Natural Bird Bath in the Creek

Only Hummingbirds, like this Wood Nymph, bathe in this creek. 
First he/she waits in a nearby tree (above) for his turn. 
Tranquilo Bay Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Then it is a quick dip in the creek and . . .

They shake the water off above before flying back to a tree.

Tranquilo Bay Lodge, Bocas del Toro, Panama
Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Panama
We were gone 12 hours to the mainland yesterday (Saturday) for some fantastic birding in both the lowlands and the mountain! Then around here today including a visit to the Manakin Lek with beautiful dancing male Orange Collared Manakins attracting their females, and tomorrow we go on a boat trip up an old banana boat canal for many more birds. Fantastic eco lodge! And it will take many days to catch up on my reports in the blog!  🙂   ¡Pura Vida!

Rufous-naped Wren

Rufous-naped Wren
Hogar de Vida Campus, Atenas, Costa Rica

Rufous-naped Wren
Hogar de Vida Campus, Atenas, Costa Rica
This noisy and aggressive little bird is the most numerous at my house and seemed to be likewise at Hogar de Vida during our week of living there. I shared a different shot than these in the photo book for the participants. To read more about this Central American bird, see:   
Neotropical Birds  where you can learn the most, see a locations map & hear them sing  
Wikipedia  where you can read about them in 10 languages and learn that the bird’s name in Spanish is Ratona de nuca rufa
And a search for my photos of this wren at my house, if interested. The only bird that flies inside my house. Click an image to see it larger.

Though wildlife was not the emphasis of the mission trip last week, I have a few animal shots that I will share the next few days from both the campus and the tourist day trip. 

¡Pura Vida!

Corcovado Park Birds

Less than half of what we saw, not counting those at the lodge, but 20 photos is a big post!

Arranged in order found in book The Birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide
which puts families & similar birds together.
Neotropical Cormorant
Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

White Ibis 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Lesser Yellowlegs 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Common Black Hawk 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Laughing Falcon 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Laughing Falcon 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Scarlet Macaws
Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Red-lored Parrot
Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Baird’s Trogon male guarding nest 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Baird’s Trogon female feeding babies in nest 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Slaty-tailed Trogon 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Amazon Kingfisher 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Golden-naped Woodpecker 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Common Tody Flycatcher 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Tropical Kingbird 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Blue-crowned Manakin 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Red-capped Manakin 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Cherrie’s Tanager male 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Black-striped Sparrow 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Great-tailed Grackle female 
 Los Patos, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
This is my third time and third part of the park to hike into and the best experience yet with the most birds and other sights. And it is a less-visited part of the park I think, which helps make it better! 
Note that my sightings/photos here of the Blue-crowned Manakin and the Red-capped Manakin are first time for each or “lifer” birds for me. (LIFER: A bird species when it is first seen and positively identified by an individual birder, a species that birder has never seen previously.) But he red-capped manakin was not doing his “Michael Jackson dance” that you may have seen on nature TV to attract females.

For what it is worth, other “lifers” on this trip at the lodge were the White-shouldered Tanager and the Scarlet-rumped Cacique. I shared photos of these and a few others seen at the lodge on my March 14 Post: Birds Seen Wednesday. And of course all will soon be in my online bird gallery and the TRIP Gallery 2018 March 13-17: Danta Corcovado. 

And oh yes, “Los Patos” is the name of this area of the park and name of the Ranger Station we had to go through and register for the visit. Real “backwoods” area not close to anything or any town. I just visited one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet and possibly the most! I will never tire of visiting Corcovado. More photos tomorrow! 

¡Pura Vida!

The Great Kiskadee Sings in a Good Rain!

Great Kiskadee
He was singling loudly on the edge of my terrace today before the rain started.
Sorry that it was shot through both glass and screen of my sliding glass door.
When I opened it, he flew away!
He sang his loudest just before we got a very unusual big February rain!
Atenas, Costa Rica
To hear what his song sounds like (hint: his name), click on the below reference and a button there that says “Listen” to hear him sing: 
And see more in my photo gallery BIRDS
¡Pura Vida!

