Field of Science

Rainforest birding in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a hot bed for birders, and the La Selva field station is a hot bed for Costa Rica.  Over 400 species of birds have been recorded here.  TPP is not a very good birder (that's Mrs. Phactor's arena); birds do not hold still so you can pick them up and look them over.  However every now and then a bird cooperates in such a way that even yours
truly can make an accurate identification.  So while looking for passion flower vines for a student deep within the darkest rainforest, this bird happened upon us.  Apparently a nearby fig tree had fruits just ripening and it was beginning to attract all sorts of attention.  Now in spite of its diminutive size and great distance the characteristic markings of a great curassow were unmistakable.  Quite simply TPP would not grab this bird even if he could.  The males (shown here) do some elegant courtship dances and offer their potential mates food treats.  So lots of birds have been seen but so far nothing new for the personal list, but then again, over a 20 year period of visits you do get to see quite a few species even if you aren't a very good birder.  How fortuitous that a curassow shows up so conveniently close to Thanksgiving!

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