The splendors of Costa Rica birding

The splendors of Costa Rica birding

I photographed the birds in this slideshow during a seven-day stay in the La Fortuna area, where I hiked in the Mt. Arenal Volcano National Park, Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio,  Caño Negro Wildlife refuge (where I saw this Pacific Screech Owl), and other, smaller nature preserves. Several of these birds are reclusive, or hard to…

Golden-hooded tanager, Costa Rica

We spotted this beauty on a branch near the Mt. Arenal Volano lodge. The “tangara larvata” is also called the Golden-masked Tanager, for obvious reasons. It is a small bird, similar in size to the north American sparrow, 5 inches or so.

Yellow-throated toucan at dusk, Mt. Arenal Costa Rica

The first night of our stay at Manoa Arenal Lodge, near the town of La Fortuna and also Mt. Arenal Volcano National Park, we walked through the grounds as the sun was setting and looked up at one of the many nearby Cecropia trees (ubiquitous important invaders of man-made clearings) and were treated to the…

Male & Female honeycreepers in La Fortuna

These beautiful honeycreepers were a surprise, appearing in the branches above us in a private nature preserve outside of La Fortuna.

The Woodpeckers of Costa Rica

The Mt. Arenal region of Costa Rica, to be specific. We spent seven days here, March 12-19 2017. We hiked in Mt. Arenal Volcano National Park, Caño Negro Wild Life Refuge, Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio, and the Bogarin Nature Trail in La Fortuna. We saw over 100 species of birds; this post features the four…

Puffins & Razorbills on Lunga Island, Scotland

On 25 June 2016, just two days after the Brexit vote, 40 of us took a guided boat trip to Staff and Lunga Islands. We spent two hours on Lunga Island, watching and photographing the hundreds of nesting puffins and razorbills on a glorious, sunny afternoon.

The Tanagers of Panama

We mostly see the scarlet and summer tanagers in the southeast, but on a March 2016 trip to Panama we saw half a dozen new (to us) species (including the Golden-crowned or golden-hooded tanager): The rosy-thrush tanager

Broad-billed Motmot, Soberania National Park, Panama, 15 May 2016

Thanks to expert birder Justo Carmago@justadventuresp for helping us spot this broad-billed Motmot off the beaten path in Soberania National Park.  

Tiny Hawk visits Soberania National Park, Panama

Thanks to expert birder Justo Carmago @justadventuresp for helping us spot this Tiny Hawk in the forest of Panama! As the Cornell University ornithology site notes, “Despite its large range, it is seldom encountered and is poorly known, with very little data on its behavior and or its breeding.” We spotted this bird because…

Roseate Spoonbill on Jekyll Island Causeway

We often stop on the Jekyll Island Causeway on the way to the Jekyll Island Campground–just to see what birds might be on the marsh. On October 9, 2015, at about 11:30 a.m., we watched this roseate spoonbill circle above us and land in the water in search of lunch. For more on the ecology…