Missed Chachalacas

After breakfast on the terrace 2 juvenile Chachalacas were playing in my Guarumo Tree, so I got up and retrieved my camera, coming back to empty tree limbs – they flew away! 🙂 And that was to be today’s post, but you can see lots of them in my Chachalaca Gallery. 🙂

So then I walked through the main part of my garden looking for butterflies and the one I saw would never stop for a photo, so as happens so often, I photographed flowers. I love the tropical flowers here! And yes, all are repeats but today’s flowers were each a delight to me this morning anyway and a lot prettier than Chachalacas! 🙂

More flowers in my Flora & Forest Gallery!

¡Pura Vida!


I possibly have more photos of this species of bird from my yard than from any other location, though I have seen them all over Costa Rica. It is a large chicken-sized bird that usually moves in flocks, but this one was solo at breakfast this morning in my Guarumo or Cecropia Tree (Wikipedia article).

When together as a flock they chatter a lot and thus the fun nickname here of “Chachalacas” for a group of people chattering or all talking at the same time.  🙂

There are two types in Costa Rica, this Gray-headed Chachalaca (link to Neotropical Birds site) found only in Central America from Honduras to the beginnings of Columbia, and the rarer Plain Chachalaca found here only in parts of Guanacaste (our Northwest Province) which I am yet to see or photograph.

On the Neotropical Birds site be sure to listen to their calls which is what wakes me some mornings!   🙂   And for more of my photos of this bird, both in my yard and other Costa Rica locations, see my photo gallery Gray-headed Chachalaca.   Another one of my tropical friends here!   🙂

A chattering Good Morning from Atenas, Costa Rica!

¡Pura Vida!


Morning Intruder

Yesterday morning I had an intruder in my house during breakfast. The sliding glass doors to my terrace stay open all day when I’m here but I close the sliding screen doors except for during breakfast when I’m in and out a lot for coffee, etc. Yesterday for the first time a juvenile Chachalaca just like these two photos made earlier flew right by my breakfast table and into the house. (A youngster exploring!)

I went inside and hollered at him which just scared him further back into my bedroom. I then opened the other door, a regular door into my garden (for multiple exit options), then walked calmly into my bedroom to the opposite side as he went under the bed and back out the other side away from me, then immediately flying back outside through the big door.

Kind of amusing. He of course was afraid of me and the house, just a kid exploring! The only other bird to fly in has been a little Rufous-naped Wren inside my house which I made photos of then. This time I just wanted the chicken-sized bird OUT!   🙂

He looked just like this flying through my house.


Another juvenile in my garden earlier like the one who visited yesterday.  We have many families of these birds in Roca Verde. Fortunately none nest near me.


See my photo gallery of Gray-headed Chachalacas or my total BIRDS gallery.  🙂


I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.

Ansel Adams


¡Pura Vida!

Attack of the Chachalacas

Sunday evening I was watching the 5:30 TV News when
the loud chattering began of 30 or more Chachalacas landing in the tops of my trees, including the above Guarumo.
A few came down low enough for me to get this decent shot of full name: Gray-headed Chachalaca 
There is a huge colony of this chicken-sized, noisy bird in Roca Verde and they occasionally visit my trees.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Check out my photo gallery BIRDS.  https://charliedoggett.smugmug.com/BIRDS

Chachalacas in Guarumo Tree

Two Gray-headed Chachalacas in the Guarumo Tree at my Terrace
 My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica
Note that the orange blooming tree is more than 100 yards away on a hill.

Closer view of one Gray-headed Chachalaca 
 My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica

I realized that If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. 

~Charles Lindbergh

And since it is Thanksgiving in the states, my American friends can pretend these are my backyard turkeys!  🙂  Though Thursday is just another normal day here! Unfortunately a few businesses are doing “Black Friday” here. Anything to make a buck! And a lot of these rich American expats here still can’t turn loose of the states and feel obligated to buy a $40+ imported American turkey and try to recreate an American Thanksgiving here. Not me. Just a regular day thursday!  So, happy Thanksgiving or happy regular day to all my readers!  🙂 
Cover art
And for the fellow birders, I just learned today that the Merlin Bird ID by Cornell Lab of Ornithology just released a Costa Rica Pack, so now you can use it to identify birds in Costa Rica and I’m hoping it will be better than the local app for identifying birds, but either way I will have two choices now!  You have to download the Costa Rica Pack separately to the app. Just got it today, so no time to test it yet except for one bird from the terrace.  Merlin ID is free from your app store and then within it you download the free Costa Rica Pack that includes info and photos of 750 Costa Rica Birds! Cool!

Chachalaca & Church

Gray-headed Chachalaca
Flying over and into my treetops for breakfast today.
 Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
Central Catholic Church
Atenas, Costa Rica
Central Catholic Church
Atenas, Costa Rica
Parroquia San Rafael Arcángel Atenas

I walk by this beautiful, simple church building almost every day.

WEATHER: I doubt that it makes your news, but we have had some very heavy rains which is normal for late in the rainy season, but this year it has brought some serious flash flooding in parts of the Central Valley and the North Pacific with flooded homes, washed out roads and landslides. Atenas has not been affected. Most damage was in San Jose, Cartago, and parts of the North Pacific. As my photos show, nice weather here with afternoon or early evening showers. Just right for the gardens!  Mejor clima del mundo! The best weather in the world!   🙂   Fortunate!

More Chachalacas!

Friday morning in tree behind my neighbor’s house.
 This is another juvenile Chachalaca among adults and kids chattering.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Adult Gray-headed Chachalaca 
 Atenas, Costa Rica

Adult Gray-headed Chachalaca 
 Atenas, Costa Rica

They were lower in the tree than at my house the morning before and thus a little easier to photograph when not behind leaves where they were most of the time!  🙂

See all of my Costa Rica Birds  photographed (235 species so far)
¡Pura Vida!

Retired in Costa Rica – THE BLOG

Ser chachalaca – to talk too much

“Ser chachalaca” is a Tico slang expression meaning “To talk too much.”  And here are photos of juvenile (teenagers maybe) Chachalacas, the bird the expression came from. These large birds chatter a lot and very loudly. In fact the juveniles pictured here woke me up around 5:00 AM today and later I tried to snap some photos which is difficult because they stay in the tops of the trees mostly.

Gray-headed Chachalaca juvenile
Atenas, Costa Rica

Gray-headed Chachalaca 
Atenas, Costa Rica

Gray-headed Chachalaca 
Atenas, Costa Rica

I have photos of adult Gray-headed Chachalacas in my photo gallery Costa Rica Birds
And to read more Classic Tico Expressions

“A fool is made more of a fool, 
when their mouth is more open than their mind.”