Parrots and jays in Costa Rica


White-throated magpie jay, 19 March 2014

19 March 2014 in Costa Rica. After the morning, in the afternoon we left the Bajo del Toro area to go to the Arenal volcano region. There, we would see this white-throated magpie jay.

Before arriving there, we had seen many green iguanas at a bridge. A bare-throated night heron on the river bank.

A grey-lined hawk on a wire.

We continued to La Fortuna town. Its original name was El Borio. The name changed in 1968: an Arenal volcano eruption then killed many people, but El Borio was untouched. The new name is about the good fortune of the town during that eruption.

Until recently, Arenal was a working volcano, attracting many tourists and making the town touristy.

In the park in La Fortuna: red-billed pigeon and blue-gray tanager in a tree.

A great-tailed grackle flying.

A tropical kingbird on a wire.

We continued, seeing the white-throated magpie jay already mentioned.

A bit further, a white-fronted parrot in a tree.

Red-lored parrot, 19 March 2014

A red-lored parrot, feeding in another tree.

Crested guan, 19 March 2014

As we continued further, a crested guan.

A chestnut-mandibled toucan in yet another tree.

A white hawk flying.

Arenal volcano, 19 March 2014

The top of the Arenal volcano was covered in clouds.

Sunset, Costa Rica, 19 March 2014

Finally, a beautiful sunset near a bridge.

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Bahraini photographer gets ten years jail for photography


This video says about itself:

France 24: Bahrain Juveniles Under Crossfire & Toxic Gas

23 April 2013

Program produced by France 24 Arabic Channel about what minors in Bahrain suffer from, it shows how security forces storm schools and arrest students. It also highlights the story of a 5-years-old boy who had been shot with a shotgun which struck his eye. Ahmed Al-Nahham’s eye was removed, his testimony about what happeded to him.

From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:

15 April, 2014

Bahrain: 10 Years in Prison for Photojournalist Ahmed Humaidan after an Unfair Trial

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses its deep concern about the Bahraini authorities’ continued practice of arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force against journalists, photographers, and human rights activists. On Wednesday, 26 March 2014, the Third High Court issued a 10-year prison sentence against photographer Ahmed Humaidan [1] in a trial that lacked due process.

A reputed freelance photographer, Humaidan has won 163 awards internationally for his contributions to the field. After his arrest for alleged arson in December 2012, he stated that he suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of the torture he was reportedly subjected to by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) [2]. Humaidan was reportedly subjected to various methods of torture, including being forced to stand in a cold room for hours whilst handcuffed and blindfolded. Humaidan informed his family that while he was blindfolded and handcuffed at the CID, he was reportedly forced to carry an object that his interrogators told him was a live bomb. He was made to hold the object for several hours under duress and strict surveillance. Additionally, Humaidan stated that he was psychologically intimidated during questioning in order to extract a false confession. Interrogators reportedly threatened to bring charges against his siblings on fabricated crimes if he refused to confess.

Fadhel Al-Sawad, Humaidan’s lawyer, stated that no incriminating evidence was presented in court against Humaidan, except for the confessions that were reportedly extracted under torture and reports from anonymous sources from within the CID. Humaidan was subjected to an unjustified delay in his trial that continued for more than a year because key witnesses from the Ministry of Interior evaded and declined to attend the court proceedings for six months. There were numerous inconsistencies in witness testimony throughout the trial, particularly in regards to the location of the alleged crime [3]. Although Al-Sawad submitted substantial evidence in support of Humaidan’s innocence during the year-long trial, the court delivered the maximum sentence against Humaidan, whilst simultaneously acquitting two fugitive defendants that lacked defense and proof of innocence [4]. The Bahrain Center for Human Rights considers the decisions of this court to be arbitrary, and politically motivated.

The BCHR has documented attacks on photographers and journalists since the beginning of the pro-democracy movement in 2011. More than ten members of the media have been sentenced to prison [5]; some of them were reportedly subjected to torture. The blogger Zakariya Al-Ashairi [6] was documented in the BICI report as having been tortured to death. Others have faced extrajudicial killings, including photographer Ahmed Ismail Hasan [7]. During the three-month state of emergency in 2011, several photographers and members of the media were documented to have been summarily dismissed from their jobs and arrested during house raids; their families were reportedly intimidated, and some of their personal photography equipment was reportedly stolen. The government has failed to independently investigate these incidents, and has failed to hold the perpetrators of these acts accountable. On the contrary, in a recent case, the police officer Sara Al-Moussa [8] was acquitted of all charges in which she reportedly tortured the journalist Nazeeha Saeed (see: http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6260).

