Tag Archives: birds

Two Cans in a Tree? No, Three Toucans in a Tree

Hiking in Arenal Volcano National Park in Costa Rica, we watched this blue-jay looking bird with a mohawk open a seed for the tasty inside.Arenal_6193

While we were doing morning yoga at Pousada Colonial, where we stayed in the Arenal area, these toucans landed in a tree right outside. Yes, three of them.Arenal_6164

By now, you may have realized what incredibly good birders we are.
“Oh, look at that blue jay with a mohawk.”
“Did you see the yellow bird with the black head and the white headband?”
“How about that big one with the orange beak and white belly?”

Exactly. We don’t know the names of any of those birds. Or, like Dustin Hoffman said in Rain Man, “Of course. I’m a very good birder. My father used to let me identify birds in the driveway.”

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Very impressive camouflage:Arenal_6180

I’d love to say I caught this shot in the wild but I didn’t. We went to La Paz Waterfalls and Gardens with our Tico host, Annabelle. The gardens had an aviary with toucans that were mostly hand tame. The Gardens claimed that the animals and birds were rescued and not captured.LaPazGardens_5674

The parrot below might actually be native to Costa Rica, but this particular one was someone’s pet. We visited a hostel and organic farm run by a group of ex-pats from California. They had this parrot and a beautiful view of Lake Arenal. As far as staying there though, there’s no way we’d pay an ex-pat $40 to stay in a shared tent for the night. Stupid gringos.Arenal_6157

 

 

Do Hummingbirds Hum Because They Forgot the Words?

There was a large, very iridescent blue hummingbird that I’d never seen before. I tried to catch a good photo but she was shy and way too quick. I even tried explaining that the light was better on the other side of the tree. What do you expect. They have bird brains.

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Stalking the Wild Quetzel in the Monteverde Cloud Forest

While in Jaco, we frequented a certain micro-roaster coffee shop. When we told Juan, the owner, that we were headed for Arenal, he said “Oh, you must visit Monteverde. It’s very special.” We did. At an elevation of about 4000 feet, Monteverde is high enough to have coffee plantations and cloud forest. We decided to hire a guide through the Curi-Crancha Reserve because they have very high powered telescopes and know what to look for. We were lucky enough to see a couple quetzels and managed to photograph one. The tucan we saw was not so cooperative when it came to posing for us.

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