The Red-ruffed Fruitcrow is a large bird belonging to the Cotingidae family. It does resemble a crow in overall body form, but it sports a brilliant red-orange throat and an orange chest and belly that’s very distinctive, even inside the darkness of the forest they inhabit. Although arboreal, they do come to the ground to eat fallen fruit. Another endemic bird of Colombia. We saw this bird in Yarumo Blanco SFF, in Pereira, where it is actually abundant and not so afraid of people. It came to ground a few times and seemed to be comfortable with us being around.
The Phelps’ Brush-Finch is part of the Arremon genus, which has a variety of species that distribute through all South America, a few of which occur in Costa Rica. They are small birds that hop in the ground and forage by snatching worms and insects from their hides. Its back and wings are olive in coloration, with gray flanks that join with the supercilliary. It has black cheeks and a black line above the supercilliary, with a gray line that goes through the center of the head, and those features give it a striped look. It has a white throat and chest. Their eyes are reddish-brown.
In Costa Rica, there are three species of Oropendola, which as can be assumed are pretty similar. The biggest one is the Montezuma Oropendola, which is differentiated from the other too by black eyes, distal half of the beak is orange, and white skin on it’s face. The Crested Oropendola is very similar to the Chestnut-headed, however is bigger and has black head instead of chestnut. Both have pale bill and blue eyes, and all three species have yellow feathers on their tail. Another distinguishing characteristics is their range: The Crested has a very limited range near the border with Panama, while the other two can be found in the Caribbean (with the Montezuma being the most abundant). The Chestnut-headed can be found on the southern pacific, while the Montezuma can be found in Central Valley and northern pacific.
The following pictures were taken at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Boca Tapada during a Birdwatching tour with Fundación Rapaces de Costa Rica, on November 25th and 26th, 2017. It is more common to see the Montezuma come to the feeders, but this individual did come at least twice.
Another trogon species with yellow belly, this is distinguished by the fact that both the male and female have black coloration, although the female is much duller. The tail pattern is helpful to distinguish between this and the similar Gartered Trogon, which may be found in similar areas.
We were expecting to see this large woodpecker, whose coloration is somewhat hypnotic. It did appear at the feeders, but with low light levels. Still, just seeing it perch and peck at the coconut in upright position was wonderful. Furthermore, we were able to see a complete family of about 5 individuals, where mom, dad and the fledgings were almost the same size. The following picture was taken on July 8th, 2017 during another Photography Workshop at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge with To The Wonder.
The Plain-colored Tanager is a nondescript bird that is easily overlooked, as it lacks the size and flashy colors of other CR Tanagers like the Golden-hooded or the Passerini’s. At first sight, it might look a lot similar to the Palm Tanager, however the Plain-colored is smaller and plumper than the Palm. Also the Plain Tanager has not olive or blueish coloration in the body, being pure shades of grey with black iris an bill. They like to eat fruit at feeders like most tanagers. The individuals below were photographed during a Birdwatching tour with Fundación Rapaces de Costa Rica, at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge, Boca Tapada, on November 25th and 26th. There they shared their space with all three species of Honeycreepers, Tanagers and Orioles, but anytime a big bird like the Toucans or Oropendolas arrived to the action, every single bird flew away.
The Plain-brown Woodcreeper is one of the largest woodcreepers inhabiting Costa Rica, but since it got almost no markings in its plumage, it is difficult to identify. This one perched on a dead bamboo log with an insect inside its beak, and stood there motionless for quite some time, seemingly undisturbed by my presence. The picture below was taken on July 8th, 2017 during a Photography Workshop at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge with To The Wonder.
The Blue Dacnis is so cute! If there was a beauty contest between birds, it would have to compete with the Red-legged Honeycreeper, the Shining Honeycreeper and the Green Honeycreeper, however the Dacnis can give all of those a run for their money. It’s deep blue coloration is inspiring. The following pictures of a male were taken on July 9th, 2017 during a Photography Workshop at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge with To The Wonder.
This is the common parakeet that people catch to have at home. Their ability to learn and repeat human language is remarkable, so that’s why they are preferred as pets. Populations of this bird have decreased a lot due to its value on the market. The following picture was taken on July 9th, 2017 during a Photography Workshop at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge with To The Wonder.
The orange on the front of this bird is difficult to see, yet it readily identifies the species; it also has blue on the head, but can’t be seen in the following picture. They travel in groups that are pretty noisy and perch in trees to eat fruits and small seeds. The picture below was taken in Viento Fresco, Tilarán after a wonderful hike on June 17th, 2017.