While out birding or guiding, I usually have a camera on hand. Having
become part of the modern day birding kit, that would be expected. But, the funny thing is, I don’t take that many pictures of birds. I guess I would but I already have more than enough images of hundreds of species, especially the common, easy to shoot ones like flycatchers, toucans, and Short-tailed Hawks.
I still bring the camera, though, but more for shots of birds in flight, rarities, and just in case probability takes an unlikely right turn in my direction to bring me good shots of Tawny-faced Gnatwren or other deviously difficult birds to photograph. I don’t take such pictures to expand my portfolio, I release the shutter with the hope of adding more images to the birding apps I work on. They have to be quality images and since the Costa Rica Field Guides app now shows images for more than 900 species, there aren’t too many more that I can get pictures of anyways.
However, there’s always that chance that I will suddenly have that skulking gnatwren or Tawny-crowned Greenlet paused and in good light, or get good shots of some of the swifts. However unlikely those scenarios may be, as with winning a lottery, they are still possible and the more I encounter those birds, as per the laws of probability, the more likely such photographic chances will present themselves.
But, fortunately for the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app, I am far from the only person contributing images. In addition to the hundreds of excellent photos contributed by Randall Ortega Chaves (one of the co-founders of the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app), several people have helped us with images of a host of other difficult species. Many of the images are actually birds common elsewhere but a challenge to find and photograph in Costa Rica, birds like Great Shearwater, White Tern, and Northern Pintail. Although a birder might not be looking for those species in Costa Rica, or be likely to see them, we include those and every species on the official list for the country because that’s what a complete field guide should do. With that in mind, contributed are greatly appreciated and is why contributors are listed on the app, the app website, and, if desired, promoted on the app Facebook page.
Since the creation of the app, we have also routinely provided free updates with more images, vocalizations, and other information. Recently, we did another one, these are some of the new images:
Unspotted Saw-whet Owl, many thanks to Pete Morris at Birdquest for being so generous with this and so many other excellent images including the Uniform Crake pictured below.
Seth Beaudrault gave us a few very nice images of Barred Hawk and Scaled Antpitta, as with the birds above, both are species already shown on the app but there’s nothing like having more quality images of really cool birds.
Many thanks also goes to Jean Bonilla, a guide in the Monteverde area who made it possible to finally show the Black-breasted Wood-Quail on the app. This is the excellent picture he took and contributed:
In going through my photos from the previous year, I also found some images to include. They aren’t pictures of birds in perfect views but that’s actually why I put them on the app. The birding days are grand when all the birds show themselves in perfect light. However, since such days are also as rare as sightings of the RVG Cuckoo, I think it’s important for a field guide to also picture birds as they are often seen; in substandard light and in odd positions.
Birds like this Nutting’s Flycatcher,
this view of Western Kingbird,
and this White-necked Puffbird.
The app also now shows more images of ducks and a few other birds in flight and additional images of Rough-legged Tyrannulet and other uncommon species. We are just a few short images away from picturing every species on the list, if you would like to help us out, please contact me at [email protected] These are the final birds we are looking for!-
- Mangrove Rail
- Ocellated Crake
- Paint-billed Crake
- Violaceous Quail-Dove
- Cocos Cuckoo
- Cocos Flycatcher
- Cocos Finch
- Short-tailed Nighthawk
- Great Swallow-tailed Swift
- White-chinned Swift
- Red-fronted Parrotlet
- Black-headed Antthrush
- Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner
- Silvery-fronted Tapaculo
- Tawny-crowned Greenlet
- Tawny-faced Gnatwren
- Lined Seedeater,
- Sulphur-rumped Tanager
As always, I hope to see you birding somewhere in Costa Rica!