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Costa Rica Trip:
November 2003

    Tortuga Island
    Rara Avis Lodge
    Selva Verde Lodge


    For our second trip to Costa Rica, we decided to take the red-eye flight and try to sleep our way in. Unfortunately, it always seemed like a better idea than it actually turned out.  After all the stress and bustle of the flight, we arrived in Costa Rica a little worn down but happy to be in Costa Rica again.  We checked into the Hotel Don Carlos and walked around the city a little before turning in.

Tortuga Island, Gulf de Nicoya
    The next morning we awoke early to go on a tourist trip that the hotel offered.  We walked over to meet our tourist bus, which after picking up several other tourists, drove us out to Puntarenas on the
Gulf of Nicoya on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica.  It was a long bus ride; we passed many plantations and some were shade grown coffee, though the amount of shade varied considerably.
    We drove out onto a thin band of land t
hat stretched out into the water.  In the mangrove swamp that was in the protected bay, we saw a large flock of White Ibis as we drove by.  When we got to the dock, we were loaded onto a catamaran complete with tropical drinks (not free), platers of fresh fruit, and music to round off the ambiance.  We felt like tourists, but it was sort of nice being pampered this way.
    On the island, several activities were offered.  There was a zip line and snorkel gear available (for a fee). We ended up paying a small fee to walk through the dry forest.  The forest was nice as was swimming in the water and walking along the white sand beach.  Back on the boat, we were taken by a bird island reserve. Hundreds of seabirds were circling or
resting on the island.  It would have been an interesting place to see more, but we only had a drive by look. 
    The bus ride back was long and rainy.  They took a very small road because the main road was backed up. Tired, we were happy to get back to the hotel to rest up for the next day.
Rara Avis
    We took a short taxi ride from the hotel to the Caribe bus terminal the next morning.  We arrived early and grabbed breakfast at one of the vendors.  After unsuccessful attempts to ask the bus driver to let us off at Horquetas, we were wary after descending from the over the cloud forest.  Apparently, we managed to get the only driver, who hasn’t heard of Rara Avis or Horquetas, either that or we were pronouncing it incorrectly.  When we approached Horquetas, the driver pulled us to the front seats.  We pull out the map the other passengers decide to help out so helpful to these gringo tourists The driver drops us off one stop too early.  We walked and it all turned out just fine.  We met a local couple waiting at the Rara Avis office for the tractor, which will take us up to the lodge.  Turns out they rode in the same bus as us; they just knew when to get off.  Oh well.  Suppose we got a nice tour of Horquetas.  Plus, we got to witness the cloacal kiss of Montezuma’s Oropendolas. 

