My One Fear – Terciopelo or Fer-de-lance

Its Terciopelo in Costa Rica or Fer-de-lance in the states, but with either name one of the most poisonous snakes in the world and we have them in my Roca Verde neighborhood unfortunately. The above photo is a dead one I just photographed while walking to town, on the sidewalk just outside our Roca Verde main gate. Since two people I know in Roca Verde have been bitten and I have found two dead ones myself, this one and another one earlier in the street in front of my house, I am more conscious of them being here and no longer leave my back door (garden door) open since there is no screen door on it.

All the clinics and hospitals have the anti-venom and if you get there quick enough, you live – but it is still scary and very painful I’ve been told.

For most this video will probably not appeal to you. It is a Terciopelo eating a frog. Snake lovers seem to love this kind of video!  🙂  At least it shows what they eat which is not people! Biting people is for their self-defense. Both persons biten here actually stepped on the snake while barefooted! And I never go out barefoot! Common sense caution is my defense.


Learn more about Terciopelo in the Wikipedia article in English.

This snake lives only in Central America, Mexico and northern South America.


As I type it is pouring down rain with the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard! Kind of like parts of the states, we are having above average rain this year and starting earlier in the day. So far the flowers seem to like it! And it is rainy season!    🙂

More Corcovado Wildlife

Jewel bug or Metallic shield bug (Scutelleridae) 
 Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Central American Spider Monkey 
 Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Unknown Insect
Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Red-tailed Squirrel
Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Isabella Tiger Butterfly
Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Ant Bridge 
They create a bridge of ant bodies for others to walk over.
 Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Golden Orb Spider
Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Active Termite Nest
Los Patos Station, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
I have already done a post of other non-bird animals seen on the Night Hike (better photos!). And of course you can see all of them together in my TRIP Gallery: 2018 March – Danta Corcovado.

¡Pura Vida!

Curu Wildlife

Curu Wildlife Refuge
Paquera, Costa Rica
Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Roadside Hawk Juvenile 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Double-striped Thick-knee 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Green Kingfisher female 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Pale-billed Woodpecker 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Lineated Woodpecker
Yes it is different from the one above!
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Spotted Sandpiper 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

 Brown-crested Flycatcher 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Cattle Egret 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

White-tailed Deer 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Common Basilisk “Jesus Christ Lizard” 
We watched this one “walk” run across the stream.
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Variegated Squirrel 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

One of the Heliconias I’ll Name Later 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Unknown Tiny Lizard 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Crab-eating Raccoon 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

 Baby Raccoons with above mother 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica
And yes, we saw a lot of Coatis and one Agouti, just no photos 

What a Wildlife Refuge Looks Like Here! 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

Guide Ruth & Driver Larry 
 Curu Wildlife Refuge, Paquera, Costa Rica 

The website of the wildlife refuge (1st one in Costa Rica):

My trip gallery for this trip: 2017 Christmas Week Tambor Bay 

Or my birds and wildlife galleries at   Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

Other Animals at Sarapiquí

Mantled Howler Monkey male
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

White-nosed Coati
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Variegated Squirrel
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Black River Turtle
Puerto Viejo River, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Costa Rica

Spectacled Caiman
Puerto Viejo River, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Costa Rica

See also all my non-bird wildlife photo galleries at OTHER WILDLIFE

And this will be my last post on what I saw in Sarapiquí at Selva Verde Lodge. I highly recommend this lodge and spending at least 3 or 4 nights when you go! 

Hooded Mantis in the Dark!

A Hooded Mantis appeared in the dark
at my last dinner at Rancho Naturalista
No good photos possible

But what was more entertaining was the group from Denmark on their first night at the lodge. They scrambled all over the dining terrace trying to get photos of this little guy! IN THE DARK! It was funny and of course none of my photos are good, but here’s the experience anyway! 

They tried so hard they kept scaring the little bug around the terrace.
Hope some of them got good photos! 

For about two minutes dinner was controlled
by a Hooded Mantis

4% of World’s Species Live in Costa Rica!

