Hotel Villa Lapas’ Namesake

If you don’t know, “Lapas” is Spanish for plural “Macaws,” and in Costa Rica the Scarlet Macaws (Lapas Rojas) are found only on the Pacific Slope. (The critically endangered Green Macaw is only on the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica.) This particular parrot, Scarlet Macaw, Ara macao, (eBird link) is greater in number and found throughout Central America and Northern South America, and though at one time listed as endangered, they have now recovered with the help of nesting boxes to replace the big old trees with holes they nested in that humans cut down for lumber and cow pastures. But the other Macaw, Green Macaw (Lapa Verde) is found only in Central America in low numbers and is listed as Critically Endangered for the same human reasons!

If you stay long enough at Villa Lapas Hotel and keep walking through the gardens and grounds you will see Scarlet Macaws there, either flying over, stopping in an Almond Tree for their favorite food, or just stopping in other trees to rest and socialize as these I photographed on the “Early Bird Hike” before breakfast my first morning there. Here are 4 of the dozens of shots I made, and as is usual with photographing birds in trees, I struggled with the shadows, “de-shadowing” as much as I could. 🙂 You can see more of my photos of this species in my Scarlet Macaw Gallery. Here’s 4 shots from Tuesday morning at Villa Lapas, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica . . .

Scarlet Macaws Cuddling, Villa Lapas Hotel, Tarcoles, Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Hotel Villa Lapas’ Namesake”

Scarlet Macaws at Breakfast

Walter knows all the good places to eat along the different highways and early on our waterfall trip last Wednesday we stopped on Ruta 1 in or near Canas or Paso Real for a super breakfast and chance to see the many Scarlet Macaws in the trees around that restaurant and hotel across the highway from Tres Hermanas (interesting because of same name as a Soda in Atenas). 🙂

I took only a few minutes to try photographing some Macaws, not my best photos! But you can see all of my Scarlet Macaw photos in my Scarlet Macaw Gallery with shots from all over Costa Rica or read about them on eBird. In Costa Rica they are more prevalent on the Pacific Slope and coast while the endangered Green Macaw is more prevalent on the Caribbean or Atlantic Slope. Below this photo is a gallery of several other Macaw shots from this waterfall trip stop . . .

Scarlet Macaw, Canas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Continue reading “Scarlet Macaws at Breakfast”

Scarlet Macaw

This is sort of “the signature bird” of this area and there’s lots of them here! In the past I’ve photographed them from here on the Osa all the way up the Pacific Coast to Tambor Bay. See my past photos in my Scarlet Macaw Gallery. And I’ll get a flying photo before I leave here, just not made it yet.

Scarlet Macaw munching on Almonds at Playa Matapalo.
Scarlet Macaw at Playa Matapolo (Matapolo Beach).

Only sharing 2 photos today because the day suddenly got crammed-packed full and I haven’t processed all the photos yet! 🙂 I started before breakfast with a birding tour with Juan Carlos and then after breakfast he offered to take me to the highest waterfall around here instead of an all day hike for me and it almost turned out treacherous, but I’ll tell about that in another post. Then Phillip, who leads the sunset-night hike told me he had only 2 going tonight if I wanted to go tonight instead on my scheduled Monday, and I said yes for a full day. But the rest of the week will now be more peaceful! 🙂 And I’ll catch you up on the rest of this day later!

¡Pura Vida!

from the

Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Matapolo, Costa Rica

Farewell Macaws

As the first and only customer in restaurant for a 7 AM Breakfast I was greeted not only by the friendly waiters but by a couple of Scarlet Macaws in the nearby trees. The major group of other guests here is a group of vacationing Mexicans and the waiters said that they like to party late and breakfast late!   🙂

But anyway, I got a few shots of the Macaws before they flew off and all the other customers missed them!  🙂   They are hard to photograph – always on the move and when they land it is behind limbs and leaves! Pura vida!   🙂

Scarlet Macaws

CLICK image to enlarge.


I head back to Atenas this morning. My little 4-day excursion in search of sunsets was a good one! It was relaxing, with some good photos, even one lifer bird and my best photo yet of a Gray Hawk.

Plus now I am knowledgeable of another beach-view hotel at Jaco. It is too expensive for me normally and not that great for birds, but some of the best food I’ve had and the sunsets are great! Thus I recommend Villa Caletas for a relaxing vacation if money is not an option.

And I have started working on my “Trip Gallery” 2019 July Villa Caletas which will soon have my collection of photos from here, maybe by tonight.   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Macaw Project – Punta Leona

One of the reasons I chose to stay five nights in the Jaco Beach area of Costa Rica (a heavily visited and touristy area I usually avoid) is because I read about the Scarlet Macaw Project and Hotel Punta Leona’s installation of Nesting Boxes. All Macaws are somewhat endangered because they require a large hole in a big old tree to nest and most big ol’ trees have been cut down. Thus mankind has found a way to help replace what we destroyed by installing nesting boxes for the Macaws to nest in, thus continuing the species. It is a bigger problems on the Caribbean side of CR with the more endangered Green Macaws as helped there by the Manzanillo ARA Project I visited it in 2016 near Manzanillo. The ARA Project is also on the Pacific side focused on the Scarlet Macaws at Punta Islita which I have not visited yet.  Another hotel on the Pacific side that has Scarlet Macaw nesting boxes is the Tambor Tropical Resort, Tambor Bay, I visited in 2017. So I’m happy to see this, another project that helps save an endangered species!

