Posts in Category: Costa Rica

Resplendent Quetzal in the morning

Resplendent Quetzal: San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2021 — This is, of course, the must see bird for any visit to Central America, and Costa Rica in particular, and the Savegre River valley near San Gerardo de Dota is the place to see it…or at least one of the best places. This was a new location in the valley for me this past trip and one I will be revisiting. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications and multi-frame noise reduction. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Equivalent ISO 2000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Evening Quetzal

Resplendent Quetzal: San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2021 — It was getting on toward supper time when we finally drove down into the Savegre River valley (more of a gorge actually) and getting dark fast, but as we came around the corner where we see the Quetzals in the morning, our guide, Edwin, shouted “Stop” at the top of his lungs. Then he immediately hushed himself and hustled us off the bus in silence. There was a male Quetzal sitting in the usual tree…but at totally the wrong time of day. Evidently they had posted him there to welcome us to the the valley. 🙂 This is at about the low light limits of the Sony Rx10iv…using multi-frame noise reduction and some extra post processing. 600mm equivalent. Equivalent ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/320th. It was a life bird for two of the folks on the trip…and a life experience for the rest of us. What a welcoming party!

Evening Quetzal

Resplendent Quetzal: San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2021 — It was getting on toward supper time when we finally drove down into the Savegre River valley (more of a gorge actually) and getting dark fast, but as we came around the corner where we see the Quetzals in the morning, our guide, Edwin, shouted “Stop” at the top of his lungs. Then he immediately hushed himself and hustled us off the bus in silence. There was a male Quetzal sitting in the usual tree…but at totally the wrong time of day. Evidently they had posted him there to welcome us to the the valley. 🙂 This is at about the low light limits of the Sony Rx10iv…using multi-frame noise reduction and some extra post processing. 600mm equivalent. Equivalent ISO 6400 @ f4 @ 1/320th. It was a life bird for two of the folks on the trip…and a life experience for the rest of us. What a welcoming party!

Fiery-throated Hummingbird

Fiery-throated Hummingbird: La Georgina Restaurant, Siberia, Costa Rica, December 2021 — After leaving the Alexander Skutch homestead we headed up into the mountains toward San Gerardo de Dota and our final stay of the trip at Trogon Lodge in Savegre Valley. Of course we had to stop at La Georgina, reputedly the highest restaurant on the PanAm highway at 10,000 feet, and always a good stop for hummingbirds. They have a wonderful view at the back of the restaurant, overlooking lawns with native plantings and a few feeders hung at eye-level. The best shots through, on day warm enough to open the back windows (rare at that elevation) are of the birds perched in the tall flowering bushes under the windows. Even if you have to shoot through the single pane glass, this is a reliable spot for Fiery-throated Hummingbirds and not to be missed. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Streak-headed Woodcreeper

Streak-headed Woodcreeper: Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica, December 2021 — There are 15 Woodcreeper species in Costa Rica, 8 of which are at least possible in the low foothills at the Alexander Skutch homestead. This is the most commonly seen at forest edges…the Streak-headed which I found working the trees in the gardens around the the Skutch house and museum. Sony Rx10iv at 534mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 1000 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Bay-headed Tanager

Bay-headed Tanager: Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica, December 2021 — Here is another bird that did not want to come out of the foliage, but such a wonderful bird! The Bay-headed Tanager is among the most colorful of a colorful group of tropical birds. It is not an uncommon bird from the foothills to mid-elevations on either slope…but this bird at the home of Alaxander Skutch was my first. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 1600 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Pieces of a Barbet

Red-headed Barbet: Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica, December 2021 — Though I have seen the Red-headed Barbet in the foothills on the Caribbean side, that was several years ago now, and we have not found another…until this last trip in December when we had glimpses of this female at Alexander Skutch’s home in the foothills of the Pacific slope. Glimpses in heavy foliage. Still a great bird. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 640 and 500 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Pic for today: 4th and 5th Manakins

Blue-crowned and White-ruffed Manakins: Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica, December 2021 — As well as an amazing number of Parrot species, between the two trips last December we had 5 of the 8 possible Manakins possible in Costa Rica. Numbers four and five were at the home of Alexander Skutch. Both were too far and very uncooperative as far as photos went, but I managed these (with the help of considerable enlargement in post-processing). The Blue-crowned Manakin is restricted to the lowlands and foothills of the south Pacific slope, and the White-ruffed is restricted to the foothills of both the Pacific and Caribbean slopes. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Blue-crowned ISO 500 @ f4 @ 1/500th, White-ruffed ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Green Honeycreeper

Green Honeycreeper: Los Cusingos Bird Sanctuary, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica, December 2021 — We left Las Cruces Biological Research Station and headed up toward our high elevation stop at San Gerardo de Dota in the Savegre Valley, with packed lunches which we intended to eat at the home of Alexander Skutch, perhaps the best known ornithologist of his time due to his many books on birds and tropical ecology. Skutch was among the first to closely relate birds to the habitat they frequented, and to study the effect that even minor changes in habitat have on the birds. After his death, his home in Costa Rica was preserved as a avian sanctuary and a memorial to his life and work. This Green Honeycreeper was there to greet us in the extensive natural gardens. This is, despite not looking much like one, a tanager…honeycreepers are a small sub-division of the colorful tropical tanagers specialized for fruit eating. It is the female that is actually green, while the male, as you see, is more turquoise, but so distinctive as to be unmistakable. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. ISO 400 @ f4 @ 1/500th.

Buff-throated Saltator

Buff-throated Saltator: Las Cruces Biological Research Station (OTS), San Vito, Costa Rica, December 2021 — The Buff-throated Saltator is one of the most common birds around feeding stations in Costa Rica, on both the Caribbean and Pacific slopes…from the lowlands well up into the foothills…so not so exciting to see it at Las Cruces, but still a good bird 🙂 Sony Rx10iv at 591mm equivalent. Program mode with wildlife modifications and multi-frame noise reduction. Processed in Pixelmator Photo and Apple Photos. Equivalent ISO 2500 @ f4 @ 1/500th.