Costa Rica supports an enormous variety of wildlife, due in large part to its geographic position between the North and South American continents, its neotropical climate, and its wide variety of habitats. Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 species, which represents nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide, making Costa Rica one of the 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world. Of these 500,000 species, a little more than 300,000 are insects.”      ~WIKIPEDIA

Photo of one of the many Anthurium flowers growing at Rancho Naturalista, one of my fave get-a-ways now!
I was so excited about all the new birds there that I failed to say much about the flowers which were beautiful!

Labeling My Wildlife Photos

Some of the books I use plus the internet now.

Before the Yorkin Trip I had four books specifically for Costa Rica wildlife (in above photo) and the bird book, A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, was the best of those (seen in above photo by Stiles & Skutch, 1989). I am now replacing it with a 2014 book by one of the members of the birding club I just joined, Robert Dean, The Birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide. It is obviously more up to date and has more birds. This is the second edition of his book. I’ve ordered it from and it should be here by next week via Miami.

Our birding guide for the club and my first club trip, Pat O’Donnell, also recommends an app (he co-authored) which I got for both my phone and Kindle called “Costa Rica Birds – Field Guide” which is available from most app stores or directly from the producers at  It is very good with lots of photos of all the birds of Costa Rica and a filter to help you label your bird photo. I may end up using it more than the book. We’ll see! With my Kindle Fire I have gone to almost all electronic books anyway.

The Panama bird book (in first photo)is very good, more recent than my first Costa Rica book, and can be used as a backup for identification. We almost have the same birds with a few exceptions. It is our southern birds and their northern birds that overlap. Likewise our northern birds overlap with Nicaragua.

The Costa Rica butterfly book in the top photo is very limited, so I also use the U.S. National Audubon Society guide (glad I kept it!). The only more thorough butterfly book for Costa Rica I’ve found is a college textbook for $80+ and I haven’t gone that far yet! Plus it is probably more technical than I want. I just want images to help me identify my photos.

The internet is good for some creatures, but not all. I still have unidentified butterflies and birds in my photo collection! I have also joined some websites or online organizations to help with birding and bird identification, but not a lot of help yet. So please know that when I label something “Unidentified,” it is not because I didn’t try!   🙂

Likewise I have one book on Costa Rica plants and it is about as limited as the butterfly book. So plants are sometimes even more difficult to label and I’m learning that the common Spanish names and English names are not simply translations of each other. Maybe I should go with the Latin!  🙂

Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
~Wernher von Braun

“Costa Rica Extra” Sports Tidbits:

Was Recreational Ziplining Really Invented in Costa Rica? Yes indeeeed! No data on whitewater rafting which is also big here.

The most popular sport in the little farm town of Atenas is el voleibol (volleyball) with one high school the national champion most years! We have a park with a beach volleyball court, all sand! I don’t know how it ranks in popularity in the country of Costa Rica, but is definitely popular, especially on the two coasts along with surfing there.

Though el futbol (soccer) is the most popular spectator sport in Costa Rica, el beisbol (baseball) is a close second as is el practicar surf (surfing) and el ciclismo (cycling) where we were just ranked high in the El Tour de Francia. And Costa Rica has the Latin American Champion Surfista (surfer) almost every year!

The happiest people on earth love their sports and recreation and smart gringos avoid driving to the beach on weekends when the highways are literally packed bumper to bumper with Ticos at the beaches! Pura Vida!


“Time is a game played beautifully by children.” 
― Heraclitus, Fragments

Bill Watterson

“Weekends don’t count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.” 
― Bill Watterson

Carara National Park Mammals

Central American Agouti, a large rodent, Carara National Park, Costa Rica.
Spider Monkey, Carara National Park, Costa Rica (baby on her back)

Spider Monkey, Carara National Park, Costa Rica.

White-nosed Coati, Carara National Park, Costa Rica
White-nosed Coati, Carara National Park, Costa Rica
Costa Rican White Bat
Carara National Park, Costa Rica
Cell phone through guide’s spotting scope

We also passed the bridge where the week before my guide Victor saw a Puma resting. And we saw some howler monkeys but no photos. Most mammals here are nocturnal. Insects were more visible in the day but also more difficult to photograph. 