    As we waited for the tractor, I did a little bit of birding.  The tractor finally showed up.  It was carrying a group of French tourist.  They arrive soaked and covered in mud.  I pulled my poncho out of my bag.  Soon we were on the tractor… it’s not quite what I expected.  Saying it’s very bumpy is an understatement.  Somehow I did manage to identify a white and a gray hawk, without binoculars.  I think I would have ended up with two black eyes, if I made an attempt to actually use them during our rocky accent.  We finally arrived at Rara Avis.  Lunch, as with all of the meals there, was very filling and satisfying.  The only problem I had with the dining hall was the one night a cicada hit me in the head - twice. 
    Mike, our guide, leaded us to our river cabin.  We had it all to ourselves the entire stay, well so to speak - aside from the bugs in our bathroom.  But the cabin’s deck had a truly breathtaking view and the feeling of being isolated in the rainforest was phenomenal.  I loved being woken up at 5:30 each morning to the calls of tanagers, warblers, and wrens.  It was so fulfilling to just sit out there in the rocking chairs and absorb the rainforest.
    Our first few days at Rara Avis were filled with rain.  Seemed like nonstop pounding rain.  It’s the kind of rain that doesn’t want to make you lift your head (or you’d drown), and let alone my binos – not that there were many birds willing to come out from the cover.  In between torrential rains, the birds did show themselves.  And they were true jewels to be seen (if they’d hold still enough).  The mixed flocks were mind-boggling – a whirlwind of unbelievable colors and sounds.  And just as I was about to identify one, they’d all amazingly vanish into the rainforest.  Of course the cloudy bright sky washes out all color when you’re trying to identify them from hundreds of feet below… I didn’t exactly like identifying birds by the color of their feet But over the next few days I did get some great looks at the tanagers, dacnises, euphonias, hummingbirds, etc.  I watched the mixed flocks picking berries and eating all but the skin, gleaning for bugs, and harassing each other. 
    We went on a few hikes with our guide, sure he got us lost once, but he pointed out a few cool things and we learned some neat things.  We saw common tent-making bats roosting under a chewed up heliconia leaf.  Along the Tigre trail, he found a palm salamander that must have gotten washed down from all the rain.  He also pointed out a resident bat falcon that we watched through my scope as it feasted on its breakfast.  The bullet ants’ nest was interesting and scary at the same time.  There were a lot of fascinating things there, though admittedly I was somewhat disappointed in the wildlife.  I suppose I was expecting it to be “wilder.”  I guess I also compared it to Corcovado, which is the height of Costa Rican wildlife.  Still I really relished being isolated in that little world of Rara Avis.  We didn’t see any poisonous snakes, just a red-bellied leaf litter snake and that was fine with me.  I think it was too wet to see any snakes, that and we weren’t looking too hard, just enough not to get in the path of one. 
    On a night hike (the night it wasn’t raining), we found a wood thrush roosting in a tree.  We also found a fresh water crab probably the size of an adult Dungeness crab.  Quite the surprise!  It took my mind a couple of seconds before it registered what I was seeing.
    And then there were the mosquitoes and horse flies.  Nasty annoying biting insects If it weren’t for the DEET I think I wouldn’t have made it out a live.  You’d think the rain would keep them away, but once the rain would stop – just for a few seconds – they would appear.  It's amazing how well they'd fine that one spot you forgot to cover. 
    One day the clouds parted and the giant yellow orb decided to show it self.  Vultures and hawks could actually circle the heat columns.  The river finally calmed down to a level that we could swim in the waterfall pools.  The water was too cold for me to get in, but it was fun to dunk our feet in the water. 
    But, after six days of fun, it was inevitable that we’d have to leave this little corner of paradise.  We hiked back out to El Plastico, the research station on the edge of the primary forest, to wait for the tractor.  I staked out a spot among the berry trees watching the birds dart to and from each branch.  I finally settle upon a table on the second story balcony of the lodge and was amazed the number and variety of birds.  I think I may have seen as many birds just sitting there for 2 hours than I saw at Rara Avis for 5 days.  I got some excellent views of the birds, being at eye level and was pleasantly surprised to find new birds foraging every once and a while.  A pair of keel-billed toucans showed up and one flew with in 10 feet of me.  Their amazing costumes make up for their somewhat clumsy takeoffs and lands.
    Finally, we left Rara Avis and continued on to Selva Verde lodge near Puerto Viejo de Sarapique.  I had many hesitations about this and those were pretty much confirmed when we pulled into what looked like (even at night) a Disneyland resort.  All the landscaping was very well groomed and manicured.  I suppose the lodge didn’t like the idea of having poisonous snakes lurking close to the old gringo cash cow tourists.  Nonetheless, we checked in and I was somewhat shocked as we flipped on the lights, walking into our room.  The walls were covered in fluorescent hot pink and didn’t look attractive at all (if hot pink could look good).  Even the cockroach on the wall looked a little confused – it probably did look like a good place in the dark.  But we settled in and found out about the laundry service – at $1 per pound we couldn’t say no.  Plus, who likes the idea of taking home a bag of smelly/molding clothes?  The food there was blasé.  Didn’t seem like real tico food though they claimed it was cooked by local women.  I think it was about as real as chop suey is Chinese.  At least they had the brown (tamarind) sauce.  We walked around during the evening.  Down by the river Sarapique, we spotted bright eye shine coming from across the river.  It was definitely an owl by the eye movement and the fact that it was so bright.  But even with a night scope it was impossible to identify.
    The morning was surprising; there were birds everywhere.  The lodge puts out feeding stations (bananas), so all the oropendolas, tanagers, and orioles eat until their hearts content or at least until the food runs out.  After a little birding, we were whisked off to a boat tour on the Rio Sarapique.  I felt a little foolish – standing out like such a tourist the boat ride seems to be the pinnacle of it.  But it turned out not to be so bad.  We were the only ones on the boat.  A local guide/boat driver, Louis, pointed out the herons, kingfishers, iguanas, caymen, turtles, howlers, and other birds along the way.  The highlights were the long-nosed bats roosting on the side of a tree and a two-toed sloth with a baby.  Aside for already knowing where the bats and sloths could be located, he had great eyes for finding the other wildlife.  I thought we stood out as tourists, floating down the river in a canopy-covered boat.  But then we saw a boat full of white older people.  They had a white guide plus the local boat driver.  When their guide pulled out the microphone and his voice boomed over the river, we were so thankful of our guide’s simple point and show with minimal talk.
    We returned to the lodge after the two-hour boat ride and decided to check out the primary forest the lodge boosted about.  A gate guarded the entrance to the bridge, which lead to the forest.  It was unlocked by a guide, who we saw leading a tourist couple in that morning.  We walked on a long suspension bridge over the river only to find a second locked gate in front of the forest.  We inquired about the locked gate and were informed that the only way to go into the forest was with a guide, conveniently available for $25/person.  They made some excuse of a previous group getting lost in the forest and having to send a rescue crew to find them
    For the rest of the day we lounged around and crossed the street to their secondary forest, where we puttered around for a bit.  We made our way back to the river to see if the owl would show up again.  I sat by the river and watched flocks of 5-15 cattle and snowy egrets go down river to roost.  Occasionally, some cormorants, parrots, and herons would pass by as well.  Two scarlet macaws flew over the rainforest; I got just a good enough look at them through my binos to identify them, unmistakable.  Probably one of the very few remaining pairs living on the Caribbean slope.

