Dancing Swallowtails!

I’m not sure that I can explain why, but these Polydamas Swallowtails reminded me of flying acrobats or dancers as they swoop in and out of the flowers for their feeding. Fun to watch! 🙂 They are Polydamas Swallowtail, Battus polydamas (link to my Polydamas GALLERY with many more shots of their graceful flying and perching).

Polydamas Swallowtail en mi once de abril flores
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Canivet’s Emerald Hummingbird

This “uncommon” Central American Hummingbird also has another common name now (in one book) of “Salvin’s Emerald” and the scientific name with either is “Cynanthus canivetii” and you can read more about them on eBird. This is my third time to see this species, all in my garden, and it was difficult to ID all three times! 🙂 See all my other shots in Canivet’s Emerald Gallery. There you will see the big difference in male and female. This one I’m featuring today is a female that I shot in my garden two weeks ago. Yes, I’m that far ahead on my blog posts thanks to that little two-night trip and I hope to stay somewhat ahead! 🙂 And oh yes, my main hummingbird continues to be the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and I will share another photo of him soon I hope.

Canivet’s Emerald, Female, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

Small Endemic Bird – Spot-crowned Euphonia

This small bright blue & yellow bird landed for 30 seconds or so in my Yellow Bell Tree Wednesday and I managed to get a few shots before he left. He is the male Spot-crowned Euphonia  (eBird link), endemic to Costa Rica and the northern fringes of Panama, only on the Pacific Slopes, and just my third time to photograph one! First time in my garden!  🙂  My other places were at Esquinas Rainforest lodge at Piedras Blancas NP north of Golfito and at Hacienda Guachipelin, Rincón de la Vieja NP in Guanacaste near Liberia. I go back to Esquinas in July for my 83rd birthday and expect to see them again! 🙂

One of my all-time favorite bird photos was of a female Spot-crowned Euphonia eating a berry at Esquinas Lodge! See that and the other shots in my Spot-Crowned Euphonia Gallery! Now here’s 3 shots from my garden Wednesday . . .

Spot-crowned Euphonia, male, Atenas, Costa Rica

Above he’s looking down, next looking up and the third looking right into the camera before flying off!  🙂

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The Layered Mexican Yellow

It’s the layers of yellow, white and brown that identify this butterfly more than the spots and their locations which I tend to focus on first. 🙂  This butterfly photographed in my garden is the Mexican Yellow, Eurema mexicana. I’ve seen him before at Arenal Butterfly Conservatory and at Xandari Resort. See all those shots in my Mexican Yellow Gallery.

Mexican Yellow, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

And it looks different from other angles or light . . .

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AM Garden Bird Sightings

These are just the ones I recently photographed with the Saltator and Yellow Warbler seen less often but not really rare and the other 4 regulars seen almost daily now with the White-winged Dove and Chachalaca also fairly regular but no pix this time. Now that the wind is starting to lessen, I expect to see a lot more birds! There are few butterflies now, but their “big season” here seems to be June to October, so I look forward to that also! Here’s one bird for the email notice and 5 more below that online . . .

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Atenas, Costa Rica. Note the long white tongue sticking out of the red and black bill!  🙂


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Garden Pix

Walking through the garden on two mornings (March 11 & 12) and I chose these shots to share in a little slide show. Rainy Season usually sorta starts the middle of April and really starts in May, but by March 12 we have already had 3 little but nice rains! So I’m glad as is my garden!  🙂

Each and every bloom is unique and beautiful to me. Enjoy walking through my garden with the slide show below and here is the only one I can’t identify, from across the driveway in neighbor’s yard . . .

Unidentified in Neighbor’s Yard

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A Common Swallowtail Here

The Polydamas Swallowtail (Link to butterfliesandmoths.org) seems to be one of the most common in my garden and one of first showing up early this year! 🙂 I have 28 photos in my Polydamas Swallowtail Gallery, all made in my garden! 🙂

Polydamas Swallowtail, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

Unlike other butterflies here, I have no photos from my many visits to other locations in Costa Rica. These photos were made day before yesterday, May 6, which means it is early for a lot of butterflies, other than Yellows flitting about, and in past years butterflies have peaked at my house in June & July. I’m located in the western foothills of the Central Valley of Costa Rica. I have a trip north of here next week and hope for some different early butterflies there and then on my July trip is to the southwest of the country, maybe something new there, I hope! 🙂

Costa Rica has an incredible variety of butterflies as a part of more than 300,000 insect species, the most for any country it’s size. Part of that is due to our location as a “connecting bridge” of land between North and South America. The above butterfly website shows this particular Swallowtail appearing across the Southern U.S. and throughout Central America and the Caribbean Islands.

Polydamas Swallowtail, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

See all my Costa Rica Butterfly Galleries. 139+ species!

Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly

Here’s my first Damsel or Dragonfly photo this year though not the first seen. They are all hard for me to photograph and to identify, usually! But this time with my handy new book Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica by Dennis Paulson and William Haber, I managed to narrow it down quicker than usual for me; obviously first to a Damselfly and then by the spreading wings that it is one of the subspecies called “Spreadwing” (most Damsels keep their wings straight by their side) and then with the book’s excellent photos and me having a photo with enough detail like the blue eyes and the brown thorax with white stripe I quickly determined that this is a “Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly” or “Lestes alacer” the technical name of this species found in Central America and parts of North America. I hope to expand my collection of Dragonflies & Damselflies which is already a pretty good start . . .

See my GALLERY: Dragonflies & Damselflies of CR (18+ species identified with many more not identified. Your ID help welcomed!) 🙂

Plateau Spreadwing Damselfly, Atenas, Costa Rica
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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!