Text Box: Costa Rica Rare Bird Reports




Odd Plumage or New CR Record?

Dave Keeling was recently visiting CR [exact date not given] and took two photographs of a tityra in the Orotina town square. When he sent a batch of his photos to Kevin Easley for review, the tityra images immediately raised a red flag. Kevin then sent me the image on the left for my comments. I instantly thought, “Black-tailed Tityra!?” since I’d never seen a tityra in CR with a head pattern like the one in the photo—one which fits Black-tailed Tityra Tityra cayana perfectly. The only problem is that Black-tailed Tityra is not known to occur farther north than Colombia. I remembered once seeing a Senegal Parrot Poicephalus senegalus in a palm tree across the street from the square and considered the possibility of an introduction, but tityras aren’t commonly kept in captivity.


Kevin later sent a second image and this comment from Dave, “The tityra photo is not a prank or a test. I'm glad to have captured a perhaps out-of-the-ordinary bird. I put it in with the Villa Lapas photos, because that's where we were going, but the photo was actually taken in the plaza at Orotina where we stopped to see the famous Black-and-white Owls Ciccaba nigrolineata. I remember being self-conscious about being the gringo with the camera and tripod, and not spotting the owls immediately and wondering about the patience of our driver, so that the tityra pair got minimal attention. They were pretty mellow and at one point one was too close to fully fit in my frame. I looked in my Birds of Columbia book to see the Black-tailed Tityra and the match looks pretty good. I wish my memory was more clear. The excitement of the owls and later the toucans, aracaris, hummingbirds and quetzals were pretty overwhelming. I definitely remember that there were two individuals, and I'm reasonably certain that one was browner than the other. My assumption was a mated pair. The bird in [the second] photo seems to have slightly more brownish trim, but to be honest, I cannot say for certain it is the other individual.” 


You can just discern a brownish-gray coloration on the bird’s shoulder in the second image, which would fit a female Masked Tityra T. semifasciata; and the bit of pale coloration on the underside of the tail also fits. Still, the darkness of the head and the extent of the dark give a distinct impression of Black-tailed Tityra.


If you plan on stopping by the square in Orotina in the near future, in addition to admiring the owls, keep an eye out for the “mystery” tityra.



Yellow-breasted Crakes Photographed at Caño Negro


Kevin Easley sent these two images taken in Caño Negro in mid-January. He also wrote, “There was a lot of floating vegetation in the main lagoon - photos are not spectacular but hey - it's a Yellow-breasted Crake Porzana flaviventer!  I went back a couple of weeks later but the water level had gone down about 1 1/2 feet and we were unable to get anywhere close to the area in the boat. The only reason we found them was that I had spotted a pair of Pinnated Bitterns Botaurus pinnatus on the far shore and I asked the boatman to get us closer. He went directly into some floating vegetation and they came running out. We watched them off and on for 30 minutes - one of my favorite experiences in birding here in Costa Rica.”



Rare Record of Overwintering Canada Warbler


Most Canada Warblers Wilsonia canadensis should be spending the month of January flitting about in tropical foothill forests of the eastern Andes. However, at least one individual decided to remain in Costa Rica this year. Kevin Easley reported to me that Ernesto Carman “saw an adult Canada Warbler on the Puentes Colgantes [Hanging Bridges] in Arenal back in early January and I commented to him that I had never heard of overwintering Canada Warblers being reported. I forgot about it and then in late Jan at the same Puentes I had it in a mixed flock - this after telling the British clients that Canada Warbler was not possible in Costa Rica at this time of year - whoops! Never say never I guess.”



Resplendent Quetzal Witnessed at Quebrada González


15 Jan: Again, Kevin Easley passed along news of “a very strange record in my opinion. A group of clients including Mark Lockwood and Paul Sunby were on the Las Palmas trail at Quebrada González at Braulio Carrillo NP and took this photo of a young male or female Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno feeding near a male Lattice-tailed Trogon Trogon clathratus.” Unexpected, indeed!



Spotted Rail Seen at Pelón de La Bajura


18 Nov: [Please note that for this and the following entry I have deviated from the usual chronological order due to the fact that they are quite newsworthy (albeit, a bit after the fact) and I didn’t want to “bury” them below by inserting them with the November entries.] Jim Zook sent this fascinating account of his encounter with a Spotted Rail Pardirallus maculatus back in November:


“The coordinates for the Spotted Rail are 10.441, -85.3603. The images [on Google Earth] have great resolution but were taken in the dry season and so show dry looking rice fields. If you pan out a bit you can see that the Rio Tempisque is not far away. When I was there in November the fields closest to the river were fallow and mostly covered with water and overgrown with aquatic vegetation and the roads were just drying out enough to drive on without getting struck. The areas further away from the river were mostly in mature rice that was just being harvested. There were many ducks and shorebirds here and this is an area that you can reach via public roads without having to go through any gates. I found the rail by pure luck. I was driving slowly with the window down and heard the distress call of a frog, the one they make while being eaten by a snake. I stopped and got out and thought, OK lets see a snake. I walked  over to the ditch were the noise was coming from and as I came to the edge of the ditch, just off to my right the rail scurried out of the water-filled ditch and up onto the berm at the edge of the rice field. It stopped and looked at me from about five feet away and I froze not daring to raise my binos. This staring match didn't last long, but what a glorious few seconds that was. The afternoon sun was at my back and there was hardly any wind. It finally shot off into the flooded rice and out of sight. Never did find out what was making that frog cry, but it wasn't the rail.”



Second Coast Rican Record of Curlew Sandpiper


21 Nov: Here’s Jim Zook’s description of discovering a Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea—a lifer for him and the second record for Costa Rica:


“The Curlew Sandpiper was in flooded rice fields at the La Cutacha sector of Pelón de La Bajura (10.4118, -85.3825). The roads were just starting to dry out and the mucking tractors were making their first passes through fallow muddy fields that still had a fair amount of standing water. This is inside the Hacienda and behind a locked gate (at the good time of year). You need to get permission and enter from the Interamerican highway just W of Pijije (entrance to Lomas Barbudal). It is a U shaped area surrounded on three sides by the Río Tempisque and if there is a big flood it fills in with water during the wet season. If you were to go there now in verano the area is much as the satellite photo [on Google Earth] shows it except that it is super dry and dusty and a main thoroughfare for trucks hauling sugar cane across the Rio Tempisque. They build a temporary crossing in the dry season so cane from the N side of the river can get over to the El Viejo mill at La Guinea.

”Almost got a photo of the sandpiper but just as I was setting up to digiscope it a Peregrine blew through and chased up the 3000 or so other shorebirds and ducks that were with it (G. and L. Yellowlegs, BN Stilts, Stilt Sandpipers, Dowitchers, BB Plovers, Am. Golden Plovers, and assorted peeps). I spent the next 1.5 hours trying to find it again but had to finally give up as the sun got bad (only view available was looking W) and the birds started to doze with bills under wings. In the search also picked up a Ruddy Turnstone, some Collared Plovers and a Wilson's Phalarope.  Also a few Franklin's Gulls and both Caspian and Gull-billed Terns. An amazing shorebird show so far from the coast. The ducks were also great there too, mostly BW Teal but also both Whistling-Ducks, 4 N. Pintails, 9 N. Shovelers, 11 L. Scaup and 1 Am. Wigeon. Throw in 9 Jabirus and a ton of the other Palo Verde type marsh regulars and it was not to be beat.”


[Note: I have added the rest of Jim’s migrant sightings from his mid-November visit to Guanacaste in the “Autumn Migrant Roundup” section below.]



Some Other Interesting Records From Guanacaste


05 Jan: Leo Garrigues observed a Jabiru Jabiru mycteria going to roost in a mangrove lagoon behind Playa Naranjo in Santa Rosa NP.


19 Nov: Jim Zook reported a group of six Crimson-fronted Parakeets Aratinga finschi, four kilometers south of Bagaces, on the road to Palo Verde.


29 Dec: Leo Garrigues saw a Blue-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia cyanura foraging along a creekbed on the Sendero Carbonal in Santa Rosa NP.


15 Nov: Jim Zook encountered a single adult Tricolored Munia Lonchura malacca accompanying a group of Indigo Buntings Passerina cyanea in rice fields near Bagatzí. And Carlos Jimenez came across two adult munias along the new road from Comunidad to Playa Panama on 10 Oct. These two sightings would seem to indicate that this non-native species may be spreading out from the known population center in Guinea. The first site is some 19 kilometers to the east, and the latter is about 22 kilometers to the northwest of Guinea.


[Carlos also reported a nesting pair of Jabiru at the same locality.]



