heavy bill whereas others might see this bird and think of it as an oversized hummingbird.   Whatever side you fall on it’s a species that you can’t seem to get enough of and is hard to turn away from for its brilliant colors and sassy attitude. There are 15 species of jacamar in Tropical America which belong in their own family Galbulidae...

Birds / 24.10.2010

[caption id="attachment_1751" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Red-legged Honeycreeper"][/caption] The Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) can be found here on the Osa Peninsula and can often be seen wandering through humid forest canopies and open areas with its other Honeycreeper relatives the Green Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza), the Shining Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes lucidus) and the Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana).  For those novice birders trying to get their bird bearings here in the tropics, one can at first glance mistake the Blue Dacnis or the Shining Honeycreeper for a Red-legged Honeycreeper.  At least I did the...

Birds / 17.10.2010

[caption id="attachment_1702" align="alignleft" width="197" caption="Male Turquoise Cotinga. Photo by Ulises Quintero"][/caption] This week as promised I am bringing you the Turquoise Cotinga (Cotinga ridgwayi).  This is definitely one of those species of bird that makes you go "WOW" when you see it.  This is also one of Costa Rica's most sensitive species to loss of forest habitat.  BirdLife International has this Cotinga species listed as Vulnerable which puts it one step away from be considered Endangered.  It is a regional endemic only found on the Pacific slope of...

Birds / 10.10.2010

[caption id="attachment_1640" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Riverside Wren Nest. Photo by Jim Tamarack and Cheryl Chip"][/caption] A few weeks ago I posted a birder’s challenge question where I asked you to tell me how the Riverside Wren (Thryothorus semibadius) was positioned in its nest (go to the archived story here).  Here is the recap and your responses. Since Riverside Wrens are known at times for roosting inside their nests during all seasons of the year with sometimes two or three individuals at a time we wondered about this particular wren when...

Birds / 03.10.2010

Have you ever sat and marveled at the wonder of bird migration; the journey that birds undertake between their winter and summer homes?  Well if so, you’re not alone, and it is a cause for celebration!  Each year hundreds of thousands of people gather to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) in support of migratory bird conservation. You may be asking yourself, why a post on a day normally held in May.  Aha, that all depends on where you are in the hemisphere.  Because there is more than one...