Costa Rica

Costa Rica…my third visit and they say the third time’s the charm.  Maybe so, but if you want sun, don’t go to 3 different rain forests.  Of course, that’s where all the neat birds hang out so it’s a push.  My first 2 trips were sunny and few birds, this time it rained a lot but I got good images of at least 35 species in my 10 day trip.  And, with 2 superb workshop leaders, I got a wealth of knowledge of my equipment and how to best use it.

1

Atlantic rainforest

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Catarata del Toro Falls

Tucked back in to jungle, the lodges were adequate…but not luxurious…and NO AIR CONDITIONING (fans do poorly in high humidity!)  Mornings began sunny but rains usually began late morning and into the afternoon.  Humidity was awesome and temperatures ranged into the 80’s.

3

Laguna Lagarto Lodge

4

Laguna Lagarto Lagoon

But it sure did rain!  Fortunately, the birds were accustomed to it.

5

Black Vulture

6

Montezuma oropendola

Bananas and mangos enticed the fruit feeders to the feeding sites.

7

Collared acari

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Keel-billed toucan

9

Chestnut-mandibled toucan

10

Montezuma oropendola

The tanagers weren’t as numerous as in Panama

11

Blue-gray tanager

12

Palm tanager

13

Golden-hooded tanager

14

Olive-backed Euphonia

15

Yellow-throated Euphonia

But there were recent migrants from North America to add to the colors

16

Baltimore oriole

17

Summer tanager

All 3 species of honeycreepers were active at the fruit trays

18

Red-legged honeycreeper

19

Shining honeycreeper

20

Green honeycreeper (male)

21

Green honeycreeper (female)

And the kiskadees learned to enjoy over-ripe bananas

22

Great kiskadee

The ground birds occasionallky came out of the forest

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Great curossow

22b

Black guan

Flash set-ups for hummingbirds drew in several species

23

Green hermit

24

Violet saberwing

25

Black-bellied hummingbird

Stopping at a ranch we found a lot of action. The rancher had been rehabilitating injured macaws which drew the wild ones in to his properties.

26

Scarlet macaw

27

Green macaw

28

Macaws flying

But my favorite bird of the trip (and the one I most wanted to photograph) was the king vulture.  An area was baited with cow heads from a local butcher shop which drew in many black vultures to the area where a permanent photo blind had been set up.  In time, a few over-cautious king vultures began to appear.  I think I shot over 1,000 images of them.

29

King vulture

31

King vulture

30

King vulture

Besides birds, there were a number of  frogs, lizards and snakes

32

Red-eyed tree frog

34

Poison dart frog

33

Green Basilisk

35

Iguana

36

Eyelash viper

37

Green tree viper

37a

Caiman

But not many mammals

38

Agouti

39

Coati

40

Pallid long-tongued bat

 All in all, it was a great experience.  Next destination…BRAZIL!

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