The tropical rain forests of the world harbor the majority of the planet’s species, yet this wealth of species is being quickly spent. While the exact numbers of species involved and the rate of forest clearing are still under debate, the trend is unmistakable—the richest terrestrial biome is being altered at a scale unparalleled in geologic history. 
— Larry D. Harris
Also see my PHOTO GALLERY of Costa Rica Mammals

Variegated Squirrel

Variegated Squirrel, Atenas, Costa Rica
Found all over Costa Rica, this one by my balcony in a Yellow Bell Tree
They can greatly vary in color around the country but all have tail “frosting”

Variegate Squirrel, my first shot peeking around tree trunk,
giving a little break from birds and butterflies!

Variegated Squirrel, Atenas, Costa Rica
Two moved from Strangler Fig to this tree and back – looking for food?
They are about the same size as North American squirrels.

And I continue to get new surprises on my balcony! Maybe after a year I’ll get bored.  🙂

July 8 I get my visa renewed and will start traveling more which means new wildlife photos.

And by the way, I just started a Costa Rica Mammals Photo Gallery which these guys are in. I haven’t gotten a lot of mammals since moving here, but got several from previous trips and will get more! This gallery is in addition to my
Costa Rica Birds Gallery
Costa Rica Butterflies Gallery
Costa Rica Insects Gallery  (other than butterflies)

Now all I need is galleries for reptiles and amphibians! Coming soon!

Manuel Antonio National Park

Baby Green Parrot Snake in the Pacific coastal rainforest of
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Shot with cell phone through a spotting scope
Three-toed Sloth
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Shot with cell phone through a spotting scope
Glass Frog
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Shot with cell phone through a spotting scope
Rare and elusive Squirrel Monkey
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Shot with my Canon Rebel, 75-300 mm lens
A People-Watching White-faced Capuchin Monkey
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Shot with my Canon Rebel, 75-300 mm lens
Sunset from El Avion Restaurant
Manual Antonio, Costa Rica
Cell Phone photo

We spent the morning on a guided tour of Manuel Antonio National Park with a guide who had a spotting scope making some of these photos possible. The web connection is still slow, but I was more patient today uploading these 5 photos, though it took about an hour. Only a couple of birds today, but a lot of birds yesterday which I will show some of after back home in Atenas with a faster internet. We are tried a different approach to the sunset tonight by eating in a restaurant overlooking the ocean. Not as good as last night, but we accomplished dinner at the same time!

Quepos and Manuel Antonio towns are like Gatlinburg, horrible tourist traps next to a wonderful National Park like Gatlinburg with the Smoky Mountain National Park. Our older, simple hotel is nice and right on the beach unlike most. They have no restaurant, but there is one next door serving all three meals. We had lunch in a nice restaurant near the park today and tonight’s in an old airplane, El Avion, which overlooks the beach and ocean. Different!

The Costa Rica Amazon?

Aerial View of Tortuguero River/Canal not showing the beach area.
Photo from Chris Howard’s Live In Costa Rica Blog site

Chris Howard’s newsletter today tells about one of my favorite places in Costa Rica, Tortuguero which he calls Costa Rica’s Amazon. Having experienced part of the Amazon, I agree. And see my photos of Tortuguero as Days 3 & 4 in my Costa Rica 210 Photo Gallery. Or look at some professional photos on the Anywhere Costa Rica website, noting there are two sets on that site, one by tapping the arrows on the header collection and a static collection seen by scrolling down the page. There is good information on the Wikipedia page too!

Well, you can see it is one of the places I love in Costa Rica and will continue to visit while living there! There is another jungle boat ride in Los Chiles that is almost as good and of course Corcovado is the largest rainforest, but that is mostly seen by hiking with a guide. Recently a young man from Alaska was lost hiking there, meaning a guide is necessary. Well enough jungles for today!