Added Bird from El Salvador to My Tree

“Peace Dove” by an artist in El Salvador
Now hanging on my year around Christmas Tree

In my living room last Christmas I added a tree on which I hung crafted birds from all over Central America. Some I bought locally and others came from UNICEF. Every purchase from them helps care for children all around the world! I encourage you to consider buying a new tree ornament or other hand-crafted Christmas gift from: 

Goodbye to a Good Friend

Garden Art by Anthony

This morning at about 4:00 I said goodbye to my next door neighbor Anthony who has been a special friend this last year, as he was when he lived on the other side of me during my first few months in this house (before he traveled to Spain & Morocco for 9 months). He is the single artist guy, about 8 years younger than me, who is still driven to create. He did my garden art sculpture I’ve shown before and a painting I promised not to publish. You will have to visit me to see it – another contemporary bird!

Though Costa Rica is a great atmosphere for creativity, it is not the easiest place to get lots of different art supplies, especially for his clay and tile work. So he is moving back to the states, not to his native Indiana, but to an art community in Chicago where he can get everything he needs to create including many customers which he also needs at this particular point in his life. And he plans to take classes in a world renowned tile art school there.  So I wish Anthony the best of life in lakeside Chicago and a fabulous new career as an artist in the states.

The house he was in, next door in this same compound, has already been rented and soon I will meet my new neighbor and see what adventures that will bring! And very soon I could be greeting a new landlord, as the whole compound is for sale. I met one lovely couple moving here from Houston who are considering the purchase. They are originally from Louisiana and we hit it off when they visited as “fellow southerners.” It seems that people know immediately when I speak that I’m from “The South.” Wonder why?

We will see what happens. My current French Canadian landlords will still be in Atenas part time in a smaller house, with their main house being built on a Pacific Coast beach north of Jaco. And the now vacant house on the other side of me (Richard’s casita) has a couple moving in for two months that I met through my blog and the local evangelical church, Iglesia Biblical. Change is maybe the most consistent part of life! And it always brings new experiences and new friends! Pura vida!   🙂


The Greatest Threat to the Church Isn’t Islam – It’s Us
Hoping non-subscribers to Christianity Today can get to this linked article by a Nigerian Christian. In many ways Africa is where Christianity is strongest today and there are many things Americans could learn from our African brethren! This article is a good example.

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler juvenile I think
Gray on head/neck is similar to Prairie Warbler, but not my choice
In my Nance Tree, Home Garden, Atenas Costa Rica

Yellow Warbler
In my Nance Tree, Home Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

I continue to be happy with the large variety of birds right here in my own gardens! I will keep traveling to more exotic places for even more birds, but it is fun to have these at breakfast!

See also my BIRDS photo gallery.

Mama Dove Abandons Nest in Strong Winds

I don’t know for sure if the mother Inca Dove abandoned the nest or something happened to her, but by this morning she was gone and two eggs had rolled out of nest down the spine of the palm frond, with at least one egg cracked. An animal that would eat her would probably also eat the eggs and an iguana may eat the eggs yet.  61 mph winds could have done it!

Inca Dove on Nest
She sat on this for about 3 days in terribly fierce winds, palm fronds like sails!

Empty Nest this Morning
Was the wind too much? Did something happen to her? I never saw a mate
and wondered where Daddy bird was!

Eggs Rolled down Palm Frond & Cracked
I’m so sorry to miss the birth of two Inca Doves & Sorry for the Mom!
I have no way to save them and doubt they could be.

Poor Choice of Nest Tree
The nest is in this small palm surrounded by red/yellow crotons below my deck.
Nest in lower of two fronds on the left, tiny gray spot halfway up.

Check out our Weather and note that right now the wind is at 42 mph with gusts to 61 mph. The poor bird never had a chance! January-February is the usual windy time, but last year was never with as strong a wind as we’ve had this year. and it is still blowing strong into March, but hopefully dying down soon! Then a couple of months of windless, hot, dry days before the rain starts, May-Oct.

Read more about Inca Doves at Cornell’s All About Birds

My Birds Photo Gallery

POSTSCRIPT: Before dark I checked the palm again and both eggs were gone, maybe by wind or maybe by an animal.

PS again: Today I finished my Income Tax with only one call to the TurboTax help desk!  🙂  The problem was not with the form but getting past their security into my file online. It seems that I had two accounts with them with two different user names and passwords and I was mixing them up. Crazy! But done now!