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Field Guides Tour Report
Holiday Costa Rica: Rancho Naturalista II 2015
Dec 27, 2015 to Jan 4, 2016
Jesse Fagan & Cali Rodriguez

Our Sunbittern in its full glory -- a simply fantastic bird! (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

A super fun group made this a memorable New Year's Eve celebration. We danced and laughed our way into 2016 (and I have video to prove it!). Thanks to all of you for one of the best times I have had at Rancho. Live music, dancing, and a magic show were all part of the evening's revelry. There was talk of a reunion tour? I am on board.

It was also a great tour for birds. We didn't get any rain, so most days were productive for birds and birding and we made the most of it. There were lots of highlights, but the standouts for y'all included White-necked Jacobin (a regular to hummingbird feeders, but its white coattails impressed most), Bat Falcon (on a daytime perch at Tapanti), Emerald Tanager (a show-stopper for sure), Sunbittern (and we got to see the "sun spots"), Resplendent Quetzal (man-oh-man, what great looks), and (drum roll) the group favorite, Purple-crowned Fairy. It was hard to beat our experience of watching one bathe in the hummingbird pools -- so elegant and peaceful. Indeed, a moving experience for many.

Thanks for all your hard work and fun personalities. I look forward to seeing you again on the birding trail. In addition, we need to thank our most excellent local guides, Cali Rodriguez and Vernon Campos (driver/birding guide extraordinaire), along with the staff at Rancho Naturalista.

All the best in 2016 (and beyond),

--Jesse (aka Motmot) from Savannah, Georgia

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – Seen at Buris Reservoir and again at Turire.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – Same places as the teal; the only two waterfowl we regularly see on this tour.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – Everyday of the tour. Fairly common on the grounds at Rancho.

A Snowcap is hardly larger than the clusters of vervain flowers upon which it's feeding. (Photo by participant François Grenon)

CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens) – Seen distantly (scoped) on the ridge behind Rancho and heard a few other times.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Many roosting in the trees (with Black Vultures) at Turire.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum) – One along the river at La Mina put on a nice show.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – One at CATIE. An uncommon winter visitor to Costa Rica.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – One at CATIE and again at Turire Lake.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Just singles on a couple of days.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – More common than the other egrets and herons. Seen most days.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Seen every single day of the tour.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – One was at La Mina.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – One at CATIE that was doing a good job of staying hidden.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – Also one at CATIE, but, unfortunately, with its bill tucked against its back!
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – Nice look at one along the shores of Turire.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – The next two vulture species were seen each day of the tour. Very common.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One on the day we birded La Mina road.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – A couple inside the city limits of San Jose.
HOOK-BILLED KITE (Chondrohierax uncinatus) – One female flew over us while birding Silent Mountain Road.
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – One seen very distantly at Tapanti, but even still the aerial display was pretty cool.

We had fine views of this Mottled Owl on its day roost. (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – One in the forest at EARTH.
BICOLORED HAWK (Accipiter bicolor) – A regular around the Rancho house, usually perched in the same place each morning.
BARRED HAWK (Morphnarchus princeps) – Distant birds at Silent Mountain and again at Tapanti NP.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – A common raptor on this tour.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – One at EARTH.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – Good numbers seen throughout the tour. This is a common wintering raptor to Costa Rica.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – 50/50 split between light and dark morphs.
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – One juvenile was "dihedraling" over the forest at EARTH.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – The local Chiriqui subspecies was seen a couple of times, the first at Irazu.
Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – One was seen very well, including the "sun spots" along La Mina Road.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) – Usually just a heard bird, but we worked hard to finally see this species at EARTH.
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – Two were running along the edge of the road at CATIE.
UNIFORM CRAKE (Amaurolimnas concolor) [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – Several at CATIE.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – One at Turire Reservoir.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – A fairly recent arrival to Costa Rica. We had several pairs with juveniles at Turire.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus) – At Birris Reservoir.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa) – Good numbers of adults and young at CATIE as well as Turire Lake.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)

A highlight of the tour for many of our group was watchng the flash of this Purple-crowned Fairy as it bathed in a forest pool. (Photo by participant François Grenon)

SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Seen a few times on the tour.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Just one at Birris was a good spot by Francois.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – Cali and I thought this was a long-billed Lesser Yellowlegs. Francois felt strongly it was a Greater Yellowlegs. It was a bit distant and we were also scoping through a chain-link fence, so better to leave as "yellowlegs sp."
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Most days in cities and towns. [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Just down on the Caribbean slope around EARTH.
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris) – Seen every day of the tour. Found on both slopes.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – A highland columbid that we saw on the slopes of Irazu.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) – A pair were seen, and heard most days around Rancho.
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – Two on our drive to Tapanti.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Good numbers around especially on the second-half of the tour.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Common on this tour.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – Another fairly recent invader from the north. Now common in most places on the tour.
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura) – Just two on our drive up to Irazu on the first day. A fairly local and uncommon resident species in Costa Rica.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Heard and seen more than a few times.
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – Lots in the open country.
Strigidae (Owls)
CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) [*]
CENTRAL AMERICAN PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium griseiceps) [*]
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – We found one on a day roost, but also seen at night by a few while looking for the Crested Owl.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)

Green-fronted Lancebill -- a dark hummingbird in the dark understory. (Photo by participant François Grenon)

COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) [*]
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Good numbers over Rancho and again at Tapanti.
VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi) – Around Hotel Bougainvillea and CATIE.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – Quite common around the feeders at Rancho. Seen most days including males with their flashy suits and long white coat tails.
BRONZY HERMIT (Glaucis aeneus) – Inside the forest at EARTH.
BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes ruckeri) – Francois had one along the Rancho entrance road.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – Males (with the shorter bills) and females were around the Rancho feeders. Not real common, however.
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris) – One at EARTH.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – This tiny hermit was usually around the verbina flowers below the Rancho deck.
GREEN-FRONTED LANCEBILL (Doryfera ludovicae) – An excellent bird that we found perched at the stream crossing near the Tapanti entrance gate.
BROWN VIOLETEAR (Colibri delphinae) – Singles at the Rancho feeders.
GREEN VIOLETEAR (Colibri thalassinus) – A highland hummer that we saw well on the slopes of Irazu.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – The one bathing at the Rancho pools was memorable. A favorite experience for many in our group.
GREEN-BREASTED MANGO (Anthracothorax prevostii) – Common at the Rancho feeders.
GREEN THORNTAIL (Discosura conversii) – Both a female and male were around the verbina flowers below the Rancho deck. Seems this is where the small hummingbirds like to hangout.
BLACK-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis helenae) – A female was around the verbina at Rancho. Always a good bird to find.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula) – Not real common at the Rancho feeders, but seen most days.
FIERY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Panterpe insignis) – This Chiriqui endemic was seen on the slopes of Irazu.

Volcano Hummingbird -- tiny and snazzy! (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

WHITE-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis hemileucus) – Seen well on our last day at Tapanti NP.
PURPLE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis calolaemus) – The common mountain-gem at Tapanti. Seen a few times including the distinctive females.
VOLCANO HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus flammula) – These small guys were doing display flights over the forest on Volcan Irazu. Another Chiriqui highland endemic.
VIOLET-HEADED HUMMINGBIRD (Klais guimeti) – A female was visiting the verbina below the deck at Rancho. Missed on many trips.
VIOLET SABREWING (Campylopterus hemileucurus) – Fairly common at the Rancho feeders.
BRONZE-TAILED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura urochrysia) – Also fairly common at the Rancho feeders. The red feet are distinctive.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica) – One of the more common hummingbirds at Rancho.
BLACK-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupherusa nigriventris) – This sharp looking Chiriqui highland endemic was seen well at Tapanti on our last day.
SNOWCAP (Microchera albocoronata) – One of the reasons why we stay at Rancho is to see this species, and it didn't dissapoint. We had excellent views of several males including one bathing at the pools.
BLUE-CHESTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia amabilis) – A perched female was studied at EARTH.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Lots around the feeders.
BLUE-THROATED GOLDENTAIL (Hylocharis eliciae) – A late edition as Francois photographed this bird at EARTH and later identified (from his photos!) as this species.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RESPLENDENT QUETZAL (Pharomachrus mocinno) – We had to work at it a little, but it was worth it. Very nice perched looks in the scope of an adult male. Also, there was a female and young male around.
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) [*]
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – Seen at Rancho and heard most days.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – A pair was seen at EARTH.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Seen at Rancho a few times. This is a foothills species.
Momotidae (Motmots)
BLUE-CROWNED MOTMOT (LESSON'S) (Momotus coeruliceps lessonii) – Seen on the grounds of Hotel Bougainvillea and again at Rancho.
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) [*]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A couple seen on our day at La Mina.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – Seen at CATIE and again at La Mina.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Just one.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – Great looks at a pair in the forest edge at EARTH.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) [*]
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – Fairly common at places (mostly heard) and seen well a few times.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – Wonderful looks at a pair at Tapanti.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
PRONG-BILLED BARBET (Semnornis frantzii) – This Chiriqui endemic was seen well at Tapanti (feeding in the same tree as the Red-headed).
Ramphastidae (Toucans)

A lovely setting for an image of two Sooty-capped Chlorospingus, photographed by participant François Grenon.

