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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Scottish forest trees, other wildlife, news


This video from Scotland says about itself:

Ray Mears visits the remaining Caledonian pine forests of Scotland and finds a wide range of wildlife.

From Wildlife Extra:

Scotland’s native Caledonian pine forest to be doubled in size

April 2014: One hundred thousand trees, including birch, aspen, two species of willow and alders, are to be planted … [at] Abernethy forest nature reserve in Speyside, which will almost double the total size of the woodland, and join it up with the fragmented surrounding remnants.

Abernethy hosts some of the rarest and most iconic species in the UK, with around 12 percent of the population of capercaillie, as well as Scottish crossbills, crested tits, wildcats, pine martens, black grouse, golden eagles and many rare mosses, fungi and plants including twinflower.

Managing and reducing the grazing pressure on the reserve from deer over the past quarter century has already enabled the Scots pine trees of Abernethy forest to expand by self-seeded natural regeneration, with more than 800 hectares of new pine saplings now established. However, although the main component of Caledonian pine forest is the native Scots pine, a critical element of ancient pine forests include a broader range of native shrub and broadleaved tree species – such as juniper, birch, rowan, alder and willows – and whilst recovery of the pine element at Abernethy has been successful, some of these other species remain extremely scarce of [sic; or] localised.

Over the next ten years, with the help of schoolchildren in Strathspey, volunteers from across Scotland and local contractors, the conservation charity will plant close to 100,000 trees at the reserve, including birch, aspen, two species of willow and alders. It is hoped that at least 40,000 of the planted saplings will survive grazing pressure from hares and other herbivores to reach maturity, leaving the full range of species and ensuring the forest’s continuity.

Jeremy Roberts, the Senior Site Manager at Abernethy, said: “We have conducted some of the most comprehensive surveys of regeneration in Britain, and this has shown that the recovery of broadleaves has been extremely slow and localised compared to the pine element at Abernethy. Few broadleaves remain to provide the vital seed source, and of those that do are highly immobile and restricted.

“To give the forest a helping hand we are restoring these species, with the welcome help of local schools and volunteers to assist with the planting of these under-represented broadleaved trees. As these small groups mature they will themselves provide the seed source, inoculating the forest edge and providing a locus for these species to regenerate more widely, and restoring the forest to its diverse and species-rich former glory.

“It may well be that the children and grandchildren of the school children who have been assisting with the planting will be the ones who see the difference rather than us. However, it is enormously satisfying to know that this is this generation that is creating this legacy.”

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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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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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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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Hummingbirds, flowers and iguana in Costa Rica


Montezuma's oropendola male, 17 March 2014

Still the morning of 17 March 2014 near the Sarapiqui river in Costa Rica. After the earlier Montezuma’s oropendola’s, we see this bird species again. Doing gymnastics on a branch again.

Stripe-throated hermit, 17 March 2014

A stripe-throated hermit hummingbird. Some hermits are big for hummingbirds, but this one is one of the smallest species.

Flower, Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

It likes the beautiful flowers, which grow here. And in the botanical garden on the other site of the road, where we would go later and where the flower photos were taken.

Flower, in Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

Flower, in Costa Rica, on 17 March 2014

Green iguana, 17 March 2014

Much bigger than the little hummingbird is a green iguana.

We cross the main road. Groove-billed anis on the other side.

Two social flycatchers on a wire.

A house wren. A singing grey-crowned yellowthroat.

A pond in the botanical garden attracts damselflies.

A black-cheeked woodpecker in a tree.

A Central American agouti walking in the garden.

A scaly-breasted hummingbird on a branch cleans its feathers.

A black-cowled oriole in another tree.

In yet another tree, a yellow-olive flycatcher.

Rufous-tailed hummingbird, 17 March 2014

A rufous-tailed hummingbird; sometimes, on a branch; sometimes flying.

A masked tityra. A boat-billed flycatcher.

Back across the main road. In a treetop, an olive-throated parakeet.

Clay-coloured thrush, Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

A clay-coloured thrush.

Butterfly, Costa Rica, 17 March 2014

We walk along the forest trail. A butterfly.

Summer tanager male, 17 March 2014

A bird from North America wintering here: a male summer tanager.

Montezuma's oropendola, 17 March 2014

Let us finish this blog post like we started it, with a Montezuma’s oropendola.

Stay tuned!

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Conservation awards for 2014


This video is called Blue-throated Macaws in the Barba Azul Nature Reserve, Bolivia.

From BirdLife:

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 09/04/2014 – 09:37

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) has announced this year’s conservation team awards. Twenty six grants have been awarded in 16 different countries worth a total of $450,000.

This year’s projects form another extremely diverse group ranging from conservation of Slender-snouted Crocodile in Gabon, to surveying and assessing three Red Listed tree species in the Western Ghats of India. This year, for the first time, the CLP will be supporting a project from Antigua and Barbuda.