Yet Another Caribbean Pearl Kite


04 Jan: Luis Sandoval found a Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii just this side of the Panamanian border, along the Sixaola River near Bribri. Apparently, this species is beginning to make inroads on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica—see below for the report from north of Cahuita a month earlier.


That same morning, Luis also saw five Snowy Cotingas Carpodectes nitidus (three males and two females). It’s always nice to see this fairly uncommon cotinga, but quite uncommon to see that many individuals!



Mountain Elaenia Visits the Coast


31 Dec: Leo Chaves reported seeing a solitary Mountain Elaenia Elaenia frantzii from the Hotel Villa Caletas restaurant. This makes the third consecutive year that he has seen the species at this site, which sits atop a coastal promontory between Punta Leona and Herradura.



First Central Valley Record of Pearl Kite


28 Dec: While driving along the road from the La Garita monument to Cebadilla, I spotted a “flycatcher” perched at the top of a leafless tree. Stopping to get a better look, I was stunned by the realization that the bird was a Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii! This is the first time that this species has been seen in the Central Valley, the actual site being about 15 km west of the airport. It will be interesting to see if the species becomes established in the valley, as it has in other parts of the country. [For example, Jim Zook reported a pair nest building on 19 Nov, about 4 km south of Bagaces on the road to Palo Verde. The nest is in a tree about 75 meters from the road, on the right when going towards Palo Verde.]



Another Southern Lapwing Sighting in the Central Valley


24 Dec: During a brief visit to the I.C.E. empoundment west of San Miguel de Turrúcares, Daniel Garrigues picked out a pair of Southern Lapwings Vanellus chilensis loafing on a cement structure at the southern end of the dam. However, when we returned on 28 Dec, we were unable to find them, despite birding the site for a little over an hour (nor were there any interesting ducks about).



Laughing Falcon Heard East of San José


18 Dec: César Sánchez heard a Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans calling from the University of Costa Rica’s sports complex in Sabanilla. This species is uncommon at the western end of the valley, and this is probably the first report for the center of the valley.



Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle Pair at El Ceibo


15 Dec: Birders who hiked up to the El Ceibo ranger station, and beyond to the 1050 m outpost, in Braulio Carrillo NP on the La Selva CBC were rewarded by the spectacle of a pair of Black-and-white Hawk-Eagles Spizaetus melanoleucus. According to the park guards, the birds were being seen regularly in the days prior to the bird count, and may well have a nest in the area. This was the first time the species had been recorded on the La Selva CBC in more than twenty years of running the count.


20 Dec: Robert Dean also reported this species on the Monteverde CBC. His route included the San Luis Waterfall and Cerro Buen Amigos. “On the way back down, at about 13:30, soaring  above us in the semi-open was a Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle! I was  mystified at first because in the very strong afternoon light I saw buffy patches in the wings, so immediately thought of Laughing Falcon, but this bird was clearly white, and was soaring fairly high. Further investigation caused me to discover that in very strong light, the Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle shows 'cinnamon windows' in the wings, (Raptors of The World, Ferguson-Lees, etc., page 768). So i'm quite certain that's what we had. Being very close to the continental divide it's not outside the realms of possibility that one could stray over to the Pacific slope.


Yellow-headed Caracara Seen at Tortuguero


25 Nov: Dennis Wille reported what may well be the first record of this species in the northeastern corner of Costa Rica. He saw an adult Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima fly across the Tortuguero River in front of the park ranger station at about 09:00, but couldn’t quite believe his eyes. They boated closer and watched the bird for nearly a minute as it perched on a bare branch before flying north towards the river mouth and out of view.



Mystery Raptor Photo

Hawks can often be difficult to identify, even when they perch long enough for scope views. This image was taken by Rich Hoyer on 16 Nov, along the road between La Virgen de Sarapiquí and San Miguel. To check your guess, scroll to the end of this page.



And Speaking of Raptors . . .


01 December: Paco Madrigal and José Alberto “Cope” Pérez Arrieta found a Pearl Kite Gampsonyx swainsonii perched beside the road a few kilometers south of Bananito, about “100 m beyond a one-lane bridge that curves.” There is a row of Erythrina trees on the left side of the road (as one heads towards Cahuita, coming from Limón), where the bird sat as they watched it for about 15 minutes. Paco noted that it constantly raised and lowered its tail—a habit that he had not observed in his sightings of this species on the Pacific side of CR. This represents one of just a mere few reports of this little raptor on the Caribbean side of the country, and the first that has reached me in a number of years.



