Rare Pygmy Squirrel found in Only 4 Countries

Alfaro’s or Central American Pygmy Squirrel
Curi-Cancha Reserva, Monteverde, Costa Rica

Microsciurus alfari, Alfaro’s Pygmy Squirrel or Central American Pygmy Squirrel is rare and lives only in mountain pine forests of Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. In Costa Rica they are at Monteverde where these photos were made and they are in the Talamanca Mountains. I did not see one on my earlier trips to the Talamanca mountains. 

Alfaro’s or Central American Pygmy Squirrel
Curi-Cancha Reserva, Monteverde, Costa Rica

A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit!   ~Sarah Jessica Parker

Brown Jay & Elegant Euphonia

Brown Jay
Curi-Cancha Reserva, Monteverde, Costa Rica

Elegant Euphonia Male
Curi-Cancha Reserva, Monteverde, Costa Rica

Elegant Euphonia Female
Curi-Cancha Reserva, Monteverde, Costa Rica

Got home this afternoon and been busy! So only these 3 birds tonight. But I will be adding more over the next week as I find time to go through the hundreds of photos. It was a great trip even with me missing the Sunday morning hike because I did not want to get home late. It is a hard 4.5 hour drive with about 40 km of gravel road that’s a killer for me! And Sunday afternoon traffic into Central Valley is extremely heavy with people returning from the beaches. Next time I go to Monteverde, I will go by bus even if it does take longer. And I will save money! 

Pura Vida!

Planning a Weekend Trip

Reserva Monteverde

The Birding Club is going to Monteverde this weekend and I responded early enough to get to be included in the group of only 15 because of limited cabin space available. And as usual, I am going a day early to explore on my own Thursday and Friday before the club activities Friday afternoon until Sunday morning.

You can check out the links to see my plans for my first trip to Monteverde, originally a Friends Community of mostly dairy farmers, thus the cheese capital of Costa Rica in one set of mountains.


  • I take bus to Alajuela  to get a rent car at San Jose Airport, early. 
  • I drive by my house for bag and camera. Then a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to Monteverde. As my Spanish gets better I will go places like this by bus, usually going through San Jose. But everyone in the club has a car and it usually works better to have rent car, though much more expensive. 
  • Check into Los Pinos Cabinas for my first night only in the edge of a forest preserve and rated internationally as a Sustainable Tourism location. 
  • I have made acquaintance with the owner and director of the Monteverde Butterfly Garden,  so that afternoon I plan to visit it. It is supposedly one of the best in the country. We will see!
Butterfly Garden at Selvatura Park
  • I plan to spend the morning through lunch at Selvatura Adventure Park which will not includ zip-lining which I’ve already done and once is enough for a 75 year old!  🙂   But I may walk

    the canopy bridge of 2 miles and will see as many of the animal gardens as time allows: Herpetarium & Frogs, Hummingbird Garden, and another Butterfly Garden. Lunch at the park and 20 minutes back to Monteverde and . . . 

  • Check in to Cabanas La Pradera where the birding club has reservations. I plan to look for birds on their property that afternoon and meet club members for brought appetizers before going to dinner. Then we have a . . . 
  • Night Hike  into surrounding 14 hectares of forest belonging to the cabanas for owls, bats, and frogs + who knows what else!  🙂  We have a local guide for that tour. 
  • 6 AM Breakfast and . . .  
  • Morning hike/birding in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve which I’m expecting to be very good with hopefully some new birds for me!
  • Lunch at Caburé, an Argentine Restaurant and Chocolate Shop. 
  • Afternoon birding at Curi Cancha, a private reserve near the public Cloud Forest Reserve seen in the morning with usually different birds we are told. This will be a full day of birding in some different mountains than the Talamanca Mountains I have visited three times and I may also get a photo of the Resplendent Quetzal here too! Looking forward to a new place! 
  • Check our birding lists with guides and have evening bocas at Janelle’s house who lives nearby.
  • Early morning birding around the cabins with one of the authors of our Costa Rica birding guidebook, Bob Dean, before breakfast. 
  • Drive home to dump bags, then to airport to drop off car and back on foot, bus, and taxi!  🙂