FAVE BIRDS – Great Kiskadee

Not exotic but one of the most often seen birds across Costa Rica is the Great Kiskadee (eBirds link) and I have a lot of photos of them in My Great Kiskadee Gallery, but I still can’t tell you what makes him “great.” 🙂 And be forewarned that I still get them confused with the Social Flycatcher (looks the same but is technically smaller) and some of the other flycatchers that are the same colors.

Great Kiskadee, Xandari Nature Resort, Alajuela, Costa Rica

I don’t really have a “Backstory” for this bird or this photo and since the locations where found are pretty much “everywhere in Costa Rica,” I will not link to trip galleries where I have photographed them. But you might want to see in my bird galleries some of the ones that are often confused with the Great Kiskadee and hey! Some of these photos might even be mis-labeled. 🙂 I really do get them confused!:

¡Pura Vida!

Wind-blown Kiskadee

Earlier yesterday, before the rain came, I was sitting on the windy terrace hoping a brave bird might come out. A couple of doves flew by, but this Great Kiskadee was the only one brave enough to land in my Guarumo Tree (Cecropia) with a pretty strong wind bringing that rain cloud we got later. Notice how the feathers are affected by the wind. Not a normal pose, but an interesting commentary on the windy day we had yesterday before the afternoon rain.

Read more about the Great Kiskadee on eBird. He is one of the most common birds here and his song or call sounds like his name, “Kiss – ka – deeeeeeee.” He is found almost everywhere in Central and South America, with only a few strays making it into the Southwestern U.S.

Biopsy Report in Tomorrow’s Post

It is intentional that I have been very honest and factual about my new adventure with cancer while living retired in Costa Rica. And I will continue to be. This afternoon at a 2 PM appointment with my surgeon in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica I will receive the biopsy report and his “plan of attack” including possible radiation treatments.

He doesn’t know that some of you have been praying for it to be benign or not a cancer and we might receive that surprise blessing this afternoon, but if it is like all the others he has removed similar to mine, then we will do whatever is necessary and still give God the praise anyway! 🙂 He’s going to see me through this!

I’m wearing an eye patch all the time now because it hurts to have an eye open that can’t blink or close. We will be discussing possible solutions to that also this afternoon and the left side of my mouth. But they are secondary to dealing with cancer.

And because several blog-followers are considering retirement in Costa Rica like I did, I am going to share the costs of this major surgery and what my other options could have been and discuss 3 or more options for radiation, whether needed or not.

¡Hasta mañana!

¡Pura Vida!

Country Lane Birds

I’ve been walking that route with only my cell phone as a camera and the other day missed a beautiful Squirrel Cuckoo bird in a tree that my big camera would have caught. Thus yesterday morning I went with my big camera and no cuckoo! But I did get rough shots of these four. The feature photo is a Great-tailed Grackle and the other 3 are labeled in the slideshow. It is not as good a place for birds as up the hill from my house, but I tried! 🙂

See my BIRDS Galleries or my COUNTRY LANE Gallery.

¡Pura Vida!

Sloth Sanctuary

Today is a rainy day but I went ahead and visited the Sloth Sanctuary in Cahuita, Costa Rica and really glad I did! We had light rain the first part of the canoe trip and thus I did not take out my big camera until near the end, missing a lot of birds, but I have all of them from other places and enjoyed someone else paddling the canoe!   🙂

The canoe trip is to see where the sloths live in the wild before we go into the building to see the rescued sloths. We saw howler monkeys & lots of birds but no wild sloths. A VERY EXCELLENT TOUR that I highly recommend to anyone in this area! I sure learned a lot about sloths!

Banana Azul provided transportation to the sanctuary, about 15 minutes away. It is just as good as the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo and the Ara Project Manzanillo I had already visited here in the South Caribbean. I highly recommend all three! They all do great work saving animals and our environment! Part of the culture of Costa Rica!    🙂

Canoe Trip

Sloth Center

🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Flycatchers, Ant Birds, Manakins

These are some of the most beautiful and interesting birds with some eating flies or ants and another one doing a “Michael Jackson Dance” to attract a female.

