Sunday, February 17, 2013

Birding La Selva III: Meeting The King, A Sweaty Jacamar Experience, and A Delicous Egg Sack Thing


After taking a break from Hainer showing us life birds, we decided to bird the entrance road all the way back to the main road, as directed by "The Dude" in his top knotch blog, Costa Rica Living and Birding. Although this is not really the deep forest that much of La Selva offers, it was very birdy nonetheless, even mid-afternoon. After we birded the road and had our second round of puttering around the cafeteria and drinking coffee, a vulture kettle appeared low over the treetops that contained a couple of birds I was dying to see on the trip...King Vultures.


King Vulture is one of those birds I've always known about, but are so exotic and blatantly facemelting that it was hard to reconcile that I was finally seeing them. They threw out the traditional, semi-shitty way I view vultures and made me have to completely rethink the entire family.


The birds made multiple low passes over us, leaving us with the cliche "soul-satisfying" views that birders are always going on and on about. Look at that face!


While we would go on to see King Vultures at several other locations, none of those looks approached anything like what these La Selva birds gave us.



We identified this as a Rufous Mourner at the time, which I still think it is...



...although the larger Rufous Piha looks almost identical. Still a very cool and cooperative bird, with hilariously small feet.


Rufous-tailed Jacamar, another amazing tropical bird. I really had a chance to crush this species better but it was so damn humid that I literally could not see through my glasses for quite a while (let alone my camera), no matter how many times I tried to wipe them down. There were 3 jacamars all hanging out next to the road, calling and flycatching, and I just could not get my shit together. Sigh. I like this picture at least.


Chestnut-sided Warblers are everywhere in Costa Rica, including puddles in roads.


A Crested Guan impresses the tourists next to the cafeteria. I did not expect them to be so tame...I may or may not have sharted with glee at this point.


Paltry Tyrannulet is another ultra-abundant Costa Rican bird. They are ubiquitous, and superficially similar to an astounding number of other birds. Note the cicada on the left, and the white egg sack thing on the branch.


Mmmmmm....delicous egg sack thing.


And life goes on for the Paltry Tyrannulet.


We saw plenty of Ruddy Ground-Doves. Their abundance does not hide their good looks. All photos today were from La Selva Biological Station.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, those Ruddies are actually Ruddy!

    It's hard to tell what's going on with that King Vulture's face, kinda looks like he's be decapitated. Nonetheless, I'd still bow before him.

    It still looks like you crushed that Jacamar pretty hard.

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    1. That was the only time we saw Jacamars on the trip. Maybe I should invest in some contact lenses after all.

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  2. The egg sack series was more entertaining than it seems like it should have been. Credit to the captioning I suppose. That vulture is crazy. I googled it right quick and am pretty sure I need to see one of those things.

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    1. You can never go wrong with some solid egg sack humor.

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  3. I have no face left after viewing your images from Costa Rica. Nada.

    Those King Vultures are super impressive!

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    1. I shudder to think of what you could do down there with a camera Mia. Thanks though!

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  4. The King Vulture looks a little like its face melted...Great photos; I think the Crested Guan is my fav.

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    1. Thanks Tammy! I was a bit taken by the guans.

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  5. Phenomenal photos, Steve. And I didn't realize Patrick was your Costa Rica guide... that makes a great trip even better.

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    1. Thanks Mike. Patrick wasnt our official guide but it was great to bird with him for a day (at Carara), he knows his shit! If anyone asks me about using a guide in CR, I know who to direct them to.

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