More from Manzanillo

More photos from Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge visit yesterday:

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Did you notice the quote on the entrance sign to this refuge?  It is . . .

“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.”

― Charles Darwin


¡Pura Vida!

The flowers have to be sisters of the birds..!!

My favorite birding group here now is a Tico Facebook group called:  Asociacion Ornitologica de Costa Rica

The one photo I posted there from my Arenal trip was this Keel-billed Toucan that I also used on the cover of the book about Arenal Observatory.

Several comments were made but the most interesting was from Diego who said,

Las flores han de ser hermanas de las aves..!!

The flowers have to be sisters of the birds..!!

It is possibly and old saying or even a quote from some writer (though my Google search did not find an author), but I thought it so interesting and true especially with some of the many colorful birds here in Costa Rica and I appreciate Diego’s comment! 

Toucans are difficult to photograph even with the tower at Arenal putting me up on their level! But they certainly are a lot like flying flowers!   🙂

If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. 
~Charles Lindbergh

3 Species of Toucans Every Day!

Yellow-throated Toucan
Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, La Virgen, Costa Rica
Former known as Chestnut-Mandibled and then Black-Mandibled Toucan
A very common bird in Sarapiquí area including at Selva Verde Lodge.

Keel-billed Toucan
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Collared Aracari
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Keel-billed Toucan Flying
Selva Verde Lodge Sarapiquí, Chilamate, Costa Rica

Birding on the Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve

Cecropia or Guarumo Tree
Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
I have a tree like this in my yard. Toucans like these trees!  🙂

Except for securing Abel Busamanti as a birding guide in Manzanillo, I had no other pre-plans though expecting to visit the Ara Project featured yesterday. Well, on the north side of Puerto Viejo which is just 20 km or so north of Manzanillo is the Cahuita National Park that I kind of expected to visit (but never made it). I didn’t want to risk one of the guides lined up at the park entrance, so with my Kindle (no laptop) I googled and found a guide service in Puerto Viejo called TERRAVENTURAS which I called and said I was interested in a birding guide for the park or other better area near there. (There are a lot of companies like them here! Many are geared more to white water rafting and zip-lining!f Adventures for the young!)

She told me the birding would be better in Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve and they had a platform tower on top of a hill to view raptors migrating. (I had heard about the tower and so liked that choice.) I told her to book me for tomorrow and she said she needed me to send money in advance for a reservation which I did not know how to do on my Kindle. So I just drove to their office in Puerto Viejo and paid cash.

View of Ocean from Bird-spotting TowerKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

The next morning Alex, a Bribri guide and uncle to the guide I had at Ara Project picked me up at my hotel. The time with him was as enjoyable as the birds we found and I got to photograph. As was walking by some of the simple homes in the reserve which I did not feel comfortable photographing. So really no Bribri photos this time, just the few birds and other animals I photographed. But I highly recommend the trip! And Alex! And Terraventuras!

And the Mountains in Other DirectionKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
We saw raptors coming from both directions, but mostly along the coast.
Kites, Hawks and Vultures would Fly Together in the DraftsKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Mississippi Kite
Was one of my new bird shots for Costa Rica
Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
FROM EARLIER POSTS (But show you what is at Kelkoldi)

The Ever Present Turkey VultureKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Shining HoneycreeperKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Roadside HawkKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Keel-billed ToucanKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Hoffman’s Two-toed SlothKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
It was neat how close to our trail he was. My closest yet in the wild!
Black & Green Poison Dart FrogKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Strawberry Poison Dart FrogKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Green Page MothKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Common Mytip ButterflyKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Isabella’s Tiger, a Longwing or Heliconia ButterflyKekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, near Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Sometimes going to an out of way place where most tourists don’t go is the best place for wildlife and adventure. It is my second Bribri reserve to visit and both were unique! Special! Go to my August 25-27, 2015 posts for photos of the Yorkin Bribri Reserve:

August 27, 2015 – The Birds

See more photos in my new galleries Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA


Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo

Jaguar Rescue Center is located on the south side of Puerto Viejo,
not far from my hotel in Manzanillo. No Jaguars here! It got its name
from the first animal the founder actually rescued, a baby Jaguar whose
mother had been killed and would have died otherwise.
Photo on above entrance sign is of a one-eyed monkey.

