FAVE BIRDS – Little Blue Heron

In some ways the Little Blue Heron (eBird description) is more photogenic than the Great Blue Heron, maybe because most are a solid color. See my other shots in my Little Blue Heron Gallery from 9 different locations in Costa Rica. I like bird photos with simple, solid backgrounds like this one, plus he’s flying with great aerodynamics! 🙂 But I also like traditional portraits like the one I’m including below as an extra. Both photos were made at or near Rancho Humo which you can read more about in The Backstory below.

Little Blue Heron, Palo Verde National Park, Costa Rica
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FAVE BIRDS – King Vulture

Vultures are not all ugly as this magnificent creature attests. The King Vulture (eBird description) is hard to find and even harder to photograph without help, but possible as seen in my King Vulture Gallery from 3 locations in Costa Rica. Read the Backstory for how I got the closeups and follow the links to the three trip galleries where I found this big bird!

King Vulture, Maquenque Lodge, Boca Tapada
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FAVE BIRDS – Green Ibis

This “uncommon” bird is generally found only on the Caribbean or Atlantic side of Costa Rica while the more common White Ibis is on both sides, though more prevalent on the Pacific side. This particular Green Ibis (eBird link) was photographed in Tortuguero NP as one of the 5 locations in my Green Ibis Gallery. I particularly liked this photo because of the unusual flying position of his wings in an umbrella or bowl shape. Never seen this in any bird. See my Backstory below for more information about the five places I’ve photographed this bird.

Green Ibis, Tortuguero NP
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FAVE BIRDS – Great Egret

Oh so many of my Great Egret (eBird link) photos are favorites, but I chose this one because it is so simple from the close-up of face to the background. My Great Egret Gallery has one as a ballet dancer and others flying, but I like this one that I photographed on the Tarcoles River within an hour of Atenas!

Great Egret, Tarcoles River, Costa Rica

They are found almost anywhere in Costa Rica where there is water. Links to places where I’ve photographed them:

¡Pura Vida!

Adventures in the Wilds & No Camera!

Those who know me well may not believe that title – and, well – what is happening in this period of few blog posts is that I am totally absorbed in the re-reading the Lord of the Rings books, all in one volume for me on my Kindle, a much longer read than The Hobbit I just completed! Plus I am still mostly tired from the radiation treatments and just not doing much else or getting out much.

The Kindle Edition Cover


Frodo and his buddies are just beginning as they got out of “The Old Forest” terrors and the magical “House of Tom Bombadil” and head for “The Prancing Pony Inn” and more “Dark Rider” or “Strider” encounters (who has been following them).

Eventually I may report on the story with some of my nature photos or I just may give you a break! 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Beachside Rainforest?

Well – It has been and I hope that at least part of it will last! I’ve been coming here for 5 years and it is definitely deteriorating with development and now evidently a landfill somewhere on the peninsula north of the hotel due to truck loads of dirt and rocks and trash headed that way.

The main (only) highway runs parallel to the coast and thus most beaches but Banana Azul is on a peninsula of sorts with a narrow dirt road leading to it and a few other smaller hotels or B&Bs. Then alongside the beach are “tracks” in the dirt that I hike down into the forest with some old growth trees, marshes, and some small animals and birds. Locals come down these tracks to find a private spot on the beach and like all good things in nature it may be getting “loved to death” with too much use. My Gallery below includes a few of my shots from this trip along this beachside rainforest trail. Though the Caribbean is slower developing than other parts of Costa Rica, I’m afraid it too will go for “the progress of the area.”

Here’s a shot from the beach with forest on left going all the way to the end of that “point” or peninsula.

Looking North from Hotel Beach, Forest on the Left.
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Beloved Tree

“If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.”

― Hal Borland
A mighty old tree at Caño Negro Reserva, Costa Rica, loved by ferns & air plants & a family of bats. 🙂

¡Pura Vida!

And more of my December 2020 at Caño Negro Reserva:

The Landscapes! – AND – The Birds!

HEALTH UPDATE: Yesterday morning I had my Covid Test and by last night an email report that it is negative as required – my last pre-operation requirement completed until leaving my house at 5:15 AM Monday morning. 🙂

Other Wildlife at Caño Negro

And this is it for that day excursion from Arenal Observatory Lodge, having done the birds post yesterday and earlier posts on 3 species of monkeys. Caño Negro is a wildlife-rich place for a 2+ hour boat ride and in our case lunch by the river before returning.

“By discovering nature, you discover yourself. “

~Maxime Lagacé

For more Costa Rica Wildlife see my OTHER WILDLIFE GALLERIES.

¡Pura Vida!

Caño Negro BIRDS

Here’s about 20 species from my Christmas week side-trip from Arenal Observatory to the Caño Negro Reserva. We saw more than I photographed of course and about 5 I tried to photograph weren’t good enough to show. This is a bird-rich reserve in northern Costa Rica near the Nicaragua border. CLICK an image to enlarge it:

Two of these were “Lifers” or first-time seen birds for me and unfortunately neither with a very good photo: The Nicaraguan Seed-Finch and the Olive-throated Parakeets. I’ve seen the American Kestrel in Panama but this was the first time in Costa Rica, though not close enough for a decent photo.

And from my 2017 visit to Caño Negro Reserva, two blog posts: Caño Negro Birds Part 1 followed of course by Caño Negro Birds Part 2! Or easier to see them all together in my photo gallery Caño Negro Birds 2017.

See all of my BIRDS Galleries.

¡Pura Vida!

Insect Bites on Hikes?

One of my regular readers asked about insects and bug bites on all the wilderness hikes I make with every trip and in a little-less wilderness around where I live in Atenas, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. And he asked what I did about them.

YES, in the tropics, and Costa Rica specifically, there are actually more insect species than all of the U.S. and Canada combined. Generally they seem to me to be worse at hot times, our summer which is North America’s winter – ironically the time of year we have the most tourists! 🙂 But also location is a big factor, para ejemplo (for example) hotter lowland rainforests and year-around wetlands seem worse to me than mountain cloud forest like I was in last week. And that includes most beaches which have more mosquitoes for example than I have ever seen here in the central valley. But the government has done an excellent job of keeping down the population of mosquitoes all over the country because of diseases they carry and I seldom see one. But there are still many other bugs that bite all over the country! And spiders too!

And you birders remember than many birds eat insects, thus the places I have photographed the most bird species like Maquenque Lodge Boca Tapada and Rancho Humo Guanacaste are wetlands year-around and thus more insects than some dryer places. Here in the Central Valley I see more insects just before and at the beginning of rainy season (April-May) than I do during the daily rains like right now. Not sure why.

When hiking in the reserves and parks I usually spray with Deep Woods Off (a high % of Deet) before going out, and occasionally here at home when I see lots of insects. For treatment off bites I always take a tube of Allergel with me or a similar antihistamine gel/ointment /cream to relieve the itching (many brands here from Europe, U.S., etc). When you live in the tropics you must learn to live with insects! 🙂

Around my house I notice at different times of the year an influx of different flying insects that are pests more than biters, while at other times I get biten and don’t even know by what! 🙂 I just pull out the antihistamine gel and treat it and so far I have lived through all my bug bites! 🙂

Frogs have it easy, they can eat what bugs them. ~Unknown

¡Pura Vida!

See my Insects Gallery which is separate from my Butterfly Gallery or an earlier blog post titled “Living with Bugs.”