Bare-throated Tiger Herons

The last time I was at Macaw Lodge the water bird I most enjoyed photographing was the Muscovy Duck who was not on their lake this week, maybe late migrating? But we had an almost as interesting small group or family of Bare-throated Tiger Herons (eBird link). Here’s three shots, all different, of this water bird I’ve seen most often on my Tarcoles River boat tours, but also on pretty much all river and mangrove tours. See my other photos in the Bare-throated Tiger Heron GALLERY.

Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Macaw Lodge, Carara NP, Costa Rica
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Southern Rough-winged Swallow

Michael, a resident naturalist at Macaw Lodge, told me that they did not see this bird much there. And I’ve only seen him in 3 other places in Costa Rica as shown in my Southern Rough-winged Swallow GALLERY. You can read more about him on eBird, the Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Stelgidopteryx ruficollis, a seasonal migrant here from South America who is slightly different from the Northern Rough-winged Swallow, who is both a migrant from North America and some a resident in Costa Rica. Several species have individuals who evidently like it here and just decide to stay along with the ones born here.

People living in the northern hemisphere often think that the only migrants are from the north flying south, but as the literal center of the Americas we get just as many migrants flying north from the southern hemisphere (like this bird). It also explains the two names of “Rough-winged Swallows,” the “Northern RWS” migrate here from the north and the “Southern RWS” migrate here from the south. That is why Costa Rica and other parts of Central America are meccas for bird-watching! You can see birds from both hemispheres! 🙂 Here’s 2 individual shots and 2 group shots of this southern migrant . . .

Southern Rough-winged Swallow, Macaw Lodge, Carara National Park, Costa Rica
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Central American Agouti

Just one of my last week shots of the Central American Agouti (linked to Wikipedia). It is one of the more common forest animals I see in most protected forests and national parks of Costa Rica, though it’s generally solo rather than in large groups like the White-nosed Coati. This shot was made in the forests of Macaw Lodge last week on one of my walks to and from my cabin. It is a type of rodent.

Central American Agouti, Macaw Lodge, Carara National Park, Costa Rica

See my Central American Agouti GALLERY with photos from all over Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

An Elusive Toucan!

Though some flew over and I heard a lot of toucans calling out in the forest, I only got photos of this one, a Yellow-throated Toucan, Ramphastos ambiguus, about 30 feet up in the trees of the forest between my cabin and the dining room. Definitely not my best toucan photos, but glad to at least get one while at Macaw Lodge! 🙂

And though again I heard the squawking of many Scarlet Macaws, the namesake of the lodge, I got no photos. They told me that a flock came to the trees by the dining room in the middle of one afternoon, but of course none of us guests were there at that time! 🙂

Here’s four shots that are okay, though I have some better photos in my Yellow-throated Toucan Gallery. 🙂

Yellow-throated Toucan, Macaw Lodge, Carara National Park, Costa Rica
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Second Edition of Pura Vida Butterflies

And today just before publishing it, I added another new butterfly! 🙂 I’ll share that butterfly tomorrow, but here is the link to my new Costa Rica Butterflies book:

348 photos of more than 240 species of butterflies in Costa Rica makes this the largest current photo book of just Costa Rica Butterflies. Use as a coffee table book or for identification and research with a complete index of both common English names and the Latin scientific names. And this is right on the heels of the release of my second edition of the smaller Hotel Banana Azul Butterfly book! 🙂

Follow this link or click the image of the book’s front cover below for a free electronic preview of every page!

CLICK this cover image for a FREE PREVIEW!

¡Pura Vida!

10 Different Dragonflies

Macaw Lodge is, like the nearby national park, a “Transitional Forest” near the coast and lowland rainforests, yet at a higher elevation but not quite high enough for a cloud forest, and though sometimes drier than a rainforest, definitely not a tropical dry forest like those in nearby Guanacaste, thus the indication of “Transitional Forest.” Yet they have a lot of water (mountain streams they route portions through lily ponds) which helps attract frogs and dragonflies. Here’s 10 dragonflies I photographed and though I’ve identified a few, not most, I will not identify any of the photos here until I’m sure of the identity, which continues to be difficult with over 300 species and a great similarity of many of the species! 🙂 One photo for the email version and then a gallery with all 10.

Dragonfly, Macaw Lodge, Carara National Park, Costa Rica
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Emerald Glass Frog

Macaw Lodge has many lily ponds which attract all kinds of frogs and dragonflies, but this particular glass frog is arboreal and was see on a vine growing over a little arbor over a bridge over a stream. They are called “glass” frogs because with some you can see inside their bodies and some of their organs. This one was tiny (as most glass frogs), maybe 1.5 inches at most. There are 154 identified glass frogs in Central and South America with 14 known species in Costa Rica. See my Amphibians Costa Rica GALLERY where I have 4 species of glass frogs among about 50 frogs! 🙂 And I am not certain with this particular identification of “Emerald,” but was the best match in my amphibians book! 🙂

Glass Frog, Macaw Lodge, Carara NP, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Orchard Oriole

Less common here than the Baltimore Oriole, this male is different from the Baltimore with his richer “chestnut” or dark orange (rust) color and a tiny curvature on his bill plus being a little smaller than the Baltimore Oriole. This was a difficult call for me because it is rarer here, though Merlin backs me up on calling it an Orchard, having run both of these photos through that A-I bird identification program on my cell phone. It is a lifer for me, Orchard Oriole, Icterus spurius, linked to the eBird description. And if you would like to compare with the Baltimore Oriole, see that link to my gallery on them where you will see that the male is a brighter yellow-orange and even part yellow. Both species summer in North America and winter in Central and northern South America starting in October. As you can see in the above gallery link, I’ve seen a lot more of the Baltimore here than the Orchard! My first today! Just these two shots from my Cecropia Tree this morning:

Orchard Oriole, Atenas, Costa Rica
Orchard Oriole, Atenas, Costa Rica

For more photos of this bird this morning, see my Orchard Oriole GALLERY, though my two favorite shots are here! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Air Plant just appeared . . .

. . . in one of my Nance trees and of all things, on a dead limb! The wind probably blew the baby plant there when it broke off its mother plant in maybe another tree or higher up in this same tree. And the dead limb is no problem because it does not get its nourishment from the tree but from the air! Here’s a good short definition from the Family Handyman site with more info at that link . . .

“Air plants, or Tillandsia, grow floating in the air, where they live and thrive without soil.
Part of the Bromeliad family, air plants are epiphytes — plants that attach themselves to other plants for support, without relying on the host to thrive.”
Air Plant in a Nance Tree in my garden.

It feeds from the air with its arms while the roots are only used to hold on to it base, a tree limb in this case. This one is a recent or young plant only the size of a human hand, but will likely grow larger.

There are more wild air plant photos scattered throughout my Flora & Forest GALLERY. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Los Colinas del Sol Wildlife

On September 30 after my house was fumigated for ants, I spent the night at our little neighborhood Hotel Colinas del Sol and though cloudy and getting dark, I got some shadowy shots of 3 birds and two butterflies seen below. Nothing spectacular, but nature is almost everywhere waiting to be seen and photographed! And I love it, even in bad light! 🙂

Simple Big-eyed Satyr
Juvenile Baltimore Oriole
Great Kiskadee
Hoffmann’s Woodpecker

¡Pura Vida!

And this Banded Peacock Butterfly I posted on that night. 🙂