After a brief hiatus, we managed to get traveling again during the week between Christmas and New Years. Our destination? The Guanacaste region along Costa Rica's northern Pacific coast. What a beautiful area! Dry, tropical forest with lots of fun critters to track down.
Here are some highlights on the birding front:
Our favorite bird of the trip for three reasons. First, they are both beautiful and cute (our photo doesn't do justice to the orange chest and iridescent green-blue on the back). Second, they are quite active, continually tilting their heads this way and that as they hunt for food. Third, they don't mind putting themselves on display, unlike their cousins the Violaceous Trogons (which took days to find) or the Elegant Trogons (one of which we saw for about half a second).
A favorite anywhere, these stilts were spending the winter along the Tempisque River.
Noisy, gregarious, and beautiful.
This guy didn't get the memo that cuckoos are supposed to be elusive. Its cousin the Mangrove Cuckoo acted more appropriately: it took us about 15 minutes to find one after hearing its faint call. And even then there was no way to get a photo.
Other great birds that managed to elude our camera:
A pair of Ferruginous Pygmy Owls
A nesting pair of Jabiru (the largest stork in the Americas)
Boat-billed Heron (picture a night-heron with a size 10 shoe sticking out of its face)
Bare-throated Tiger Heron
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black Mangrove Hawk
White-throated Magpie Jay (some of which are addicted to packets of Splenda)