    The next morning I spent birding again.  I found an excellent spot to just stand at and watch the birds as they foraged in the trees waiting for the bananas to be put out.  I was happy to see the red-capped and white-collared manikins as well as olive-backed euphonias.  By this point in the trip, I have been come fairly familiar with the tanagers, euphonia, and other birds.  And was able to enjoy watching the birds individually, instead of scrambling to identify every flash of color.
    Originally, we were planning to take the bus back to San Jose, but had to take a cab to the bus station.  Our taxi driver, Ronnie, offered to take us back for $50.  The thought of not having the concerns of our last bus ride was appealing and we took the offer. We returned to the Don Carlos without much trouble well Ronnie didn’t exactly know where he was going (don’t blame him).  But we got back safely. 
    With still time on our hands, we decided to check out the San Jose zoo.  After figuring out how to actually get into the zoo (there was only one entrance), we shelled out the hefty fee of 1,800 colones (~$4.50) for the both of us.  The zoo was small.  The cages were minimal – sort of like the 60’s US version – lots of bars, concrete, and sticks.  About the best set up was the reptile/amphibian exhibit – there were only 6 or 7 terrariums, but they had live plants and looked more natural. They didn’t have a whole lot of animals from outside Costa Rica – lions, tigers, and some North American raptors, which were stuffed into two small aviaries.  They had a couple of tapirs, lots of coatimundis, spider monkeys, lots of parrots and macaws, capuchin monkeys, and some of the cats.  The place has a lot of potential and at least shows the locals all the animals in their own country.

    The next day was our return trip to Seattle the day after we’d have to return to work we were not looking forward to going home.  I hope to one day return to Costa Rica or perhaps travel to neighboring Central American countries and eventually South American countries.  The wealth of bird and wildlife await and I look forward to exploring.

Pura Vida



Gulf of Nicoya on the North Pacific side of Costa Rica. We took a short boat ride to an island for a tourist package.
Tortuga Island, a small private tourist island that features "dry forest"
Dry forest of Tortuga Island
Tortuga Island and tourist boats
Tame peccari on Tortuga Island
This island was preserved as nesting habitat for sea birds. I saw a couple of Blue-footed Boobies among the hundreds of birds.  I would have loved to circle the island more slowly.
Local fishing boat, complete with Brown Pelican on top.
Rara Avis office in Horquetas
Our transportation to Rara Avis
One of the questionable bridges to cross up to Rara Avis
The road was muddy and bad - our tractor helped this local up the hill.
The tractor rides certainly took their toll on the clay road.
La Selva - a research station on the edge of Rara Avis and the primary forest.
The road left deep cuts into the forest.
Waterfall near the Rara Avis lodge.  The water is cold, but probably refreshing on a hot day.
We weren't the only ones staying in our room.
Helicona butterfly, this were out even in the pouring rain.
Large katydids
Golden Orb Weaver
Rara Avis - beautiful rainforest
Leaf mimic preying mantis
Tent-making bats.
Palm Salamander
Rara Avis
Cicada, this one hit me in the head twice.
Stain-glass Palm, Rara Avis
Pitcher Plant, Rara Avis
Freshwater Crab, Rara Avis
D. Pumilo, at La Selva of Rara Avis
The boat tour on the Rio Sarapique.
Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Rio Sarapique
Rio Sarapique
Leaf Nose Bat, Rio Sarapique
Cayman with butterfly, Rio Sarapique
Two-toed Sloth with baby, Rio Sarapique

