This is the eight post in a series documenting my Costa Rica birding trip from March14-28, 2015. To read the previous post, click here: Costa Rica Trip Report Part (Part VII) – “Forget the Horses!!”
Yes it’s true – we were movin’ on up, but not to an east side deluxe apartment in the sky. On this day, Sunday, March 22nd 2015, we were movin’ on up towards the Nicaraguan border and a complete change in habitat. This shift in location presented a whole new group of birds and greater opportunity for photos. So buckle up for a photo intensive post – I hope to be sparse with words, but long on photos.
We spent the morning birding the trail at Heliconias Lodge and taking in the suspension bridges which had us near the top of the canopy.
Along the trail we came across a number of large Leaf Cutter ant mounds. The photo below doesn’t do justice to just how big this area is – I’d estimate it was 20 feet wide by 15 feet across.
I shot a brief of the ants in action:
Below are some of the birds and flora we came across while on the trail:
Not a very good photo, but I was on a suspension bridge and yes, they do swing. Photography from the bridges added a new challenge.
Near the canopy level Tom spotted something below on the canopy floor and being a true birder, he was ready to climb over and jump down. Thankfully Dar was able to ID the species from the suspension bridge thereby saving Tom’s life. Did I ever mention I can be facetious?
After our morning hike, we said a final good-bye to this region of Costa Rica and began our trek Northeast. Although we weren’t moving far, we were movin’ on up (technically we were movin’ on down, but that doesn’t fit the song). As always, we birded a bit along the way and found this cooperative Roadside Hawk right where he should be – along the roadside.
The afternoon was our first chance to do some lazy birding; no trails, no mountains, no roadside birding. No, it was time to relax on a boat ride through the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located just a few miles from the Nicaraguan border and consists of wetlands, rainforest, and swampland. Encompassing 25,000 acres, the refuge is of the most important wetlands in the world and was named Wetland of International Importance in 1991. The diversity at Cano Negro is stunning with more than 350 species of birds, 310 species of plants, and more than 160 mammals! Instead of boring you with more commentary (and at the same time relieving me of having to do so more writing), kick back as we did and enjoy some photos from Cano Negro.
Below you’ll see the American Pygmy Kingfisher (male in first two photos, female below). This bird stands out not just for it’s color, but it’s size. Clocking in at a mere 5 inches (13 cm), it’s easy to see where the “pygmy” portion of the name came from. Checkout how tiny the legs are on the male!
So, is that enough photos for ya? If not, stay tuned – we’ll be back at Cano Negro in the next installment of the Costa Rica Trip Report. Until then, Bird It Up!!