Utah Birds, Utah Birding, and Utah Birders. Promoting the sharing of information, and the conservation of habitat for birds in Utah and elsewhere. We are a group of people who want to share what we know, and create a positive birding experience in Utah.


a blog by and for Utah Birders

The Best Time of Year

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Thursday, July 21, 2011 

Just in case you're wondering whether or not you should go for a hike in the mountains this weekend...


Music of the Birds (not what you think!)

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 

Ever since I started really noticing birds a few years ago, I've also had an increased awareness of when they're featured in mass media or some other artistic or musical reference. It's funny to notice how bird songs and calls are placed in the background of movies and often without any relevance to the habitat. Embarrassingly perhaps, I find myself noticing when a bird call is misused in the background of a movie: "What the hell is a Swainson's Thrush doing singing in that person's backyard and in Florida?" Maybe if there's a job for bird consultant in feature films I can apply. The most egregious misuse is the Red-tailed Hawk call being used for every raptor - especially a Bald Eagle! I'm sure if you lined up non-birders and played for them a Red-tailed Hawk call they'd say: "Oh that's an Eagle!" Annoying....

On the other side of annoying are the musical references. This whole post idea was schemed when I stumbled on a song by one of my favorite artists today. The artist is Matt Pond PA and the song is Sparrows.

The Sparrows in the rafters make a racket when the morning breaks.

Indeed; I'll bet they do, and I thank you for singing about it.

Of course there are the ones everyone knows like Blackbird . From the lesser known realm, the indie band Shearwater is one of my favorites. Their name is of course a reference in itself. Their songs often conjure avian images as well; for example, the one below, titled Rooks.

I could probably create an entire playlist of songs that make bird references, and perhaps I will, but maybe we can make it a bit interactive first. Anyone out there in tweet/facebook/+1/google groups/blogger world want to chime in? What are some of your favorite songs about birds?

Hope you're all well and enjoying your summer.


FLAMMY: A Trip Report

posted by Tim Avery at
on Friday, July 15, 2011 

On Wednesday, July 13th, Jeff Bilsky and I led a handful of Utah Birders into East Canyon to look for owls, nightjars, and a handful of other mid-elevation riparian and aspen species. Norm and Gail Jenson, Shyloh and Deedee Robinson, and Nancy and John Matro joined me at the Mountain Dell Crossing for a little pre-dark birding. Here we had the usual Yellow Warblers, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Tree Swallow, and Cliff Swallow. Driving up to Big Mountain Pass we stopped again, and after the wind died down a little the birds started coming out. Red-naped Sapsucker, Western Tanager, Warbling Vireo, Green-tailed Towhee, Hermit Thrush, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and Violet-green Swallow were seen among other things.

We headed down into East Canyon and the Jeremy Ranch Road where Jeff Bilsky met up with us to bird along the road. The wind was blowing a little stronger than we would have like but it died down form time to time and the birds perked up when that happened. Along the road we saw and or heard Gray Catbird, Fox Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Swainson's Thrush, Mountain Bluebird, and American Goldfinch to name a few. Here before dusk we picked up our first nocturnal species with several COMMON NIGHTHAWKS soaring out of the fields and trees along the road.

L to R: Norm and Gail Jenson, Shyloh and Deedee Robinson,
Nancy and John Matro and in the back, Jeff Bilsky

We tried for Great Horned Owl here, but the wind wasn't cooperating. We decided to head up into the canyon to a pretty reliable spot for Flammulated Owl. When we got there we were thankfully out of the wind. After a short walk and literally 5 toots from the iPod a FLAMMY started singing from about 10-15 feet away. After getting a glimpse of him flying past he perched nicely on a limb for several minutes allowing everyone great looks--a lifer for several folks on the trip.

Having nailed the target species so quickly we headed back to the cars and further up the canyon to try for a few other species. At our next stop as we got out of the car I looked across the road and spotted a GREAT HORNED OWL perched atop a conifer, the silhouette showing nicely. Most of the groups either saw the bird perched or as it flew off into the forest.

The wind picked up and although we tried for saw-whet and pygmy-owls, and poorwill we struck out on all three. None-the-less it was a great night to be out birding in the beautiful mountains, just minutes form Salt Lake City! Thanks to those who attended, we have added $30 to our donation pool for a local conservation organization as part of our goal to help promote and protect habitat and birds in the state of Utah.

