Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cano Negro

Going back to Costa Rica for another trip report. When you first set foot in the town of Fortuna you will probably be approached by a tout offering a tour of Cano Negro within 30 seconds of your arrival. By all means book the tour. I believe that the prices are fixed so there is no need to shop around for the best price.
Tourist get rounded up at their various hotels and driven by small buses north to Los Chiles on the Nicaraguan border. From there everyone piles into covered boats for a cruise along the Rio Frio to Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge. The tour includes snacks, drinks, and lunch.
The area is far from pristine but it is loaded with wildlife. You will get close up views of Spectacled Caimans like the above photo.
There are Mangrove Swallows which are similar to Violet-green Swallows. The river is also home to many Kingfishers, Ringed, Amazon, Green, and if you are lucky, American Pygmy Kingfisher.
There are incredible Proboscis Bats clinging to tree trunks that lean over the water.
Northern Jacanas flash their yellow primaries. Notice the sharp yellow spurs at the bend of their wings. These are used in combat with other jacanas. The male does all the work of raising the young birds, while the female goes looking for a new mate.
An incredible reptile, the Green Basilisk is famous for it's ability to rise up on it's hind legs, and dash across the surface of the river. What an stunning sight it is.

Local fishermen, and women, travel between Costa Rica and Nicaragua to fish the Rio Frio, This woman has just caught a Garfish.

One of nature's fishermen, Anhinga.
A bird that is very difficult to get in most of it's range, but not in Cano Negro, Sungrebe.
Huge, Common Iguanas certainly are common in CN.
Three species of monkey are easy to see in CN, the smallest is the White-faced Capuchin.
Mantled Howler Monkeys are the most abundant species. They curl up to sleep in trees overhanging the river during the heat of the day. CN is also a good place to spot one of nature's oddest creatures, Three-toed Sloth.
A nocturnal heron, Boat-billed Heron. Besides acuatic birds, Cano Negro has many great land birds like,
Slaty-tailed Trogon
Black-headed Trogon
White-ringed Flycatcher
Gray-headed Chachalaca
Great Potoo
White-winged Becard
Montezuma's Oropendela
Keel-billed Toucan
 Go there.

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