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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/09/2021 in all areas

  1. Cooper's - elongated appearance, narrow streaks on the breast, small eye toward the front of head, uneven tail feathers. A Sharpie would have blotchy streaks, a rounded head with large eyes placed closer to the middle, even tail feathers, and would be more compact with a short neck.
    10 points
  2. 8 points
  3. Indigo Bunting that eluded me so many times
    7 points
  4. This photo has a pretty decent view of hummingbird feet.
    7 points
  5. Old shot of a Mourning Dove waving at the camera.
    7 points
  6. The head is really all you need to identify this as a Cooper's. The flat top of the head is even with the top of the bill and the eyes are small and "mean looking" and close to the bill. The body is bulky and the feet are still too robust for a Sharpie.
    6 points
  7. Yeah, I agree with Swainson's now, sorry about that. I had forgotten about the Western "Russet Backed" Ssp.
    6 points
  8. 6 points
  9. If I can just get my beak in far enough I'll look like a different species and really confuse those birders.
    6 points
  10. Desert Shootingstar
    6 points
  11. Wild Strawberry blossom
    6 points
  12. California Gnatcatcher https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/353271861
    5 points
  13. Both thrushes look fine for Swainson's in my opinion.
    5 points
  14. Woodpeckers feet are hard to get....
    5 points
  15. 5 points
  16. Fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird.
    5 points
  17. Black-legged Kittiwake...seemingly oblivious to large bolt under his right foot.
    5 points
  18. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Maybe not the best picture but it's hard enough to catch one let alone two!
    5 points
  19. Now it's time for the beginning of birds that are actually interesting for most of you. For this post and for the rest of this series, species bolded mean they are lifers. Day 2 (though really day 1) I woke up very early (4:00, which is 3am where I live) out of anticipation for getting out the door. However, the rest of the family was really slow, and it felt like it took ages for them to wake up. I started with a skywatch out of the hotel room window (checklist here). While there wasn't much variety of species, every bird that flew by was interesting and exiting, even if I knew I would see many of them throughout the trip. Birds I got on the skywatch included many White-winged Dove and Great-tailed Grackle. As the sun came out a few Tropical Kingbirds started flying around, and my first lifer of the trip, Blue-and-white Swallow started coming out of their nests in the building across the street. A Rufous-collared Sparrow was foraging in the parking lot, and some Clay-colored Thrush started to fly by. The sun started to climb further up over the hills surrounding the city of Alajuela, and the rest of my family started to get up. I was able to grab a room key and walk outside to see what else was around. I was only out for 15 minutes, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of bird calls that were around, and quickly came to the realization that these birds that breed in the tropics don't respond to pithing. I was able to recognize Blue-gray Tanager songs coming from some palms as it was one of the few birds I studied on the plane ride down. A few other birds were around the hotel grounds, such as Hoffmann's Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Blue-black Grassquit, and Grayish Saltator. A species that caught me off guard was House Wren, which I would end up seeing many more of in the next few days, even more then I usually see up here.I brought my camera out for the first time and managed to get a pretty decent photo of one of the many Rufous-collared Sparrows that I would see and hear for the rest of the trip. I went in and grabbed a quick breakfast, before the family started to head out. We took the Hour and a Half drive to a place called Tirimbina Rainforest Center (ebird checklist here). It was my first real birding experience in Costa Rica, and this being one of the first times I've been in a rainforest (except for Mexico two years ago), almost everything I saw was new to me. As soon as I entered I saw a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird. It's Costa Rica's most common hummingbird, and I would definitely get bored of seeing them later on in the trip was I was looking for new species. However at this point, it was still fresh and exiting. Soon afterwards I got my first Costa Rican sparrow, an Orange-billed Sparrow, which in my opinion is a very cool looking bird. However, they were difficult to photograph, and throughout the whole trip I was never able to get anything that decent of them. For most of our time there we explored the deep jungle, which got us a few interesting species, and even some ones that we didn't see for the rest of the trip. However, in total we probably saw 10 birds there. Once we got out of the Jungle where we started to get to more open rainforest, we ran into a giant mixed flock where we picked up many species. I'm not going to write everything out and all my photos (all of that is visible on the checklist above) however I will add some highlights. Our first two interesting species were river birds, where we got not one, but two of the rare river species that many birders to Costa Rica try for, Fasciated Tiger-Heron and Sunbittern. Once we entered the deep forest we picked up a few interesting birds, such as our first Broad-billed Motmot, Slaty Antwren, and Black-crowned Antshrike. Here is the first instance where you can see what will become regular later on, photos of birds that have a shutter