Bird List

Common Name Scientific Name En Español Place First Seen Notes
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis Pelicano Pardo Gulfo de Nicoya  
Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii Piquero Patiazul Isla Guayabo 2, flying around the protected island
Olivaceous Cormorant Phalacrocorax olivaceus   Gulfo de Nicoya, Selva Verde  
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga Pato Aguja o Aninga Rio Sarapique  
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens Rabihorcado Magno Gulfo de Nicoya  
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma mexicanum Garza-Tigre Cuellinuda Rio Sarapique  
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Garcilla Bueyera Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Green Heron Butorides virescens Garcilla Verde Selva Verde  
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea Garceta Azul Selva Verde  
Snowy Egret Egretta thula Garceta Nivosa Selva Verde  
Great Egret Ardea albus Garceta Grande roadside - Carribean slope  
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias Garzón Azulado Puntarenas  
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Zopilote Cabecirrojo everywhere  
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Zopilote Negro everywhere  
Green Ibis Mesembrinibis cayennensis Ibis Verde Rio Sarapique 2
White Ibis Eudocimus albus Ibis Blanco Puntarenas a lot roosting for the evening near the mangroves
Gray-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis Gavilán Cabecigrís Rara Avis  
Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus Gavilán Gorgirrayado Rara Avis  
Tiny Hawk Accipiter superciliosus Gavilán Enano Rara Avis perched high on top of a bare tree being mobbed by a green hermit
White Hawk Leucopternis albicollis Gavilán Blanco Las Horquetas (tractor)  
Gray Hawk Asturina nitidus Gavilán Gris Las Horquetas (tractor)  
Crested Caracara Polyborus plancus Caracara Cargahuesos Puerto Viejo  
Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis Halcón Cuelliblanco Rara Avis perched on a snag enjoying breakfast of a bird
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus Halcón Peregrino San Jose  
Gray-headed Chachalaca Ortalis cinereiceps Chachalaca Cabecigrís Selva Verde  
Great Curassow Crax rubra Pavón Grande Rara Avis 2 perched clumsily in trees, heard them calling as well
Gray-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea Rascón Cuelligrís Rara Avis flushed 1 from a drainage ditch along the road
Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa Jacana Centroamericana Las Horquetas (tractor)  
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus Zarapito Trinador Gulfo de Nicoya  
Solitary Sandpiper Tringa solitaria Andarríos Solitario Rio Sarapique  
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia Andarríos Maculado Rara Avis, Rio Sarapique, Selva Verde  
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis Pagaza Puntiamarilla Gulfo de Nicoya  
Elegant Tern Sterna elegans Pagaza Elegante Gulfo de Nicoya  
Rock Pigeon Columba livia Paloma Doméstica San Jose  
Scaled Pigeon Columba speciosa Paloma Escamosa Rara Avis (El Plastico) 3 flew in together, perched in a bare tree
Pale-vented Pigeon Columba cayennensis Paloma Colorada Las Horquetas  
Short-billed Pigeon Columba nigrirostris Paloma Piquicorta Rara Avis 2 flushed them when walking on the road, flushed another pair (or perhaps the same ones another day
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica Paloma Aliblanca San Jose  
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti Tortolita Rojiza Las Horquetas  
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Paloma Coliblanca Tortuga Island  
Scarlet Macaw Ara macao Lapa Roja Selva Verde a pair going in to roost for the night, supposedily a good sighting for the Carribean slope
Crimson-fronted Parakeet Aratinga finschi Perico Frentirrojo San Jose  
Olive-throated Parakeet Aratinga nana Perico Azteco Rio Sarapique 1 perched in a tree near the river
White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis Loro Coroniblanco Puerto Jiménez  
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana Cuco Ardilla Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Common Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis Tapacaminos Común Carate same one had a favor resting spot near the trail to our cabin
Bronzy Hermit Glaucis aenea Ermitaño Bronceado Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Long-tailed Hermit Phaethornis superciliosus Ermitaño Colilargo Carate  
Green Hermit Phaethornis guy Ermitaño Verde Rara Avis buzzed my head on morning while I was standing on the cabin deck, chirped away unhappy that I couldn't provide nectar
Little Hermit Phaethornis longuemareus Ermitaño Enano Rara Avis, Selva Verde watched a fledgling beg for food and receive the tasty treat from the parent
Brown Violet-ear Colibri delphinae Colibrí Orejivioláceo Pardo Rara Avis chirped noisely on high atop of a bare tree limb
Violet-headed Hummingbird Klais guimeti Colibrí Cabeciazul Rara Avis  