And a Bit Farther on Down the Road . . .


15 November: Daniel Martínez and Dimeiston Peñaranda watched seven Hook-billed Kites Chondrohierax uncinatus fly past the Kèköldi Hawk Watch tower in less than an hour. The first group consisted of four individuals, including a juvenile. This was followed by a pair, and finally a lone individual. There had only been one other sighting of the species in the three months that the observers have been monitoring hawk migration this season—and thus far they have seen nearly 3.5 million birds on their way south!



Parasitic Jaeger in the Gulf of Nicoya


16 November: Pat O'Donnell reported “a juvenile seen on Puntarenas-Paquera ferry about halfway across. Successfuly chased and robbed a Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus of prey item. Identified as Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus by medium size as opposed to more elegant look of Long-tailed S. longicaudus and more bulky look of Pomarine S. pomarinus. Was overall dark brown, lacking grayish tones often shown by Long-tailed. Also had lesser amount of white at base of primaries than is typically shown by Pomarine.”




Autumn (and Winter) Migrant Roundup


American Wigeon Anas americana: Jim Zook had one male at La Cutacha, Pelón de La Bajura, on 21 Nov.


Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata: Jim Zook saw nine females at La Cutacha, Pelón de La Bajura, on 21 Nov.


Northern Pintail Anas acuta: Jim Zook found four females at La Cutacha, Pelón de La Bajura, on 21 Nov.


Lesser Scaup Aythia affinis: Jim Zook counted ten females and one male at La Cutacha, Pelón de La Bajura, on 21 Nov. Paco Madrigal and José Alberto “Cope” Pérez Arrieta observed four birds on a pond near Bananito, south of Limón, on 01 Dec. There were also four Pied-billed Grebes Podilymbus podiceps, which, while presumably not migrants, are still noteworthy in CR.


Reddish Egret Egretta rufescens: There were several sightings of a bird in the Tarcoles River estuary in Nov and Dec. Leo Garrigues had two birds, one dark morph juv and one pale morph adult, in the estuary at Playa Naranjo, Santa Rosa NP, on 04 Jan. Luis Sandoval also reported seeing a bird in the Tamarindo/Playa Grande estuary on 13 Jan. And this photograph of a bird was taken in the Golfo de Papagayo on 04 Feb.


Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus: One individual was seen flying past the Kèköldi Observation Tower during the period from 15 Aug to 15 Sep, and another was reported in the following count period between 16 Sep and 15 Oct..


Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus: Around 07:30 on the morning of 03 Sep 2007, Paco Madrigal watched a perched individual preen itself for about ten minutes. The sighting took place on the grounds of the Hotel Sueño Azul in Horquetas de Sarapiquí. Then, at about 10:00 the same morning, a Sharp-shinned Hawk was seen flying over the reception-area clearing at La Selva Biological Station. The only other reports of this species thus far are a total of five birds seen from the Kèköldi Observation Tower between 16 Sep and 15 Oct.


Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii: Likewise, five individuals were reported from the Kèköldi Observation Tower between 16 Sep and 15 Oct. Jim Zook saw a second-year female at Chomes on 12 Nov.


Merlin Falco columbarius: Twelve individuals were observed from the Kèköldi Tower between 16 Sep and 15 Oct. Jim Zook saw two birds on 19 Nov; one was at Pijije, by the Lomas de Barbudal turnoff from the PanAmerican Highway, and the other was in Upala. He also had another sighting of a bird near Filadelfia on 22 Nov.


American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica: Jim Zook found ten birds at La Cutacha, Pelón de La Bajura, on 21 Nov.


American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus: One individual was spotted along the coast at Chomes on 05 Oct by Jonas Nilsson. A single bird, seen by Jim Zook, Bruce Young, Paul Murgatroyd and myself, was on a rock above the waterline on the island off Cabo Blanco Reserve on 11 Jan.


Marbled Godwit Limosa fedoa: Jonas Nilsson found two individuals along the coast at Chomes on 05 Oct.


Red Knot Calidris canutus: Leo Garrigues saw four birds along a lagoon in the mangrove estuary behind Playa Naranjo in Santa Rosa NP on 05 Jan.


