Posts in Category: Sarapiqui

Costa Rica! Toucan in the rain

Yellow-throated Toucan: Selve Verde Lodge and Reserve, Sarapaqui, Costa Rica, December 2023 — This used to be the Chestnut Mandibled Toucan…and it is still listed as the Chestnut Mandibled sub-species of the Yellow-throated Toucan. It is resident from Honduras to Columbia. In South America the two Black-mandibled sub-species become dominant. A handsome bird, but not a good neighbor as they like to raid nests for eggs and nestlings. Not as common this year as where we have seen it in past years for some reason. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications (ISO 25600!). Processed in Photomator and assembled in FrameMagic.

Costa Rica! Hybrid incoming

Hybrid Scarlet and Great Green Macaw: Macaw Ranch, Sarapiqui Valley, Costa Rica, December 2023 — One of the results of the dominance of the male Great Green Macaw in the flock of Scarets, this hybrid bird was coming in fast and just swerved at the last moment to avoid a collision. Right place at the right time! OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 200mm equivalent. (This bird was close!) Program mode with my custom birds-in-flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! two Macaws

Scarlet and Great Green Macaws: Macaw Ranch, Sarapiqui Valley, Costa Rica, December 2023 — Two, not of a kind, but closely related. This is a sight you don’t often see. These are both free flying birds that have settled at the Macaw Ranch and are habituated to human proximity. This is in the gardens outside the ranch house. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 300mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Great Green Macaw Portrait.

Great Green Macaw: Macaw Ranch, Sarapiqui Valley, Costa Rica, December 2023 — And here is the man himself…the Great Green Macaw that has attached himself to the flock of mostly Scarlet Macaws at Macaw Ranch. Posing nicely. Certainly the closest shot I have of this endangered bird. Efforts are, as I mentioned in a previous post, in progress to reintroduce the Great Green Macaw to its traditional range in the lowlands of Costa Rica…but researchers have discovered that success is limited by the available habitat and food sources. The country as it is, simply can only support so many Great Green Macaws. To increase the population will require habitat restoration, not just bringing in more birds. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 300mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Great Green

Great Green Macaw: Macaw Ranch, Sarapiqui Valley, Costa Rica, December 2023 — There is at least one full adult male Great Green Macaw that has attached itself to the free flying flock of Macaws at the Macaw Ranch…but his influence is all out of proportion. He appears to be the dominant male in the flock, as many of the younger birds are obvious hybrids. Again, mixed feelings. I am not sure this degree of hybridization is good for either species…and a lot of effort has gone into the attempt to restore Great Greens to their previous habitat in Costa Rica. Still, to see one in flight, coming on at eye-level was a real treat. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 300mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds-in-flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Incoming Macaw

Scarlet Macaw: Macaw Ranch, Sarapiqui Valley, Costa Rica, December 2024 — More by chance than by design, the spot I chose to stand in the pasture where the Macaws fly gave me views as they passed at eye-level, but also as they circled out and up a little rise toward my vantage point…so I could photograph them as they came head-on and slightly below me. The OM-1 was simply magical when faced with the challenge. 🙂 OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 300mm equivalent. Program mode with my birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Air show

Scarlet Macaw: Macaw Ranch, Sarapiqui Valley, Costa Rica, December 2023 — One of the highlights of any visit to the Macaw Ranch in Costa Rica is the chance to photograph Macaws in flight as they move back and forth between two peanut feeding stations. They fly by at eye-level and no more than 30 feet away. It is a show they put on regularly for tourists and birders who visit…and apparently the peanuts are highly motivating. Again, these are free flying birds, but certainly semi-tame, well habituated to human presence…so I have mixed feelings about the whole thing…but it certainly was an opportunity for some amazing flight shots. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 300mm equivalent. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Hat thief

White-faced Capuchin Monkey: Macaw Ranch, Sarapique Valley, Costa Rica, December 2024 — This young Capuchin had already learned the trick of hanging in the low branches of the trees at Macaw Ranch and stealing hats as unwary tourists pasted under. Seemed to think it was great fun to be chased across the lawn and through the trees. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 200mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Photomator. There is a photo below, which I shared on Facebook a while ago, of the monkey in action, taken my our guide. He did not get my hat but he certainly gave it a try.

Costa Rica! Monkey business

White-faced Capuchins: Macaw Ranch, Sarapique Valley, Costa Rica, December 2023 — I told this story a while ago, but it bears telling again. Besides the large flock of Macaws that live at Macaw Ranch, there is a troop of White-faced Capuchins who visit on occasion, and just as with the Macaws, they are well habituated to humans and will approach very closely…one tried to steal the hat off my head in fact, and I have a photo, taken by our guide, to prove it. 🙂 They did get the hat off another of our guides and had to be chased to get it back. They apparently think hat stealing is great fun. Being at Macaw Ranch and litterally surrounded by wild playful Capuchins changed my view of the species completely. I had always thought of them, from past encounters, as somewhat sour individuals, but it is apparently just the set of their faces. Behind the thoughtful scowl is the heart of a monkey! I can relate to that. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 800mm, 400mm, and 200mm equivalent (the close-up is the 200mm one 🙂 . Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Scarlet Macaw head and shoulders

Scarlet Macaw: Macaw Ranch, Sarapique Valley, Costa Rica, December 2023 — Head and shoulder portraits of two Scarlet Macaws at the Macaw Ranch in Costa Rica. These are wild, free flying birds, but so habituated to human presence that they are easy to approach. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS zoom at 200mm equivalent (close!). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Photomator.