Lastly, please don't ask for specifics on where we saw owls, as I won't share that information to make these Little guys don't get harassed.

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BAS Field Trip Saturday: Cache County's High Mountains

posted by Ryan O'Donnell at
on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 

This Saturday, 16 July 2011, join me and the Bridgerland Audubon Society as we hike around Cache County, Utah's Tony Grove Lake and towards Naomi Peak in search of the specialties of our high mountains. Target birds include Red Crossbill, American Three-toed Woodpecker (above), Clark's Nutcracker, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Steller's Jay, among others. Rarities seen in this area in previous summers include Band-tailed Pigeon, Red-headed Woodpecker, and White-winged Crossbill (below). Pack a lunch and lots of water, and be prepared for a strenuous hike, but at a slow birding pace. The trip is free, but bring a few dollars to help cover the $5 parking fee. Meet at 8 a.m. in the parking lot between Caffe Ibis and the Logan Fire Station (50 East, 150 North, Logan). All skill levels are welcome. We will be back in the mid-afternoon.

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Just Another Quiz

posted by Jerry Liguori at
on Tuesday, July 12, 2011 

This bird is easy to identify but I love the image so much, I just wanted to post it. Let me know what you think it is.


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Impromptu End of Season Owling Trip

posted by Tim Avery at
on Sunday, July 10, 2011 

When: Wednesday, July 13th 7:00-11:00pm

Well the middle of the summer is here this week and with it the end of the breeding season for a number of owls. July is a great time to get up in the mountains looking for owls and this week has typically been a pretty successful week for finding them. Here at the Utah Birders Blog we have been talking about sponsoring field trips for some time and decided this is a perfect way to kick things off.

With that being said this Wednesday July 13th, we are going to have our Impromptu End of Season Owling Trip. We will be meeting at the Shopko in Sugarhouse at 7:00pm to head up to East Canyon to look for a few birds before it gets dark, and owls and nightjars after the sun goes down. In the past we have seen and or heard FLAMMULATED OWL, NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL, NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL, GREAT HORNED OWL, LONG-EARED OWL, COMMON POORWILL, and COMMON NIGHTHAWK. Along with the nocturnal species we might also find Fox Sparrow, Swainson’s and Hermit Thrush, MacGillivray’s and Yellow Warbler, American Dipper, Violet-green Swallow, House Wren, and Green-tailed and Spotted Towhee among other things.

Flammulated Owl in East Canyon, June 2008

If you are interested in going send us an email at utah.birders@gmail.com with your name, the number of people interested in coming, and a contact phone number. We are asking for a $5 donation per person that participates that we will be giving to a local conservation organization as part of our goal to help promote and protect habitat and birds in the state of Utah.

We will be meeting at the Shopko Parking lot in Sugarhouse at I-80 and 1300 east just to the west of the Red Lobster. From there we will car pool up the canyon and stop at several locations between Salt Lake and Jeremy Ranch, heading up over Big Mountain Pass and into East Canyon. We should be done and back to Salt Lake sometime around 11:00pm.

Good Birding and we look forward to seeing you there!

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Costa Rica Recap - Part 2 of 3

posted by Tim Avery at
on Thursday, July 7, 2011 

Driving down the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, not long after passing Quepos the Palm plantations cease and the lowland Jungles can be seen along stretches of the highway. Of course most of it is quite fragmented by farmland, but none-the-less the amount of forest compared to further up the coast is impressive! My first taste of the real lowland rain forest of the south Pacific would come the afternoon of the 6th day and along with it a variety of new birds.

The Highway just north of Uvita, Costa Rica

Day 6

Leaving the Playa Palo Seco on Friday the 17th we made a stop in Manuel Antonio for lunch. PIRATIC FLYCATCHERS posed outside of Sancho’s on the bluff at the top of the small town. VARIABLE SEEDEATER, RUDDY GROUND-DOVE, and CHERRIE’S TANAGER could all be heard while we ate.

