Maquenque Toucans

I just decided to share the birds from Maquenque in smaller doses and this is the three kinds of toucans we had at breakfast every morning: (1) Keel-billed Toucan, (2) Yellow-throated Toucan, and (3) Collared Aracari Toucan. I have hundreds of photos but only sharing 2 of each type!  🙂   Though I should note that the featured photo for this post is of three juvenile Collared Aracari, possibly siblings. Lots of baby birds around now. Click an image to enlarge:

¡Pura vida!

You may also enjoy my Costa Rica Birds Gallery 

and my 2019 Maquenque Lodge Trip Gallery   

See the lodge website:  Maquenque Ecolodge

A Towering Experience Today!

The following 4 birds were photographed in treetops at eye level from “The Nest”
or the 92 ft tall metal tower on the lodge property. Amazing treetop experience!
Yellow-throated Toucan
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Collared Aracari (A type of Toucan)
 Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Keel-billed Toucan
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Red Lored Parrot
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

“The Nest” or Birding Tower 92 ft tall — A Little Scary!
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Freddy is there 8 hours a day with locked gate to the tower. 
8 max people at a time including one staff member. Lots of warnings in English & Spanish.
Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica
Top of the English Warning Sign  With long list of conditions below from pregnancy to vertigo!
There are 146 steps going up and down and the tower does sway with wind & people movement.
Today was my 2nd time up. Yesterday morning my birding guide took me up and we saw 0 birds! Nada!
This afternoon Freddy used recordings of toucan sounds to attract them to the surrounding treetops!
 Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica
¡Pura Vida!

And My Photo Gallery for this Trip is being added to daily while on the trip! 
There you can see all the birds together, etc. plus photos not on the blog.

Sunset Behind the Clouds Tonight 
 Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

And Scary Clouds at that! But No Rain! 
 Arenal Observatory Lodge, Arenal National Park, Costa Rica

Walking Over my “Jungle Hill” This Morning

I love walking by the gardens of my neighbors
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

Lots of flowers are always blooming, like this Bougainvillea
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica 

This morning a toucan flew into that top tree
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

I got as close as I could and zoomed in with only my cell phone camera
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
Yellow-throated Toucan
I then cropped in further at home and mainly have just a silhouette, oh well.
My 300mm lens would have done better, but always hard as they usually stay high in the trees.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

A view of central Atenas from above a different house than I’ve shown before (125).
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica

And another neighbor house on top of hill I don’t think I’ve shown before.
Roca Verde, Atenas, Costa Rica
Before I moved to Costa Rica, I said that I would never live in a rich gated community, so I need to be careful about using that word “never” since after 4 months of searching for a rental house I could afford that also met my needs, this is where I found it! And since most of these big mansions have “casitas” (“little houses” like mine) that they rent out or use for “mother-in-law cottages” or servants, I am certainly not alone living among the rich as a renter and 40% of the owners here are Ticos, so not just all foreigners. Plus it is the only really nice development like this within easy walking distance of Central Atenas; in fact most realtors say Roca Verde is in “Central Atenas” (loosely defined). 
With the Atenas public water system having many shutdown problems and unfulfilled promises from politicians, we are fortunate to have our own water system within Roca Verde that is almost never down, and if that is not enough, my landlord has his own private well and pump right here on our lot!  🙂  That is a bigger deal here than it may sound! I always have good water and good pressure. 
My landlord is one of the best and even though he has this property for sale, it hasn’t sold yet and that can take years here! A German man visited 2 days ago as a prospective buyer and assured me I could continue renting at the same price if he becomes my new landlord. I am not worried. My landlord, Jean-Luc, was also the developer of all of Roca Verde and with his partner in charge of the development maintenance, etc. until this year when a new homeowners’ association took over and they seem to be doing a good job so far and have even increased the security of the property. If you drive in the front gate to visit me, expect to show your ID and have your trunk inspected upon leaving and they may even call me to verify that you are really coming to see me. Interesting. 
I think I have already shared reasons for choosing the “Central Valley” as my place to live, like medical and shopping proximity, plus from here I can easily travel on my many adventures to parks and forests all over Costa Rica and further into Central America. And it will be easy to expand my travels into South America later. As “the next best place to heaven,” Costa Rica is the perfect place for me to live the final years of my life before the real heaven. ¡Perfecto!

¡Pura Vida!

15+ Bird Species Photographed in Manzanillo!

Great Green Macaw, Manzanillo, Costa Rica



There were more seen but just 15 with decent photographs and I will share more photos of the Great Green Macaw later with info on the Ara Project. Some of these birds like the above are only found on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica.


Pale-billed Woodpecker
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Cinnamon Woodpecker
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Chestnut-colored Woodpecker
Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Keel-billed Toucan
Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica


Collared Aracari
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Common Black Hawk
Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Photographed in tree next to my tent at Almonds & Corals.
Roadside Hawk
Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica



One of the “New World Warblers” maybe Yellow
Manzanillo, Costa Rica



Shining Honeycreeper
Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica


Squirrel Cuckoo
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Variable Seedeater
Manzanillo, Costa Rica
Turkey Vulture
Kekoldi Bribri Indigenous Reserve, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
We also saw Kites, Hawks and Falcons flying high above, but no good photos.


