Crimson-fronted Parakeet

Yes, they look like parrots and are as big as some parrots, but are officially parakeets. We have this Crimson-fronted Parakeet (eBird link) and an orange-chinned one in Atenas and I have photos of them at my house and on a nearby country road, but they are usually higher up the hills and always in the tops of the trees, generally in flocks. Very difficult to photograph. See my other photos in my Crimson-fronted Parakeet Gallery.

Here they are in the top of the hotel’s big tree and even from the 4th floor they are hard to photograph as they come through just before sunset in poor light, snacking on the berries before going uphill to their night roosting tree. A colorful addition to this colorful garden!

Crimson-fronted Parakeet, San Jose, Costa Rica

And more photos . . .

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My World From Above This Week

When I checked in the hotel yesterday I was kind of hoping they would put me in the same Room 109 again because I really liked it last week. But I was assigned 407 which is 4 floors above and one room left of last week’s room. Wow! I like it better!

I like looking at the world from above and these photos show that difference, but also I am closer to the top of the big tree where more birds hang out, like parrots! And yes, the first afternoon I got some or one, but that will be another post, maybe tomorrow! And look below at how much better the mother bird and babies show up from above! ¡Pura Vida! 🙂

From my room & balcony, 407.

See the mother bird with babies from above in more photos . . .

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Woodpecker Helps ID Tree

Though I was planning to ask the gardener at the hotel Monday after I arrive, I’m satisfied that I have now identified “the big tree” at Best Western San Jose. First, my driver Walter told me that he was pretty sure it is a “Laurel de la India” tree (“Indian Laurel” in English), I decided to research it online. One of the sites had a photo of its seasonal yellow berries and I said to myself, “That is it!” I then checked my photos of a female Hoffman’s Woodpecker (eBird link) and sure enough, the same berries and leaves in both photos. Tree positively identified! 🙂

Female Hoffman’s Woodpecker in the Indian Laurel Tree

In this age of the internet, I again find that different websites have different information on this Indian Laurel Tree, also called a Ficus microcarpa on some websites, but if you look up the Spanish name, Laurel de la India, they call it a Ficus benjamina which would be Benjamin Ficus in English or a first cousin to the other Ficus, but still a little confusing. 🙂

Laurel de la India or Indian Laurel — Ficus microcarpa or Ficus benjamina.

And, if you are really into trees, see my Costa Rica Trees photo gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

This Dove is all over the garden . . .

Just as common as the Yigüirro ( CR national bird) I showed yesterday from the San Jose Best Western Garden, is this White-winged Dove (eBird link). He/she (male/female identical) seem to be in every part of the garden and maybe fly around more than most of the other birds. And yes, he is common in my garden in Atenas also, but now I’m focusing on birds seen in San Jose! 🙂 Though posting this from Atenas over the weekend.

White-winged Dove in the big tree

And three more dove photos . . .

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Nest of Baby Yigüirros

I knew when I saw that huge tree outside my room that I would have a good chance of seeing birds even though it was windy much of this first week, but finding a nest of baby birds is always an extra treat. First I saw this Yigüirro (local Spanish name) or Clay-colored Thrush (English name) flying into the joint of a sawed-off limb on the tree. After further examination through my telephoto camera lens, and several shots of only the mother sitting on the nest, I managed to get a few shots of the babies’ open mouths and then watch the mother regularly return with food for them. Fun. I’ve asked the hotel to keep me in a room by the tree next week and beyond so I can continue to watch this little family grow. 🙂

Mother Yigüirro feeding her babies.
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Big Tree & Tropical Gardens

I am so glad I chose this Best Western Plus San Jose over the two other options, if for no other reason, for the beautiful surroundings. I’m including two galleries below, one of landscapes and one of flowers, with more about the hotel itself in another post. The feature photo is the big tree from the breakfast dining patio (also seen from my room) and the shot below is from the Jacuzzi.

View from the Jacuzzi
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More Hide & Seek Birds

At breakfast the other morning the wind had stopped and these two birds came to my Cecropia Tree, though reluctantly showing themselves, hiding in the glare of morning sun.

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica
Red-billed Pigeon, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

“Birds learn how to fly, never knowing where the flight will take them.”

-Mark Nepo

See also my Costa Rica Birds Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

I will be doing separate posts concerning my radiotherapy, though I hope for more nature to share from my month-plus hotel nearby! 🙂

Immature Bronzed Cowbird?

