Bird of Paradise Flower

Bird of Paradise Flower (Wikipedia link). It’s another of the many flowers in the hotel garden and this one was not included in my first flower post from here. Though they can grow in gardens here, I rarely see them. Some have one small plant in a pot (like at Xandari), but this hotel has a flower bed full of them with many blooming right now. First time I’ve seen this many together. Another plus for this hotel.

Bird of Paradise Flower, Best Western Plus, San Jose, Costa Rica

And finally, Rainy Season has started in the Central Valley, first week of May like normal. You may remember that I thought it was starting early this year with multiple rains the first week of April, but that was a false start with little more until now! 🙂 “Rainy Season” (May to November) is also called “Green Season” here and it is my favorite time of year, plus fewer tourists, since northerners like to come when it is cold & snowy up north and is the “Dry Season” here (December-April). See more flowers in my Flora & Forest Galleries.

¡Pura Vida!

Crimson-fronted Parakeet

Yes, they look like parrots and are as big as some parrots, but are officially parakeets. We have this Crimson-fronted Parakeet (eBird link) and an orange-chinned one in Atenas and I have photos of them at my house and on a nearby country road, but they are usually higher up the hills and always in the tops of the trees, generally in flocks. Very difficult to photograph. See my other photos in my Crimson-fronted Parakeet Gallery.

Here they are in the top of the hotel’s big tree and even from the 4th floor they are hard to photograph as they come through just before sunset in poor light, snacking on the berries before going uphill to their night roosting tree. A colorful addition to this colorful garden!

Crimson-fronted Parakeet, San Jose, Costa Rica

And more photos . . .

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My World From Above This Week

When I checked in the hotel yesterday I was kind of hoping they would put me in the same Room 109 again because I really liked it last week. But I was assigned 407 which is 4 floors above and one room left of last week’s room. Wow! I like it better!

I like looking at the world from above and these photos show that difference, but also I am closer to the top of the big tree where more birds hang out, like parrots! And yes, the first afternoon I got some or one, but that will be another post, maybe tomorrow! And look below at how much better the mother bird and babies show up from above! ¡Pura Vida! 🙂

From my room & balcony, 407.

See the mother bird with babies from above in more photos . . .

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Woodpecker Helps ID Tree

Though I was planning to ask the gardener at the hotel Monday after I arrive, I’m satisfied that I have now identified “the big tree” at Best Western San Jose. First, my driver Walter told me that he was pretty sure it is a “Laurel de la India” tree (“Indian Laurel” in English), I decided to research it online. One of the sites had a photo of its seasonal yellow berries and I said to myself, “That is it!” I then checked my photos of a female Hoffman’s Woodpecker (eBird link) and sure enough, the same berries and leaves in both photos. Tree positively identified! 🙂

Female Hoffman’s Woodpecker in the Indian Laurel Tree

In this age of the internet, I again find that different websites have different information on this Indian Laurel Tree, also called a Ficus microcarpa on some websites, but if you look up the Spanish name, Laurel de la India, they call it a Ficus benjamina which would be Benjamin Ficus in English or a first cousin to the other Ficus, but still a little confusing. 🙂

Laurel de la India or Indian Laurel — Ficus microcarpa or Ficus benjamina.

And, if you are really into trees, see my Costa Rica Trees photo gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

This Dove is all over the garden . . .

Just as common as the Yigüirro ( CR national bird) I showed yesterday from the San Jose Best Western Garden, is this White-winged Dove (eBird link). He/she (male/female identical) seem to be in every part of the garden and maybe fly around more than most of the other birds. And yes, he is common in my garden in Atenas also, but now I’m focusing on birds seen in San Jose! 🙂 Though posting this from Atenas over the weekend.

White-winged Dove in the big tree

And three more dove photos . . .

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Nest of Baby Yigüirros

I knew when I saw that huge tree outside my room that I would have a good chance of seeing birds even though it was windy much of this first week, but finding a nest of baby birds is always an extra treat. First I saw this Yigüirro (local Spanish name) or Clay-colored Thrush (English name) flying into the joint of a sawed-off limb on the tree. After further examination through my telephoto camera lens, and several shots of only the mother sitting on the nest, I managed to get a few shots of the babies’ open mouths and then watch the mother regularly return with food for them. Fun. I’ve asked the hotel to keep me in a room by the tree next week and beyond so I can continue to watch this little family grow. 🙂

Mother Yigüirro feeding her babies.
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A Hotel for Feeding

If one must stay at a hotel for a long period of time, it helps to have several dining options. And that is one of the reasons I chose this over 2 other hotels within walking distance of radiotherapy. There are 3 restaurants within the hotel or attached and up to 4 more within walking distance. Read on for my comments & photos of the 4 I’ve experienced so far . . .

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Big Tree & Tropical Gardens

I am so glad I chose this Best Western Plus San Jose over the two other options, if for no other reason, for the beautiful surroundings. I’m including two galleries below, one of landscapes and one of flowers, with more about the hotel itself in another post. The feature photo is the big tree from the breakfast dining patio (also seen from my room) and the shot below is from the Jacuzzi.

View from the Jacuzzi
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More Hide & Seek Birds

At breakfast the other morning the wind had stopped and these two birds came to my Cecropia Tree, though reluctantly showing themselves, hiding in the glare of morning sun.

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica
Red-billed Pigeon, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

“Birds learn how to fly, never knowing where the flight will take them.”

-Mark Nepo

See also my Costa Rica Birds Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

I will be doing separate posts concerning my radiotherapy, though I hope for more nature to share from my month-plus hotel nearby! 🙂