Hotel Punta Leona has many nesting boxes installed over their heavily wooded property and a new exciting thing is that about 5 boxes have REAL TIME CAMERAS where you can watch the babies in the nests. Cool! Just click the real time link. In the photos below you will see a wire running into one of the nests – that’s the camera!   🙂

Here’s a few shots of Scarlet Macaws I made at Punta Leona:

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Learn more about this beautiful but endangered species, the Scarlet Macaw at Neotropical Birds

See my Punta Leona Trip Gallery

And visit the Hotel Punta Leona Website for more about this nature place!


FUTURE DREAM – Birding in Columbia

I have often said I would leave Costa Rica only to visit other nearby countries birding and thought that Ecuador would be next – but I just saw the following video (short movie) from E-Birds that has now turned my attention toward Columbia. To see why, watch this little movie called BIRDING: A Musical Journey through Northern Columbia  —  I love living in this incredible region of the world! So much to see/do!

¡Pura Vida!

Saving the Scarlet Macaws

I was happy on my visit to Tambor Tropical Beach Resort to see the many nesting boxes that hotel provides for Scarlet Macaws helping to maintain the population in that part of the Pacific Coast, the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. The destruction of large trees with cavities is possibly the biggest factor leading to the endangerment of this species as has already happened to the Green Macaw on the Caribbean Coast.

Well, here’s a Tico Times Article about More Scarlet Macaw Nesting boxes even closer to my home at Hotel Punta Leona near Jaco/Tarcoles. The article includes a video that will not let me share here (only FB). Check out the article & video and even the hotel which I will try to visit myself eventually!  🙂

Scarlet Macaws near their nesting boxes at Tambor Tropical Beach Resort. And I also made the header photo of a flying Scarlet Macaw at Tambor Beach. 

¡Felices Pascuas! – Happy Easter!

¡Felices Pascuas!  –  Happy Easter! 
Scarlet Macaw flying above Tambor Bay, Costa Rica this past Christmas.

Note to those not on the mission team coming here this week: I am sharing one of my Costa Rica photos with an inspirational Scripture verse each day in an email during the last week before they get here this Thursday. 9 old friends from Nashville First Baptist Church. This is the photo/verse I share with them today. Happy Easter to you also! He is risen!

Charlie Doggett
Retired in Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!
And for more photos of life here, see my gallery Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA.

Tambor Tropical Resort

Sunrise Over Tambor Bay 
You don’t expect a sunrise over the Pacific, but it depends on angle of peninsula or bay!
When no clouds on horizon, you see the big orange ball at the end of that point on right. See below.
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

My House for a Week! (downstairs)
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

My House at Night this Week (the downstairs part)
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

My Room, bath on left and kitchen on right 
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

My Dining Room this Week 
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

Looking towards ocean from dining area
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

Our grass and brown sand beach 
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

The Hammock I Never had Time to Use
But I did get a massage one day in the Spa!
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica
Scarlet Macaw 
Several families literally lived on hotel property with 3 nest boxes.
It could easily be called the “Scarlet Macaw Hotel”  🙂
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

Scarlet Macaws always in trees around cabins and pool!
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

Interesting People Too! 
Last night a family from Nashville checked in with their Tico relatives! Small World!
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

And Beautiful Flowers! 

Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

Sunrises are different each morning if you get up early enough!
Tambor Tropical Resort, Costa Rica

They host several birding tours a year plus the Cornell annual bird count and it is known as a good place for birders with an on-property nature trail and 3 public trails along the river beside the hotel. And now the “Tambor Turtles” volunteer program takes place on the beach by the hotel with opportunities for guests to collect eggs or release babies at the right time of year.

My trip gallery for this trip: 2017 Christmas Week Tambor Bay 

This is my blog post about the hotel and I hardily recommend it as a hotel and the area for both birding and relaxation! I just spent 5 nights and can’t imagine staying fewer! You need time to get to know a place and benefit from it! 4 or 5 nights is my minimum stay almost anywhere in Costa Rica!

¡Pura Vida!

Birds at Corcovado & Drake Bay

Bird shots not shown in other posts from recent trip.
Bare-throated Tiger Heron
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Scarlet Macaw
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Great Curassow
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Black-headed Trogon female
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Lineated Woodpecker
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Boat-billed Heron
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

Yellow-crowned Night Heron juvenile (no crown yet)
Mangrove Forest, Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Cherrie’s Tanager male
Aguila de Osa Inn, Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Black Vultures waiting for fish above high tide rocks
Aguila de Osa Inn, Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Great-tailed Grackle male
Aguila de Osa Inn, Drake Bay, Costa Rica

We saw some other birds but no good photos because of distance, trees, etc. I did not get any photos of new species for my collection on this trip as hoped. We did see toucans, parrots and many other birds but unable to photograph. Tomorrow I will share photos of other animals seen at Corcovado & Drake Bay.

About Corcovado National Park (Wikipedia)  and  About Drake Bay (Wikipedia)

My TRIPS Photo Gallery on this Drake Bay Trip

See also my BIRDS photo gallery