The Incredible Iguana

I see them everywhere I go in Costa Rica, even occasionally in my yard, but I still continue to be amazed by the prehistoric looking, dinosaur-like creature! On the Caribbean Coast, where Tortuguero is located, you find only the Green Iguana; while on the Pacific slope you can find both the Green and the Common Spiny-tailed Iguana, and that includes Atenas where I live,s which is on the Pacific Slope. All four of these photos are Green Iguanas and if you don’t already know, the orange colors come to only the males during mating season, which supposedly attracts the females more than the green or brown colors. 🙂  I shared a face-shot of the all-orange one in an earlier blog post.

Green Iguana, Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica


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Two Frogs

I usually get more frog photos in wet places like Tortuguero, but most frogs are nocturnal and it was very dark & cloudy on our night hike in deep mud (wearing required high boots they provide) and thus I was doing good to just keep up, not to mention trying to make photos, of which I got few!  🙂

We did see a lot more frogs than this, just no photos! Our guide on that hike was a very good spotter named Elvis!   🙂   I can’t use my 600 mm zoom lens in the dark successfully, but did try an older camera with a “normal” lens, but it was no better than the cellphone camera at night, which is what most of my good frog photos have been made on in the past.

White-lipped Rain Frog, Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica
Unidentified Frog, Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica  (possibly one of the rain frogs or a dink frog)

See my galleries of Costa Rica Frogs with more than 40 species, though the “unidentified” sub-gallery is the largest. 🙂  I got a new CR Amphibians field guide, but they are still difficult for me to identify.  🙂  But still, I’m proud of my large set of frog photos, especially several great shots of the Red-eyed Tree Frog over the years!  He is one of several unofficial symbols or mascots of Costa Rica like the below shot at Danta Corcovado Lodge.   🙂

Red-eyed Tree Frog, Danta Corcovado

¡Pura Vida!

All this trip in: Tortuguero 2023 Trip Gallery

The Other 2 White Birds

Three days ago, March 2,  I published a blog post on the Snowy Egret, an all-white bird, and here are the other 2 all-white birds at Tortuguero: the Great Egret and the Cattle Egret.

You can tell the Snowy Egret and Great Egret apart by the opposite colors of their beaks and feet: Snowy has black beak and yellow feet, while Great has yellow beak and black feet.  🙂 The Cattle Egret is much smaller with shorter neck and beak and often with pale salmon coloring on head and chest. After this introductory photo, there is a 3-pix gallery for each of these two new all-white birds . . .

Great Egret, Tortuguero National Park, Limón, Costa Rica

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Tortuguero Photo Book published

It’s the same photos I’ve reported with on this blog and are in my trip gallery, but it is another creative opportunity for me that I find fun and will enjoy having a copy of the book and sharing a couple of copies with the lodge which they will share with other guests, so a nice creative use of my photography from a trip like this and the first trip book I’ve done in a year or two.

You can click the book cover below and see an electronic preview of the whole book for free without having to buy it!  🙂 Or you can go directly to this web address to see it:

CLICK this cover image to go to book in bookstore.

¡Pura Vida!

Spotted Sandpiper

The only bird I photographed that is usually associated more with the ocean than the wetlands is this Spotted Sandpiper, without spots of course, which is usually the case, though you can see photos of some with spots in my CR Spotted Sandpiper GALLERY.  🙂

Spotted Sandpiper, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, Tortuguero NP, Limón, Costa Rica
Spotted Sandpiper, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, Tortuguero NP, Limón, Costa Rica

Read about this bird found throughout the Americas on eBird.

¡Pura Vida!

And the Tortuguero 2023 Trip Gallery is ready!


Amazon Kingfisher – Speed-fisher!

It’s a joy to watch these amazing birds dive lightening fast into the water from a tree branch to catch a small fish. Usually successfully! This Amazon Kingfisher is the biggest of these 4 Kingfishers that can be seen in Tortuguero waters (with links to my gallery of each):

  1. Amazon Kingfisher
  2. Ringed Kingfisher
  3. Green Kingfisher
  4. American Pygmy Kingfisher

Note that there are two other species of Kingfishers in Costa Rica, the Belted Kingfisher I’ve seen in other areas and the Green and Rufous Kingfisher which I am yet to see but the book says is on this Caribbean side of the country. Here’s photos from this trip of 1 male and 1 female Amazon Kingfisher which if you are still in the email notice you can see larger and better on the blog website, by clicking the blog title above.

Amazon Kingfisher male, Tortuguero NP, Limón, Costa Rica
Amazon Kingfisher female, Tortuguero NP, Limón, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

And for more info and a location map of where found in only tropical Central and South America, see the eBird page.


“Love thy neighbor (no exceptions)” article in the Friends Journal on simply following the example of Jesus.  🙂

Bird with an Attitude

The Great-tailed Grackle (eBird link) is a lanky blackbird with a ridiculously long tail and what seems to me a rather haughty attitude!  🙂

They are seen from the western U.S. throughout all of Central American and I have seen in almost every area of Costa Rica. Though a land bird, I seem to see more near water or marshy areas like Tortuguero. Here’s just 4 of my photos from Tortuguero and I’m particularly proud of this portrait of a female (always brown while males are black with blue/purple sheen). And I think both shots of males below demonstrate the attitude I spoke of above.  🙂


Female Great-tailed Grackle, Tortuguero NP, Limón, Costa Rica

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Lost Photos: Collared Aracari

I shoot my animal shots with a fast shutter speed in the Canon automatic “Sports-Action Mode” to freeze the action of always moving birds and butterflies! That is the fast click,click,click you hear sometimes from a camera, and it means I get lots of photos (thousands) that I have to go through to delete bad ones and sort according to subject, thus very time consuming! And with so many file folders on my computer I sometimes misplace images as I did with these Collared Aracari eating red berries in a tree behind my cabin one day. They are much better shots than the ones I used on that earlier 3 Toucan Species post, so I just have to give them their own post!  🙂  Occasionally you do luck into good sunlight from the right direction to make an okay image as with these (unlike the Aracaris in the other post):

Collared Aracari eating berries, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica
Collared Aracari eating red berries, Tortuga Lodge & Gardens, Tortuguero NP, Costa Rica

And for more of this bird, my CR Collared Aracari GALLERY.

¡Pura Vida!