Birds / 12.07.2010

[caption id="attachment_1047" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Violaceous Trogon by Tyler Reynolds"][/caption] This week’s bird, the Violaceous Trogon (Trogon violaceus) jumped out at me (not literally) as I was having my morning coffee on my front porch here at Friends of the Osa’s Osa Biodiversity Center on Cerro Osa.   I was watching all the typical dawn action, mainly the Tropical Kingbirds and Gray-capped Flycatchers being overly vociferous when I saw another yellow bellied bird perched calmly on a Virola tree branch.  This particular belly though was accompanied by a violet head,...

Birds / 05.07.2010

[caption id="attachment_1011" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Dahl_Vermiculated Screech Owl Pair"][/caption] Owls may arguably be the most interesting family of birds.  There are actually two families of owls, but the Vermiculated Screech Owl (Otus guatemalae) belongs to the Strigidae family of typical owls.  Owls are unique to other birds in a multitude of ways.  They have specialized wing feathers allowing them to fly silently which enables them to hunt by sound and catch prey easier while avoiding detection.  They can actually hear sounds 10 times fainter than a human can and have...

Birds / 28.06.2010

[caption id="attachment_989" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Crested Guan by Kory Kramer"][/caption] Lately we have been seeing Crested Guans (Penelope purpurascens) along the road up in the trees heading up to Friends of the Osa's Osa Biodiversity Center at Cerro Osa.  I first noticed a family of 4 Guan individuals in one of our forest restoration plots a few weeks back as I was conducting bird counts.  The adult female of the group became fairly agitated as I walked right underneath her on my way to my next monitoring point.  I assumed...

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...

Birds / 11.06.2010

[caption id="attachment_907" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Buff-throated Foliage Gleaner by Gianfranco Gomez"][/caption] The Buff-throated Foliage Gleaner (Automolus ochrolaemus) is part of the ovenbird family, an extremely diverse group of birds in form and habits.  Besides, foliage gleaners, there are treerunners, leaftossers, castlebuilders and treehunters.  The ovenbird name comes from nests of many species that resemble “baking ovens” placed on the ground.  Most species in the ovenbird family build some sort of covered nest or place it in a covered structure.  The Buff-throated Foliage Gleaner builds its nest at the end of...

Birds / 31.05.2010

[caption id="attachment_876" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager"][/caption] Of the over 850 bird species listed in Costa Rica, 3 are mainland endemics.  In other words they are unique to Costa Rica not found anywhere else in the world.  Two of the three species are endangered and one of them is restricted solely to the Osa Peninsula.  That restricted endangered species is the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager (Habia atrimaxillaris).  Logging and habitat loss outside of protected areas appears to be its main threat with its range being halved since 1960 according to BirdLife International. The...

Birds / 22.05.2010

This little golden chatterbox is endemic to Costa Rica and Panama.  It is found in the southern Pacific slope from Carara down through the Osa Peninsula.  Like most birds it is reliant on the remaining intact forests and begins to disappear where forests become fragmented.  This is why large tracks of forest found on the Osa Peninsula and those of Friends of the Osa for example are so important to this species. [caption id="attachment_831" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Golden-naped Woodpecker "][/caption] In the Golden-naped Woodpecker (Melanerpes chrysauchen) the female lacks...

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 / 15.05.2010

[caption id="attachment_764" align="alignleft" width="181" caption="Black-hooded Antshrike Male"][/caption] If you want to see a Black-hooded Antshrike (Thamnophilus bridgesi) then Friends of the Osa's Osa Biodiversity Center is the place to come.  They often love living on the edge, forest edges that is, and for those us who live at or visit the Center they are an easy species to enjoy and tick off your life list. The Black-hood Antshrike is a common resident of the southern pacific slope of Costa Rica and Western Panama.  The adult male is distinguished...

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...