speed of 1/100 and a ISO of 10000, sense the rainforest is so dark. Motmot - This Broad-billed Motmot was perched silently in a branch near one of the rivers. Motmots are interesting birds, they make very low hooting calls, similar to an owl, and dig very long deep burrows into the ground like puffins. Slaty Antwren Black-crowned Antshrike (Audio) https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/348767031 After exiting the deep forest, we started to run into what would become our first large mixed flock that we encountered. For 15 minutes the trees around us were full of many birds of a large variety of species until they immediately vanished. I'm sure we missed a few species in the flock, however I was able to pull some interesting species out of the flock including White-collared Manakin, White-whiskered Puffbird, Bay Wren, and our first Green Honeycreeper of the trip. Manakins are interesting birds. The males seem to be almost constantly displaying to the females, and make some weird noises. While White-collared Manakin display their wings make a very loud clapping sound, as well as making a sound that is surprisingly similar to a horse. Puffbird Bay Wren, a very pretty wren in my opinion, and a bird I only saw twice on my trip. I barely managed to get a photograph of this one. Green Honeycreeper Around 11:45 the rain started to come down. Luckily for us it didn't rain for too long our first day (only a little more then an hour), and we made our drive to the hotel that we were staying at. We drove slowly (as everyone seems to do in Costa Rica) with our windows rolled down stopping when we saw birds in the surround farmland. Here I got my first hawks and Toucans of the trip, as well as a few interesting songbirds. Roadside Hawk - the first hawk for us on our trip. Interestingly enough, it might have been the most abundant hawk I saw throughout the trip. During our drive I managed to get photos of both Yellow-throated Toucans and Collared Aracari, I never realized how abundant Toucans were before I visited. I imagined that they would be fairly rare and hard to see, however it turned out to be quite the opposite. Many times in the lowlands it was actually hard to escape Toucans. Collared Aracari Here's the link to the checklist for the road we drove up: https://ebird.org/checklist/S90389644. A few other birds of interest included Grovw-billed Ani, White-crowned Parrot, Variable and Morellet's Seedeaters, as well as the only Blue-black Grosbeak of the trip. While the native rainforest that would have existed here before European conquest probably held more species, it was nice to have an open area that had a surprising abundance of birds in the area. Ani White-crowned Parrot Variable and Morelett's Seedeaters Blue-black Grosbeak After we started to gain some elevations, birds started to become a lot less active, and we decided to quickly head up to where we were going to stay in Bajos del Toro. After a half an hour long drive winding up the mountain, we arrived at out hotel where we were going to stay our first 3 nights. He went in and the service was immediately great. We really enjoyed our hotel, however, this is about the birds, and I'm sure most of you don't want to hear about lodging. During our late lunch I picked up some of my first species for the hotel which included Golden-browed Cholorphoinia, a very pretty bird, as well as Black Phoebe and American Dipper, two American birds that I'm sure some people don't realize make it down that far south. Black Phoebe We were all really tired, and so that was most of the birding for the day. However after taking a short nap I took a short walk around part of the property during the evening. I found a good few lifers: https://ebird.org/checklist/S90398749, but didn't get that many photographs as it was very dark out. However, I do have some photos of Lesser Violetear and Purple-throated Mountain Gem. Mountain-gem Violetear After that we had dinner and I went to bed, but not before setting my alarm for the 5:00 wake up call to go birding in the morning.
    5 points
  20. Walnuts
    5 points
  21. Yellow Bell
    5 points
  22. Bachelor's Buttons
    5 points
  23. Wood Hyacinths aka Spanish Bluebells
    5 points
  24. Queen Anne's Lace
    5 points
  25. Chicory
    5 points
  26. It surprised me how northwest their range is stretched!
    5 points
  27. Same RWBL, different angle 😁 https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/353079551
    5 points
  28. Gardening, mostly in containers. I have around 30 cactus, most of which bloom every spring. A few come inside for the winter but most are out year-round. There are also pots of annuals. Watching cars go around in circles and squiggles. NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA. I've run a fantasy league for almost 20 years. I wish there was a local track in my area but the closest ones are at least 90 minutes away. Reading, almost exclusively science fiction and fantasy. That habit goes back at least 50 years. Thanks, Dad! Back in the '70s and early '80s, I was picking up around 25 comic books a month. When we got engaged, I sold the collection en masse; it made the down payment on our first house.
    4 points
  29. Agree with Cooper's (straight wings, thin streaking).
    4 points
  30. Oops, wrong link. And since lonesome55dove just posted one, Banana Yucca https://flic.kr/p/7iJ7MZ
    4 points
  31. Ballhead Waterleaf
    4 points
  32. Oak catkins and leaves Green acorns Ripe acorns
    4 points
  33. Rabbit-foot Clover
    4 points
  34. Large-flower mountain-trumpet
    4 points
  35. Blue-eyed Mary
    4 points
  36. Bladder Campion aka Maiden's-tears
    4 points
  37. Woodland Star
    4 points
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