The authorities in Bahrain continue similar practices today. Many members of the media, including photographers such as Ahmed Fardan and Jaffar Madhoon, are subjected to enforced disappearance and reportedly tortured in order to extract false confessions [9]. Others, such as photographer Hussein Hubail and blogger Jassim Al-Noaimi, are reportedly subjected to torture, and then denied access to adequate medical attention [10]. The Bahraini authorities also target specific members of the press, such as journalist Mazen Mahdi and photographer Mohammed Al-Sheikh. On 26 February 2014, Mahdi was shot directly in the leg with a tear gas canister while filming a protest. The angle at which the shot was fired and the deliberate aiming of teargas directly at photojournalists confirms that the targeting was specific and intentional [11].

International human rights institutions and organizations have condemned the practice of targeting photographers and members of the media and subjecting them to enforced disappearance and torture. Reporters Without Borders has condemned the government’s practice of using arbitrary arrests as a means of intimidation to restrict the flow of information out of Bahrain [12].

Based on the above, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, United Nations and all close allies to the government of Bahrain to pressure Bahraini authorities to:

Immediately release Ahmed Humaidan and all other arbitrarily arrested members of the media and photographers;
Uphold Article 19 concerning the freedom of expression as a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
End the systematic targeting of photographers, journalists, and bloggers, and allow all members of the media to carry on their work free from restrictions and harassment;
Commission an independent investigation into the allegations against those implicated in human rights violations and acts of torture against imprisoned photographers, journalists, and bloggers.

—-

[1] http://www.alwasatnews.com/4219/news/read/870181/1.html

[2] http://bchr.hopto.org/ar/node/5608

[3] http://manamavoice.com/news-news_read-19338-0.html

[4] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3803/news/read/735384/1.html

[5] http://bchr.hopto.org/ar/node/6771

[6] http://bchr.hopto.org/ar/node/5737

[7] http://bchr.hopto.org/ar/node/5143

[8] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3943/news/read/787380/1.html

[9] http://bchr.hopto.org/ar/node/6683

[10] http://bchr.hopto.org/ar/node/6609

[11] http://www.bahrainpa.org/?p=199

[12] http://en.rsf.org/bahrain-news-photographer-gets-10-years-in-26-03-2014,46046.html

[13] http://www.alwasatnews.com/3773/news/read/728056/1.html

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Orchids, dippers and tarantula in Costa Rica


Maxillaria ringens, 19 March 2014

The morning of 19 March 2014 on Costa Rica. There were not only orchids along the mountain road yesterday, but in the cloud forest today as well. Like Maxillaria ringens on the photos.

Maxillaria ringens orchid, 19 March 2014

Flower, 19 March 2014

And other species.

Before we went to the cloud forest, a rufous-collared sparrow singing. Hummingbirds at the feeders.

A flock of three-striped warblers on a bush.

A bright-rumped attila in a tree.

A monarch butterfly on flowers.

Chestnut-capped brush finch, adult, 19 March 2014

Like yesterday, a chestnut-capped brush finch.

Inca dove, 19 March 2014

An Inca dove.

Central American agouti, 19 March 2014

And a Central American agouti.

Tarantula, 19 March 2014

This tarantula is of the Brachypelma genus.

Butterfly, Costa Rica, 19 March 2013

About this butterfly, I don’t even know the genus.

Magenta-throated woodstar, 19 March 2014

A male magenta-throated woodstar hummingbird flying. A species which lives only in Costa Rica and Panama.

In the forest, a ruddy-capped nightingale thrush on a branch.

A spotted woodcreeper climbs up a tree trunk.

A tufted flycatcher in a tree.

An American dipper on a rock in the stream.

A sulphur-bellied flycatcher.

American dipper, 19 March 2014

11:35. Two American dippers on rocks in the stream. Unfortunately, just at a time when the camera was acting up. So, just this one photo.

We left, to the Arenal volcano.

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Orchids, armadillos, monkeys and birds in Costa Rica


This video is about national parks in Costa Rica.

18 March 2014.

Costa Rica; after earlier in the afternoon, still near Parque Nacional Juan Castro Blanco.

