Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Even though the Great-tailed Grackle has become unpopular for most people due to their feeding habits, the male is a beautiful black bird that shines in blue when exposed to sunlight. Granted they cause trouble to other birds, as they will readily raid nests with eggs and hatchlings, but in some sense that’s really their role in the ecosystem, as with their predatory behavior they prevent some species to grow out of control. Males are very noisy and display as they sing their metallic tones into the air; their tails have a v-shape as they are wider in the end that in the base. The females are entirely drab brown with a yellow iris. They thrive near human settlements, eating insects, but also a variety of plants, including fruits, which has gained them the reputation of pests in many areas.

A female Great-tailed Grackle on a residential area, adorned by light purple flowers that grow from a vine.

Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher (Ptilogonys caudatus)

The Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher is an elegant bird that can be found in the highlands in Costa Rica. It’s long black tail contrasts with the gray and yellow body, ending with a yellow crest that is normally seen protruding from the head. The male is more colorful than the female, but overall they look similar and might be indistinguishable on bad lighting. Along the Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, this species is part of a four species family around the world, with only the Black-and-yellow and the Long-tailed being present in Costa Rica, endemic to our country and western Panama.

A male perches on a small tree branch that seems to step from under a red bromeliad
The gray upperparts and chest look blueish under the right lighting conditions
After quite the spectacle, this male perched right on top of a bromeliad flower
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher - Ptilogonys caudatus - Capulinero Colilargo (2)
A male caught foraging and feeding on these small fruits
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher - Ptilogonys caudatus - Capulinero Colilargo
The female has a similar, but duller coloration overall