I’m having trouble identifying this bird, but with the Merlin App and Cornell online, the closest match seems to be a juvenile or immature male Bronzed Cowbird or possibly one of the other cowbirds, but for this location, most likely bronzed.

As the wind has settled down, I’m just now getting only a few birds in my close trees and those have been mostly the Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush (singing a lot!) and an occasional Rufous-naped Wren or one of the dove/pigeons. I see more birds flying over but not landing in my trees. 🙂

Maybe an Immature Bronzed Cowbird?

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

-Maya Angelou

HEALTHCARE NOTE: Today is the day I am again scheduled to begin radiotherapy for my cancer and in the next few days I will share updates here while spending 4 nights a week in the big city of San Jose, Costa Rica every week for 6 weeks.

¡Pura Vida!

Earth Day Hope

Wherever there are birds, there is hope.”

~Mehmet Murat ildan

And of course this is just one of the many birds who have brought hope to my terrace here in Atenas, Costa Rica – A Keel-billed Toucan in my Cecropia Tree (link to my Keel-billed Gallery). There is hope that the big rich nations are waking up to global warming and their long-time destruction of our planet. And there’s hope in the battle against my destructive cancer. Below is my update of activities that finally make it possible to begin Radiotherapy Monday.

Second Covid Shot this Morning

Quick and painless. I walk into the temporary vaccination clinic ahead of my 8 AM appointment, paperwork done quickly with shot even quicker and I was out of there before my appointment time. 🙂 I walked home, having taken a taxi to the clinic. With my knee no longer hurting I’m back into walking more and hopefully every day during radiation, though I will have to wear the big wide-brimmed hat they tell me! I must avoid sun during radiation.

Tomorrow Morning Stitches Removed

Tomorrow (Friday) morning at 9 AM I see my Ophthalmologist in San Jose who will remove the two stitches from my left eyelid and supposedly this is going too help me use my left eye for longer periods of time without an eye patch. So far I’ve gone up to 6 to 8 hours at a time without covering it. Reading tires it out more than general activities like kitchen work or even a little TV. I seldom watch more than an hour a day, if that much. For Earth Day I found a special on the internet streaming channel Curiosity Stream for wonderful nature documentaries and signed up for a year at just $10 or $2 more than one month of Netflix here. I will probably drop Netflix again. Seen all their documentaries I care about and the rest is mostly junk.

Got off subject there! 🙂 I assume the eyelid will stay partly closed now when the stitches are removed since she did something to make the top and bottom grow together at one corner. But, FYI, my left eyelid will never blink again or fully close.

UPDATE: 23 April – She did not remove the stitches today. She first said she would remove just 2 of the 3, leaving one to help protect from radiation. But because she used nothing for pain, I flinched and she said she would not remove them at all for now, saying I have a “low tolerance for pain” and I think she has a low sympathy level! 🙂 She was also very painful to me at beginning of surgery. So now she will wait until after radiotherapy and try again in June. Hmmm. 🙂 Permanent stitches? — But the Good News: both eyes are doing very well and she is pleased with the surgery results. I’m already using my left eye more than 6 to 8 hours a day, so progress even if I have a low pain tolerance! 🙂

Radiation Starts Monday

This coming Monday, 26 April, I get my first radiotherapy in San Jose and daily Monday to Friday for six weeks or through June 4. They were not comfortable with all these other overlapping medical appointments plus needed the time this week to prepare for my targeted treatments. She is studying all the reports on both of my left cheek surgeries, the earlier “skin cancer” one and the big one March 15 including biopsies, etc. to help her target all remaining bits of possible cancer. My future is sort of in her skilled hands. 🙂 Dr. Bonilla is both an oncologist and radiologist and my surgeon says the best here.

I’m still bargaining with hotels near the radiation center but hoping for the Best Western with four nearby restaurants and hope to schedule that today. I plan to spend Monday to Thursday nights there and back in Atenas Friday-Sunday nights. I will be giving regular updates from San Jose starting next week which I hope will be interlaced with some nature reports also! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

More Raintrees

Looking out of my living room front window during a hard rain today (so glad rainy season is here!), the big tree is a Strangler Fig Tree with an unknown smaller one beside it plus a strangled one and then on this side is the tall, skinny Ylang-ylang Tree still growing up through the canopy of the larger trees. And all much wetter than the photo shows! 🙂 See also my May 11 “Rain Trees” post for a different look at wet trees! 🙂

My Front Window View in the Rain with the street a temporary river! 🙂

Plus I’m “A Marked Man” for Radiation

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