Piratic Flycatchers in Manuel Antonio

After lunch we descended into Quepos and then headed south. A couple miles down the road I spotted a BARE-THROATED TIGER-HERON off the side of the road. The only of the trip it was a spectacular looking bird. A few miles down the road I checked off one of my North American nemesis birds when a WHITE-TAILED KITE flew over the road and dove into a field nearby. Too bad I wasn’t back home to get this long overdue species. As we made our way south the jungles rose from the coast—some in impressive fashion with tree covered cliffs rising right from the side of the road. The rivers seemed to become cleaner as we made our way towards Uvita. The Rio Baru had water that actually looked blue, in comparison to the brown water on all the rivers to the north. The drive didn’t produce and new birds, but it was a scenic hour and a half.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron along the highway south of Quepos

We made it to Uvita around 2:30pm and headed east through town into the hills. The town had a bank, grocery store and a few restaurants, and was the “biggest” city we went through south of Quepos. The resort we were staying at was a 10 minute drive from the highway up into the hills. If you tried to find it on a map, you would be lost. We had turn by turn directions, but 100 yards from the highway the road turned to dirt and even with those directions we took a couple wrong turns. The road twisted and at points seemed to be going straight up the mountain. Switchbacks did not exist. Pretty soon we made it to the gate, and as we pulled in I had to stop as there were birds all over on the hillside across the road. CHERRIE’S TANAGER, HOUSE WREN, and VARIABLE SEEDEATER were all moving across the hill.

We checked in a few minutes later and while they were getting everything ready I spotted a CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED TOUCAN in the tree above the main building. It ended up flying right over me and landing about 100 feet away in great light. At the same time I heard what I thought was an Aracari, and after scanning the trees across the resort where we drove in I spotted 2 FIERY-BILLED ARACARI in a tree that over the next 3 days would produce a number of life birds. All the while ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEETS were making a racket from the trees behind the main building, and a number of other birds I couldn’t ID by sound were calling and singing all around. Two SWALLOW-TAILED KITES circled overhead providing great looks before they disappeared.
Over the next two hours on the trail to our cabin, and from the porch of our cabin the lifers kept on coming. BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW, YELLOW-BELLIED ELEANIA, GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER, THICK-BILLED, SPOT-CROWNED, and YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA, SHORT-BILLED PIGEON, and BUFF-THROATED SALTADOR were all added pretty quickly.

Numerous flocks of WHITE-CROWNED PARROTS flew over. During the following days, MEALY PARROTS and BROWN-HOODED PARROTS also made appearances overhead as well. Darkness came quickly and the birds went away with them

Day 7

The road leading up the mountain
above the resort.

Saturday was supposed to be a major birding day around the southern part of the country, but because our first resort wasn’t quite as nice as the second, we decided to just enjoy the resort for the day instead of spending all day in the car. I started off the morning with a quick hike up the mountain along the main road. The birding was phenomenal! In a 150’ stretch of road I had 3 Trogon species with VIOLACEOUS, BAIRD’S, and SLATY-TAILED.

As I watched one trogon I spotted a BLUE-CROWNED MOTMOT, then a COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER. Several BLACK-STRIPED SPARROWS fed in the understory along the road, while a couple GREEN HONEYCREEPER worked in the trees overhead. The constant clicking of the CHERRIE’S TANAGERs let you know they were around, and the most abundant species present.

After getting a ways up the road I headed back down and a SQUIRREL CUCKOO flew across the road in front of me. Despite its large size it was very difficult to photograph and I only managed pictures of its tail. At the same time I was watching the cuckoo a shot of black flew through my field of view. I found the bird perched up near the power lines and it was a SLATY ANTWREN. It was one of the very few “ant-birds” I saw and/or heard while in Costa Rica. Despite several small ant swarms I never could find the ant birds and other species that were supposed to follow these groups.

Slaty Antwren--the only species of Antwren I saw in Costa Rica

The rest of the morning was spent at the pool where I watched both the Aracari’s and the Toucans again. Flocks of ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEETs and WHITE-HEADED PARROTs made a constant racket coming and going from multiple directions. As it warmed up the vultures started to appear and after a while I finally spotted a couple KING VULTURE way up in the clouds. I snapped a couple shots that are identifiable, but far from great.

King Vulture soaring over Uvita

In early afternoon the clouds rolled in so we took a drive down the coast about 20 miles. There weren’t a lot of birds but we did come across a flock of GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACAs—the only of the trip. We headed back to the resort in a torrential downpour and after a couple wrong turn made it back to our resort surprisingly easy despite the terrible road conditions. The rest of the day was spent napping and enjoying the air conditioning in our villa.

