Friday, January 25, 2013

Sarapiqui Eco-Observatory Part I

There is something indescribable about the color of a male Green Honeycreeper...and no, calling it "green" doesn't do it justice.

Following advice from Pat O'Donnell's blog, we decided to check out Sarapiqui Eco-Observatory, which isn't mentioned in Lawson's birding guide. The observatory is not far from Puerto Viejo, and is just down the road from the Tirimbina Preserve, a hot spot that we did not get the chance to bird. Despite the incessant rain, checking out the observatory turned out to be a great idea, even if we ran out of time to check out the nice patch of mature forest that runs between the feeders and Rio Sarapiqui. The birding was quality and the photo ops were even better.

Facemelting. What else is there to say???

Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds aren't scared of anything, not even a tropical torrential downpour.

Raindrops must seem quite large to something the size of a hummingbird.

Blue-gray Tanager is one of the commonest birds in Costa Rica (and probably most places in Central America). I wouldn't be surprised if they show up in Texas one day. Birders should have no problem identifying one when it shows up...and if they do, there will be hell to pay.

Banana destruction.

Great Antshrike was the best bird we got at the site; it was the only one of the trip. I know these photos aren't on par with the other stuff on here but GODDAMN what a good bird!

Look at the size of that bill! There is no doubt in my mind that this bird could skin a (live) human being within a matter of minutes.

Collared Aracari. When these birds first appeared (right in front of us), we knew things would never be the same again.

Is this aracari eating papaya, or in the process of projectile-vomiting it? You decide.

Buff-throated Saltator is a common bird in Costa Rica, having membership in many a mixed flock. This bird is at the perfect angle to hide it's namesake field mark perfectly.

Black-cowled Oriole, a well-dressed bird. Both sexes look alike, so not an easy bird to misidentify.

We only got to see these in the Sarapiqui lowlands, but they were not hard to come by. More from the observatory coming soon...


  1. Love the aracari and the shots in the rain!

  2. Good grief man this is really getting to be too much. Great shots of great birds, bids not otherwise known to man. Very Fantastic Voyage-y

  3. Ok, my doctor fixed my facemelt on Friday and he is going to be ticked at me for coming back this week to get it fixed again!

    This is facemeltalicious!