The Birds of Esquinas

I think I’ve shown 5 favorite birds on their own individual blog posts, now here they are with all the other birds in a gallery of 18, a fraction of the 50 species I got on my last trip there, which I will blame on both climate change and the lack of a mangrove boat trip this time, though there were still fewer birds at the lodge this time, just like there are fewer birds at my house this year! Here’s one bird for the emailed version and then a gallery of 18 total birds to follow.

White-tipped Dove on a Panama Hat Flower at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Golfito.
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Another New Butterfly!

I’m slow getting all the photos processed and identifications made is why I keep coming up with new things! 🙂 This butterfly is not one I saw for the first time at Esquinas but have identified correctly for the first time, as I’m getting a little better at ID. It is a Hewitson’s Longwing, Heliconius hewitsoni that I saw in the understory deep in the forest on the Manakin Trail the other day at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge. I often compare my photos with not only my butterfly book photos, but online photos and even my own older photos which is when I discovered I had seen him before at Punta Leona but misidentified! And because the one at Esquinas was damaged and not in the best light, I am including the much better photo I made at Punta Leona for comparison and I will have to go back to all the places that photo appears and re-identify it! Whew! And because it is such a better photo, I will show it first and this is my first time to properly identify it.

Hewitson’s Longwing, first photographed at Punta Leona (near Jaco) and just now properly identifying.

Now see three weaker photos I made in the dark understory of the rainforest at Esquinas Lodge for comparison. I am now certain of this new identification and the website I volunteer for will have to add this new species because it is not now included, meaning that my photos will be the first ones on And this is not the first time I’ve introduced a new species there, thanks to the incredible variety of species in Costa Rica! Many are endemic to just Costa Rica or sometimes, like this one, endemic to Costa Rica & Panama’s Pacific Coast.

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A New Butterfly!

I was happy to find a new butterfly for my collection while at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge last week, the Spot-banded Daggerwing, Marpesia merops, found only in the tropics between Guatemala and Brazil. I will share the few other more common butterflies that I photographed on this trip in another blog post, segregating this very special one! 🙂 And for those in the Golfito area, I photographed him on the gravel road leading up to the lodge, between the lodge and La Gamba Research Station.

Spot-banded Daggerwing, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Golfito, Costa Rica

And as long as he was anywhere near me, he never fully closed his wings for me to get a side shot or picture of the bottom of his wings, but from my books it is the same pattern in a much lighter color, sort of a whitish tan or light grayish tan with none of the black seen on the top but the white spots remain.

This is the most he ever folded his wings for me.
Spot-banded Daggerwing, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Golfito, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Long-billed Hermit

One of my favorite Hummingbirds seen in the rainforest is the Long-billed Hermit (eBird link) found throughout Central America and the northern edges of South America. He can hover longer in one place than some hummingbirds and his tail can be long and straight or opened into a fan shape plus he seems to favor Heliconia flowers. Here’s four shots from the forest at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge.

Long-billed Hermit, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge. Piedras Blancas National Park, Golfito, Costa Rica.
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Berries for lunch?

Many of the rainforest birds find berries to be a major type of food for their sustenance, like this female Orange-collared Manakin (eBird Link) which is indigenous to the Pacific Slopes of Costa Rica and Panama. Only the male has the orange collar and I had not seen him here when I wrote this post yesterday. But you can see my other photos in my Orange-collared Manakin GALLERY which includes one male I found at Carara NP in his manakin “Lek” where he dances to attract a female. I love to try and capture a photo of a bird with a berry in his/her mouth like this! 🙂

Orange-collared Manakin female, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica

FYI: This is the morning (July 6) that I leave Esquinas Rainforest Lodge (their site link) and head back home to my simple garden and fewer wildlife in Atenas, though I will continue sharing photos from this rainforest for the next week or two. 🙂 No other guest wanted to do the mangrove boat tour, which requires at least two participants, so I did not get to do that this time. But there will be more mangroves to visit! 🙂 And this was a very relaxing week with a lot of birds and butterflies plus a visit to the La Gamba Rainforest Research Station which I will share about later.

¡Pura Vida!

Crested Guan

The Crested Guan (eBird link) is a fairly common large tropical bird in Central and northern South America, that flies more than the Curassow, that I shared earlier, who mostly stays on the ground and seems to be less able to fly while this guan soars high in the sky. See more of my shots of this bird in my Crested Guan GALLERY. It is fun to be in tropical forests like this and see so many colorful and interesting birds and other animals and plants! Here he joined me for breakfast, eating his palm berry. 🙂

Crested Guan eating a palm berry for breakfast, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica.
Crested Guan, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Gray-cowled Wood-Rail

Another common and fairly large bird here at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge is the Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Rascón Cuelligris, Aramides cajaneus (eBird link) is a wetlands & marsh bird found throughout Central & South America. There are many here at Esquinas around the several ponds or lagoons and I’ve seen in the lowlands of both the Pacific and Caribbean slope and coastal areas of Costa Rica. See my Gray-cowled Wood-Rail GALLERY for more pix. Here’s three shots at Esquinas . . .

Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica.
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