Baird’s Sandpiper Calidris bairdii: Jørgen Peter Kjeldsen sent this image showing two of the nine individuals he encountered foraging at a small pool on the summit of Irazú Volcano at about 3400 meters above sea level. All previous records for this species are from 1500 meters, or below. The visiting Danish ornithologist took the photograph on 14 Oct.


Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos: Jim Zook reported two birds from the eastern sector of Pelón de La Bajura on 18 Nov.


Dunlin Calidris alpina: Juan Carlos Vargas, while birding with Luis Campos from his boat dock near the mouth of the Tarcoles River, saw one individual among a group of Least Sandpipers Calidris minutilla on both 03 and 04 Nov. He reports that, according to Luis, the bird was still being seen two weeks later. Jason van Horn spotted one bird at Chomes in mid-Jan.


Wilson’s Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor: Jim Zook had one bird at La Cutacha, Pelón de La Bajura, on 21 Nov.


Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura: Rich Hoyer found one along the coastal highway some 10 to 15 km south of Quepos on 07 Nov. This is much farther south than wintering birds are normally encountered.


Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi: I noticed a perched individual at La Selva on 17 Sep and again on 08 Oct. Leo Chaves had a bird in paramo vegetation atop Cerro Asuncion on 29 Sep. Max Vindas also reported one from the Atlantic Rain Forest Aerial Tram on 02 Oct. Together with Jonas Nilsson and Jim and Bonnie Olson, we saw a bird working from a perch over the road at La Virgen del Socorro on 09 Oct. Luis Sandoval observed two individuals near the Caribbean coastal village of Manzanillo on 20 Oct.


White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus: On 17 Dec, John and Maureen Woodcock captured and banded their first individual in seven years now of monitoring migrants at several stations on the Guanacaste coast. This bird turned up at the Refugio Iguanita station in Bahia de Culebra. Most records of this very rare CR migrant are from the Caribbean side of the country.


Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius: Rich Hoyer had one between the cheese factory and Stella's Bakery in Monteverde on 11 Nov. Carlos Jiménez and Jim Zook found one individual on Cerro Diriá on 16 Feb.


Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus: Rich Hoyer spotted a bird along the road above Hotel Villa Lapas on 09 Nov.


Purple Martin Progne subis: Jim Zook reported one male from Bagatzí on 15 Nov.


Tree Swallow Tachycineta bicolor: César Sánchez watched a group of about 15 birds on the Lava Flow trail in Arenal NP on 28 Dec. Curiously, the swallows were feeding by plucking berries off a shrub (Myrica sp.).


Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus: Ernesto Carman saw one bird near the reception area of Savegre Hotel de Montaña in San Gerardo de Dota on 28 Oct. Rich Hoyer also found one at Savegre on 06 Nov—possibly the same bird?


Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus: The only report comes from Leo Chaves, who saw one on 20 Sep, while birding at the Los Coyotes Reserve in Jaboncillal de El Carmen de Guadalupe—a site on the north side of the Central Valley at about 1700 m.

Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera: Just two sightings that I know of: I had a bird at Jorge Serrano’s Paraíso del Quetzal (Km 70) on 29 Sep, and Julio Sánchez and Ernesto Carman saw another individual above Frailes de Desamparados (Copalchí de Quebradilla) on 15 Oct.

“Brewster’s Warbler” Vermivora pinus x chrysoptera: Leo Garrigues found a first generation male in a mixed flock at the edge of the forest by the “1070 m” ranger station in the Braulio Carrillo NP transect on 15 Dec. Avery Bartels, of British Columbia, reported seeing a bird along the road leading to Tapantí NP, about 150 m before Finca Los Maestros, on 14 Jan. He described the individual as “overall grey with a yellow cap, thin black eye line and two white (slightly yellowish?) wingbars. Unfortunately, it disappeared before I could get a picture.”

Northern Parula Parula americana: Ernesto Carman spotted one bird in a mixed flock along the road to San Gerardo de Dota, above the Trogon Lodge, on 28 Oct. [A female Blue Seedeater Amaurospiza concolor was also accompanying the same flock.]


Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia: Jim Zook came across a female in mangrove trees at Chomes on 12 Nov.


Black-throated Blue Warbler Dendroica caerulescens: Max Vindas reported seeing one individual at the Aerial Tram on 02 Oct.


Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata: Jim Zook saw a female near Bagatzí on 15 Nov. César Sánchez watched a group of six birds standing atop the (cooled) lava flow on the trail to this geologic attraction in Arenal NP on 28 Dec. Jim Zook found another bird near Liberia on 07 Feb.


Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia: After first being recorded for Costa Rica in Sep 2002, this species has since been sighted yearly at different middle elevation sites, which now include the Monteverde area. Robert Dean wrote with news of an adult female in his back yard on the outskirts of Santa Elena in mid-December. Apparently the same bird was seen in more or less the same general area on the two following days by Dev Joslin and Gary Diller, respectively.


Townsend’s Warbler Dendroica townsendi: Jonas Nilsson and I saw one at Cabinas Suria, in San Gerardo de Dota on 30 Sep. A dead Townsend’s Warbler found on the beach at Tortuguero (near Mawamba Lodge) by Walter Sakai on 14 Oct! Ernesto Carman had a young male along the road to San Gerardo de Dota on 26 Oct.


Palm Warbler Dendroica palmarum: Jim Zook spotted one in cane fields near Filadelfia on 20 Nov.


Bay-breasted Warbler Dendroica castanea: Max Vindas had a bird at the Aerial Tram on 02 Oct.


Blackpoll Warbler Dendroica striata: The day after his above-mentioned Golden-cheeked Warbler sighting in mid-Dec, Robert Dean discovered an adult non-breeding plumage Blackpoll Warbler in a mixed flock by Stella's Bakery.

Cerulean Warbler Dendroica cerulea: Esteban Biamonte saw a female on 03 Sep in Coronado. Then, on 05 Sep he found a male at the same site. Both individuals were foraging with mixed flocks of resident species. James McKay and I had a very nice male foraging in a mixed flock at the edge of some woods at the Arenal Observatory Lodge on 15 Sep. Rafa Campos and William Granados also saw a male of the species at Kirí Lodge on 03 Oct. And Rich Hoyer reported seeing a first fall male in the trees on the first part of the Lankester Gardens road on 05 Nov. But what comes as quite a surprise is Luis Sandoval’s sighting of a female at Rincón de la Vieja Lodge on 10 Jan 2008, when most of the species should be contentedly wintering on the eastern slope of the northern Andes!

Louisiana Waterthrush Seiurus motacilla: By no means a rarity, but I was surprised to see one foraging on the Oxbow Lake trail at Carara on 12 Sep. This species tends to be found at middle and upper elevations in CR, though it goes to show that in migration things can turn up just about anywhere.


Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas: Jim Zook found two birds, a male and a female, in cane fields near Filadelfia on 20 Nov.


Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina: Mariano Cruz reported seeing two individuals near the water tank, south of the village of Tortuguero, on 08 Sep. Jim Zook spotted a male in Liberia on 20 Nov. By the second week of Dec, several individuals were being seen daily at La Selva, primarily along the entrance road and the SAZ trail.


Canada Warbler Wilsonia canadensis: James McKay and I observed a bird at the Arenal Observatory Lodge on 15 Sep. Then, two individuals at La Selva on 17 Sep. Max Vindas had one bird at the Aerial Tram on 02 Oct. During my birding trip with Jonas Nilsson and Jim and Bonnie Olson, we had three birds at Tapantí on 28 Sep, two at Los Cusingos on 01 Oct, one at Carara on both 03 and 04 Oct, two at the Arenal Observatory Lodge on 06 Oct, and finally two more at La Virgen del Socorro on 10 Oct.



Mystery Raptor Resolution


If you identified the bird in the photo as an adult Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor, you were correct! In his note, Rich mentioned that it even puzzled him for a bit, which is understandable since the diagnostic rufous thighs are not visible given the bird’s pose. Still, in CR, no other raptor combines pale gray underparts, dark gray upperparts, a banded tail, and a yellow-orange cere.




For reports prior to these, please check previous Costa Rica Rare Bird Reports:


Oct/Sep 2007

Aug/Jul/Jun 2007

May/Apr/Mar 2007

Feb/Jan 2007

Dec/Nov/Oct 2006


For reports prior to those, please check the Gone Birding Newsletter.




Have you seen a rare bird in Costa Rica, or a species in an unexpected locality, or exhibiting odd behavior? If you have any noteworthy sightings, I (and the rest of the birding community) would appreciate hearing about them. Please send reports to Richard Garrigues gonebirdingcr@gmail.com and include pertinent details such as location (as precise as possible), date, time, and observers’ names. If you have digital images, all the better; however, please send images at file sizes of less than 500 kb.


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