Crested Guans are fairly common in many parts of Costa Rica. These are amazing birds, equally at home in the treetops or on the ground; they reminded me of dinosaurs more than any other bird. Photographed at La Selva Biological Station.
As you may remember, Bostick and I were in a pitched battle to see who could have a higher 2012 list....well, the year has come and gone and the results are in. Overall, Bostick won...his fiendish decision to bird with me in Costa Rica cost me certain victory. In the end, his low-class ticks of introduced birds in the main Hawaiian Islands are what put him over the edge. His list is Filthy, but it is also Bigger.
However, towards the end, what we were really competing for was the higher list without these slummy introduced birds, and I am proud to say that I managed to just squeeze by him with 582 species for 2012. Like a human meadowlark, my chest is swollen with pride. Frank finished with 580, only because he missed a few Costa Rica birds that I managed to lay eyes on (i.e. Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant, Slate-colored Grosbeak).
I am far too unmotivated to do one of those end-of-year retrospectives, and by the bylaws of the Birdosphere, it is officially too late to do so...instead, here's a handful of my last 2012 birds to look at.
Golden-hooded Tanager. I couldn't handle the colors of these birds, or their abundance. The first couple of days of seeing them resulted in frequent sputters, gasps, and curses. Photographed at Sarapiqui Eco-Observatory.
Tufted Flycatcher, one of several pleasant and easily-identifiable Costa Rican Empidonax, were at a number of mid and high elevation sites. Oddly, the only one I'd seen before this trip was a ***MEGA*** in Arizona. Photographed at La Virgen Del Socorro.
So who is the true winner of the Great 2012 Seagull-Bostick slugfest? Surely some would claim my NIB number to be far superior, while others would scoff at the thought. I will let you decide. Year-listing can be a petty, wasteful and atavistic endeavor, but no one can question that it makes you go birding more than you would otherwise. Take that to heart...words of wisdom from #7.
My 2013 list is off to an undeniably strong start...it begins again. I challenged Bostick to a rematch, but he has yet to fully commit. Are you out there Bostick? Do you have what it takes? I WILL CRUSH YOU.
Prong-billed Barbet. Because I am a terrible person, I was stupidly staring at a couple of these for several minutes (at close range) before it dawned on me that they were not what I assumed they were. Before you demand swift punishment dealt by the Bird Police, I can assure you I have already taken many self-inflicted lashes from the cat o' nine tails. Photographed at La Cinchona Mirador.