The Northern Scrub-Flycatcher is a resident species, similar to the members of the Myiarchus family, which is notably difficult to identify at a species level. Like its name might imply, this small bird prefers scrub habitat, which is composed of small trees and tall grass. We found an individual at Tárcoles River, in the swampy area that surrounds the river. It was full of mosquitoes, which is probably the reason species like this one like the area. It was interesting to see this individual raising its crest, most probably a display to let us know we were in his/her territory.
The Nicaraguan Seed-Finch is one of Costa Rica’s biggest finches species, only surpassed by the Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, which is even rarer and has a longer tail. It looks similar to the Thick-billed Seed-Finch, with the male being uniformly black and the female uniformly brown, albeit with a bigger size. Their bills are undoubtely specialized for breaking down seeds and the male’s bill is particularly conspicuous, given its pink coloration. In Costa Rica, it can be found in lowland areas of the northern area, near the border with Nicaragua, and in a thin strip along the eastern coast of the Caribbean.
The Northern Waterthrush is a member of the Warbler family with a body plan more similar to that of a thrush, albeit smaller. It is brown in the upperside, with brown streaks on a white belly. It has a white superciliary and flecking on the throat. The very similar Louisiana Waterthrush has a wider superciliary, with a white throat. Both species are terrestrial, with the Northern preferring slower moving streams and edges of ponds. Both species teeter their body as they move around. They are both migrants that occur in Costa Rica mainly from mid August to mid May, with the Northern being the most widespread and commonly seen in the territory.
The Northern Rough-winged Swallow is a small bird, mostly brown color in the upper parts and grey to white on the underparts. They are frequently seen, both flying and perched in lowlands in Costa Rica; they like to perch in utility wires. They are able to catch insects in mid air, during acrobatic performances. The Southern Rough-winged Swallow is very similar, however this species lacks the orange throat of the Southern.
The Northern Jacana is a waterbird that inhabits swamps and marshes, where the water is not too deep. The bird walks in the shallows, looking for small fish and crustaceans. It can even walk over some water plants whose leafs are big enough to sustain this delicate bird, thanks to very long toes that help to distribute the weight across a greater extent of water surface. Another unique behavior is its polyandrous nature, meaning that females will mate with many males, and it is the males that prepare the nest and care for the eggs and chicks. It is brown overall with black throat and head, with a yellow shield on the front (Wattled Jacana’s and Common Gallinules have a red shield). The juvenile has white underparts and lacks the shield seen in the adult.