Nice Little Cafe and Gift Shop at the entrance, but
not as big or as developed as Zoo Ave in La Garita!
And you can only visit on a schedule with a tour guide, so get times ahead!
On website: Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

NOTE: I am not repeating the photos of a Northern Tamandua Anteater and a Red-eyed Tree Frog that were shot here but shown in earlier posts. Click links to see again.

Brown Pelican with a broken wing
Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Unidentified Hawk, similar to Gray and Gray Lined,
but those are not in the Caribbean and our group was
too large for me to constantly ask the name of animals.
Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Baby Possums whose mother was killed. They will raise and try to
introduce back into the wild.
Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Groove-billed Ani
Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Keel-billed Toucan

Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Hoffman’s Two-toed Sloth

Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Red-lored Parrot

Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Spectacled Caiman

Jaguar Rescue Center, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

To learn more about Jaguar Rescue Center, click link for their website where you can read the history, find out when there are tours and how you can volunteer. It is operated mostly by volunteers!

And for more of my Costa Rica photos, see my gallery: Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA & SCROLL DOWN

Or more specifically my BIRDS PHOTO GALLERY   or


¡Pura Vida!

Our Famous Toucan on Animal Planet in August

My favorite zoo here is ZooAVE which is mostly an animal rehabilitation center. I think I have told about the toucan some bad boys in Grecia broke the beak of and ZooAVE created an artificial extension to give him an almost normal life. (3-D Printing no less!) Well, now the story will be told on Animal Planet this August.

Tico Times photo of injured Keel-billed Toucan at ZooAVE

Two Toucans & Two Great Guides in Nicaragua

Keel-billed Toucan, near dining room, El Jaguar Reserve, Nicaragua
Collared Aracari Toucan, in tree by coffee field, El Jaguar Reserve, Nicaragua

 Obviously not my best toucan photos, so see other’s I’ve made in my Costa Rica Toucans Photo Gallery. But note that toucans are very difficult to photograph without expensive and large telephoto lens, since these birds generally stay high in the forest canopy. I did not get the lucky close one this trip like I did at Tortuguero. I was close to that Aracari!

See some interesting TOUCAN FACTS  on the “Interesting Animal Facts” Page.

And though I had other short-term guides, these two guys did two and three full days respectively with me and were both so very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable about the local birds. I could not have asked for better guides at either Montibelli or El Jaguar! They are my favorite on this trip! I will ask for both of them if I ever return!

Here I am with Luis at Chocoyero, our one trip out of Montibelli.
He was my full-time private guide at Montibelli Reserve and
very professional for a 21 year old! And spoke good Ingles!  🙂

And here is Moises at El Jaguar Reserve equally professional, 
knowledgeable and muy amable (friendly, helpful) 28 year old
He’s showing me a bird photo on phone for identification of one seen.
His whole family works for El Jaguar, mostly on the coffee farm.

Like most young people in Latin America, these guys treated me with ultimate respect because of my age. And they acted like it was a privilege to serve me anyway they could. Like all over the world, young men in their 20’s find it difficult to get jobs. These two are following their passion for birds with part-time work as guides. And as all young adults in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua, they live at home with their parents until married or a job in another place. Luis finishes university in June with a business degree but does not know what he will do. He would like to start a bird guide business, but the competition and seasonal nature of the work would make it difficult to support a family if he marries his girlfriend or novia. Moises is more likely to stay with El Jaguar doing multiple jobs beyond bird guiding. (His bosses know what a good guide he is!) For example, he works with an international organization banding birds two mornings a week and assisting with research (though it could be volunteer work). And of course there is the coffee farm work year around. He did not go to the university. He also drives the farm truck and here there are limited people who can or will drive, making them professional drivers or conductors.  There is more poverty in Nicaragua than Costa Rica and it is more difficult to find jobs, thus many from Nicaragua migrate to Costa Rica for work, like my maid Mayra and her husband and two children.