Click Image to Enlarge

¡Pura Vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

 

Hiker’s Bonus

The other day I told about the coast to coast hiking trail El Camino de Costa Rica and mentioned that the one section I hiked was nearly all uphill and I then decided I would not try to hike the entire trail. To visually see what I’m talking about as a mountains trail, see this Map with Elevation Chart of Camino de Costa Rica. 

Of course you could also say that half the trail is downhill or about the same amount of downhill and uphill as you travel from sea level to sea level over the mountains, one over 7,000 feet tall!   🙂

 

And in Politics

Costa Rica recognized Juan Guaidó as the president of Venezuela.

South Caribe Birds This Year

Some trips I put more energy into getting many more bird photos, this year in South Caribe was more relaxed and slower, focusing a little more on culture and people, but here are my 10 birds and 1 nest photos representing 8 species with 3 having both male and female photos. My one “lifer” or first-time seen bird was the Gray-necked Wood-Rail.

Birds are still my first passion, but tomorrow I will share the “Other Animals” seen here this year including one of my better sloth photos shot near the hotel, as were most of the birds. I saw a few water birds from a distance but not as many as usually seen here. And I’m very pleased with my new Tamron 60mm lense which has really helped to zoom in on more birds!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind.

~Carly Simon

See my TRIP Photo Gallery:   2018 Caribe South, Puerto Viejo  for many other kinds of photos from this fun trip and for more on the South Caribe see these other past trip galleries:

¡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!

Last 5 Birds from Sarapiquí

Buff-throated Saltator
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica
Also saw a black-headed saltator, but no decent photo.

Spotted Sandpiper
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica
As seen from my room balcony on Sarapiquí River
And I have never seen one with actual spots.

Northern Barred Woodcreeper
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Great Kiskadee
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Gray-capped Flycatcher
Along the Puerto Viejo River, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, Costa Rica

See also my Photo Gallery of Costa Rica Birds

Well, that really is all the bird photos I will share from this great trip! But expect about 4 more posts of other wildlife photographed in the Sarapiquí area of Costa Rica.

Corcovado Beach at southern end of
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Then a 4-month break before my next big adventure the first week of May to Corcovado National Park (largest Pacific Coast rainforest) and Drake Bay, staying at the AGUILA DE OSA, Rainforest & Marine Adventure Lodge.  There is no end to adventure and nature photography in Costa Rica and I intend experience as much of it as possible! All my reservations are made including small plane air transportation down which is cheaper than a rent car. I could have done the bus but it is so much easier flying to the South Pacific! It is the wrong time of year for whale-watching, but my focus is birds right now. I’ll do whales another time.

Back in 2009 I visited the southern end of Osa Peninsula and Corcovado (above photo) on a birding trip to Luna Lodge and Lookout Inn, flying to Puerto Jimenez and a 2 hour dirt road drive to the edge of the park. This will be different at the other end or northern end and will include a visit to an island reserve out in the ocean. I can hardly wait!  

The Heavens and a Great Kiskadee!

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.   

Psalms 19:1 HCSB


January 31 Sunset from my Balcony – Right out of camera, no messing with it!

Today was spent in San Jose for a physical exam for Pricose Healthcare Insurance to get my application approved. Snapped a few shots on phone in San Jose, for later maybe. Also had a flock of Great-tailed Grackles on the lawn this afternoon that I’ll show later. First new bird in awhile! I did get a new and better shot of the Great Kiskadee yesterday on the back balcony of my neighbor’s apartment, so this one is for Urs & Ima from Switzerland:

Great Kiskadee

As always, click a photo to see it a little bit larger with more details.

Two More Birds Tonight!

This was my first sighting ever of a Saltator, while I’ve seen many Great Kiskadees and Social Flycatchers, I wanted to include it tonight because I believe it is the larger Kiskadee as opposed to the look-a-like smaller Social Flycatcher shown last night or the night before. Both were photographed from my back balcony. I love it!

Greyish Saltator

Great Kiskadee