Called a “Congo” by Costa Ricans, the Mantled Howler Monkey is the largest and loudest of the four species of monkeys in Costa Rica and the only one I got photos of this trip, from alongside Rio Tres Amigos on float trip last Wednesday near Maquenque Ecolodge. I heard them at the lodge but never was close enough for photos and the same for the Spider Monkeys. I’ve been photographing Howler Monkeys since my first weeks in Costa Rica and have an okay GALLERY: Mantled Howler Monkey of Costa Rica.
While at Tortuguero I saw all three of the monkeys that live in that rainforest, but, as usual, the Mantled Howler Monkeys were the most photogenic with White-faced Capuchin next, often showing off, and the Spider Monkeys the most difficult to photograph as they frantically run through the tree tops like out of control hyper children. I’ll show these other two in tomorrow’s post as I continue a break from the many birds.
My nature experiences in a Playa Cativo Lodge this past week did include more than the birds & butterflies that I love to photograph! Here’s a few that I was able to “catch” in the camera and of course the biggies like Jaguar and Puma are there but seldom seen by us humans, even on night hikes! 🙂
DISCLAIMER/POSTPONEMENT: I did this post last night and couldn’t finish processing my photo-folders of Crabs and of Reptiles that I intended to include here, so now those two categories will come later in a separate post. 🙂
There are four species of monkeys in Costa Rica and the Osa Peninsula is one of the few places you can find all four species. Monday in my “People Watching?” Post I included a photo of a Central American Spider Monkey along with an owl photo, both seemed to be watching me as much I was them! 🙂 Click either link above to see that Spider Monkey. And below are my photos from here of the other 3 species found in Costa Rica: Mantled Howler Monkey, White-faced Capuchin Monkey and the small Squirrel Monkey (featured photo) . . .
December 24 was a beautiful, sunshiny day! And my 6 year anniversary of living Retired in Costa Rica! I arrived on Christmas Eve 2014 and haven’t stopped exploring this tropical paradise a single day and I’m still blogging about it! Except for the first two Christmases getting “settled in” as a Costa Rica Resident, I have traveled every Christmas week since, to a National Park or other nature preserve.
The 23rd (day before yesterday) was when I scheduled Néstor, my birding guide here, and it was totally cloudy and raining all day. With nothing planned the 24th, it was a bright blue sky, sunny day! So I went hiking on my own, figuring maybe I could see some of the same birds in better light for better photos. Nada! Nothing! Almost no birds! Maybe they were in the tree tops “sunning?” 🙂 But . . .
On the other hand, on the first three rainy days I saw no monkeys and yesterday on the trail looking for birds I saw this troop or family of Mantled Howler Monkeys (my gallery link). They were way high in the Cecropia trees eating leaves, but I managed to get a few distant shots of these common monkeys here:
“We’ve just barely stopped being monkeys.”
Christmas Day’s main event was a visit to the nearby Butterfly Conservatory this morning, but it may be a few days before I get to those photos! 🙂 A Merry Weekend to you! And tomorrow, Saturday, I go to Caño Negro Reserve for birding – always a good place for birds.
To learn more about Spider Monkeysat Wikipedia To learn more about Arenal Observatory Lodge Costa Rica at their website I highly recommend this lodge for whatever your experience with nature will be! Great location! Great facilities! Great services! Great experiences & vistas!
I am posting this Friday morning before I leave Arenal for my wonderful home in Atenas. It is always good to get back home after a trip, but it seems like every trip is getting better and I continue my “yearn to travel Costa Rica!” And this place is a new favorite to which I plan to return. This year’s trip-a-month includes about 4 repeats and the rest new places. See the map of this year’s trips or another map of places visited before this year.
The 6 AM Bird Walk had a different guide, Ronald, and a lot more birds today! Of course most photos are on my SLR camera, but the guide used my phone on his spotting scope for the next three photos below. I have some better ones on my real camera. All the guides here are provided by the Selva Verde Lodge, at a reasonable extra cost or in my case as part of a “Birding Package.”
Snowy Cotinga (A first sighting for me) By Nature Guide Ronald on my phone through his spotting scope Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Yellow-throated Toucan (formerly Chestnut or Black-mandibled Toucan) By Nature Guide Ronald on my phone through his spotting scope Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Mantled Howler Monkey By Nature Guide Ronald on my phone through his spotting scope Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica And I haven’t mentioned that I hear them often in the forest here.
Nature Guide Ronald at the front entrance to Selva Verde before we cross the road for birds in a botanical garden.
Then, late morning I got out of our lodge reserve to visit Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion which several people had recommended. It is basically a lot of different kinds of feeders on the edge of a thick secondary rainforest with a lot of birds. It provided me with some good close-ups and of a few new birds. So it was worth the 10 km drive down the highway. The father-son project has a great story behind it but I will let you read about it on their website at Dave & Dave’s.
More hummingbirds than I’ve seen almost anywhere else. Some eating out of that heliconia flower. Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
There was a group of German photographers there with their big lenses. Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Dave Senior putting out more fruit for the birds. Dave & Dave’s Nature Pavilion, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Tonight I am going on the “Night Hike” and hope to get another good shot of a red-eyed tree frog. We will see. Animals are unpredictable. The restaurant has had this Christmas tree up since I’ve been here and they play Christmas music.
Christmas Tree Selva Verde Lodge Restaurant #1 Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Tomorrow I’ve scheduled an early morning boat trip, Guide Evan is going with me. And oh yes, in the rainforest there are still afternoon showers, even in the Dry Season. A shot from my room this afternoon during the short shower to keep everything watered! 🙂
Rain seen from Riverside Room 45, Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
Mantled Howler Monkey, Laguna Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica Photo made on cell phone through the guide’s spotting scope.
Central American Spider Monkey (Juvenile) Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey, Tortuguero, Costa Rica It is lumped in with the other spider monkey as just one species of the 4 here This is a mature adult while the Central American above is a juvenile They are like first cousins with mainly a color difference.
White-faced Capuchin Monkey, Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Of the four monkeys that live in Costa Rica, three can be found in Tortuguero National Park and I managed to get photos of all three on this trip. The one not here is the Squirrel Monkey found only in and around Manuel Antonio National Park. See one of my photos of Squirrel Monkey at Manuel Antonio.
“A pie” – That is Spanish for “On foot” which is what I now am again! And I love it! Reagan left today and I turned in the expensive rent car at the airport, road a bus back to Atenas and walked from the bus station to my house. Wow! I didn’t realize how much detail in the world you miss from a car. Walking puts you close to people, animals, flowers, other nature and interesting buildings, sounds, odors, things to stump your toe on and the weather! Warning to future visitors: You might be “A pie” which is not said like my favorite dessert because all i’s in Spanish are pronounced like ee, thus it is said something like: “Ah Pee Eh.”
That’s all the Spanish for now but not all of Tortuguero yet! 🙂 I still have more photos to share over the next few days. And must say thanks to Reagan for being a great guest and tourist in my Costa Rica! And for the delicious going away lunch! (American food of course!) 🙂