Chestnut-backed Antbird
Manzanillo, Costa Rica
By the entrance to my tent at Almonds & Corals
Note that he is eating an insect, worm or whatever?


Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Manzanillo, Costa Rica


Black-mandibled Toucan
Photographed at the Ara Project and added after original post.
Manzanillo, Costa Rica

All of these birds were wild in the forests of Manzanillo or Kekoldi. I saw a few more in captivity at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo but not included here. See that post.

And I have a BIRDS PHOTO GALLERY with many more species! And the new ones here will be added very soon!


Our Famous Toucan on Animal Planet in August

My favorite zoo here is ZooAVE which is mostly an animal rehabilitation center. I think I have told about the toucan some bad boys in Grecia broke the beak of and ZooAVE created an artificial extension to give him an almost normal life. (3-D Printing no less!) Well, now the story will be told on Animal Planet this August.

Tico Times photo of injured Keel-billed Toucan at ZooAVE

Tortuguero Toucans

Collared Aracari Toucan
Eating Papaya in the village of Tortuguero, Costa Rica
Black-mandibled Toucan
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
Keel-billed Toucan
At Park Headquarters
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
All photos by Charlie Doggett and copyrighted
It is late and I am tired as we got back home from Tortuguero at nearly dinner time and I had to water the gardens. I will add more photos from Tortuguero tomorrow and the following days. And I hope you are beginning to see why I like Tortuguero so much!  🙂    Pura Vida!

The Toucan by Shel Silverstein

Tell me who can
Catch a toucan?
Lou can.

Just how few can
Ride the toucan?
Two can.

What kind of goo can
Stick you to the toucan?
Glue can.

Who can write some
More about the toucan?
You can!


Maybe Blue & White Swallow, Bank Swallow, or even a Martin. Not sure.

Hundreds of swallows fly over every day and all around the apartments, very fast! I’ve never been able to catch one in my camera, though this is one of my best efforts. We also have Keel-billed Toucans fly over occasionally, usually in pairs and very fast! No photos! Same with the Montezuma Oropendola! And parrots and parakeet flocks which are often even higher in sky. None of these birds ever land in the trees around us. 

Church and rest today. No adventures! Back to the bank tomorrow and that will be an adventure!

Dos Toucans, Uno Parrot!

Raphael, my driver from the airport Wednesday.

I’m still not well and the nearest clinic I found today was not open, but my neighbors swear that if I take a gin and lemon juice tonight it will make me well overnight. Not sure I’m brave enough to try, but Jean Pierre said he would make it for me. (Note next morning – I declined their gin treatment and will stay in and rest today and go to clinic Monday.)

Jean Pierre & Elizabeth live next door and are from Switzerland. They speak good English. Then above me (I’m in a 1st floor apartment.) is Ivan & Eloise from Quebec. French is their language, but they do a little English. They let me share a cab to town this morning for them to get some stuff at a health food store and for me to get my cell phone activated at the ICE store, but alas, ICE was closed. It is Christmas week Saturday. Ivan cannot walk well using a crutch, so they go everywhere in taxis. It cost about a $1.80 (800 colonnes). They invited me to join them in a cab tonight to eat at Carreta’s, a popular expat hangout cafe, if it is open!

The apartment is fine, needing some maintenance which they are working on little by little. The setting is beautiful and while drinking tea on my veranda this morning I saw two toucans fly into the the trees down by the river and one green parrot fly into a tree next to the apartment building, plus many other small birds. Just not been up to trying to photograph birds yet.

No Record! and No Excess Luggage! :-)

Another Species of Toucan, I photographed in 2010 in Braulio Carrillo
Click photo to enlarge

So one more needed document obtained today from Nashville Police pretty quickly and easily for $13. The Costa Rica officials will like the red ink rubber stamped declaration “No Record” below the colorful Metro Police logo. I’m good to go on that!

This was easy too and a free flight with air miles, except for tax I had to pay! And I decided on Christmas Eve to be there for the holiday and get away from what could be Christmas blues here. In Costa Rica everyone makes tamales for Christmas, a long time tradition! I’ll expect some! Plus I may get to see some colorful Catholic Church celebrations on Christmas! Plus I need to get rid of all by stuff before Christmas anyway, so Christmas Eve seemed to be the best time to leave with an empty house. And hey!  I got great seats in front of the business class cabin on both flights! That is almost like first class (row 7 with bigger seat & more leg room). I will be flying in style through Miami on American Airlines. Another momentous Christmas for me!

But the hope that I could take 6 to 8 suitcases to carry my beginning stuff, is not going to work out. There is a max of 5 suitcases, but the escalating cost may mean only taking two and shipping other stuff. 1st bag is $25, 2nd bag is $40, 3rd bag is $150, and the 4th & 5th bags will be $200 each! So much for a free flight! I’m hoping air freight will be cheaper and plan to start with quotes from DHL which was my shipper from The Gambia, but will compare with FedEx and maybe find a freight company that will send footlockers. UPS is not in C.R.

I will wait until next week before I try following up on their promised letter. Then I can stay focused on getting rid of stuff. So far, everything is falling together pretty quickly and easily.