Red-webbed Tree Frog (Hypsiboas rufitelus)

This species has a mostly green body, with light blue patches in some dorsal parts. The eye is yellow with an horizontal black pupil. The disks at the end of the fingers are expanded, featuring a yellowish coloration. The best field mark for identification is the red webbing between its fingers, just like its name suggests. It is mainly nocturnal, hence not commonly seen during the day. It is curious how the skin color of this frog species changes from day to night time. During the day, the color is similar to a turquoise, while in the night the skin turns yellowish.

A friend of mine found an individual on the edge of the trail that leads to the Agami colony at Pacuare Reserve. It was late in the day, so it was still sleeping and let me have a half-hour photoshoot session with it without a single sign of being disturbed. One of the shots was taken only using natural light during a fairly strong wind that constantly moved the leaf up and down. I thought of artificially creating the night, although the frog was still sleeping. To create the black background on the second picture, I lighted the frog from very close using a bike lantern. The light did not need to be very powerful, since at macro distances the difference between the light intensity at the subject and the background can be exaggerated.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus)

The Crimson-rumped Toucanet is very similar in body form to the Emerald Toucanet, however there are key differences in their coloration. For a start, the beak of this Colombia species is red instead of black, with a white patch on the very base of the bill. It lacks the big purple patch of feathers on the face, but has a smaller turquoise patch by below the eye. The underparts are lighter green than the upper parts, and there is a small turquoise patch on the belly as well, which is not present on the Emerald. Like most toucans, their presence signals other species that is time to leave, as they will readily predate eggs and hatchlings, and we saw this behavior happen at the feeders in Finca Alejandría, as the feeders would empty whenever this bird approached. Also in true toucan fashion, their overall movement are slow, with spurts of fast activity.

Green Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza)

Ever since I first see the Red-legged Honeycreeper, I inmediately knew I was seeing one of the most gorgeous species Costa Rica has. Then I met the Green Honeycreeper, and I stood delighted. The male has a striking combination of dark green body, deep black hood, bright yellow bill and dark red iris, which just looks amazing, even when wet. In fact, I would say a wet male screams Rain forest, that’s enough to love it. The female is not as exotic, however the green color of their feathers is so bright as to defy belief. I also spotted this species in Colombia, which seemingly looked more turquoise than green.

Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)

Another of the Motmot species, this one is pretty similar to the Lesson´s Motmot, but has rufous on the back and a great portion of the tail is bare shft, while other Motmot species have a tail that is bare only in the tip; its song is quite different as well. This is the National Bird of El Salvador and Nicaragua. In Costa Rica, it can be found in Guanacaste and the Central Pacific, and ocassionally in the western central valley. Like most other Motmots, they construct their nests as cavities in mud walls, hence their local name in El Salvador: “Barranquero”. A trio of these birds perched very close to the road towards Barra Honda National Park, Guanacaste.