An “Electric Blue” Thrush

It has been a similar problem with other photographs: MORNING SHADOWS in the trees. This original photo was more of a silhouette and of course the English name describes the bird accurately as “Clay-colored Thrush,” while my effort to remove the shadows left him more “electric blue.” 🙂

This is one bird that I prefer the Spanish name for, Yigüirro! I love just saying it and it’s not long until in April and May when he will be singing in the rains for the beginning of our rainy season! I can’t wait! I prefer the rainy (green) season! 🙂

An “Electric Blue” Thrush after my efforts to pull a Clay-colored one out of the shadows. 🙂

See what they really look like in my Clay-colored Thrush Gallery!

¡Pura Vida!


is the locally used Spanish name for the English-named Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi), the National Bird of Costa Rica, supposedly because the indigenous people believed that its beautiful songs in April brought the beginning of rainy season in May. It is mostly a Central American bird, found from South Texas to Columbia in South America. And yes! Their songs in April are beautiful! They sing their hearts out almost constantly until it starts raining, then they stop. :-)

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush, Atenas, Costa Rica

See many more photos in my Clay-colored Thrush GALLERY.

¡Pura Vida!

Morning Coffee & Wildlife

Friends up the hill invited me for coffee on their terrace yesterday where they have both a hummingbird feeder and a fruit feeder to attract more birds. And though they too have had fewer birds this year of El Niño weather, they get more than me because of their feeders and maybe their location adjacent the Calle Nueva Forest. Here’s what I was able to photograph while drinking coffee and talking a lot, though the one hummingbird never slowed down enough for a shot. 🙂

Lesson’s Motmot

4 birds, 2 insects and one iguana . . .

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Birds at Banana Azul

Here’s photos of 8 species of birds I photographed at Hotel Banana Azul which is fewer than usual like everywhere has been this year! And there are 10 photos because the male and female Scarlet-rumped Tanager look like 2 different species 🙂 and the juvenile Tropical Kingbird looks like a different species from the adult, so I included a photo of each. These 8 are all fairly common species all over Costa Rica except the Wood-Rail which is only in wetlands or coastal rainforests like the location of Banana Azul where there has always been a family of Wood-Rails living in their garden by their lily pond. Note that I saw 9 totally different species at Gandoca-Manzanillo (link to those bird photos) and a photo of only one bird at Cahuita but it was my Lifer this trip. 🙂 Thus in this trip gallery there will be a total of 18 species of birds this year, which is fewer than usual but not bad! 🙂 I always get a lot of photos in the Caribbean side of Costa Rica!

Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Hotel Banana Azul, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limón, Costa Rica.
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Still the most-seen bird . . .

. . . in my garden, the Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush (eBird link) who is no longer singing his longing melody that tradition says is him calling in the rain for rainy season to begin. It began with June and we’ve had rain every afternoon since! So I think he is a happy bird! 🙂 But overall, this june I’m seeing fewer varieties of both birds and butterflies than usual. I’m hoping that won’t be true of the rainforest I visit next week! 🙂

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!

See also my Yigüirro/Clay-colored Thrush Gallery.

5 Birds in the Canopy

With rain finally coming every afternoon, I’m also seeing a few more birds other than the Yigüirro (Clay-colored Thrush) singing his heart out to beg for rain says the tradition. Well, he finally succeeded, and though 5 species in one morning walk is an improvement, it is still not a lot of different birds compared to my past experience here. All were in the shadows of the canopy leaves of different trees with only this Yigüirro having direct light, but here’s the five birds I saw the other morning even if not good photos . . .

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush, Atenas, Costa Rica
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The Concert Master

The most frequently heard song in my garden in April is always the melodic song of the Clay-colored Thrush, called Yigüirro in Costa Rican Spanish. Local tradition is that he is singing in the rainy season, begging God for rain and thus he usually goes near the top of trees to sing and why my photos seldom show him singing. It sounds like he is trying really hard to do a good job and loud! As locals say, “singing his heart out!” You can hear one recording on eBird, click the “Listen” Button.

But they do come down to the lower limbs occasionally for my photos,  🙂  with these two shots from two different days. Usually we have a light start of rain the middle of April scattered over several days with the “real” rain beginning in earnest in May when we can have a shower or more every afternoon through November.

This year we had the unusual experience of 4 days of showers in March! Climate change! I live in the “Central Valley” which would not be considered a “rainforest” like both coasts and their corresponding “slopes” where it rains year around and occasionally all day. I like visiting the rainforests but the Central Valley is better for daily living.  🙂

Clay-colored Thrush, Yigüirro, Atenas, Costa Rica

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A Busy Yigüirro

Yigüirro is the Costa Rican Spanish name for the English-named Clay-colored Thrush, like “the Robin of Costa Rica” (and Americans used to call it “Clay-colored Robin”). It is also the national bird of costa Rica because the early indigenous people said it was this bird that called in the rain at the beginning of rainy season, April-May, with its beautiful, melodious songs. Nice!

I’m not seeing as many birds anywhere this year which one naturalist said was because of the change in weather (El Niña) and a much wetter rainy season this year – I don’t know. But I thought the photo below of a wasp pestering the bird and another photo of the bird eating a berry were interesting enough to share, even if not high quality photos (bad light). But first a traditional portrait . . .

Yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush, Xandari Resort, Alajuela.
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Bird Portraits

Here’s the first five portraits with more coming, though all fifty-something birds I’ve photographed will not be good enough for what I’m calling a “portrait” or “a close-up” of just one bird. Plus other types of photos are coming from Maquenque over the next few days or week, even though I return home tomorrow.

Gray Hawk at Maquenque Ecolodge & Reserve, Boca Tapada, Costa Rica.
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Five at Dusk

Last week (Feb. 2) I tried to see what birds would come around my terrace as the sun starts setting around 5 pm, with camera in hand of course! 🙂 There were several other birds, but I managed to capture only five, and of those only the Clay-colored Thrush (feature photo) was in good light, but regardless, here’s five common birds often around my house with the Oropendola staying near the tops of tall trees and not photographed as often. The Doves and Chachalacas are seen more in the mornings. Others are “special” or more rarely seen.

Clay-colored Thrush or Yigüirro
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