28 Bird Species at Arenal

Both birds and butterflies are the two groups of photos from a forest trip that take me a long time to process the literal thousands of photos and this time I did the butterflies earlier and finally I have finished the birds with 28 species photographed and only 1 is unidentified. Click the first page of the bird gallery below to see it or you can go to this web address: https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/TRIPS/2024-May-6-11-Arenal-Observatory-Lodge-Trails/BIRDS

CLICK this image of the first page of the gallery to go there.

Plus I have added the better photos from this trip gallery to my Costa Rica Birds by Species galleries, so they are found in both places. 🙂 And now I will more quickly finish the entire “Trip Gallery!” 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

The “Other” Hummingbird at Arenal

Like in my garden and some other places visited in Costa Rica, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails seemed dominated by the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and when I finally get my Arenal ’24 Birds Gallery finished, you will see a lot of Rufous-tailed Hummingbird photos as without-a-doubt my most seen hummingbird, though I place this Violet-headed Hummingbird (eBird link) as number 2 seen by me while at Arenal and as the only other hummingbird I got useable photos of on this trip, though I’m pretty sure I saw a Cinnamon Hummingbird but without a useable photo of him/her. So here’s one shot of the Violet-headed Hummingbird plus the featured photo at top and in my Big Costa Rica Birds Gallery, my Violet-headed Hummingbird Gallery has more photos from this trip plus shots from 3 other locations earlier in Costa Rica! So check it out for another beautiful Hummingbird here! The Violet-headed Hummingbird is found only in Central America and the northern fringes of South America, exactly like the seemingly more dominant Rufous-tailed Hummingbird.

Violet-headed Hummingbird, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Curassows on the Trails

The Great Curassow, Crax rubra (eBird link) with more information about this big bird, usually a little bit larger than the Crested Guan shown yesterday. But unlike the guan, the female curassow is more colorful than the male, unusual for birds. Though the male of this species has a bright yellow bump above his beak in great contrast to his all-black body, which I guess is to attract females and may be considered brighter to them. 🙂 See more of my photos of this Central-America-only species in my Great Curassow Gallery. I did not see as many of these on the trails but there were more of them at the fruit feeder by the restaurant deck, which is not my prefered place to photograph. These 3 photos were made on a trail.

Female Great Curassow, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
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Guans on the Trails

One of the largest and most seen birds on my morning walks on the trails of Arenal Observatory Lodge was the Crested Guan, Penelope purpurascens (eBird link) for more info on this large turkey-sized Central American bird found from parts of Mexico to parts of northern South America and all over every Central American country. For more of my photos, see my Crested Guan Gallery. The male & female look alike and are difficult to differentiate with both being either all black or sometimes brownish. 🙂

Yes, you can see some of these at the Observatory feeder by the restaurant deck, but I prefer to find them in the wild and did on almost every one of the Arenal Observatory trails where all of these photos were made. Unlike the other large bird at Arenal, the Great Curassow, they fly a lot and spend as much time in trees as on the ground, foraging for food of fruit, berries, seeds, insects and small invertebrates. While the Curassow spends most of his time on the ground and doesn’t seem to be able to fly as well. I’ll try to do a post on the Curassow tomorrow since I’m a long way from finishing my Arenal ’24 Birds Gallery! 🙂 And I’m no longer doing blog posts a week ahead, but day by day! 🙂 Below this introductory photo is a gallery of 6 more Crested Guans I photographed in the rainforest on Arenal Observatory Trails.

Crested Guan, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica
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Flowers at Arenal

Since I chose 30 different species of flowers to present, I decided not to put them all in this blog post, but start my 2024 Arenal Observatory Trip Gallery with the Flowers sub-gallery. Thus showing only two flowers in this blog post. The Featured Photo at the top is my favorite, an unidentified little wildflower that looks to me like a cute little purple-eyed forest creature! 🙂 And the shot below is not a first time flower for me, but finally I have a name for it, the Blue Ginger (with a Green Orchid Bee approaching it!) . . .

Blue Ginger, Zingiberaceae, Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails, Costa Rica (+ Green Orchid Bee)

Now see all 30 cool rainforest flowers in this trip’s Flowers Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Bird Eating from a Bird of Paradise

It is probably not unusual, but it was my first time to see a bird eating from a Bird of Paradise Flower, in this case a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (linked to my Rufous-tailed Gallery). It was before breakfast this morning near the end of our birding hike as we walked through some of the lodge gardens on our way to the restaurant.

Hummingbird Eating from a Bird of Paradise Flower, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica.
Hummingbird about to eat from a Bird of Paradise Flower, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica.

Arenal Observatory Lodge (their website)

¡Pura Vida!

Nesting Time!

At least in this area, it is the time that most of the birds are nesting, meaning a different kind of bird activity. The feature shot at top is of a Yellow-throated Toucan coming out of her nest with a berry or seed in her beak. Below you can see a shot of how small the hole is that both the male and female squeeze through. I guess their beak determines the size of the whole, usually a remade or enlarged woodpecker hole. 🙂

And in the spirit of nesting season, there’s also a shot of an unidentified bird on her nest and a hummingbird nest. All this reproduction activity is an important part of the ecology of the rainforest that seems to be coming at the beginning of the rainy season.

The toucan nest hole seems to be just barely large enough for them to get their beaks through! 🙂
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From Mini-Jungle to Rainforest!

This morning my usual transportation of Walter Ramirez Tours and Taxis is taking me away from my home “garden” or “mini-jungle,” featured above, to one of my favorite forest getaways for 5 nights . . .

Arenal Observatory Lodge, the only hotel inside the Arenal Volcano National Park, where I will spend 5 days hiking the trails of a forest with a great variety of plants and animals! Tree Ferns to Toucans and more!

Below are four shots of my little mini-rainforest garden in Atenas that I am proud of and in which I photograph much for this blog! Then following that, another 4-shot gallery from my last trip to the Observatory in 2022. I chose to go in May this year because that is the month I got good sunset photos over Lake Arenal in 2018 and my most monkey shots that year, though anytime is a good time to visit Arenal Observatory Lodge! (lodge website link) 🙂 Looking forward to just being there!

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Buff-throated Saltator

One of four species of Saltators in Costa Rica, Buff-throated Saltator, Saltator maximus (my gallery link), is one of the more common species quietly eating fruit, berries and seeds in the trees from lowlands to 1800 meters on both slopes of Costa Rica and found from Mexico to South America. Read more about on eBird. Here’s 3 shots from my garden in Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica . . .

Buff-throated Saltator, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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