Costa Rica 2012, Part 4.

Anhingas! Anhingas are birds that dive for fish like cormorants. Anhingas are flawed in their design because, unlike ducks, they do not have that waterproof oil on their feathers so when they are wet they cannot fly. But they dive to eat fish and live in the rainforest, so I don’t know when they dry. We saw them sunning themselves all over the place but I never saw one fly, so maybe they don’t need to fly. Here’s a male anhinga.

And here’s a female anhinga.

This is a female diving for fish and swimming. They are sometimes referred to as the snake bird, and when it’s in the water you can see how the anhinga got that name.

I mentioned how Cricket made me tromp through the forest so we could see a lagoon, and at one point I thought I was hallucinating because all of a sudden there was a wee plump bird next to my foot.

Here’s the weird part – he kept me company for a long chunk of the walk. He didn’t want anything from me, like food, and he wasn’t scared of me. As I would walk he would hop next to my foot, several times getting so close that I was concerned I would step on him. I liked my little walking companion.

The reason we were on the top of the mountain was to look at a resting volcano. I say resting and not dormant because it was full of steaming hot sulfuric water, so the volcano is still cranky and could totally pop its top at any time (I think the last time was in 1963).

Here’s the sun-faded information board off to the side, as well as the altitude sign.

And here’s the lagoon that we trekked to. It is a dormant volcano and hasn’t exploded in forever (you can tell because all the foliage has grown around the opening), and it is full of rainwater. It really is that insane shade of blue.

• | • | • INTERMISSION  • | • | •

Here’s a bird on a plant. Don’t know what kind of bird or what kind of plant. Cool photo, tho.

• | • | • INTERMISSION OVER • | • | •

Toucans! Wow, toucans are awesome. I think they’re great. Our guide told us the most common question he gets about toucans is, “How do they hold up that heavy beak?” but the beak is made out of a similar material to our fingernails, so the beak is not that heavy. Also, according to our guide, the beaks are not that strong either, like if the bird bites down on your finger it doesn’t really hurt because they don’t have the jaw strength. Here are the first toucans we saw. They are called Keel-Billed Toucans, but I heard them referred to as Rainbow Toucans a couple of times.

When we were in Tortuguero* we stayed in little bungalows surrounded by massive quantities of trees, so beasties would be right above us all the time. There was a Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan hanging out in a tree maybe ten feet away from me one day. He was delightful.

And one day Susan caught this fellow on the far end of a branch. I adore the shot where he’s looking straight-on at us.

She also got a shot of the scariest-looking toucan ever, the Collared Aracari. I think the combination of the goat pupil with the serrated edge on the beak really amps up the creepiness factor.

Herons! Herons and egrets are all over the place when you’re in the rainforest or wetlands. They stare into the water looking for shrimps or fishies, they have really evocative expressions because of that. Here’s a few examples.

“Why? Why am I here? When will I truly understand my purpose in life?” (Snowy Egret)

“I hate everyone.” (Little Blue Heron)

“I am very photogenic. And now I am leaving.” (Great Egret)

“You kids get off my lawn!” (Yellow Crowned Night Heron)

And, of course, “Hey lookit, a shrimp!” (Little Blue Heron again)

When we were in a crocodile reserve we saw a Bare-Throated Tiger Heron stalking up and down on the bank.

And we saw this guy. He is a heron of some kind. I couldn’t find him in the book. My friend B. figured what he is! He’s a green heron. Thank you, B.

Next entry I will continue with birds, and I may delve into some mammals. And talk about coffee. Good stuff.

* Tortuguero National Park is where a large quantity of the world’s population of green turtles come to lay eggs. Here’s an informative page on the park:

2 Responses to “Costa Rica 2012, Part 4.”

  1. Brett says:

    Excellent photos. I think the mystery heron is a Green Heron:

  2. Rothbeastie says:

    Thank you. I didn’t take many of them. But some I did! It really was the luck of the draw more than the quality of the camera more often than not.

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