Birds / 26.07.2010

[caption id="attachment_1122" align="alignleft" width="254" caption="Blue-crowned Motmot by Alan Dahl"][/caption] The Blue-crowned Motmots (Momotus momota) have been spending a lot of time around a Nance tree (Byrsonima crassifolia), a prolific fruit producing tree in the garden here at Friends of the Osa’s Osa Biodiversity Center.  Lately there have been quite a few hanging around giving their distinctive soft low pitch “moot moot” call at dawn which has sounded like a large choral group, each bird with its own perfectly timed solo, and the group never missing a beat.  With...

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,...

Land Conservation and Forest Restoration / 06.07.2010

A group of 8th graders from Crane Country Day School recently traveled to Costa Rica and fell in love with the country during their ten day stay. The class of forty students ventured all the way from Santa Barbara, California to the Osa Peninsula! Once the students made it back to California, they realized they wanted to help out in some way. Their trip to Costa Rica had inspired them so much that they decided to raise money for Friends of the Osa. Their efforts proved fruitful as they...

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...

Uncategorized / 24.06.2010

Este 17 de Junio un grupo de maestros de las escuelas locales, participaron en un taller sobre biología, ecología y conservación de tortugas marinas en el Centro de Biodiversidad de Osa.   El taller fue realizado en conjunto por el Programa de Conservación de Tortugas Marinas y el Programa de Educación Ambiental de Amigos de Osa. Los objetivos del Programa de Conservación de Tortugas Marinas es garantizar el éxito ecológico de la nidación de las tortugas marinas en las playas de la Península de Osa, Costa Rica, integrando conservación, investigación y...

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...

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...

Environmental Education, Science and Research / 22.04.2010

By Samantha Weintraub PhD Student, University of Colorado, Boulder Ecology & Evolutionary Biology When most people wander through a tropical forest, they are awed by the diversity and abundance of plants, mammals and other members of the forest community they see.  While biodiversity is certainly a fantastic feature of tropical landscapes, my interests lie on the darker side of the ecosystem.  Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the force – I’m talking about the soil!  For an ecosystem ecologist, one of the most fascinating aspects of tropical ecology concerns how tropical...