Bandera española, 18 March 2014

Walking down the mountain road, not only long-tailed silky flycatchers, but also flowers. This orchid species is called bandera española, Spanish flag, in Costa Rica. This is because it has the same red and yellow colours as that flag.

Bandera española, on 18 March 2014

Two nine-banded long-nosed armadillos close to the road.

More mammals: mantled howler monkeys with a youngster.

Clay-coloured thrush, 18 March 2014

A clay-coloured thrush.

Slate-throated redstart, 18 March 2014

We are back. A slate-throated redstart on a branch.

Chestnut-capped brush finch, adult, 18 March 2014

On the other side of the stream, chestnut-capped brush finches.

Chestnut-capped brush finch, adult, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Chestnut-capped brush finch, juvenile, 18 March 2014

Both adults and juveniles, with duller colours, are present.

Central American agouti, 18 March 2014

Also on that side, a Central American agouti.

A black guan flies, while calling.

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Long-tailed silky flycatchers and band-tailed pigeons in Costa Rica


Long-tailed silky flycatcher male, 18 March 2014

Still 18 March 2014 in the highlands of Costa Rica. After the hummingbirds and the coati earlier in the day, we went higher up the mountains, and saw long-tailed silky flycatchers.

Long-tailed silky flycatcher sings, 18 March 2014

This species lives only in the mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama.

A male and a female sat together in a tree.

Band-tailed pigeons, 18 March 2014

Two band-tailed pigeons sat in another tree.

Long-tailed silky flycatcher, 18 March 2014

As we walked back again, we saw (probably other) long-tailed silky flycatchers again.

Long-tailed silky flycatcher with berry, 18 March 2014

They were feeding on berries.

Long-tailed silky flycatcher, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Flowers, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Flowers were there as well. More other flowers, like orchids, will have to wait till a later blog post.

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Hummingbirds and coati in Costa Rica


Magnificent hummingbird male, 18 March 2014

After the golden-browed chlorophonias and other wildlife in the morning of 18 March in Costa Rica, now a blog post mainly about hummingbirds again. Like this male magnificent hummingbird.

A monarch butterfly.

Green-crowned brilliant male, 18 March 2014

2pm. The feeders were temporarily replaced by flowers. A bit unusual for the hummingbirds; still, they kept coming. Like this male green-crowned brilliant.

Green-crowned brilliant male, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Male violet sabrewing, 18 March 2014

And this violet sabrewing male.

Violet sabrewing male, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Violet sabrewing male, in Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Green hermit female, 18 March 2014

And this green hermit female.

Green hermit female, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Purple-throated mountain-gem and green-crowned brilliant, 18 March 2014

Here, a female purple-throated mountain-gem waits on a stem, while a male green-crowned brilliant hovers.

White-nosed coati, 18 March 2014

Some twenty minutes later: a white-nosed coati on the other side of the stream.

Ten minutes later: a green spiny lizard.

We went away, higher up the mountains.

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Costa Rica chlorophonia and other cloud forest wildlife


Costa Rica cloud forest and epiphytes, 18 March 2014

18 March 2014 near Bosque de Paz, Costa Rica. After the birds and moths of yesterday, to the cloud forest. Many bromeliads and other epiphytes on the trees, as the photos show.

Costa Rica cloud forest, and epiphytes, 18 March 2014

Costa Rica cloud forest, 18 March 2014

In the early morning, a clay-coloured thrush sang.

A black guan in a tree.

Many hummingbirds again.

A sulphur-bellied flycatcher.

A golden-browed chlorophonia.

A red-tailed squirrel.

A ruddy-capped nightingale-thrush crossing a forest path.

An eye-ringed flatbill on a branch.

Slate-throated redstart, 18 March 2014

A slate-throated redstart; singing.

Mantled howler monkeys call.

Another black guan in a tree.

A broad-winged hawk in another tree.

A great black hawk flying.

Torrent tyrannulet, 18 March 2014

8:50: a torrent tyrranulet near the stream.

A boat-billed flycatcher in a tree.

Costa Rica cloud forest flowers and golden-browed chlorophonia, 18 March 2014

A beautiful golden-browed chlorophonia again.

Golden-browed chlorophonia, 18 March 2014

Caterpillar, 18 March 2014

A caterpillar.

Butterfly, Costa Rica, 18 March 2013

Will it become this butterfly? Or another butterfly, or a moth?

