News + Stories

Birds / 11.07.2017

Blogpost written by Patrick Newcombe, Conservation Visitor  When I first arrived in the Osa for my birding experience, the tremendous diversity of birds astounded me. I seemed to spot a new species each time I walk into the forest around Osa Conservation's biological station.  Even at the station itself, I saw such birds as the Fiery-billed Aracari, an endemic species in both Panama and Costa Rica. The species diversity stems, in large part, from the selective pressure insectivorous birds put on their prey. This causes insects to adapt in order...

Birds, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 07.12.2012

The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a species in danger of extinction. In Costa Rica, there are only two healthy populations of scarlet macaws, the largest of which is located on the Osa Peninsula. This population is estimated to be between 800 and 1200 individuals (Dear et al 2010). This population was almost completely eliminated due to the illegal removal of trees for timber and agriculture, hunting for food, and illegal trade of Macaws as pets. During the last two decades, commercial logging and hunting of birds has decreased significantly, and the population of Macaws of the Osa Peninsula has increased rapidly. However, the loss of natural cavities in the trees used as nests for these animals has greatly limited the recovery of their populations. A study in recent years recommended long-term conservation that combines environmental education in local schools, community involvement, and stricter penalties for hunters and the Lapa Roja habitat destroyers (Guittar et al 2008).
Birds, Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 05.12.2012

By Carolina Herrera, NRDC Wondering where that brightly colored songbird that visited your yard during the summer disappeared to when the temperature dropped? Many songbirds and other migratory birds spend the cooler months in Latin America’s tropical rainforests, so preserving their winter habitat is essential to their survival. That’s one reason why NRDC partnered with the group Osa Conservation to help Revive a Rainforest on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. With the support of our members we’ve been helping to restore 50 acres of degraded tropical rainforest by planting carefully selected native tree species. Six hundred and fifty species of birds make North America their home and breeding ground. While some of these birds are permanent residents many are migratory, with migration paths varying from short, medium to long. Approximately 350 species breed in the US and Canada and then winter all the way in Latin America and the Caribbean where they need to find sufficient food and safe nesting locations. The Yellow Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and the Canada Warbler are just three of the many species that journey long distances during their seasonal migrations to Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.
Birds / 16.11.2012

[caption id="attachment_4672" align="alignleft" width="493"] Photo by Manuel Sanchez Mendoza[/caption] If you've ever spent the night in the rainforest you know how deceptive sound can be. Unlike the intriguing daytime peeps, flaps, buzzes and calls that inspire one to explore deeper into holes, hollows, and underbrush, the haunting sounds that pierce the blackness of night cause the uninitiated like me to wholeheartedly question their disbelief of ghosts, goblins and spell-casting forest witches. Nighttime at Piro has a way of transforming torrential downpour into slowly approaching footsteps, guttural howler calls into sinister forest cries. Especially haunting is one sound that I really would have sworn was a ‘bruja’ laughing slowly and eerily into a wooden whistle repeatedly throughout the night.
Birds, Environmental Education / 07.09.2012

As part of conservation efforts for the Scarlet Macaw, artificial nests have been installed in two colleges and five schools. In each school, trees with easy visibility were chosen for students based on  characteristics of diameter and height for the installation of the nests. Students of these schools attended a workshop on ecology, life cycles and the importance of conservation of the species Ara macao. Students from the 5th, 6th, and 9th grades are in charge of monitoring macaw activities and noting events such as flights and perching near the nests and when a macaw investigates the inside of a nest. They also monitor the activity of other species near the nest.
Birds / 22.06.2010

[caption id="attachment_934" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Band-tailed Barbthroat by Gianfranco Gomez"][/caption] The Band-tailed Barbthroat (Threnetes ruckeri) is a medium sized hermit in the hummingbird family.  They are a common resident of wet lowland forest on the Caribbean and Pacific slopes and range from Guatemala on down to Western Venezuela and Ecuador.  They are often found along edges and the understory of old second growth feeding on mainly Heliconia, Calathea and banana flowers with their specially shaped decurved bill.  This and other hermit species can be found here at Friends of...

Miscellaneous / 18.05.2010

[caption id="attachment_798" align="alignleft" width="300"] Recording a Stream Soundscape: Jeff Woodman, Luis Vargas & Leo Garrigues[/caption] By Karen Leavelle & Jeff Woodman The Osa Peninsula is known for its high level of biodiversity and is one of the most “biologically intense” places on earth according to National Geographic. The Osa has over half of all species found in Costa Rica. This is evident in the over 400 bird species found here. That’s quite a few birds for such a small area. Well, its time then to make them heard; to record...

Birds / 08.05.2010

Also known as the Beryl-crowned Hummingbird the Charming Hummingbird (Amazilia decora) is regionally endemic to the Southern Pacific lowlands and coastal areas of Costa Rica north to Carara and Panama.  It is sometimes considered conspecific with the Blue-chested Hummingbird found on the Caribbean slope as they are nearly identical.  You will often see them in coffee plantations, gardens, forest edges and along streams and open clearings feeding on Inga, Hamelia, Satryia and Heliconia.  Like many tropical species Charming Hummingbirds form courtship assemblies or “leks” of up to 12...