Mexico has Crimson-collared Grosbeak; Costa Rica has Crimson-collared Tanager. The Observatory was the best place to see this crippling bird up close; I would highly recommend visiting this spot if you are trying for bird photos down there, and the birding was very good as well. I would definitely go back again...in case you missed it, more gnarly birds from the observatory are posted here.
As you may have noticed, we had no sun the whole time we were there, but that didn't stop us from crushing on birds pretty hard. The Crimson-collareds were excruciatingly hard to turn away from though, they were the fan favorite.
Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer was one of the first hummingbird species we could find that wasn't a Rufous-tailed. This was the only one I got a good look at, and I was lucky enough to completely crush it to bits. I think the exact halfway shade between green and blue lies somewhere on the bird.
While Costa Rica is blessed/cursed with a plethora of green hummingbirds, the plumeleteer is easy to identify; it's bright pink feet are a total giveaway.
Not gonna lie, this is one of my favorite bird pictures I've taken. Once you are swarmed by Golden-hooded Tanagers, things will never be the same.
LOOK AT THIS THING!!! DO IT! KEEP LOOKING! DON'T TURN AWAY! NOT EVER!
Now that I've put up some quality facemelt, I have an excuse to put up a bird so dull it could turn your face to stone...behold the dreaded Palm Tanager.
It's worth mentioning that Palm Tanagers are incredibly difficult to photograph...not because they are rare or anything, but because they are usually surrounded by birds so colorful that you can't possibly choose to watch a Palm Tanager instead.
The humble Bananaquit.
Black-cheeked Woodpecker. They look somewhere between an Acorn and a Hairy Woodpecker, but are probably more closely related to Gila and Red-bellied...they certainly sound more like them.
Black-cheeked Woodpecker is probably a bit more common than it's Pacific Slope counterpart. On the Pacific side, we had the similar Golden-naped Woodpecker at some sort of weird bog (its all about random roadside stops) south of Dominical, but no where else.
A pair of Yellow Tyrannulets. This isn't a hard crush, but I thought it was a cool to get this pair sitting together. It took us quite a while to identify these birds (although they were not even brainbirds) because we are very bad at Costa Rican birdwatching.
We only found Yellow Tyrannulets at one other site on the whole trip...although this implies that they are rare (not true), the truth is there are so many goddamn birds everywhere that even relatively common birds can be easily missed. That, and we are very bad at Costa Rican birdwatching.
It probably doesn't hurt to throw up another Collared Aracari shot...I'll let the bird speak for itself.