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White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons)

The definitive field mark for identifying this parrot is the white in the head, followed by a narrow blue band, and the red orbital skin, but that’s only in the adult, as the juvenile does not have blue in the head and has white orbital skin. I observed this species for the first time in Tilarán, on June 17th, 2017. I was just walking the last kilometer of a wonderful hike through Viento Fresco, when a group of this species perched on a nearby tree. Then as I continued walking, a juvenile came flying and perched low in a tree right by the trail, allowing me to take a picture from closer range.

White-fronted Parrot, Adult - Amazona albifrons - Loro Frentiblanco, Adulto
Left is the adult, right the juvenile parrot
White-fronted Parrot, Juvenile - Amazona albifrons - Loro Frentiblanco, Juvenil
This juvenile perched pretty low and was curious about me

Crimson-fronted Parakeet (Psittacara finschi)

The Crimson-fronted Parakeet can be distinguished from other similar species by red on the forehead, pointed tail and red on wing. I had the pleasure to see a group of around 100 individuals flying near my parent’s home in Río Frío, Sarapiquí; whenever I approached them enough, they were spooked and flew all at the same time, becoming a green cloud of birds in the air that circled back to perch on the same area. The picture below was taken on April 16th, 2017.


Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)

The Scarlet Macaw is a pretty uncommon sight in Costa Rica. It is a huge bird, and loud when calling other birds. I took these pictures of the Macaw in Rio Cuarto, on May 20th, 2017 during a Photography Workshop with To The Wonder. Alvaro Cubero, our wildlife photography guide explained that Green and Scarlet Macaws do not hybridize in the wild, however in this refuge, a pair of Macaws have been interbreeding in the last few years, resulting in hybrids being born.

Scarlet Macaw Hybrid - Ara macao - Lapa Roja, Lapa Colorada, Guacamayo Rojo, Híbrida (2)
In-flight picture of the Hybrid, showing the red belly, yellow underside of the wing, and the orangish color of the tail underside when seen against sunlight
Scarlet Macaw Hybrid - Ara macao - Lapa Roja, Lapa Colorada, Guacamayo Rojo, Híbrida (1)
In-flight picture of the Hybrid, showing the red tail upperside, blue and yellow wings, and red face
Scarlet Macaw - Ara macao - Lapa Roja, Lapa Colorada, Guacamayo Rojo
The plumage of this bird is so vivid in coloration. Observe the huge feet and claws of this parrot.

Cinnamon Hummingbird (Amazilia rutila)

The Cinnamon Hummingbird looks brownish in coloration, and lacks the iridescence characteristic of other hummingbirds. I spotted it at Concasa, San Rafael de Alajuela, on May 21st, 2017. It was perched on a small tree near the walkway.


Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)

The Anhinga is known in Costa Rica as the “Pato Aguja” (needle duck). It is a big, streamlined bird that dives in search of prey. I saw this bird for the first time in Hotel Hacienda Sueño Azul during a birdwatching trip led by members of the Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica, on April 23rd, 2017. The resort is located in Horquetas, Sarapiquí, and it is great to birdwatch in general, and to look for aquatic birds in particular, due to the lakes and the river that passes by. The picture below corresponds to an individual placidly perched over the lake at Bosque Eterno de los Niños.

Anhinga - Anhinga anhinga - Aninga (Pato Aguja)

Thick-billed Seed-Finch (Sporophila funerea)

The Thick-billed Seed-Finch is pretty abundant in Fincas Bambuzal, Rio Frio. They can be found all around the grass and forest edge, feeding on grass seeds primarily, but also on seeds from flowering plants. The male is black with a barely visible white patch on the wings, while the female is brown in coloration.

Thick-billed Seed-Finch, Female - Sporophila funerea - Semillero Picogrueso, Hembra (3)
This female was busy grabbing grass seeds to feed her young
Thick-billed Seed-Finch, Female - Sporophila funerea - Semillero Picogrueso, Hembra (4)
Small grass twigs can actually support the weight of an adult bird, though normally it does move a lot after landing

Broad-billed Motmot (Electro platyrhynchum)

As most of the Motmot species that can be found in Costa Rica, this Motmot is seen perched in branches, slowly moving its head from one side to the other, and sometimes moving its tail in pendulum fashion. It is very similar to the Rufous Motmot, however the latter is bigger and has a rufous belly. They construct their nests on ground walls, which means they are sometimes flushed by unsuspecting people passerby. Along with their black marking on the head, they have a black spot on the throat. The body looks greenish, however the back of the tail is blue.

Broad-billed Motmot - Electron platyrhynchum - Momoto Piquiancho, Pájaro Bobo
This Broad-billed Motmot stood still for many minutes on this branch

Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata)

The red bill and red-black face on a mostly white body is distinctive. It was quite a surprise to see this bird, I most have been lucky as I was looking for woodpeckers and flycatchers instead. The bird was perched high on a tree, feeding from its fruits. The backlight from the strong morning sun transformed this picture. Photographed in Ciudad Colón on January 1st, 2017.


Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)

The Lineated Woodpecker is a comparatively large bird among the Woodpeckers, with a conspicuous red crest. The only individual I have seen recently was photographed at my home on November 19th, 2016. This woodpeckers were very common in Golfito where I grew up.