Andrew home Photo gallery Birds of Costa Rica
(Only the best), Feb. 2005

All photos were taken with a Canon ZR65MC digital video camera. Most of them were taken in still image mode; those marked with "(VIDEO)" are freeze frame images extracted from digital video clips.

San Jose (the capital city!)

SUMMER TANAGER (Feb. 14) in San Jose, one block from Kap's Place. TRUTH IN WEB PUBLISHING: This photo has been digitally retouched. To see the authentic original version, just roll the mouse over it. (VIDEO)

La Paz Waterfall Gardens

ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, La Paz Waterfall (Feb. 16) If this guy looks rather haggard, it is because he was all wet from the steady light rain that was falling that day. This is one of only three or four birds on this page that regularly migrate north to the United States during the spring and summer months.

SILVER-THROATED TANAGER, La Paz Waterfalls (Feb. 16) At first I thought this brightly colored bird was some kind of warbler, but Dr. Aaron Sekarak, the biologist at this nature sanctuary, helped me identify it as a tanager.

VIOLET SABERWING, La Paz Waterfall (Feb. 16). After excruciating minutes waiting for other people to get out of the way, I was able to take a brief video clip of this conspicuously-plumaged hummer. To see this beauty from a different angle, roll the mouse over the image. (VIDEO)

GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (F), La Paz Waterfalls (Feb. 16)

COPPERY-HEADED EMERALD (M), La Paz Waterfalls (Feb. 16)

BANANAQUIT, La Paz Waterfalls (Feb. 16) These very small birds are seen in several parts of Costa Rica. They derive much of their nutrition from flower nectar, and often frequent hummingbird feeders.

Playa de Cacao, near Golfito

SCARLET-RUMPED TANAGER, at the Playa de Cacao Cabins (owned by Doña Isabel), near the town of Golfito (Feb. 18) The first time I saw this beauty I was stunned, but couldn't immediately react because I was talking to Doña Isabel. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that these striking birds are fairly common in the area around Golfito.

Great kiskadee, Playa de Cacao (Feb. 18) These very handsome flycatchers are seen throughout Costa Rica.

BLUE-GRAY TANAGER, Playa de Cacao (Feb. 19) This photo was a rare stroke of luck; I had been having a hard time getting the manual focus controls to work on the Canon ZR65MC, but this tanager patiently waited for me to get set up for a classic shot.

CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED TOUCAN, Playa de Cacao (Feb. 19). This colorful, acrobatic bird was enormous, at least as big as a monkey, but it was at least 80 yards away, hence the low resolution. To see the bright red undertail coverts (which are barely visible here), roll the mouse over the image. (Its head is twisted around in the second image, so that the huge beak points straight up; one eye is visible.) The Keel-billed toucan, found in northern and eastern parts of Costa Rica, has a multicolored bill but is smaller. (VIDEO: first image)

Corcovado National Park

SCARLET MACAWS, Corcovado N.P. (Feb. 20) Unfortunately, these spectacular birds rarely come down from the tree tops, so getting an up-close photo of one is extremely difficult. (VIDEO)

RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPERS, Corcovado N.P. (Feb. 20) These two males were engaged in some kind of territorial claim ritual, dancing and maneuvering around each other in a very precise and surprisingly nonviolent way.

Santa Rosa National Park

WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE JAY, Santa Rosa N.P. (Feb. 25) This loud and ostentatious bird was hard to miss. I saw several that day, and a few more in Nicaragua. (VIDEO)

PACIFIC SCREECH OWL, Santa Rosa N.P. (Feb. 25) I would have missed this bird had I not been alerted to its presence by a biology student from Washington State who was doing field research on bird vocalizations. More serendipity!

ELEGANT TROGON, Santa Rosa N.P. (Feb. 25) I thought the battery in my camera had run out, and I was on the brink of utter despair. Fortunately, there was just enough charge left to get this image, plus a brief video clip. I was surprised how docile this colorful bird was. A few wander into Arizona during breeding season, but the vast majority stay in Latin America.