Sunday, August 30, 2015

Bulletin 233 - Costa Rica #12 - misc non passerines, blue morpho, bromeliad

The 16" Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata) is the largest of the 6 species of New World kingfishers. This is a female with the blue band above the rufous on the breast. The male would have a solid rufous breast. This bird occasionally shows up in Texas.

Ringed Kingfisher - female
The 10" Spotted Wood-Quail (Odontophorus guttatus) is found in the mountains above 3000'. It is brown and covered with spots. The black throat and spots are diagnostic. 

Spotted Wood-Quail
Here is a head on view. It just looks like a ball with a small head.

Spotted Wood-Quail
The 30" Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum) was fishing in the river at La Selva.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
Tinamous are a small (47 species) family on New World birds that are plump with small heads and almost almost tailless They are terrestrail. They are exceeding difficult to even see as they creep through dense underbrush. I had seen only 2 before this trip. La Selva is one of the best places to see them and I saw all 3 species there, but only got photos of the 17" Great Tinamou (Tinamou major).

Great Tinamou
And a close up.

Great Tinamou
The 15" Gray-necked Wood-Rail (Aramides cajaneus) is a colorful easy to see rail of the forest. This one was at an artists (cope) house near La Selva. He has a nice set up for photography with a small pond. There was a pair of these rails resident with 2 chicks.

Gray-necked Wood-Rail - adult
The downy chicks were all legs and black and fluffy.

Gray-necked Wood-Rail - chick
I took many photos and as we were watching them, suddenly one of the chicks in the edge of the water started screaming.

Rail pair with chick #1
The parents sensed something was wrong. This next photo shows the chick with just his neck above the water.

Rail pair with chick #2

In the third of the series, just the top of his fluffy head is visible between the legs of the left adult.

Rail pair with chick #3

In the next one, his head is back above the water.

Rail pair with chick #4
As we were watching, the parents were really excited. Cope grabbed his rubber boots and put them on and waded across the pond and rescued the baby. I got a photo as he carried it back to our side of the pond. You can see his right leg has been bitten off below the knee. It must have been a snapping turtle that grabbed him and was pulling him under.

Baby rail with leg bitten off.
This unfortunate bird hopefully survived. I was unaware that I had the photos showing him being dragged under the water until I got home. It was just one of those moments when my camera was pointed in the right direction to record the action.

The 2.8" Blue Morpho butterfly (Morpho belenor) is well known to anyone who has been to the rain forest in middle America. The sudden iridescent blue as it opens its wings when flying is a sight you never forget. The outside of the wings is brown. I have tried to catch it with its wings open, but photographing a butterfly in flight is well nigh impossible. On this trip, I did get it landed, but it has its wings folded up, so just the brown outside shows.

Blue Morpho
Lastly was a stunning pink bromeliad called the Corpus Bromeliad. It was about 1 foot tall from the folded down leaved to the top of the cone. It is a native plant in Costa Rica.

Corpus Bromeliad

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

To have these trip reports sent to your email, please email me at the above address and ask to subscribe.

No comments: