Summer Tanager Female

This migrant is appropriately named for Costa Rica since they are always here during our Summer or September to May. The males are uniformly red all over while the females vary from light yellow to a dirty yellow or gold with sometimes brown on the head and wings. Read about the Summer Tanager on eBird or see my Summer Tanager Gallery with photos from other areas of Costa Rica. They breed in North America during the North American Summer then spend Sept-May south from Mexico to northern South America, our summer! 🙂 Thus the name fits both regions during the times there.

Summer Tanager female, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Nest Surviving Strong Winds

We’ve had strong winds today meaning the Dove nest I introduced the other day is being tested. She has not left the nest for at least 2 days now, implying that she has laid her egg(s). In the wide photo you can tell that the nest, circled in red, is in a palm frond that is partly held secure by the fork of the Cecropia Tree (did the Doves figure that out?) and behind that frond is a row of bamboo palms blocking some of the wind. So the nest might make it, especially if she doesn’t leave it or leave it much when the wind is blowing. I don’t know if the male will bring her food; I haven’t seen him around. I will be pleasantly surprised if this nest continues to survive and we see baby doves! 🙂 Remember that earlier an Inca Dove nest did not survive a palm frond location, but it was more in the open with no shelter or support like this Cecropia Tree fork of limbs. Time will tell.

Nest (circled in red) is on a Palm braced by Cecropia limbs and shielded by ornamental palms. It may survive the winds!
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On the Nest

The nest that was being built yesterday now has the mother sitting on the nest and I don’t know if there are eggs there yet, but she never left it the whole time I was out there watching at breakfast and afterwards. Thus I assume that it is the male still bringing sticks/twigs to the nest in the third photo below. I think it is unfortunate that she chose to build the nest inside the palm frond with the possibilities of high winds through February, but nothing I can do about it. In an earlier year an Inca Dove built a nest in a smaller tree’s palm frond and she lost her eggs, but this one is more protected, so maybe safe. See the linked blog post at bottom, “Mother Dove Abandons Nest in Wind.” You can see it all in nature!

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Nest-building Dove

White-winged Dove, Atenas, Costa Rica

The books say that the male chooses the neighborhood and the female chooses the tree and does most of the building with sticks, so I’m guessing this is the female (they look alike). This one is building in the crotch of a small ornamental palm tree which I hope will be secure during the Jan-Feb winds. Below are 4 photos of this most common and widespread dove in Costa Rica, found from the southern half of the states down through Panama. This one is building a nest in my garden in Roca Verde, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

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2022 Adventures Planned

As of today, I have only five of my typical six-night trips planned, less than the every two months goal, but I expect to add some 1, 2 or 3 day trips in-between! In fact, in January there is a day-trip planned for north of where I live to photograph 2 more waterfalls! That will be the last two photos I need to complete my next photo book on the Waterfalls of Costa Rica which I’m titling “WATERFALLS: The Music of Costa Rica.” 🙂

This year’s schedule includes two totally new places along with three repeats of Favorites! Below each of the 3 favorites I’ve added links to my photos from previous trips there. I can’t imagine having a better retirement than I have in Costa Rica! 🙂 There’s always something to look forward to in nature! And a growing Photo Gallery that I’m proud of! 🙂

Captivo Lodge, one of my two new places this year. (Photos from Captivo Lodge)

And the “Feature Photo” at top of Post is also one from Captivo Lodge Website, the view from my room there – supposedly! 🙂

February in Maquenque Eco-Lodge Tree House

This is the lodge where I’ve photographed the largest number of bird species and where I get to sleep in a tree house near the birds and monkeys! 🙂 Photo at right is the “Tarzan” tree house room on my 2020 visit there. See the Lodge Website or my photos linked below from two previous incredible trips there:

2020 June 30–July 6- Maquenque Eco-Lodge & Reserve

2019 Jan 14-19 — Maquenque Ecolodge & Reserve

April at Guayabo Lodge for Birds, Indigenous History & 2 Volcanoes

This is the first new location for me this year that will have a lot of good birding on campus and in a nearby private reserve, along with a visit to the Guayabo National Monument, an Indigenous Archaeological Site; plus Turrialba Volcano and Irazú Volcano, two of the biggest in Costa Rica that I have not seen yet. See the Lodge Website or specifics on these tours I plan to include from the hotel:

Guayabo, Ancient Indigenous City Historical Site. (Photo from National Monument Website)

July Birthday at Playa Cativo Lodge

This is the other new location for me on the other side of Piedras Blanca NP from an earlier favorite, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, but this time on a beach on Golfo Dulce in an even wilder rainforest. See the Playa Cativo Lodge’s Website or YouTube has a lot of videos from there. The feature photo at top is the view I expect to have from my room and the dining room. 🙂

Playa Cativo Lodge, Golfo Dulce (Photo from hotel website)

September Back to Quiet Banana Azul in Caribe

Check out the hotel’s website or see my photo galleries from 4 previous relaxing visits there:

Beach at Banana Azul, on the Atlantic Ocean’s Caribbean Sea. My photo from 2021 visit.

Christmas Return to Arenal Observatory Lodge

Check out the lodge’s website or my photo galleries from two previous adventures:

This is an all-around favorite for just about everything! They are 2nd only to Maquenque Lodge for the number of birds I photograph; one of best rooms & room visitas (I always get Room 29!) 🙂 ; excellent restaurant; fabulous forest trails; the tallest and best birding tower in Costa Rica; a beautiful waterfall; other wildlife besides birds; sitting at the base of the volcano; and close to multiple other great birding reserves and the biggest butterfly garden in the country! 🙂

Lake Arenal seen from the Lodge. Volcano is to the right. My 2020 photo. My Room 29 has views of both the lake & the volcano.

See my CR Trips Gallery for all the places I’ve visited here.

Expect some stunning new photos in 2022! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

2021 in Photos

This year was unlike any other in my life, not only because of the Covid 19 Virus Pandemic, vaccines, mask-wearing, hand-washing, and social distancing everywhere, but even more so as my year of major cancer surgery and radiation treatments. Yet through it all I managed to keep nature central to my life most of the time and even make a few photo trips.

I will not try to do a photo-a-month but rather 12 favorite photos depicting major life events, trips, and different types of nature starting with the 2 wonderful trips before the cancer surgery in March. The links in the photo captions are to my photo trip galleries for those events. I even have a gallery for radiation therapy (not one for surgery) and include surgery in my cancer journal and the combined photo book on my cancer adventure. 🙂 And the featured image at top is a Tiger Heliconian Butterfly on a “Hot Lips” Flower on my just completed Christmas trip to Uvita. 🙂

Resplendent Quetzal from January trip to San Gerardo de Dota & Hotel Savegre (gallery link).
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Brown Booby – A Unique Bird

On the Whale-Watching Boat Tour we spent some time at “Whale Rock Island” watching two kinds of very unique birds, the Brown Booby and the Magnificent Frigatebird which I will post about next year, next week. 🙂 Read about the Brown Booby on eBird or see my Brown Booby Photo Gallery. I’ve seen them only one other time. Here’s three favorite photos from this trip . . .

Brown Booby nesting on a rock wall, Whale Rock Island, Uvita, Costa Rica.
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