Aug 27, 2016

A taste of Costa Rican Wildlife (Fauna Costaricense)

I had first hoped to show you pictures of everything we have seen in our first month or so of life in Costa Rica. But, I can't because lots of what we've seen we didn't get good pictures of, much of what"seen" we've actually only heard, and there are simply too many pictures and video and lists of birds to actually offer you a complete and timely update. Instead, here are a bunch of things we've seen that we think are awesome!

Things I can't show you yet:
Three wattled bellbird - These things are hard to spot, and sit way up high in the canopy, but their sound is unmistakable - a single sharp metallic honk, repeated every 30 seconds or so, often alternating with a more biological sounding call that is also a proper honk.
Toucan - seen a few, no pics.
Blue Morpho menelaus butterfly - These butterflies are perhaps 8 inches wide with their wings unfolded, but they are fast and hard to shoot.
Agouti - an adorable rabbit sized rodent. Well I've got a bad picture of half an agouti rump, but it doesn't count.

Okay, here's the Agouti picture. I told you. Cute, though, right?


While we are on small animals, here's an armadillo. It lives near our mailbox.


Then there are the strangler figs. They are wild life by my sights! 
First, they strangle another tree.



Then, when that tree dies and rots away the fig is now empty, but don't worry!  They have often assumed a very clever structure like a bridge truss.
 Finally, they grow some massive buttress roots, and sometime the crisscrossing structure is still visible in the center.

This is the outside of the stunning Blue Morpho.

This little crazy beauty is called an Astala 88.  Apparently in Costa Rica you can get custom markings for about $20.

The inside of the Astala 88.

A recent hike. Funny thing - it kind of felt open at the time.

This is a leaf cutter ant nest, just a few years old, and probably 20 feet in diameter.

Blue-necked toucanet. Yes, they have little toucans here too. Not the best shot yet. 

Great Kiskadees on our front yard tree.

I believe this is the violet sabre wing hummingbird - biggest in CR, and quite large.

Blue-crowned Mot Mot. Note the racket-tail, too. These guys are something else. We see them in our yard every other day this season. 

Grey-headed Chachalaca. Very social, and very dinosaurian. Large birds.

I think this is a squirrel cuckoo who was in bad shape after a rain storm (or something). Sunning itself on the front tree.

Our first full day in the house in Monteverde, this little dude ambled through the yard like it wasn't a thing. A coatimundi. Very cool. Very curious creatures. Racoon relatives.

If it's clear you can see the bay of Puntarenas, and the Pacific beyong from many spots around town, 


There are ~1700 species of butterfly in Costa Rica. We have'd IDed this one yet.

You know, a hike.