Steely-vented Hummingbird Amazilia saucerrottei Amazilia Culiazul Tortuga Island  
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl Amazilia Rabirrufa Rara Avis, Selva Verde, San Jose  
Purple-crowned Fairy Heliothryx barroti Colibrí Picopunzón Rara Avis, Selva Verde pretty birds don't get tired of seeing them, saw roughly 5 in RA, and 1 in SV
Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata Martín Pescador Collarejo Selva Verde loud! made quite the ruckus flying over the river
Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon Martín Pescador Norteño Islands of Gulfo of Nicoya  
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona Martín Pescador Amazónico Selva Verde  
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana Martín Pescador Verde Selva Verde  
Collared Aracari Pteroglossus torquatus Tucancillo Collarejo Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus Tucán Pico Iris Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan Ramphastos swainsonii Tucán de Swainson Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Black-cheeked Woodpecker Melanerpes pucherani Carpintero Carinegro Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis Carpintero Picoplata Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Long-tailed Woodcreeper Deconychura longicauda Trepador Delgado Rara Avis  
Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes certhia   Selva Verde  
Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius Trepador Manchado Rara Avis  
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Automolus ochrolaemus Hojarrasquero Gorgianteado Selva Verde  
Immaculate Antbird Myrmeciza immaculata Hormiguero Inmaculado Selva Verde easy to hear, impossible to see in dense rainforest
Bicolored Antbird Gymnopithys leucaspis Hormiguero Bicolor Sirena, Corcovado NP  
Ocellated Antbird Phaenostictus mcleannani Hormiguero Ocelado Rara Avis a pair along the road
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata Tityra Carirroja Selva Verde canopy birds
Red-capped Manakin Pipra mentalis Saltarín Cabecirrojo Sirena, Corcovado NP 1 male - gorgeous
White-collared Manakin Manacus candei Saltarín Cuelliblanco La Suerte Bio. Station 2 pairs and one female
Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus Mosquero Coludo Rio Sarapique 1, they were looking at caymen, I was looking up at this guy, nice tail
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Tirano Tropical everywhere  
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarhynchus pitangua Mosquerón Picudo Las Horquetas larger bills than the kisskadee
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Bienteveo Grande everywhere  
Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus Copetón Viajero Selva Verde  
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris Mosquerito Vientriamarillo Selva Verde 1, in the secondary forest
Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus Mosquerito Moñudo Rara Avis small guys, with peach/pink breasts
Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyclus brevirostris Piquiplano de Anteojos Selva Verde 1, outside our room, large bill and head
Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum Espatulilla Común Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant Lophotriccus pileatus Mosquerito de Yelmo Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga cinerea Mosquerito Guardarrios Rara Avis 1, on the walkway near the river
Mistletoe Tyrannulet Zimmerius vilissimus Mosquerito Cejigrís Las Horquetas  
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis Golondrina Alirrasposa Norteña Rio Sarapique  
Mangrove Swallow Tachycineta albilinea Golondrina Lomiblanca Rio Sarapique  
Stripe-breasted Wren Thryothorus thoracicus Soterrey Pechirrayado Rara Avis  
Bay Wren Thryothorus nigricapillus Soterrey Castaño Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
House Wren Troglodytes aedon Soterrey Cucarachero Rara Avis  
White-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucosticta Soterrey de Selva Pechiblanco Selva Verde  
Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi Mirlo Pardo (Yiguirro) San Jose, Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Sooty Robin Turdus nigrescens Mirlo Negruzco Rara Avis 1, outside our cabin
Black-faced Solitaire Myadestes melanops Solitario Carinegro Rara Avis 1, seen from the cabin deck in the canopy across the river
Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina Zorzal del Bosque Rara Avis, Selva Verde 1, seen roosting at night and 1 seen in the day time at RA, 1 seen at SV
White-lored Gnatcatcher Polioptila albiloris Perlita Cabecinegra Tortuga Island 1
Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea Perlita Tropical Rara Avis (El Plastico) 1
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola Reinita Mielera Rara Avis  
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia Reinita Trepadora Rara Avis (El Plastico) 1
Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea Reinita Cabecidorada Rio Sarapique 1