Spot-crowned woodcreeper, 18 March 2014

A spot-crowned woodcreeper climbs a tree.

A prong-billed barbet on a branch.

A common bush-tanager. A tropical parula.

A golden-winged warbler.

Yellow-thighed finches, 18 March 2014

Yellow-thighed finches in a tree.

Spangle-cheeked tanager, 18 March 2014

A spangled-cheeked tanager. A species living in mountainous areas of Costa Rica and Panama only.

11:35: we are back. A Central American agouti across the stream.

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More Costa Rican birds, and moths


Black phoebe, 17 March 2014

Still, 17 March 2014 near Bosque del Paz in Costa Rica. Not only hummingbirds, but also other birds, like this black phoebe.

They behave somewhat dipper-like on rocks in mountain streams. But they are an American flycatcher species, unrelated to dippers.

A golden-browed chlorophonia.

On the other side of the stream, a chestnut-capped brushfinch.

Black guan, 17 March 2014

In a big tree, a big bird, living only in Costa Rica and Panama: a black guan.

Rufous-collared sparrow, 17 March 2014

In a smaller tree, a much smaller bird with a much bigger geographical range: a rufous-collared sparrow.

A collared trogon.

Moth, 17 March 2014

Then, time to switch from telephoto lens to macro lens. From birds to moths which had gathered on the building.

Moth, Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

There are thousands of Costa Rican moth species, and I am far from an expert in these species. So, I know there were various moth species, but not which species.

Moth, in Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

Hawk moth, 17 March 2014

The largest specimens belonged to the hawk moth family.

Hawk moth with two smaller moths, 17 March 2014

Finally, a Central American agouti with a baby on the other river bank.

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Costa Rica mountain hummingbirds


This video from Costa Rica is called Juan Castro Blanco National Park. It gives an idea of especially the plant life of the mountainous area around Bosque de Paz where we arrived in the afternoon of 17 March 2014, after the great potoo and red-winged blackbirds of earlier that day.

Feeders around Bosque de Paz attracted many hummingbirds.

Violet sabrewing male, 17 March 2014

These included violet sabrewings; like the male on the photo.

Green-crowned brilliant male, Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

And green-crowned brilliants. The photo shows a male.

Green-crowned brilliant female, in Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

And this photo shows a female.

Green hermit female, 17 March 2014

And green hermits. On the photos, females.

Green hermit female, on 17 March 2014

Green hermit female, Costa Rica, on 17 March 2014

And purple-throated mountain gems. This species lives only in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

And stripe-tailed hummingbirds.

Scintillant hummingbird male, 17 March 2014

A male scintillant hummingbird on a branch. One of the smallest hummingbird species.

Magnificent hummingbird female, 17 March 2014

This photo shows a female magnificent hummingbird.

A list of Bosque de Paz bird species is here.

More Bosque de Paz birdlife and other wildlife to come on this blog. Stay tuned!

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Great potoo and red-winged blackbirds in Costa Rica


Great potoo, 17 March 2014

17 March 2014 in Costa Rica. We leave the area of the Sarapiqui river where we were in the morning, for the mountains. In the mountains, we saw this special bird: a great potoo, about which more soon.

From the bus: a grey-breasted martin and a tropical kingbird on a wire.

Then, a sign along the road, saying: potoo. Great potoos are big nocturnal birds. Usually, during daytime, they rest in big trees, well camouflaged by their colour and shape. This great potoo here, however, rests on a leafless branch of a big solitary tree, unusually clearly visible.

Great potoo, Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

The people of the house on the hill near the potoo tree welcome birdwatchers.

This is a video of a great potoo at night. This species does not only live in Central America, but also in South American countries like in Suriname.

There are also golden-hooded tanagers in the great potoo tree. And a clay-coloured thrush.

Four brown-hooded parrots flying overhead.

Ruddy ground-dove, 17 March 2014

A ruddy ground-dove sits nearby.

Red-winged blackbird on grass, 17 March 2014

We continue to an area with many meadows. And with many red-winged blackbirds from North America, wintering here.

Red-winged blackbird, 17 March 2014

They sit on grass stems, while singing.

Red-winged blackbird on pole, 17 March 2014

They sit on wires, and on poles.

Red-winged blackbird still on pole, 17 March 2014

Barn swallows flying around.

A white-tailed kite hovering.

Three crimson-fronted parakeets flying.

We continue, higher and higher up the mountains.

Stay tuned!

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