Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Since nothing of interest is happening around home these days I'll do some more armchair travelling. This time I'll take you along to revisit my favorite place in Costa Rica. Fortuna is a small town at the base of the Arenal Volcano. I have been there on all three of my Costa Rica trips. It's very green, and very wet. The place is absolutely loaded with exotic birdlife, even in the middle of town.
Besides the massive, (and very active) Arenal Volcano, there is a beautiful waterfall a few miles above the town. Since my first visit there in the mid 1990's, the place has been discovered by the tourist hordes. Prices have risen substantially, development has dimminsished the experience, but it's still a worthwhile destination.
A bad photo of a lovely bird, White-faced Nunbird.
We set a banana on top of a rock wall next to our hotel, and watched the myriad of birds that joined the feast. These are male and female Red-legged Honeycreepers. What a thrilling sight.
Another common resident in Fortuna, and much of Costa Rica, Grayish Saltator.
Near the waterfall we saw a large Amazon-type parrot, Red-lored Parrot. They are a common sight in much of Costa Rica, as are many species of parrot.

Blue-gray Tanagers are common in Fortuna, and much of Latin America.
One of my best memories of Fortuna is the day we saw four species of toucan near the waterfall. This is a Collared Aracari. We also saw Emerald Toucanet, Keel-billed, and Chestnut-mandibled Toucans.
A better view of the Aracari.
A male Barred Antshrike near the town's center. Fortuna is the only place I have seen Barred Antshrikes. The females look completely different than the males, but are also strikingly beautiful.
The photo reminds me of a Lesser Goldfinch, but in life the Yellow-throated Euphonia is very exotic by comparision.
Another very common bird, Bananaquit. Naturally the common birds are the easiest to photograph, but I have seen some really good new birds in Fortuna and vicinity. Some of my favorites are,
Rufous-winged Woodpecker
Smoky-brown Woodpecker
Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Green-breasted Mango
Black-crested Coquette
White-necked Jacobin
White-throated Crake
Snowy Cotinga
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis
Green Honeycreeper
Violaceous Trogon
Common Tody Flycatcher
Banded-backed Wren
Golden-hooded Tanager
Crimson-collared Tanager
Mealy Parrot
White-crowned Parrot
Streak-headed Woodcreeper
Rufous Mourner
etc. etc.

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