The first in my series of favorite bird photos since moving to Costa Rica is almost everyone’s favorite, the Resplendent Quetzal (eBird description) found in the cloud forests of Costa Rica and some other Central American countries that is an endangered species or “near threatened.” See my other photos of this beauty in my CR Resplendent Quetzal Gallery with photos from three different trips to San Gerardo de Dota and two trips to Monteverde, the two best places to find and photograph this colorful bird in Costa Rica. Note that it is the national bird of Guatemala, but on my three trips there I never saw one.
On my first trip to Costa Rica in 2009 on a birding tour, one of our stops was the Hotel Savegre in San Gerardo de Dota and I made this close-up here of what I think is a younger male Resplendent Quetzal than the one in the top photo because his tail was not as long. They took us to a nearby farm and pointed to a wild avocado tree where Quetzales would come to eat if we waited patiently. Most everyone sat on a little hill beside the tree to see the birds when they came in and that was where I started . . .
But when someone else crawled down under the tree to shoot from below, I decided to also be different and joined him. A good decision! we were much closer to the birds when they flew in and that is how I got this closeup shot of a young male in brilliant Christmas colors that served as my Christmas card one year! The other shot above this is I think of a more mature adult with long flowing tail that was made this year in January during a week stay at the remodeled and enlarged Hotel Savegre! I love it there! 🙂
San Gerardo de Dota
I love all of San Gerardo de Dota and have had good experiences in 2 other lodges there, Trogon Lodge and the simple little cabins at Cabinas El Quetzal, then called Mariam’s Cabinas. But without a doubt, Hotel Savegre is my favorite for service, food and facilities plus the number of birds seen. See my photo galleries listed below for photos from each location.
I found it a little more difficult to find Quetzales in Monteverde, but they are there and you will see in my galleries I got some good photos there too including a nesting couple. I just prefer San Gerardo de Dota. One trip to Monteverde was with the Costa Rica Birding Club and we stayed in cabins. My solo trip was at Monteverde Lodge and Gardens which I highly recommend with a great restaurant and super guides to guarantee you find birds of all kinds, including the Quetzal. Plus it is very good birding on the lodge’s large property of forest and gardens. I love it there too! 🙂
There are many reasons that the United Nations gave Costa Rica the “Champions of the Earth” Award.
Costa Rica was the first tropical country to stop and reverse deforestation. It has managed to produce about 99 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, a rare accomplishment even among the wealthiest nations. And in 2019, it became one of the first countries to craft a national decarbonization plan . . .
One of my blog readers, Patrick, who is thinking about beginning his retirement in Costa Rica (like I should have!) shared with me the just-released new hiking guide available on hiking coast to coast across Costa Rica. It’s first on his agenda here! Are you interested in such a hike?
HEALTH UPDATE: Today I visited a geriatrics specialist for the first time in my life at my surgeon’s request“to make sure I’m healthy enough for surgery.” — I AM! — But in the process I’ve come to appreciate a new specialist whom I really liked and appreciated and who can possibly help me manage my lifestyle for my remaining years better than anyone I’ve talked to yet. Already he has helped me! In addition to approving me for surgery! 🙂
Tomorrow I go for a negative Covid Test and then I’m ready for surgery, I think. 🙂
The “Trip Gallery” for last week’s 4 nights at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve in Bajos del Toro, Alajuela, Costa Rica is now completed and ready to visit by clicking the image below or this web address with many photos not yet shared on the blog:
And because I was there just 6 months ago, last September, and was not having a knee problem, I have even more photos in THAT FIRST TRIP GALLERY, especially more waterfalls! 🙂 Just click the gallery title below to see it . . .
This past week at El Silencio Lodge & Reserve I photographed 23 species of birds, 2 of which were “Lifers” for me or the first time seen/photographed. (3 unidentified) Because it was cloudy, windy and sometimes raining, many of my photos are not of good quality, but if interested they can be seen in this week’s “Trip Gallery” – Birds. And they are also listed below.
And the interesting thing is that I got both birds on my last full day here and the Parula in front of my cabin! 🙂 Tomorrow, Friday, I leave El Silencio Lodge & Reserve – my newest “Favorite Places” in Costa Rica! 🙂 I highly recommend this lodge!
Read on for more about my new passion of planting trees from the “One Tree Planted” organization . . .
Sometimes a beautiful hill or mountain hides the sunrise as it did yesterday for my early morning bird walk, making photos of birds in the shadows difficult – but patience! The sun eventually comes over the hill! 🙂
And today I slowed down my activities by necessity.