Day 8

Started off the morning in the same fashion as the day before, walking up the road. On this day I walked further up as there wasn’t a ton of activity. On my way out of the resort I ran in to two hummingbirds that were new for the trip—PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY and a LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT.

The lower portion of the road didn’t turn up anything, but as I got higher up I spotted a few things. A couple more SQUIRREL CUCKOO were around and while I was watching one I spotted a MASKED TITYRA in a tree about a 100 yards away. I decided to work my way closer but got side-tracked when a TAWNY-WINGED WOODCREEPER flew into a tree above me. After watching it I kept moving when I caught flashes of white above and saw several Tityra’s fly in. When I looked at the first one I noticed it had a black cap and was not a masked—but a BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA. However, when I found the second and third birds I saw they were MASKED TITYRAs. A second later I found another capped bird. The 4 were moving through the trees feeding together—made it easy to see both species in a quick period of time.

After the Tityra “flock” moved on I kept hiking up the road when another woodcreeper flew past me and landed about 25 feet away. After studying it for a minute I knew it wasn’t one I had seen before, but I wasn’t sure of the species. I took pictures, and after I got back to the resort I found it in the book as a STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER. I made my way up to a flat area where I was at eye level with a lot of the canopy hoping I could spot a few things. I spent about 15 minutes and never saw anything besides TROPICAL KINGBIRDS and HOUSE WRENS. As I was about to leave I heard the grunting of Toucans from the forest nearby. It got closer and all of the sudden two flew right over me about 10 feet overhead. I hoped they would land nearby, but they kept flying until they were out of sight into the jungle.

Heading back down the road there was a two note call from the bushes that kept piquing my curiosity. I couldn’t find the bird, but recorded it, thinking it might be a trogon. It seemed odd as it was pretty low to the ground, but who knows. When I got back to Utah I did some research and found that the birds was a CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD, and my recording matched up to that on Xeno-Canto. I was able to do this for a few species while there—which I will get to later. Heading back to the villa I spent some time on the porch watching the trees across the road. I caught a glimpse of some movement that appeared to be blue in color and soon found a small flock of honeycreepers working through the tree. Along with the GREEN HONEYCREEPER, were both SHINING HONEYCREEPER and RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER. The star of the show however was a single BLUE DACNIS that’s color was amazing. The only downside was the birds were about 200 feet away so the looks at all of the birds weren’t phenomenal.

Blue Dacnis near Uvita

We literally spent the entire rest of the day at the pool as the storm clouds didn’t roll in till around 4pm.

The view over the pool--the Pacific a couple mile away

In the middle of the afternoon a flock of swifts appeared over the resort—they weren’t your average swift as they were enormous. The birds were WHITE-COLLARED SWIFTS and they come in at the size of a small nighthawk. Quite a sight to see a half dozen cruising around about 50 feet overhead. A little later came the coolest sighting of the afternoon—unfortunately I was in the pool and was unable to get any video or photos. A flock of 5 Aracari’s came through the forest and towards the pool. Pretty soon they were in a tree about 50 feet away, and one by one they flew right by the pool. It was pretty cool to see them fly by in the same path, and in a moment they were all gone.

We took a hike in the afternoon to a stream in the forest. We saw exactly ZERO species of birds. I recorded something that kept calling from the understory, but still haven’t figured out what it was. The jungle again showed how strange it was that despite such a lush forest it was dead, and yet a ¼ mile away in the front of our villa there was a constant stream of activity. The forest edges were always the most productive areas, and that was proved on several occasions during the trip. The rest of the day came and went with nothing else of note. In the evening a COMMON POTOO sang from the forest nearby, the first and only of the trip

On my second morning at Uvita as I walked up the road I saw a unique and cool looking animal coming towards me. It turned out to be a White-nosed Coati--the only of the trip.

White-nosed Coati near Uvita

Next will be part 3 of 3, the Mountains...

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Video: Fiery-throated Hummingbird

posted by Tim Avery at
on Sunday, July 3, 2011 

I took this video at Paraiso de Quetzal off of Kilometer 70 near Cerro de la Muerte in central Costa Rica. The feeder setup here had about 50 hummingbirds mobbing the sugar water with a 50/50 mix of Fiery-throated and Magnificent Hummingbirds. This is the first video I am posting shot with my new camera setup through my 100-400mm lens.

Still photos of the same bird and more Fiery-throated Hummingbirds can be seen by clicking on the link below:

Fiery-throated Hummingbird Photos

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Costa Rica Recap - Part 1 of 3

posted by Tim Avery at
on Saturday, July 2, 2011 

Back in America for a week and finally getting everything back to normal. It took a while to go through all my photos—the 4000 or so I took kept me busy for a 5 or 6 nights while I deleted, edited, and put together a photo set for my website. I ended up with around 140 species photographed of the 230 or so species I saw. Of those just over 200 were lifers—not a bad take for about 2 full days of birding when I added it all up. It was after all a honeymoon and not a birding trip so I tried to keep it reasonable; and at the same time get acquainted with the common stuff for the next trip—whenever that may be.

So let’s talk about a self-guided side-birding trip to Costa Rica. This will be the first of a three part series on the places I went. Starting with the “mid Pacific Lowlands”, then moving onto the “south Pacific Lowlands”, and finally ending with the “Mountains”. So let’s go.

At anytime you can click on a species name that is a link to go to a gallery to see more pictures or larger versions.

Me standing over the Tarcoles River on our first day in Costa Rica


We flew from Salt Lake to Denver on Saturday the 11th then took the Red Eye to San Jose, arriving in Costa Rica just after 5:00am. The flight had a pretty cool stretch over Texas where lighting strikes were happening on a rate of more than 1 per second as far as the eye could see. Other than that I didn’t sleep much as this was my first foreign trip and I was a bit anxious. After making our way through customs and immigration we had to wait an hour for the rental place to pick us up. While we waited I picked up my first lifers with BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW and RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW at the airport. At the rental place I nabbed the national bird—CLAY-COLORED THRUSH; then we hit the road for the drive to the coast.

Clay-colored Thrush - The Costa Rican National Bird

On the drive I didn’t stop to look at anything, but spotted a few birds as we went, mostly vultures, a few woodpeckers, and one flock of CRIMSON-FRONTED PARAKEETS. Our first stop was at the Tarcoles River, a popular stop for tourists to check out the Crocodiles under the bridge—but also a popular birding stop because it’s the first “major” stop on the way down the south pacific coast. Right out of the car I could hear RUFOUS-NAPED WRENS going crazy. From the bridge I added about 20 lifers including BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK, MANGROVE SWALLOW, TRICOLORED HERON, BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER, WILSON’S PLOVER, and WOOD STORK. It was a great introduction stop and I highly recommend this location as a stop. It is supposed to be a fairly reliable spot for the rare and elusive Yellow-billed Cotinga—which I did not see during my trip.

Boat-billed Flycatcher at the Tarcoles River

Continuing down the coast we only made it about 10 miles before I stopped the car to check out a swirling flock of MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRDS. As I got out of the car I looked up to see 2 SCARLET MACAWS flying by in the distance. I grabbed my camera as 2 more passed, followed by 2 more. The pictures I got were out of focus and really bad, but I saw one of my top 10 species to see for the trip so it was alright.

Scarlet Macaws just north of Jaco

The rest of the drive south I kept adding a bird here and a bird there. Both GROOVE-BILLED and SMOOTH-BILLED ANI, several species of dove and pigeon, TROPICAL KINGBIRD and a couple other flycatchers. We drove through Parrita and over the Parrita River, then onto the Playa Palo Seco where we made our way south down the playa to our resort where we would spend the next 5 days. The birding on the playa wasn’t stellar as most of the natural vegetation had been removed in favor of palms which were part of the major palm oil plantations in the area. The plus side was a large stretch of Mangroves which would provide some of the specialties of the area.

Tropical Kingbird on the Playa Palo Seco

The rest of the first day was spent relaxing at the pool and on the beach and no new birds were really added. In the evening I strolled the beach while Sam was sleeping and was surprised to find a WILLET foraging at the tide line. As I found out both this species and Whimbrel were uncommon summer residents on the coast. The day ended with COSTA RICAN SWIFT flying over as darkness hit.

The Beach along Playa Palo Seco
(perhaps the best in Costa Rica)


On our second day we hopped in the car and headed back north along the coast to Jaco, a surf town where we figured we could do some shopping, and hit a popular beach. As we pulled into Jaco I spotted a field with 3 SOUTHERN LAPWING—the only 3 of the trip. While we watched a CRESTED CARACARA flew over, followed by a GRAY HAWK—all the while BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT were buzzing away in the bushes across the road.

Southern Lapwing in Jaco - 1 of 3 here and the only of the trip

After a few hours at the beach and in town—where if you go you must visit the Jaco Taco Bar—we took off to head back south to Playa Palo Seco. We took a side trip down a road that hugged the beach where I picked up YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA, WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER, VARIABLE SEEDEATER, and PALE-VENTED PIGEON.

Yellow-headed Caracara taken near Parrita

Several small flocks of MEALY PARROTS and ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEETS roamed the area and a couple hybrid HOFFMANN’S x RED-CROWNED WOODPECKERs provided nice photo opportunities. As we headed back to the main road I noticed 3 SCARLET MACAWS flying nearby so pulled over and got a photo that was at least in focus!

Scarlet Macaws south of Jaco


On Tuesday we spent the morning at the resort before heading south to Quepos and the beach at Manuel Antonio. During breakfast every day we were joined by a SCALY-BREASTED HUMMINGBIRD which perched near the restaurant. Didn’t really do any birding, but enjoyed some hot weather, warm ocean water, and a tropical drink on the beach. On the drive back to Playa Palo Seco I picked up an AMAZON KINGFISHER near the Parrita Shrimp Farm. Further Down the road were 2 of the 4 ROADSIDE HAWKS we saw during the trip.

Amazon Kingfisher at the Parrita Shrimp Farm


On our 4th day we opted to just relax at our resort. We spent some time swimming in the pool and the ocean, and it rained quite a bit. I took a short walk around the resort and found WHITE-TIPPED DOVE, BANANAQUIT, and RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD. In between rain showers we got a few hours of sun and were able to take a tour of the mangroves. I had high hopes to nab the majority of the specialty birds but soon found that difficult. There were plenty of YELLOW WARBLERS singing in the trees, and RINGED, GREEN, and AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER were all picked up. I finally heard 2 MANGROVE VIREOS singing up a storm, followed by 2 STREAKED FLYCATCHERS (to the right) that responded rather well to pishing.

I thought for sure I would see Mangrove Hummingbird, but no such luck. We had a great encounter with a MANGROVE BLACK-HAWK (currently conspecific with Common), and saw a few LITTLE BLUE HERON. The surprise bird of the trip was a WHIMBREL perched on a dead snag along the river. The big miss that I somehow missed everywhere I went on the trip was Boat-billed Heron.

Back at the resort as we sat on the porch of our cabin a small hummingbird lit up in the tree in front of us. I grabbed my binoculars and raised them to find a MANGROVE HUMMINGBIRD just 20 feet from us. I was able to get a few shots of this specialty and highly sought after species.

Mangrove Hummingbird at Timarai Bamboo Resort


We headed back to Manuel Antonio to hike in the National Park. The birding was pretty slow and that was a shock. I thought the jungle would be phenomenal, but it was pretty dead.

A Double-toothed Kite at Manuel Antonio was a major highlight for me

I did get great looks at a DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE, heard both FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL and GREAT TINAMOU, and came into a small flock following an ant parade. That flock included TROPICAL GNATCATCHER, LONG-BILLED GNATWREN, PLAIN XENOPS, COCOA WOODCREEPER, and LESSER GREENLET.

Long-billed Gnatwren at Manuel Antonio

We rounded out our hiking with a loop out on a small peninsula where we were able to spot BROWN BOOBY on a nearby rock islet. Right as we left the park we found a WHITE IBIS eating out of a coconut on the beach. Besides the birds we saw 3 sloths, 2 species of monkeys, some pretty cool lizards & frogs, and the biggest butterfly I have ever seen.

Sloth and Monkey from Manuel Antonio National Park

We headed back to the resort for our last night on the mid Pacific Coast, making a couple stops including one at the mouth of the Parrita River, where there were lots of COLLARED PLOVER, probably 20 LESSER NIGHTHAWKS feeding and sitting on the sandbar, and a huge flock of TERNS that included BRIDLED, ROYAL, CASPIAN, GULL-BILLED, and SANDWICH.

Lesser Nighthawks over the Parrita River

As I tallied the birds form the first 5 days I had just over 100 lifers, and had seen some pretty cool stuff. Perhaps the most exciting thing for future birding was that I left Carara National Park for a future trip when I could devote some time to the area. As the last day came to an end, I looked forward to heading down the coast and seeing what else was in store.

Me trying to photograph a Butterfly at Manuel Antonio

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