“These awards have identified 110 young conservation leaders from developing countries early in their careers. They join a global network of more than 2,500 conservationists in the CLP alumni. These people are committed to conservation and improving the state of nature globally”, said Kiragu Mwangi, BirdLife’s CLP Programme Manager.

Bird species that will be the focus of some of this year’s projects include the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw, Sociable Lapwing, Black-breasted Puffleg and Siberian Crane. A further two projects will focus on the Serra do Urubu Important Bird and Biodiversity Area in north-eastern Brazil and the Inter-Andean Slopes and Chocó Endemic Bird Areas in Colombia.

In addition to funding all participating team members will get the chance to access a wealth of conservation expertise and receive training from within the CLP Partnership.

All award-winning team members will become part of the CLP alumni network that supports approximately 2,500 conservation leaders. The Alumni Network provides ongoing professional development to our emerging leaders and positions them to multiply their impact in the conservation sector.

“Through this programme, we invest in ongoing professional development and mentoring to further build skills and knowledge”, said Kiragu.

Alumni members also receive access to additional grants, mentoring from CLP staff and training. A representative from each award-winning team will also take part in CLP’s two-week Conservation Leadership & Management Training Workshop in June 2014 at a remote ecological research station in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

Four of the 2014 award winning teams will be mentored by BirdLife Partners – Asociacion Armonia (Bolivia), SAVE Brasil (Brazil), Aves y Conservación (Ecuador) and Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

The CLP has supported over 554 projects since the programme’s start in 1985.

The CLP is a unique partnership between BirdLife International, Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International and Wildlife Conservation Society. The mission of the CLP is to advance biodiversity conservation globally by building the leadership capabilities of early-career conservation professionals working in places with limited capacity to address high-priority conservation issues.


Full Project List

Future Conservationist Awards (up to $15,000)

  • Assessing Extinction Risk of Kenya’s Exploited Coral Reef Fish
  • Conservation Assessment of Ibadan Malimbe in South-Western Nigeria
  • Combining Research and Local Community Involvement to Save Lemur in Madagascar
  • Conservation Beyond Breeding Grounds: Tracking Sociable Lapwing in Eritrea
  • Conservation of Slender-Snouted Crocodile in the Lake Region of Gabon
  • Toward Sustainable Logging in São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Conserving Endangered Silvery-Brown Tamarin in Highly Degraded Forests, Colombia
  • Monitoring Harlequin Frogs in Sierra Nevada, Colombia
  • Conservation Status Assessment of Salamanders in Santander, Colombia
  • Unravelling the Occupancy Patterns of Guiana Dolphin in Southeastern Brazil
  • River Dolphin Population Assessment in Yarinacocha Lagoon, Peru
  • Promoting Local Participation in Habitat Conservation of Black-breasted Puffleg, Ecuador
  • Status Surveys of Focal Species in the Magdalena Medio, Colombia
  • Baird´s Tapir Conservation in Nombre De Dios National Park, Honduras
  • Conserving West Indian Whistling Duck on Antigua and Barbuda’s Offshore-Islands
  • Preventing Extinction of the Critically Endangered Blue-Throated Macaw, Bolivia
  • Tackling Invasive Alien Species in the Western Ghats Hotspot, India
  • Conservation of Otter Habitat Through Stakeholder Participation, India
  • Survey and Assessment of Threatened Trees in Western Ghats, India
  • Effect of Landscape Change on Mammals in Eastern Ghats, India
  • Protecting Horseshoe Bats of Romania

Follow-up Awards ($25,000)

  • Promoting Conservation of Threatened Birds in Western Colombia
  • Promoting Conservation Through Ecotourism and Education in Serra Do Urubu Important Bird Area, Brazil
  • Conserving Siberian Cranes in China Through Sustainable Water Management
  • Conserving Livelihoods and Semnopithecus Ajax: Resolving Conflicts Around Khajiar-Kalatop Sanctuary-Chamba

Leadership Awards ($50,000)

  • Dugongs for Life: Engaging Malagasy Communities in Marine Ecosystem Stewardship
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Penduline tits collect nesting material, video


This video is about penduline tits collecting nesting material.

This species collects, eg, bulrush material to build nests.

A. Strootman from the Netherlands made the video.

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Bee digging nest, video


This video says about itself (translated from Dutch):

8th April 2014

Andrena vaga is a solitary bee, rare in the Netherlands. Only the females dig a nest, and they mainly feed on willow pollen. Filmed by René Peeters.

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Great spotted woodpecker feeds on pine seeds, video


This is a video about a great spotted woodpecker in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen nature reserve in the Netherlands.

The woodpecker had made a hole in a tree to provide space for a pine cone. As the cone fits into the hole, the woodpecker can get pine seeds out of the cone.

Kevin van de Merwe made the video.

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