Today I want to continue to share  photos of birds that I discovered for the first time while in Costa Rica.

ANHINGA – This name is from a Brazilian Tupi tribe’s word for “devil bird” or “evil spirit of the woods.”  It is often called “snakebird”  for its appearance as  it often  swims  with only it  head and long neck above water. It is a large elegant bird with a wingspan of almost 4 feet.


Fun Fact:  The Anhinga looks and acts much like a cormorant – they both submerge themselves underwater to hunt their pray and since  both bird species do not have waterproof feather they can often be seen with spread wings to dry them off.  The Anhinga,  however has a long straight bill while the cormorant’s bill is hooked.


GREAT CURASOW – The great curassow is a 36-inch tall  bird  with a topknot of curling feathers and very long tail. The females are black or chestnut-colored while the  males are a rich blue or black. They are quite secretive birds so I was thrilled to photograph a male and female together in the bush even though the quality isn’t the best:


Fun Fact – These birds have a life span of 24 years and are monogamous,  but have a very low reproductive rate.

KISKEDEE – This robin-sized  bird is almost as ubiquitous as the sparrow as they were found in every area we visited in Costa Rica.  I liked them especially because they were very willing to sit still while I photographed them:





If you are thinking the last two bird photos look too small and don’t  have the face stripe that the kiskedees above have – you are correct.  This smaller grey headed bird is a  kingbird

KINGBIRD – How fitting that online descriptions of this bird note that  it  sits on utility lines, fences, and exposed trees seemingly everywhere. The kingbird is a  flycatcher that catches insects on the fly, and the above bird did give us a fascinating show showing his maneuvering prowess.

ANTSHRIKE – My guide William had to coax this little but striking bird out of its cover of leaves  by using an app that mimicked a rival male.  Suddenly the antshrike was bobbing  his head and making other territorial displays:

Fun Fact:  The Antshrike forms long term monogamous pairs.  Both male and female adult birds produce a 2-3 second long song which  often overlap to create duets

You can hear the female off camera responding – she is rufous colored as seen in this internet photo:


By the way, those Costa Rican  sparrows are also quite striking:

More to come…


4 thoughts on “COSTA RICA: THE BIRDS, PART 2

  1. Great shots. Very narrow depth of field. I see balancing fast shutter for moving birds and small aperture for greater depth is quite a challenge. You have a lot of patience. Using recorded bird sounds is quite clever.

  2. Good Morning Cindy,
    Guess what, we have lots of Anhingas in Southwest Florida. They are everywhere and quite interesting to watch. Karin Weber

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