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 / 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...

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...

Birds / 06.04.2010

The largest and possibly the most raucous of the five toucan species found in Costa Rica the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan is a common inhabitant of the Osa Peninsula.  Its characteristic calls and large yellow and chestnut colored bill are unique to this bird and is only one of two toucan species found on the peninsula.   You can usually find them in forested and semi-open areas and trees in clearings feeding mainly on fruit and an occasional insect, lizard, snake or bird nestling.  Toucans will commonly feed their mate. It...