I am down to the hummingbirds in my photos from San Gerardo de Dota, the most difficult to identify for me. But I am sure of this first one, Lesser Violetear (eBird Description) and like many of our mountain birds, found only in the mountains of Costa Rica and Western Panama with a former name of “Green Violetear.” (“They” are always changing names which is frustrating for us birders!) There is a larger version of this bird called the “Mexican Violetear” found only in the countries north of us. There is also a Brown Violetear found all across Central America, but less seen by me.
Unlike most hummingbirds, this one’s “ears” actually stick out a little and are very purple or violet. Here’s a few shots from the Batsú Gardens across the road from Hotel Savegre. The hotel no longer uses any feeders of any kinds with only natural plants to attract birds in the forest and gardens, thus some birds are easier to see across the road. 🙂 Though I did get two other hummingbirds in the hotel gardens.
This turkey-sized wild bird is found only in the highlands of Costa Rica and Western Panama. My Black Guan Gallery has other photos from the highlands of Monteverde, Costa Rica. This guan is also a relative of the more widely spread Crested Guan and Great Curassow (links to my galleries also) found in the foothills and lowlands of all Central America and northern South America. And in the same general family of the almost pest bird in my neighborhood, the Gray-headed Chachalaca, a smaller, chicken-sized bird.
There is also a Highland Guan which I saw only once in Nicaragua. They all live north of Costa Rica. All guans are arboreal as well as feeding on the ground. I have heard Ticos call guans “turkeys” more as an English slang name or loose translation of the Spanish name “Pava.” In Spanish, the first three guans I listed above with galleries are Pava Negra, Pava Crestada and Pavón Grande with my neighborhood Chachalaca in Spanish called Chachalaca Cabecigris . Birding in Costa Rica – Pura vida!
See my big BIRDS Gallery including other countries.
At first I labeled it an “Orange-bellied Trogon,” but after checking my book I’m calling it a Collared Trogon Female because of the darker shade of orange on the belly, with Orange-bellied having a lighter shade of orange (the only difference) in the book. Then after checking online with eBird+, I see that they are longer calling it two species but all “Collared” with some as an “orange morph” of the Collared Trogon. These constantly changing names and identifications make birding a little complicated sometimes! 🙂 Also the book says it only appears in the highlands of Costa Rica and Western Panama while eBird says it is the same bird in some of the highlands of South America. 🙂
These were photographed on the Robles Trail, Hotel Savegre, San Gerardo de Dota.
Right now I have two photo galleries from previous trips around Costa Rica for both the Collared Trogon and the Orange-bellied Trogon. I’m waiting to see if I should combine those two galleries. 🙂 And in those galleries you can see the slight differences of the two.
A tiny bird sometimes difficult to see in a thick Cloud Forest even with the bright colors, found only above 1,500 meters in the highlands of Costa Rica and across the border in Western Panama. I’ve seen and photographed only 2 other times, once in San Gerardo de Dota at the Trogon Lodge and later on a Monteverde trip in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. You can see those photos (better) in my Collared Redstart Gallery to which I will eventually add these. CLICK an image below to enlarge:
I’m home now with a lot of “catching up to do” as always after a trip and part of that will be sharing more photos from this trip! 🙂
Large-footed Finch is the “official” English common name for this cloud forest bird that my excellent guide, Marino, found for me this morning. This “lifer” for me (1st time seen) is one of several we found near the top of our mountain on the Robles Trail this morning. The feature photo above is the only one to show his feet, which don’t seem that large to me, but maybe to a finch? 🙂
I will share more birds from today later. CLICK image to see larger . . .
It would be hard to praise Hotel Savegre too much with virtually everything perfect here from the food to the rooms, trails, birds and vistas! 🙂 Though the birds of this trip haven’t been added yet, you can see all my others in Costa Rica Birds Gallery, 350 species!
This morning at 5:15 I head out with my guide Marina in his pickup to where he knows that the Quetzal feeds for breakfast. We get there and sure enough, by the time the sun provides enough light, they’re having breakfast and perching in various trees. At our spot we saw 2 males and 2 females. You can frequently see them at Monteverde but almost always here in San Gerardo de Dota. I waited until this morning because the hotel was full over the weekend and thus I had the guide to myself, solo!
Male Resplendent Quetzal
Female Resplendent Quetzal
NOTE: This is the national bird of Guatemala, but if you want to see one, it easier find in Costa Rica! 🙂
This morning I went to the nearby Batsù Gardens across the road and down a couple of hundred meters with so many bird photos it will be after the trip before I present them all. So for today, just one, the Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, which I haven’t seen since the last time in San Gerardo de Dota. And funny thing is that after getting back to my room I saw an adult and two juveniles in the tree in front of my room but with bad light and no good photos, thus this one is from Batsù. Tomorrow morning is my Quetzal excursion, so hopefully several good Quetzal photos. 🙂
The hotel is nearly full for the weekend with Costa Ricans getting away from the city for the weekend, more common now with COVID and few tourists here. Thus I postponed my Quetzal hike until Monday morning when not many here. Thus today and tomorrow just hiking around on my own, avoiding people. And getting a relaxation massage this afternoon! 🙂
My morning hike in the forest and then the hotel gardens only gave me 3 birds (and a couple of butterflies for later). All 3 birds are common in this cloud forest and I’ve photographed before. My hike on the “Song Birds” trail gave me lots of singing but most high in trees and tiny, thus only 2 photos from the trail and then another in the garden. One of my knees is hurting, so I’m limiting my walking a little now, expecting special birds both Monday and Tuesday.
Just in time! The night before I leave on another trip I finished my photos from the Christmas 2020 trip to Arenal Observatory Lodge with more than 50 species of birds! And 5 are lifers for me! Plus a whole lot of other photos from this favorite lodge. For now the birds are presented alphabetically by their English Common Name. Later I will make time to arrange by species families according to my birding guide book. Overall I’m pleased with this collection of photos and moving on to the next collection! 🙂 To see gallery CLICK above link or the image below:
Wednesday I shared my photos of “Other Wildlife at Caño Negro” which was a different wetland world on a day trip away from Arenal and the 3 Monkey species seen there were shown in two separate posts. Now sometimes there are more monkeys and other animals in Arenal Observatory, but this trip I photographed 10 species and I’m sharing just 8 of the “other animals” (not birds or butterflies). All were seen on the grounds of Arenal Observatory Lodge, one of my favorite places. Later I will have my trip galleries completed and will summarize here all the amazing wildlife and other nature seen and photographed on this Christmas week trip. CLICK an image below to see it larger:
“Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.”