Bird Eating from a Bird of Paradise

It is probably not unusual, but it was my first time to see a bird eating from a Bird of Paradise Flower, in this case a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (linked to my Rufous-tailed Gallery). It was before breakfast this morning near the end of our birding hike as we walked through some of the lodge gardens on our way to the restaurant.

Hummingbird Eating from a Bird of Paradise Flower, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica.
Hummingbird about to eat from a Bird of Paradise Flower, Arenal Observatory Lodge, Costa Rica.

Arenal Observatory Lodge (their website)

¡Pura Vida!

Nesting Time!

At least in this area, it is the time that most of the birds are nesting, meaning a different kind of bird activity. The feature shot at top is of a Yellow-throated Toucan coming out of her nest with a berry or seed in her beak. Below you can see a shot of how small the hole is that both the male and female squeeze through. I guess their beak determines the size of the whole, usually a remade or enlarged woodpecker hole. 🙂

And in the spirit of nesting season, there’s also a shot of an unidentified bird on her nest and a hummingbird nest. All this reproduction activity is an important part of the ecology of the rainforest that seems to be coming at the beginning of the rainy season.

The toucan nest hole seems to be just barely large enough for them to get their beaks through! 🙂
Continue reading “Nesting Time!”

Hummingbird in Ficus Tree

The other day I caught a few shots of this Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (the dominant and thus only species in my garden) in an unusual place for me, the dark shadows of the Higueron or Strangler Fig or Ficus Tree. I had to really work at lightening the shadows in these two shots but think the second one is particularly interesting because of how his head and neck are twisted around, unlike any photo yet of one of these, while this first shot is pretty traditional! 🙂

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Atenas, Costa Rica
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Atenas, Costa Rica

See more in my Rufous-tailed Hummingbird GALLERY.

¡Pura Vida!

Hummingbird on El Baston

It is the same species or only species of Hummingbird I have in my yard now, the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and maybe the most common species in Costa Rica. They are territorial, meaning if he claims my garden, he chases off other species of hummingbirds. You can see the many I’ve photographed all over Costa Rica in my Rufous-tailed GALLERY or read more about them on eBird. I like these shots because of the contrast with the bright red El Baston de Emperador or Torch Ginger. Here’s four shots . . .

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Hummingbird on El Baston”

“The Wind in the Trees”

“Nothing has ever been said about God that hasn’t already been said better by the wind in the trees.”

~Thomas Merton

With that, I renew an old adventure that will certainly become an even grander new adventure . . .

Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Piedras Blancas NP, Golfito

It was in October of 2018, the peak of the rainy season, that I first visited Esquinas Rainforest Lodge at La Gamba Research Station, Piedras Blancas National Park, north of Golfito, Puntarenas. It rained pretty hard every afternoon with the mornings and short spaces between rain full of wonderful birds to photograph! And the planned boat trip to Rio Coto Mangroves turned impossible with high winds and heavy rain on Golfo Dulce, but the ingenious boat captain took me back into the smaller Gulf of Golfito (shielded from heavy wind by trees) for some of my better bird shots in between downpours – an unplanned but excellent substitute for an always good mangrove tour! Making Lemonade from Lemons! 🙂 And how could you not in this incredible rainforest? See more photos from my first trip there & a video link below . . .

Continue reading ““The Wind in the Trees””

Retire Here on Less Than $30,000 a year!

One of the regular blogs I read is Christopher Howard’s Live in Costa Rica (he also does the best relocation tour) and his latest blog post quoted International Living Magazine on Costa Rica being one of the best places in the world to retire on less than $30,000 a year. Read his post or go to the online version of International Living and maybe find it there. And bear in mind that it is still true even with Costa Rica having the highest cost of living in Central America, but right now I don’t think you want to retire in any of the other Central American countries! (Panama being a sometimes exception.) I chose to retire in luxury in Costa Rica over sliding into retirement poverty in the U.S.

Description of 5 Locations in Costa Rica that Retirees Love in an International Living article.

Today’s photo is of a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, the most common in my garden and possibly all over Costa Rica or at least in many of the places I have visited. They are aggressive and chase other species of Hummingbirds away from feeders and even “their” garden sometimes. Thus I have mixed feelings about them!   🙂    ¡Pura Vida!

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Waiting for his turn at the feeder in my garden
 on a cloudy, rainy day in
 Atenas, Costa Rica 
A family of these Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds have taken over my two feeders, meaning I watch them literally every morning at breakfast, nice, but . . .  also meaning I do not see other varieties of hummingbirds like I used to. I do still get a wide variety of other kinds of birds in the trees.

See my Costa Rica Birds photo gallery.

Sports News:  

  1. Costa Rica qualified for the International Futbol Event in Russia by tying Honduras last night. 
  2. Costa Rica will have 522 persons running in the Chicago Marathon, 3rd largest group from Latin America after Mexico & Brazil and more than some European countries! 

Who Rules the Roost? Rufous-tailed!

For 2 years I refused to have feeders, only flowers.
But gave in when Anthony left me with this feeder.
I do see more hummingbirds, but only one species now.
Atenas, Costa Rica

Like this juvenile Rufous-tailed,
they do still eat from flowers, but not totally.
Atenas, Costa Rica

The Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds dominate the feeder.
I believe there is a large family of them that had many babies.
Atenas, Costa Rica

This is an elder who may be in charge.
Atenas, Costa Rica

They even chase each other off the feeder or a “Pecking Order?”
Atenas, Costa Rica

I still have mixed emotions about using a feeder, though it does seem to keep more birds here year around. Not sure why I’m not seeing other species now which may be the work of the Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds chasing them off. I’ve thought about another feeder or two which most of the lodges I visit have even more of and many varieties of hummingbirds. We will see. I don’t like the extra work of boiling water and adding sugar every few days!  🙂   I’m lazy in retirement! And more feeders would mean more sugar water!

For many different birds, see my Birds Photo Galleries

Today I restart my Spanish blog titled ¡Aprendo Español en Atenas! for those who want to see me struggle with español. My teacher requested it!