biodiversity Birding Costa Rica

New Place in Costa Rica, New Yard List

We recently moved to a new place in Costa Rica. In birding terms, that translates to a new yard list! Fortunately, as with the old place, the birding will be boosted by us being situated right next to green space in a riparian corridor. As is typical for much of the urbanized Central Valley, such areas act as veins of life, trains of biodiversity that keep chugging along, patiently and stubbornly waiting for their chance to grow beyond the banks and borders of the urban frontier. Not that far from the old place, I expected the bird scene to be somewhat similar but given the more natural, untamed look of the green corridor out back, I hope for more.

After a few days, the bird list has been similar but with more observations the list should grow and include more migrants. At least that’s what I hope, my birding hopes and dreams already envision migrant cuckoos coming into view and the calls of Veery and Gray-cheeked Thrush filtering up through the dense vegetation. A few uncommon migrant wood-warblers would also be nice! Wishful thinking but there’s nothing wrong with that. Without the hope of looking, working to find birds, we wouldn’t see anything. You gotta put in the time to convert that which is possible into reality, if I keep looking out back every morning, one of these days, something unusual will come out of the woodwork. In the meantime, there’s lots of other more regular birds to see, some of which include these ones:

So far, we have noticed Tropical Mockingbirds in the area, a few sing from the roadside wires every morning.

Rufous-naped and Cabanis’s Wrens sing from the dense growth, yesterday, I also heard a Rufous-and-white Wren.

The birds that have surprised us have been Barred Antshrike, White-eared Ground-Sparrow, and Giant Cowbird. Although the presence of such species is far from shocking, we didn’t expect there to be enough habitat to support the antshrike and sparrow. As for the cowbird, there are apparently enough oropendolas around to bring them to the birding table as well as a small farm with cows that also attracts them.

The flyby scene has been perhaps the most interesting with such species as Short-tailed, Gray, and Broad-wingeds Hawks, cowbirds, migrant Cliff Swallows, and swifts (White-collared, Vaux’s, Chestnut-collared, and probable Spot-fronted).

Migrants such as Baltimore Oriole, Yellow Warbler, and Yellow-throated Vireo were still here a few days ago but they may have already left. I wonder where they will go, where will they spend the summer? What will they see and experience on the long flight north?

There are also classic garden birds like Red-billed Pigeons, Rufous-tailed and Blue-vented Hummingbirds, Great Kiskadee, Blue-gray Tanager, Great-tailed Grackle, Melodious Blackbird, and others.

Feel like following our yard list during these trying homebound times? Check out our garden eBird list Villa Flores Tyto. Watch our list to know common species are waiting in Costa Rica shortly after exiting the airport. No trips right now but eventually things will be back to normal and these and hundreds of other birds will be waiting!

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