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…