Costa Rica 2012, Part 5.

Not all the insanely cute things I saw were mammals. Some of the birds I saw made me clutch at my heart from the preciousness as well. For example, SeƱor TeenyGrumples right here. He’s a Tree Swallow.

Or this Broadbilled Motmot. Also poofy and grouchy.

At the end of the trip, Cricket and I were checking out of the hotel when someone pointed out a dove’s nest right in the hedge next to the pool. I felt really bad for that dove, she picked a profoundly crappy place to build a nest. But I got to stand up close to her and see her egg. Here is Mrs. White-Winged Dove.

Here is Cricket standing next to the hedge with Mrs. Dove sitting in it.

And look at the egg! She’s got her feet wrapped around it! Awww.

There was this little guy who I think is a Blue-Gray Tanager. He looks fake, like a Christmas tree clip-on ornament, but I assure you he was not.

But by far the smootchiest bird I encountered while in Costa Rica was the hummingbird. Have you ever seen a hummingbird up close? They are so small and vibrant. There was this Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird hanging out in the trees one day.

He was great. He would go and collect nectar from a variety of flowers, then zip back to this branch and flickety-lick his beak with his skinny tongue. It was redonk. Susan got two amazing shots of hummingbirds flying.

But the ultimate was when I was walking on the hanging bridges. Right in front of me was a wee hummingbird in a wee nest. The nest was made from moss and spiderwebs (I am not making this up). I could only get one picture before the little guy flew off and it’s royally backlit, but it gives you an idea. Holy Moses, people.

Here’s a photo I found on the internet that more adequately shows you what it looked like, and a picture of a hummingbird nest to give you a sense of scale. The nest was mad tiny, yo.

Other birds! This is a Green Ibis. There he is. Apparently he only looks green in bright sunlight, so when there’s clouds (which there is a lot – rainforest!) he looks gray.

We saw what I politely referred to as “a demonic-looking duck” building a nest in some greenery. It’s called a Gray-Necked Wood Rail, by the way. The Evil Gray-Necked Wood Rail of Satan.

When we were in a boat we passed by three kingfishers – The Belted Kingfisher, The Amazon Kingfisher and The Ringed Kingfisher. All were staring with that laser-like gaze they have. I feel like if they looked at you for ten seconds or so, you would blister in the spot they were looking at, so very intense is their gaze.

An Osprey! Big bird of prey. Eats fish. Has sharp talons.

We were one the bus one day and the guide Aaron stopped it and informed us that a rare bird was wandering around in a cow pasture off to the right. I found out the name later: It’s a male Purple Gallinule.

This was super-cool – when we were on a river boat ride down a bit of river filled with birds and crocodiles, Aaron spotted a pair of Scarlet Macaws flying off in the distance and Susan managed to get a shot of the pair in a tree. It’s grainy, but it’s a picture. There are only 300 breeding pairs out there.

Did you know parrots are monogamous for life? At rest stop we spotted this Blue Macaw on a branch. She belonged to the owner of the rest stop and her husband had recently passed away (the Blue Macaw’s husband, not the owner) and according to studies, Mrs. Macaw would pass away soon as well…of depression and loneliness. Isn’t that sad? I wanted to give her a hug, but she was big and beaky and high up and probably didn’t need my love, so I refrained. And because of that I still have all my fingers, so good choice on my part.

Also, on the Bird ‘n’ Crocodile River Ride…The Northern Jacana! I love this bird. Its feet are so incredibly large in proportion to its body. Its feet are perpetually making jazz hands.

We also saw the Yellow-Headed Caracara (nice bird) and the Collared Caracara (AWESOME bird). They eat carrion and hang around where the crocodiles be at in the hopes of getting leftover snakkies.

Susan got a shot of Black-Necked Stilts. I didn’t see them, but I love the way they are arranged in this photo, so I’m putting it in here.

Finally, bird-wise, while we were on the Pacific Ocean beach there were Brown Pelicans swooping around eating and swimming and standing with their beaks shoved into their chests. They’re smaller than the pelicans we are accustomed to, and prettier too. Generally all-around better pelicans.

Okay. End of birds. On to reptiles, amphibians and mammals. And a couple buggies thrown in for good measure.

2 Responses to “Costa Rica 2012, Part 5.”

  1. snorth says:

    “Okay. End of birds. On to reptiles, amphibians and birds.”
    Because is there *really* an end of birds?

  2. Rothbeastie says:

    Hahahaha! That is a typo! I meant mammals. I’m going to go change that right now. Good eye, Snorth, good eye.

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