Band-tailed Barbthroat

My favorite hummingbird seen or photographed on this trip was this Band-tailed Barbthroat which is not seen very often (only my second time). And I got only one useable photo before he flew off as do all hummingbirds. You can read about this uncommon species on eBird or see the one other I’ve photographed in my Band-tailed Barbthroat Gallery. The other one was at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge near Golfito (where I photographed almost twice as many species as here). This bird is found only in Central America and Northern South America.

This was indeed a fortunate find and on top of that, in decent light! 🙂 But only one good shot and he’s gone! 🙂 I had very little sunshine the whole week I was at Chachagua, just a few hours on Wednesday, so to get this beautiful bird in good light was a real blessing! My trip gallery is up now but unfortunately is filled with a lot of low-light photos. Sorry!

¡Pura Vida!

TRIP GALLERY: May 2022, Chachagua Rainforest Hotel

A Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird

When I weigh all the options for the ID of this female Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird (eBird link), I come down strong on this ID even though not considered very common here. The other option from Merlin was a Garden Emerald Female, but that is not even on the maps for Atenas and mine does not have the “glittering” green the books & websites describe. In my Canivet’s Emerald Gallery I have earlier shots of a male that seem also to fit this species best, though Merlin gives it the possibility of being that or a Blue-vented or a Garden Emerald, but the majority of markers point it to being a Canivet’s Emerald too. Some birds are just plain difficult to ID! 🙂 That and using weak photos! 🙂 Plus the close similarity of some species is amazing!

Canivet’s Emerald Female, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica.
Canivet’s Emerald Female, My Garden, Atenas, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

White-throated Mountain-Gem

This third of my mountain hummingbirds found only in Costa Rica and Western Panama was a “Lifer” (1st time seen) observation this trip. Learn more on the eBird article for White-throated Mountain-gem. My gallery has only these two photos since it is new to me. As always, CLICK an image to see larger:

This trip’s Hotel Savegre BIRDS Gallery (23 species)

¡Pura Vida!

Floating Free of Time

The following statement about hummingbirds was included as an insert in a Papyrus Birthday Card I received from my sister Bonnie who said the card reminded her of me “getting the most out of life!”  (Thank you Bonnie!) And the above photo is a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird photographed this past week at Xandari Nature Resort, Costa Rica, “floating” above a flower just outside my room.

Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying out hopes for love, joy and celebration. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.     ~Papyrus

The card itself continued the theme with . . .







Enjoy every extraordinary moment! Happy Birthday!     ~Papyrus

And so the hummingbird inspires us to get the most out of life! I hope that is what you are doing! Enjoy life!    🙂

And here is another hummingbird that seems to be “floating” a little more than the above one. He is a Green-breasted Mango Hummingbird female at Dave & Dave’s Nature Center of Sarapiquí, La Virgen, Costa Rica shot on my 2016 Trip to Selva Verde Sarapiqui.

Have another great day!

Charlie — Retired in Costa Rica

And see more hummingbirds in my BIRDS photo gallery.

¡Pura Vida!


Surprises in the Garden

Blue-winged Sheenmark, Eurybia lycisca
In my garden yesterday. Only the 2nd one I’ve ever seen.
See last year’s sighting inside my house! Better photo! This is cellphone.
Atenas, Costa Rica
Maraca Plant or Shampoo Ginger
Is spreading like wildfire! Each flower will be a new plant!
Atenas, Costa Rica
Caladium Lily
Not expecting flowers from my caladiums!
Atenas, Costa Rica
Guardian Mom! 
She sits on top of hummingbird feeder, chasing adults off so
her children can freely feed when they wish. See below.
Atenas, Costa Rica
Guardian Mom!
Atenas, Costa Rica


Two years ago today (on Dec.24, 2014) I boarded a plane in Nashville with 5 suitcases and a one-way ticket to Costa Rica. (I’ve since learned the airline was not supposed to sell me a one-way ticket since I wasn’t a legal resident of CR yet. But anyway, I got here late and the taxi driver drove me in the dark up the winding mountain road (Ruta 3) from airport to Atenas and the inefficient Dutch owner/manager of the apartments Hacienda La Jacaranda was not ready for me, thinking I was not coming until January. His girlfriend had to clean an empty apartment for me before I could move in and the adventure began!

Today’s Boat Captain/Guide, Luis
Two years later I’m on my umpteenth birding trip, this time to Sarapiqui and what some have told me is one of the best birding spots in Costa Rica. Well . . . I’ve only been here a day and a half, but it has not yet proven to be one of my best! Most of the birds I’ve been able to photograph have been at the feeder outside the dining room and only a fraction of what I can see in 2 hours on the Tarcoles River or a short time at San Gerado de Dota or Rancho Naturalista.

I was hopeful about the birding river boat trip this afternoon, but some new friends told me they saw only 4 birds on yesterday’s boat trip, so expecting the worse, I went. Well I saw about 12-15 bird species including a yellow-throated toucan, so very good for me and better than today’s morning walk, though not like Rio Tarcoles. But my guide here, Evon, is trying to schedule me an early morning boat trip for Monday when I’m likely to see a lot more birds. Hope it works out! 

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, I do morning and afternoon walks and maybe will see a lot more. The lodge on the river is nice and I’m enjoying my stay here; resting, birding and meeting some very interesting people, especially today a couple from Ireland who also lived in The Gambia once like me.

Didn’t use my cell phone camera much today, but above is a shot of by boat captain and guide Luis and below a couple of shots here at the lodge. 

Violet-headed Fairy Hummingbird
In the gardens of Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiqui
Maybe the only bird shot on my cell phone.
Shooting into the sun is not good on any camera!

Orchid Blooms
In the gardens of Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiqui near my room.

I heard that we will have the option of tamales for dinner tonight which is a big Christmas tradition in Costa Rica. I’ll tell you tomorrow on Christmas Day. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS or Feliz Navidad!

Enjoying Retirement in Costa Rica
My 2014 Selfie at Trogon Lodge, San Gerado de Dota