Both of these young men spoke good English but were just about the only ones in Nicaragua! I got lots of practice with my simple efforts to speak Spanish. ¡Necesito practicar más español!

I also had the good fortune of meeting and having dinner with the owners of El Jaguar one night. A Swiss man named George Duriaux married to a Nica woman, Liliana Chavarria-Duriaux, who inherited the land from her father and with George has turned it into a combination wildlife reserve and coffee farm, with coffee paying the bills! They are delightful people and she is one of the three co-authors of my new book, A Guide to the Birds of Nicaragua. She even autographed my copy with a nice personal note! She also gave suggestions to help me learn Spanish including the recommendation of two novels in español that she believes will help me learn the language faster. (If interested, they are Cien años de soledad and El amor en los tiempos del colera, both by Nobel prize writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez). I found both at Walmart yesterday and will try! ¡Muy dificil para me!  🙂  And I’m not sure if I’m ready to do Spanish on my Kindle yet. I may try one.

Both reserves were wonderful with El Jaguar standing out for me on this trip, partly for the extra day, the most birds, and meeting delightful people! As I left, two couples had checked in for their birding adventures there! One from Germany and the other from Canada. Meeting people like this is part of the joy of traveling!

And oh yes, there are more bird photos to share! I photographed around 70 species in Nicaragua! While continuing to share Nica photos, I go back to the many birds in Costa Rica yet to be photographed! But the need for a renewed visa gave me an excuse for the wonderful experience of traveling in another country! I loved every minute of it while still being glad to get home!

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” 
– Freya Stark

Night Hike Shots

Sorry, I meant to post this last night before I left for Nicaragua. The last post from Monteverde.

Sleeping Brown Jay
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sleeping Orange-bellied Trogon
Monteverde, Costa Rica
Sleeping Keel-billed Toucan
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Sleeping Skipper Butterfly
Monteverde, Costa Rica
A Strange Cloud Forest Fruit Eaten Only by Bats
Monteverde, Costa Rica

It Was Dark! Night Hike!
Monteverde, Costa Rica

We saw many other creatures that I could not get usable photos of, like a Margay cat, two snakes, army ants, leaf-cutter ants, other insects, and some other birds including a spectacled owl.

Tortuguero Toucans

Collared Aracari Toucan
Eating Papaya in the village of Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Black-mandibled Toucan
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Keel-billed Toucan
At Park Headquarters
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
All photos by Charlie Doggett and copyrighted
It is late and I am tired as we got back home from Tortuguero at nearly dinner time and I had to water the gardens. I will add more photos from Tortuguero tomorrow and the following days. And I hope you are beginning to see why I like Tortuguero so much!  🙂    Pura Vida!

The Toucan by Shel Silverstein

Tell me who can
Catch a toucan?
Lou can.

Just how few can
Ride the toucan?
Two can.

What kind of goo can
Stick you to the toucan?
Glue can.

Who can write some
More about the toucan?
You can!

ZooAVE and Zoo of a Dinner

We visited Zoo Ave in La Garita today with Abe and Nancy Docktar and then joined Jean and Carolyn for dinner tonight at a local gringo restaurant with a Nashville Band (of retired gringos here) called “FlashBack” playing oldies. An Interesting day!
Flash Back plays for dancing at Augostos Restaurant tonight
Scarlet Macaw at Zoo Ave
Keel-billed Toucan at Zoo Ave
An Injured Toucan rescued and nursed to health
Green Iguana, one of many around the park
Wild Spectacled Owl visiting Zoo Ave
Striped Owl at Zoo Ave
Crested Owl at Zoo Ave
Emu at Zoo Ave
Great Curassow Male at Zoo Ave
Great Curassow Female at Zoo Ave
Squirrel Monkey at Zoo Ave
Spider Monkey at Zoo Ave
Helicopter Damselfly at Zoo Ave
Baird’s Tapir or Central American Tapir at Zoo Ave

Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild.~Jack Hanna

IMPORTANT NOTE: In 2020 this facility has been “rebranded” to eliminate the zoo concept and is now called Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center.

Follow Reagan’s Blog for his view of his visit here!

¡Pura Vida!