BIRDS at Tortuguero

This is not all the birds seen but the ones with a halfway decent photo, 26 photos here of 23 birds – 2 shots of the Boat-billed Heron since one is mother with chick and other the nest-guarding father, two of the White-crowned Parrot because the images are so different, and separate male & female shots of the Grackle. My only “lifer” or first-time-seen bird was the Agami Heron and he was at night meaning not a real good photo. Now that my Costa Rica Birds Gallery is up to 301 species, it is getting harder to find a new species I haven’t already photographed, but thus far every trip in 4 years has had at least one!  🙂

Since my first trip to Tortuguero in 2010 on the Caravan Tour I have liked the rainforest/Amazon atmosphere of living on the water and what I’ve always thought was a lot of birds. Nine years later I have discovered several places with more birds and better food in the lodge, but I still like Tortuguero and will return again someday.  I’ll do a lodge post later and compare the two lodges I’ve stayed in here.

I’m sharing the photos in a gallery format rather than the auto-slide show because you can see the image larger when you click on it or at same time start a manual slideshow. Also hover your mouse pointer over an image to see the bird’s name. Photos are being shown in random order.

BIRDS at Tortuguero

In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence.

~Robert Lynd

 

Turtle Beach Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Tiny, Funky, Tourist Town

The first boat ride is through the jungle to the lodge in the river and canals of Tortuguero National Park.  “Tortuguero, One of Costa Rica’s most popular ecotourism destinations . . .   a study of Rainforest, freshwater and marine biology. The park and small town of Tortuguero are accessible by boat or small aircraft. When people think of Rainforest, the first thing that automatically comes to their minds is Tortuguero.”  For just the facts, see the Wikipedia Article on Tortuguero Park, there is no “official” website for the park. The previous park link & quote is from one of many tour companies here.

And since most have to pay for entrance to the National Park (my resident old man status gets me in free) the lodge boats stop at the park headquarters first which is at the little village of poor people that all lodges seem to be required to take tourists to and our guide got it over with along with park tickets before we ever got to the lodge. We were given an hour to wander and though with nothing there I needed (food & souvenirs) I used the time to make photos. Yes, I came here for the jungle, birds and other wildlife and that is what I have been doing since leaving this village, but I will still be longer processing and presenting my wildlife photos. This was easier to put together on another busy day with two boat trips and one rainforest hike.

Funky Village

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Village Murals

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3 Village Birds

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Of course there are more birds in this village in the jungle, but these are the only 3 I got photos of!    🙂

 

¡Pura Vida!

Maquenque The Book is Published

Maquenque Book
Click image to Preview free online.

Or go to the book in my Bookstore at:

http://www.blurb.com/b/9282399-maquenque-ecolodge

A New Favorite Lodge

I hesitate to rank or say there is only one favorite birding lodge, but this is in the top 3 or 4 best easily based on both the number of birds I photographed (53+) and the new birds I photographed for the first time or “lifers” of which there were these 7:

This is also one of the best or easiest places in Costa Rica (the whole world?) to get close photos of the King Vulture. My previous photos were made through a spotting scope, so I was thrilled to have Sergio pick me up at the lodge and take me to his blind on a nearby bluff where the King Vultures hangout and from his blind that he calls a “hide” I was about 20 to 30 feet from King Vultures.

Plus the lodge guides are excellent birding guides and found birds I would never have found on my own plus on the night hike I got a photo of the rare Red-webbed Tree Frog which is on the cover of my book. The DIY trails are excellent also for birding where I got several birds on my own.

The food is very good with excellent wait staff and by planning ahead nearly a year I got one of the 4 Tree Houses as my Treehouse Room for the week – an unbelievably unique experience which yielded all the Howler Monkey photos in my gallery (by climbing up 55 steps to my room). Or see my entire “Trip Gallery” 2019 Maquenque Ecolodge.

