Another infrequent visitor to the feeders at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapiqui valley of Costa Rica is the Black-cowled Oriole. The most common Oriole there in December is the Baltimore, wintering from North America, but you do occasionally see the resident Black-cowled. A striking bird by any standard! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
Two Yellow-throated Toucans from the feeding station at Selva Verde Lodge in the rainforest of the Sarapiqui valley of Costa Rica. The feeders are in a deeply shaded area behind the dinning hall. Never enough light, but great birds every day. I have seen everything from Manakins to Tinamous from the comfort of the second floor deck. These two Toucans struck an ideal pose. Sony Rx10iv at 340mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
And yet more birding in the rain. This is an immature Keel-billed Toucan at Dave and Dave’s Costa Rica Nature Park in La Vergin, Costa Rica. I was standing more or less dry under the covered patio at Dave and Dave’s, but the bird was very wet and getting wetter. This is this year’s hatchling so the bill is not as vivid or quite as large as it will get. The Keel-billed Toucan is perhaps the bird people think of first when thinking of tropical American birds, and it is certainly an impressive bird. This year at least, it was easily outnumbered by its larger cousin…the Yellow-throated Toucan. I was pleased to see this one at Dave and Dave’s. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
This year the Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica got lots of experience photographing birds in the rain. Fortunately Dave and Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Pavilion has a covered patio area, surrounded by features to draw birds in, where you can keep yourself, and your cameras, relatively dry. They put out whole bananas to draw the larger rainforest birds, like this Montezuma’s Oropendola, the largest member of the Oriole family. You see colonies of huge hanging, pendulous, Oropendola nests in large trees. Oropendolas prefer free staining trees where the flight lines are open. Shooting in the rain means low light levels and high ISOs. I used Multi-frame Noise Reduction on this shot. Sony Rx10iv at 386mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications and MFNR. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
One of the more elusive birds at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapiqui valley of the Caribbean slope rain forest in Costa Rica, is the Red-capped Manakin. If you sit at the feeding station by the dinning hall long enough, you will see the female come through the background trees and maybe sit in one of the trees at either end of the deck for a brief glimpse as it feeds. If you sit rather longer, you might see the male in one of those two same trees, appearing as if by magic, and disappearing just as quickly. You kind of have to be looking in just the right place at just the right time. That is how it is with Red-capped Manakins at Selve Verde. Getting a photo means getting your camera before it disappears, but it does happen 🙂 Some of the folks in my Point and Shoot Nature Photography group got better photos than this, another day, but I was not there. I am sure, during mating season, there is a lek that can be found, but we are never there during mating season. So, I take what I can get. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications plus Multi-frame Noise Reduction. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
We saw the Olive-backed Euphonia in many locations in the Sarapiqui valley. It was among the most common birds of the understory in the rain forest, and in openings everywhere. This individual was foraging deep under the canopy of primary rain forest at La Selva Biological Research Station. Euphonia comes from the latin for something like “sweet sounding” or “sweet voiced”, but I have actually never heard one sing. I am sure they do. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr and Apple Photos.
The largest toucan in Costa Rica is the Yellow-throated Toucan, and it is common at the feeders here at Selva Verde Lodge in the Sarapique River valley (and everywhere else we have been in the the valley rain forest). It used to be the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, and, before that, the Black-mandibled Toucan. It is big and noisy and hard to miss! Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications, plus auto ISO with multi-frame-noise reduction. Processed in Polarr.
On our Point and Shoot Nature Photography Adventure in Costa Rica, the Red-eyed Leaf Frogs have never failed us. We found 5 of them last night on our night walk at Selva Verde Lodge here in the Sarapique River. This is one of my best shots ever as the frog was posing nicely just below eye-level right beside the path. I am using a new flash-shoe mounted light cube that has just the right intensity (adjustable) for shots like this using the Sony Rx10iv’s Anti-motion Blur mode. It is certainly much easier then hand holding a flashlight. (No flash allowed when photographing leaf frogs 🙂 600mm equivalent. Processed in Polarr.
You have to be impressed by the variety and the amazing colors of Central America’s tanagers. If you lump in the Honeycreepers, which are really tanagers, you have a range of color variation that just might be unequaled in the avian world. This is the Golden-hooded Tanager, one of my favorites. It is less frequently seen at feeders in Costa Rica, and therefore more of a treat when you do see it. The photo in the vegetation is from La Selva Biological Station and the photo on the branch is from Dave and Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Park, both in the Sarapiqui River drainage in the Caribbean lowlands, and both a short drive from Selva Verde Lodge where we were staying. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. My birds and wildlife modifications of Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
If you sit on the dinning hall deck above the feeders at Selva Verde Lodge on the Sarapiqui River in Costa Rica long enough on any given day, the Toucans will come. Yellow-throated Toucans. They were, until recently the Chestnut-mandibled, or maybe Black-mandibled Toucans, but the bird name gods have been at work, and somehow decided that Yellow-throated was better…despite the fact that the other big toucan in Central America, the Keel-billed Toucan, also has a bright yellow throat…as do several other South American species. Yellow-throated actually lumps both Chestnut and Black-mandibled into a single species with two races, divided north and south. These big, bright birds are emblematic of the tropics. Seeing them in flight it is hard to imagine how they manage to carry that bill out in front…but I am told that it is very thin and light. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Anti-motion Blur mode (due the very dim light at the feeders). Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.