News + Stories

Birds, Volunteers and Visitors / 08.11.2011

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO SPEND YOUR HOLIDAYS IN THE RAINFOREST! DECEMBER 17-22 Space is still available on our Holiday Birding Trip, so join us for spectacular birding through the tropical forests of the Osa Peninsula! This five-day trip includes extensive birding, forest hikes, and nightly talks and excursions with our staff of biologists and conservation professionals.  The trip culminates in the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count—where you, along with thousands of other citizen scientists throughout the Americas, can participate in the longest running wildlife census to assess the...

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 / 19.09.2010

[caption id="attachment_1416" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Chestnut-backed Antbird. Photo by Alan Dahl "][/caption] Chestnut-backed Antbirds (Myrmeciza exsul) are common residents of the Osa Peninsula and one of the most abundant species found here.  It is difficult to walk outside here at Friends of the Osa's Osa Biodiversity Center and not hear two or three individuals counter-singing.  Often times when the rest of the forest has become fairly quiet you can always count on a Chestnut-backed Antbird to let you know that all is as it should be. The signature look of three...

Birds / 05.09.2010

[caption id="attachment_1239" align="alignleft" width="240"] White-whiskered Puffbird by Gianfranco Gomez[/caption] Not only does the White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis) rank pretty high on the cuteness scale, it is also an interesting species from an ecological perspective.  Puffbirds are most closely related to jacamars, toucans and woodpeckers.  They are primarily insect and arthropod eaters and are considered to be flycatching birds along with tyrant flycatchers, and nunbirds.  Even though they eat spiders, frogs and lizards taken from the ground they are known for sitting perfectly still in the forest understory until a...

Birds / 10.08.2010

[caption id="attachment_1189" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Common Pauraque by Karen Leavelle"][/caption] Have you ever been out at night driving along a country road and been startled by red ember eyes darting across the hood of the car, and then to have it happen every few hundred meters or so?  If you are driving anywhere on roads, especially dirt roads, from South Texas on down to Argentina you are bound to see the Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis). Here on the Osa Peninsula on the road to the Osa Biodiversity Center it is...

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,...