Black-faced Grosbeak – A Lifer!

I decided to share the birds photographed just one at a time and this one first because it is a “lifer” for me or the first time I have ever seen or photographed it! Certainly not my best bird photo, but many of mine are just for ID and to show I’ve seen that species. On my pre-breakfast guided bird hike we saw maybe 22 species (some not sure of ID) and I got photos of 13 of those plus one more in front of my cabin for a total of 14 species photographed and identified. Of those I will share only the ones that I have decent photos of over the next week or two of Chachagua reports.

Black-faced Grosbeak, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
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A Long-tailed Skipper?

There are many Long-tailed Skippers but with my book and the internet I am still unable to find an exact match for this specific species in my garden yesterday. At least the butterflies are coming again now! 🙂

The one labeled simply “Long-tailed Skipper” has blue on his back in all ID sources, this one in my photos does not. The Teleus Longtail Skipper is also like this one, without the blue, but has white lines instead of white dots at the top of wings. The devil’s in the details! 🙂 So these photos go in my gallery folder labeled “Skipper, Longtail Unidentified.” (Yes, I have others!) 🙁 And if any reader is certain of the ID, please CONTACT me! 🙂

One of the many Long-tailed Skippers, Atenas, Costa Rica.

And here’s 4 images from my garden yesterday . . .

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Hide-and-Seek Wren

The Rufous-naped Wren (eBird description) is one of the most common birds in my garden (found only in Mexico & Central America), but they haven’t been showing themselves much lately for me to photograph. This one seemed to be playing hide-and-seek from me in the shadows of my Cecropia tree. 🙂 But I do hear them singing a lot along with the Clay-colored Thrush this time of year.

You can see better, earlier photos in my Rufous-naped Wren Gallery. 🙂 Here’s 3 shots from yesterday morning’s shadows . . .

Rufous-naped Wren, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
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A Common Swallowtail Here

The Polydamas Swallowtail (Link to seems to be one of the most common in my garden and one of first showing up early this year! 🙂 I have 28 photos in my Polydamas Swallowtail Gallery, all made in my garden! 🙂

Polydamas Swallowtail, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

Unlike other butterflies here, I have no photos from my many visits to other locations in Costa Rica. These photos were made day before yesterday, May 6, which means it is early for a lot of butterflies, other than Yellows flitting about, and in past years butterflies have peaked at my house in June & July. I’m located in the western foothills of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. I have a trip north of here next week and hope for some different early butterflies there and then on my July trip is to the southwest of the country, maybe something new there, I hope! 🙂

Costa Rica has an incredible variety of butterflies as a part of more than 300,000 insect species, the most for any country it’s size. Part of that is due to our location as a “connecting bridge” of land between North and South America. The above butterfly website shows this particular Swallowtail appearing across the Southern U.S. and throughout Central America and the Caribbean Islands.

Polydamas Swallowtail, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

See all my Costa Rica Butterfly Galleries. 139+ species!

Lavinia Clearwing

Lavinia Clearwing (Hypoleria lavinia) (link to Butterflies & Moths of North America site) or Fuzzy-spotted Ticlear in my book A Swift Guide to Butterflies of Mexico and Central America. This seems to be fairly rare or at least I’m not finding much about it online. This one appeared in my kitchen as I was preparing a ham sandwich, landing first on a bottle of relish then flying to the floor where he seems to be on his last leg, though when I I examine closely the one on the floor seems a little different – hmmm. Anyway, it’s another new butterfly for me! 🙂

Lavinia Clearwing, Hypoleria levinia, Atenas, Costa Rica
Lavinia Clearwing, Hypoleria levinia, Atenas, Costa Rica

See my Costa Rica Butterflies GALLERY.

¡Pura Vida!

Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly

Here’s my first Damsel or Dragonfly photo this year though not the first seen. They are all hard for me to photograph and to identify, usually! But this time with my handy new book Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica by Dennis Paulson and William Haber, I managed to narrow it down quicker than usual for me; obviously first to a Damselfly and then by the spreading wings that it is one of the subspecies called “Spreadwing” (most Damsels keep their wings straight by their side) and then with the book’s excellent photos and me having a photo with enough detail like the blue eyes and the brown thorax with white stripe I quickly determined that this is a “Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly” or “Lestes alacer” the technical name of this species found in Central America and parts of North America. I hope to expand my collection of Dragonflies & Damselflies which is already a pretty good start . . .

See my GALLERY: Dragonflies & Damselflies of CR (18+ species identified with many more not identified. Your ID help welcomed!) 🙂

Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly, Atenas, Costa Rica
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Blue Morpho Butterfly is New National Symbol

That now makes 18 national symbols for Costa Rica! Read about why this one and what the other national symbols are in this Tico Times Article. And be sure to check out my collection of Blue Morpho photos in my Blue Morpho Gallery! Including this one below.

Blue Morpho Butterfly in Butterfly Garden of the Greentique Wildlife Reserve, Hotel Si Como No, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica.

And you might also be interested in this article in Tico Times this week: Costa Rica Increases Forest Protection by Over 16 million Hectares

¡Pura Vida!

A Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird

When I weigh all the options for the ID of this female Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird (eBird link), I come down strong on this ID even though not considered very common here. The other option from Merlin was a Garden Emerald Female, but that is not even on the maps for Atenas and mine does not have the “glittering” green the books & websites describe. In my Canivet’s Emerald Gallery I have earlier shots of a male that seem also to fit this species best, though Merlin gives it the possibility of being that or a Blue-vented or a Garden Emerald, but the majority of markers point it to being a Canivet’s Emerald too. Some birds are just plain difficult to ID! 🙂 That and using weak photos! 🙂 Plus the close similarity of some species is amazing!

Canivet’s Emerald Female, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica.
Canivet’s Emerald Female, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!