Birds of Costa Rica

While I try to work on myself with all the birding oportunities around Vancouver, I usually am not much of a bird photographer. To get decent images of birds too often you have to sit in a stuffy blind for long stretches of time and attract the birds with food and a perch – overall not my ideal of nature photography, I’d rather document what I encounter than set things up. On top of that, the best locations will often be on land you have no right to set up a hide on. Lastly, and most importantly I simply do not feel the emotional connection I feel when photographing mammals who often know I am there, but chose to ignore me, or sometimes even landscapes in great light. To me many birds look pretty, but they just don’t do very interesting things most of the time. Maybe I am ignorant, but I will take a bear over a bird any day.
Don’t get me wrong, I like some birds. Owls for instance are really cool and I would go out of my way to photograph them, bald eagles certainly have their attraction, puffins and cranes are pretty cool, too, but ducks and small brown song birds – I don’t know… As I said, I try to work on myself, so maybe I will learn to appreciate even the small brown ones yet. Costa Rica, I am happy to report, sems a better place than most for the aspiring bird lover. It is one of those locations where even an ignoramus like myself cannot help but enjoy the diversity and color of the birds. On top of that many of them thankfully are not too tiny, but they are still damn hard to find in the jungle. In a few lodges they put out food so the lazy potographer has the luxury of having the birds come to him (or her) during breakfast rather than stalking through the rainforest with those little buggers flying off each time you are set up (another benefit of mammals – most simply can’t fly away).
Below are a few images of the various birds we saw and photographed so far. I hope you enjoy the images. As always feel free to comment and explain the wonders of birding to me, yell at me for my ignorance or write whatever else you wish to let me or the world know (ideally it would have some sort of relation to this post ;))!

Black-cheeked woodpecker getting set up to peck some wood

Keel-billed toucan

Romantic birds (I should really get a bird guide to use proper names)

Brown-hooded parrot

Bird in the rain (did I mention I should get a bird guide - it's those small brownish ones again, I told you)

Chestnut-mandibled toucan enjoying a banana

Brown Pelicans

Bare-throated tiger heron trying to camouflage itself (it failed - I found it)

Turquoise-browed Motmot in the jungle


3 responses

  1. Alexander

    Wieder mal wirklich grossartige Fotos, Johannes!
    Glückwunsch zu deiner Geduld (beim Warten auf den richtigen Moment) und deinen Blick (den entscheidenden Moment dann auch zu erwischen!).
    Vielen Dank für die Bilder! Alex

    March 1, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  2. Not sure if anyone is still following this, but just in case, since making this post I have IDed the remaining birds.
    My “romantic” birds are two female Passerini’s tanagers (ramphastos passerinii), who probably don’t have romance on their minds – unless they are queer female Passerini’s tanagers, of course. The “bird in the rain” also seems to be a Passerini’s tanager, possibly an immature one – at least that was the verdict from an English birdwatcher who knew way more of these matters than I ever will, unless, of course, my notes deceive me, which sadly enough is quite possible.

    May 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm

  3. vitor sequeira


    July 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm

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