Giro d’Italia cycling, from Costa Rican to Dutch victory


This 20 May 2016 video in Spanish shows Costa Rican cyclist Andrey Amador winning the leader’s pink jersey in the Giro d’Italia cycling race.

Andrey Amador was the first Costa Rican ever, and the first Central American cyclist ever, to wear the pink jersey.

However, that was yesterday.

Today was a very difficult mountain stage.

When Amador had difficulty following other favourites on a steep slope, a woman waving a Costa Rican flag started running besides him, encouraging him.

By going downhill fast after the mountain top, Amador managed to catch up with other favourites again.

However, then came another mountain, and still another one …

Amador lost his pink jersey to Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk.

This April 2016 video is called Kruijswijk aiming high at the Giro d’Italia.

This is a Dutch interview with Kruijswijk after winning the pink jersey today.

Tomorrow, there will be time trial stage up a mountain. Kruijswijk now has 41 seconds advantage on number two, Italian favourite Nibali.

Who will win?

Costa Rican bat news


This video says about itself:

16 December 2008

A Super Natural Adventure into the misunderstood world of the bat. Filmed on location at Tirimbina Rainforest Center in Costa Rica. Ryan Jacobus explains all about the jungle ecosystem and the bat’s amazing ability to use echo location to find its prey.

From The Costarican Times:

Christmas Bat Count Reveals New Bats in Costa Rica

2015/12/23

Every year, on the 11th and 12th of December, people from Panama to Mexico go outside for a very different type of event, the Christmas Bat Count.

The event is organized by the Central American Strategy for Bat Conservation and the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Conservation of Bats.

Over 60 participants came out in Costa Rica, including biologists, volunteer firefighters, students, and even a 7 year old child. SINAC, UCR, OTS and Bat Jungle Projects were involved in the effort.

The search for bat species occurred in Santa Rosa National Park, La Amistad International Park, Tirimbina Biological Reserve, Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, Palo Verde National Park, Monteverde, Barva Volcano National Park, Diria National Park and the Barra Honda National Park. This allowed observers to work in three ecosystems; rainforest, cloud forest and dry forest.

A total of 61 species were seen. Seven hairy-legged vampire bats were observed, which are not common in the country. Another surprise was that the fruit bat, which is usually in middle lands, was spotted in Guanacaste.

Wildlife watching in Costa Rica: How to spot sloths, whales and birds. This Central American nation is one of the world’s most biodiverse, and it’s becoming even more accessible, thanks to new flights from the UK: here.

‘Kermit-like’ frog discovery in Costa Rica


This video from the USA says about itself:

Newfound species of frog has eyes like Kermit

20 April 2015

The frog, found in Costa Rica, has translucent skin and eyes that many people say resemble those of the world’s most famous frog.

From Discovery.com:

Real-Life Kermit the Frog Found in Costa Rica

04/20/15

Wildlife researcher Brian Kubicki has identified a new species of glass frog that bears a striking resemblance to everyone’s favorite childhood frog. Discovered in Costa Rica, Hyalinobatrachium dianae is easily identifiable by its lime green flesh, translucent underside and large, Kermit-like eyes.

H. dianae was discovered in the Talamanca mountains; it is the first new species of glass frog to be discovered in Costa Rica in over 40 years. Kubicki posits that the frog remained hidden from researchers for so long thanks to its mating call, which more closely resembles that of insects than frogs.

No word yet if there is a Miss Piggy look-alike pig also residing in the same jungle.

Click here for more information from The Tico Times.

Miss Piggy-like pigs are not in jungles in Costa Rica, as far as I know. Collared peccaries, related to pigs, do live there.

The scientific description of the new frog species is here.

See also here.

Yellow-billed cotinga online


Yellow-billed cotingas

From Neotropical Birds Online:

New on Neotropical Birds Online: completed account for the endangered Yellow-billed Cotinga (Carpodectes antoniae). This account features what may be the first-ever images of a juvenile of this beautiful, ghostly, and declining species.

Yellow-billed cotingas live only in southern Costa Rica and adjacent southwestern Panama.

Costa Rican birds, bye-bye!


This video is called Amazing hummingbirdsCosta Rica.

31 March 2014.

After yesterday, today departure from Costa Rica.

To Panama and beyond.

Early in the morning on the bird table: clay-coloured thrush and blue-grey tanager.

Also buff-throated saltator and rufous-collared sparrow.

This video from Colombia is called Buff-throated Saltator, Silver-throated & Lemon-rumped Tanagers.

On our way to the airport: great-tailed grackles.

15:00, Panamanian time: a great-tailed grackle flies past a window at Panama City airport. Like when this journey began; closing the circle.

Bird book about Costa Rica: here.

The Birds of Costa Rica: A Field Guide (Second Edition): here.

Birds and beetles in Costa Rica: here.

Great-tailed grackles: here.

In this first of our 2015 series of interviews with sustainable tourism thinkers, shakers and doers, Rainforest Alliance President Tensie Whelan shares her thoughts on sustainable tourism, Costa Rica, and the challenges involved in promoting sustainability: here.

Blue-crowned motmot and white-eared ground sparrows in Costa Rica


This is a video about a blue-crowned motmot; recorded in Alajuela in Costa Rica.

After the Escher art in the botanical garden in Heredia, Costa Rica on 30 March 2014, there were, of course, birds.

First, a black vulture flying overhead.

Blue-crowned motmot, 30 March 2014

Then, much closer, a blue-crowned motmot. First, on the lawn just before our feet; then in a nearby bush.

Twenty minutes later, at 11:55, two motmots.

A Hoffmann’s woodpecker.

Hours later, at 16:43, a female Baltimore oriole.

This video is from Costa Rica is about a clay-coloured thrush. Called yigüirro, it is the national bird of Costa Rica. It occurs in this garden as well.

Clay-coloured thrush, 30 March 2014

A clay-coloured thrush washed itself in a birdbath.

White-eared ground sparrows, 30 March 2014

Then, late in the afternoon, two special birds at another birdbath: white-eared ground sparrows. In Costa Rica, they live only in the Central Valley. Because of their skulking habits, and ‘best seen at near … dusk’, many people don’t see them there.

White-eared ground sparrow, 30 March 2014

So, a fine end to our last full day in Costa Rica.

Stay tuned for the blog post on our last Costa Rican early morning, 31 March!