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A Prothonotary Warbler eats a Banana in Costa Rica and the Nature Pavilion Delivers as Always

I’m not making this up. Although it might not be news to most people (or even most birders), I thought it was cool enough to share with everyone who uses the Internet. While guiding yesterday on the Cinchona-Poas-Nature Pavilion route, I was very surprised to see a Prothonotary Warbler coming to the bananas at Cinchona!

A Prothonotary Warbler and a banana at Cinchona, Costa Rica.

Why surprised you may wonder? Well, while we do see lots of Prothonotaries in mangroves and other lowland wetlands in Costa Rica, I have never seen or heard of one visiting a feeder. I haven’t seen this species at Cinchona either even away from the feeders. They do move through the country though, and can sometimes be seen in large numbers as they migrate along the Caribbean coast. The bird we saw was a reminder that the Golden Swamp Warbler is on the move. It also shows how famished those migrants must be because this little birdy wasn’t going after any insects on the bananas. It was most definitely feasting on the fruit between bouts of being scared away by Clay-colored Thrushes, Silver-throated Tanagers, and other larger birds

There it goes eating that banana.
Sharing a banana with a Silver-throated Tanager.

No other warblers were seen at the feeders (Tennessees are regular) but I will be hoping and checking during our 2014 Big Day attempt!

On another note, visitors to the Nature Pavilion were regular and awesome as always.

Collared Aracaris were one of the first species to show.
It's always nice to see Great Kiskadees at close range.
A juvenile Black-cowled Oriole made an appearance.
It was cool to watch a Green Honeycreeper hang upside down on a papaya ring.
This species is always crazy with the colors.

Hope to see you while birding! If you see me and two other people running after birds on Saturday, that would be myself, Robert Dean and Susan Blank doing our Big Day. I would have really loved to have invited a couple other friends along (especially Johan) but since they don’t do bird sounds, and 95% of species need to be identified by all team members (many by sound), that would have eliminated too many birds to break any records. We might not anyways but one can always hope!

3 replies on “A Prothonotary Warbler eats a Banana in Costa Rica and the Nature Pavilion Delivers as Always”

An interesting post. We called to the cafe at Cinchona on our way back to San Jose and had a great time watching and trying to photograph the many species that we saw there. Good luck with your Big Day.

Great photos of the Prothonotary at a feeder. I don’t know how unusual that is, but it reminds me of similar behavior we observed. At the Canopy Lodge in Panama 5 years ago, I got my life Mourning Warbler as it hung out and returned for 2 days to a prominent feeder. Normally I think of the Mourning as a skulker deep in bushes, so this warbler behavior seemed similarly unusual to me. I do think many neotropical migrants behave differently between their summer and winter habitats.

@Steve- Interesting to hear that. Yes, it does seem that several migrants have different behaviors on their wintering grounds.

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