And check out the lodge website: Maquenque Ecolodge   a true experience in nature! I highly recommend it for all nature lovers and especially for birders! Just be aware that it is not near anything familiar, a 4-hour drive from my house in Atenas to a river on the Nicaragua border.

¡Pura Vida!

Such Singing in the Wild Branches

And after a week of sharing bird photos I thought I would share another Mary Oliver poem, one about birds!   🙂  And singing birds like my above photo of a Singing Clay-colored Thrush (Yiqüirro) the national bird of Costa Rica known for singing in the rains in late April or early May.

Such Singing in the Wild Branches

It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb

House Wren Singing at Arenal Volcano

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

White-ruffed Manakin Singing at Rancho Naturalista

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

-Mary Oliver

Maquenque Tanagers & Honeycreepers

These are the most beautiful little birds and I think this is some of my better shots yet of some of them, especially the Red-legged Honeycreeper & that Blue Dacnis with both shots being made at a cultural stop on our Rio San Carlos boat trip at a small farm which was a joy in addition to these two photos, relating to a simple small farm family.  🙂   Pura vida.

Click Image to Enlarge

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

Flycatchers, Ant Birds, Manakins

These are some of the most beautiful and interesting birds with some eating flies or ants and another one doing a “Michael Jackson Dance” to attract a female.

Click Image to Enlarge

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

 

Hiker’s Bonus

The other day I told about the coast to coast hiking trail El Camino de Costa Rica and mentioned that the one section I hiked was nearly all uphill and I then decided I would not try to hike the entire trail. To visually see what I’m talking about as a mountains trail, see this Map with Elevation Chart of Camino de Costa Rica. 

Of course you could also say that half the trail is downhill or about the same amount of downhill and uphill as you travel from sea level to sea level over the mountains, one over 7,000 feet tall!   🙂

 

And in Politics

Costa Rica recognized Juan Guaidó as the president of Venezuela.

Maquenque Smaller Water Birds

Water birds are impressive and numerous all over Costa Rica with most of these found in all lowland waters on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides. I never tire of river trips or wetland visits because the surroundings are always changing and even though I see some of the same birds every time, they are never the same! At Maquenque I had both a river trip and lived for 5 days on lagoons that attract the same birds in these wetlands (el humedal en español) of the Caribbean Slopes of northern Costa Rica. A birding paradise!

Click Image to Enlarge

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

Maquenque Bigger Water Birds

Yeah, when I did the “Big Birds” post I failed to mention that some of the water birds are pretty big too, especially some of the Herons and the Anhinga. And here they are:

Click Image to Enlarge

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery   

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

 

And a BONUS article in Tico Times for you who are more adventurous, like my 82 year-old friend Jorge who completed The 280 Kilometers, 16 Day, Coast to Coast Hike    on  el Camino de Costa Rica.

Pura vida for mountain hikers! I did one day on this trail and the almost constant uphill climbs was too much for me, though of course the whole trail is not uphill!   🙂

 

Maquenque Parrots & More

Everyone loves parrots and the general family includes not only Parrots, but Macaws, Parakeets and these other more distantly related birds, the Ani, a Woodpecker and Trogons plus I’m including two types of Oropendolas which are in a category of their own, all at Maquenque. Enjoy!

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery    

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

Maquenque “Big Birds”

Of course “Big” is relative, but these are probably the 7 biggest birds I photographed at Maquenque Lodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada, Costa Rica – with yesterday’s toucans and tomorrow’s parrots tying for second largest, then we get to smaller ones–lots! I photographed more than 50 species of birds at this lodge which I think only Esquinas Rainforest Lodge has equalled and maybe Selva Verde, Sarapiqui. I highly recommend Maquenque for birding!

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See also my earlier post on just the King Vulture with more shots of him/her plus a juvenile, and yesterday’s post on the three types of Toucans at Maquenque Lodge. The gallery and then a book are both coming soon! All about the wonderful Maquenque Lodge & Reserve!    🙂

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery   

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge