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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Punta Leone’s Birds

April 22nd, 2013 · 3 Comments

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The birds that we saw in and around Punta Leone include some of the most beautiful on the planet. Macaws and other parrots, motmots, manakins, trogons, toucans and more all live there. Macaws are the world’s largest parrots, and the Scarlet Macaw may be the most colorful one.

I Saw and Photographed this Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) on One of Our Forest Hikes

I Saw and Photographed this Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) on One of Our Forest Hikes

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The Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot (Amazona auropalliata) Lives Near the Pacific from Southern Mexico to Costa Rica.

The Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot (Amazona auropalliata) Lives Near the Pacific from Southern Mexico to Costa Rica.

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Like this Blue-diademed Motmot (Momotus lessonii), All Motmot Species (Except the Tody Motmot) and Both Sexes Have This Distinctive "Racket" Tail

Like this Blue-diademed Motmot (Momotus lessonii), All Motmot Species (Except the Tody Motmot) and Both Sexes Have This Distinctive "Racket" Tail

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This Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa) was in Costa Rica's Guacimo Dry Forest, but it is the National Bird of Nicaragua and El Salvador

This Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa) was in Costa Rica's Guacimo Dry Forest, but it is the National Bird of Nicaragua and El Salvador

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A Male Orange-collared Manakin (Manacus aurantiancus), Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama, Eats

A Male Orange-collared Manakin (Manacus aurantiancus), Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama, Eats

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A Male Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus) Lives in the Open Forests of Central America

A Male Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus) Lives in the Open Forests of Central America

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A Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) Mostly Eats Fruit with its Large Bill

A Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) Mostly Eats Fruit with its Large Bill

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The Fiery-billed Araçari (Pteroglossus frantzii) is a Toucan Endemic to Costa Rica and Western Panama

The Fiery-billed Araçari (Pteroglossus frantzii) is a Toucan Endemic to Costa Rica and Western Panama

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After returning home, I had to write Glenn to ask him to identify the bird below. We had noted it on our daily checklist, and it’s included in The Birds of Costa Rica by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean, but the head-on angle of this shot threw me off. I especially wanted to include it here because a good friend of mine loves birds that are blue, and I love the unusually patterned background too.

A Male Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) Perches in the Forest

A Male Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) Perches in the Forest

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Seeing all of these colorful birds delighted me. But one bird that is much less colorful gave me a special pleasure. Two years ago when I toured Panama, I heard but never saw a Black Guan. Glenn was my guide both in Panama and in Costa Rica. And this time he found me a guan.

Crested Guans (Penelope purpurascens) are Large Birds Related to the Mound Builders of Australia

Crested Guans (Penelope purpurascens) are Large Birds Related to the Mound Builders of Australia

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At Punta Leone about a quarter of an hour after sunset, I got one of my most interesting shots. It would not have been possible without my camera’s external flash and my “Better Beamer.”

A Female Pacific Screech Owl (Megascops cooperi) and Her Owlet in the Nest

A Female Pacific Screech Owl (Megascops cooperi) and Her Owlet in the Nest

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After our group took a long hike one evening, only Sharon, Glenn, and I wanted to look for an owl that we heard. Glenn spotted the female owl in a dead palm tree, and I approached close enough to photograph it with my 100-400mm lens. After taking about a dozen shots, I started to go back to where Sharon and Glenn were waiting. But just then they yelled “Baby!” They were watching with their binoculars, and I couldn’t see it with my naked eyes, but I went back and took more photos, including this one. Pacific Screech Owls are strictly nocturnal, enlivening Central American nights with their call, which I wouldn’t call a “screech.”

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Posted in: Costa Rica

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 winnie // Apr 29, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    All of the birds are gorgeous ! Do they have lots of lovely butterflies also?

  • 2 David Mendosa // Apr 30, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Yes, quite a few butterflies. I have a photo of a very special one in a forthcoming photo essay.

  • 3 Shelley // May 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Truly awesome photos – thank you for sharing!

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