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera Reinita Alidorada Rara Avis (El Plastico) 1, male
Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina Reinita Verdilla Rara Avis (El Plastico) 1
Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica Reinita de Costillas Castañas everywhere infinite number of female/immatures, only saw 1 male
Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis Reinita Acuatica Norteña Rio Sarapique  
Buff-rumped Warbler Phaeothlypis fulvicauda Reinita Guardaribera Rara Avis, Selva Verde like how they wiggle their rumps
Chestnut-headed Oropendola Psarocolius wagleri Oropéndola Cabecicastaña Selva Verde 1, the only one I saw
Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius montezuma Oropéndola de Moctezuma Rara Avis, Selva Verde a fledgling begged for food in SV
Scarlet-rumped Cacique Cacicus uropygialis Cacique Lomiescarlata Selva Verde 1
Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus Vaquero Ojirrojo Las Horquetas a flock foraging in the field across from the RA office, male display by puffing out neck ruff, putting bill on chest, and bobbing up and down
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus Clarinero (Zanate Grande) everywhere  
Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius Bolsero Castaño Las Horquetas  
Black-cowled Oriole Icterus dominicensis Bolsero Capuchinegro Selva Verde  
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula Bolsero Norteño Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Tawny-capped Euphonia Euphonia anneae Eufonia Gorricanela Rara Avis  
White-vented Euphonia Euphonia minuta Eufonia Menuda Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Yellow-crowned Euphonia Euphonia luteicapilla Eufonia Coroniamarilla Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi Eufonia Olivácea Selva Verde  
Emerald Tanager Tangara florida Tangara Orejinegra Rara Avis  
Speckled Tanager Tangara guttata Tangara Moteada Rara Avis  
Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala Tangara Dorada Rara Avis  
Golden-hooded (Masked) Tanager Tangara larvata Tangara Capuchidorada Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola Tangara Cabecicastaña Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza Mielero Verde Rara Avis  
Shining Honeycreeper Cyanerpes lucidus Mielero Luciente Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana Mielero Azulejo Rara Avis  
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis Dacnis venusta Mielero Celeste y Negro Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Blue-and-gold Tanager Bangsia arcaei Tangara de Costillas Negras Rara Avis  
Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus Tangara Azuleja everywhere  
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum Tangara Palmera Rara Avis  
Scarlet-rumped Tanager Ramphocelus passerinii Tangara de Passerini Rara Avis, Rio Sarapique  
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra Tangara Veranera Rara Avis, Selva Verde, San Jose  
Olive Tanager Chlorothraupis carmioli Tangara Aceitunada Rara Avis  
Red-throated Ant-Tanager Habia fuscicauda Tangara Hormiguera Gorgirroja Selva Verde came up on the deck, perched on the hammocks
White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus Tangara Forriblanca Rara Avis  
White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus luctuosus Tangara Caponiblanca Rara Avis  
Tawny-crested Tanager Tachyphonus delattrii Tangara Coronidorada Rara Avis  
Black-and-yellow Tanager Chrysothlypis chrysomelas Tangara Negro y Dorado Rara Avis  
Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus Tangara de Monte Ojeruda Rara Avis  
Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus Saltator Gorgianteado Rara Avis (El Plastico) 1
Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Saltator Grisaceo Las Horquetas 1
Black-thighed Grosbeak Pheucticus tibialis Picogrueso Vientriamarillo Rara Avis (El Plastico) 1
Variable Seedeater Sporophila aurita Espiguero Variable Las Horquetas, Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Orange-billed Sparrow Arremon aurantiirostris Pinzón Piquinaranja Rara Avis, Selva Verde  
Black-striped Sparrow Arremonops conirostris Pinzón Cabecilistado Rara Avis (El Plastico)  
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis Chingolo San Jose  
House Sparrow Passer domesticus Gorrión Común Las Horquetas only 2!

    and innumberable amounts of swift sp., parrot sp., parakeet sp., and one owl sp.

Other Critter List

Rara Avis  
Common Tent-making bats 3 roosting under a helicona leaf
Red-bellied leaflitter snake 1
Palm Salamander 1
Howler Monkeys (heard)  
Peccari (smell & tracks)  
Tapair (tracks)  
Selva Verde/Rio Sarapique  
Two-toed Sloth mother & baby
Howler Monkeys 2-3 groups
Iguana many males basking, one female
Black River Turtle  
Other turtle  
Long-nosed Bats 6 roosting on side of a tree



Hotel Don Carlos
Rara Avis
Selva Verde


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page updated: 3/18/08