EMERALD TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis) – Missed on some trips, but not this one! Sometimes split from Emerald Toucanet.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – Not many which was a surprise, usually their pretty common.
YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – One was seen at EARTH, which is a good bird for this tour.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – Good numbers around Rancho and other spots.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – On the slopes of Volcan Irazu.
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani) – Our first were at EARTH, but a few finally visited the Rancho property.
HOFFMANN'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hoffmannii) – Hotel Bougainvillea and at Rancho.
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus varius) – Few winter to Costa Rica, so this was a good bird to find on the grounds of Hotel Bougainvillea.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus) [*]
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – Just one on the upper trails at Rancho.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – A male was nice to see on our day at Silent Mountain.
PALE-BILLED WOODPECKER (Campephilus guatemalensis) – We saw a female at EARTH very close to the vehicle.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – A few around in the open country.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Another recent invader from the south. We had a couple at CATIE.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – One was seen on our second day.
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – Surprising to see just one, and on the last day!
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – We had this species perched at Tapanti.

Guides Jesse Fagan (kneeling) and Cali Rodriguez (far left) with our great group! (Photo by participant David Brunworth)

PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One on our day at EARTH.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
RED-FRONTED PARROTLET (Touit costaricensis) [*]
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – Our best looks were in the scope at Hotel Bougainvillea.
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis) – Mainly flyovers at Rancho.
WHITE-CROWNED PARROT (Pionus senilis) – The common parrot around Rancho. Seen well perched a few times.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – Just a pair at EARTH.
SULPHUR-WINGED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura hoffmanni) [*]
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (AZTEC) (Eupsittula nana astec) [*]
GREAT GREEN MACAW (Ara ambiguus) – A distant flyby was still great. Missed on most tours and a rare bird to see in the Caribbean lowlands.
CRIMSON-FRONTED PARAKEET (Psittacara finschi) – Very common and seen every day of the tour.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
GREAT ANTSHRIKE (Taraba major) – A male was seen on our day at EARTH. Always cool.
RUSSET ANTSHRIKE (Thamnistes anabatinus) – Seen at the moth cloth (or near it) one morning.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – Very nice looks from the moth cloth.
CHECKER-THROATED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fulviventris) – Pretty common in the forest at Rancho always digging round the dead leaf clusters.
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor) – Also fairly common around Rancho associating with the mixed-species flocks.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) – A pair were seen on the upper trails at Rancho.
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza exsul) [*]
DULL-MANTLED ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza laemosticta) – Seen well along the steep slopes at La Mina. Heard again at Tapanti.

Northern Jacanas creating the future (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

ZELEDON'S ANTBIRD (Myrmeciza zeledoni) – Some some this species on the upper trails at Rancho. BVD.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
THICKET ANTPITTA (Hylopezus dives) [*]
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
SILVERY-FRONTED TAPACULO (Scytalopus argentifrons) [*]
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
TAWNY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus mexicanus) – One came down to bath at the Rancho pools.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – A regular at the moth cloth each morning.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – Singles in the Rancho forest.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – At CATIE and a few other sites.
SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius) – Seen in the forest at Rancho and usually with a mixed-species flock.
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – Probably the most common woodcreeper seen at Rancho. A bird of open country, lowlands and foothills.
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes affinis) – This highland woodcreeper was seen at Volcan Irazu. Some of you may even have seen the spots.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – Heard more often than seen.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus ochrolaemus) – Another fun regular to the moth cloth.
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens) – Briefly seen along the entrance road to Tapanti.
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops) – This Chiriqui endemic was seen at Tapanti NP.
SLATY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis brachyura) – A pair approached our group along the road, but didn't like to show themselves. A few folks saw them, however.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
BROWN-CAPPED TYRANNULET (Ornithion brunneicapillus) – This canopy flycatcher was seen fairly well (from below, of course) at EARTH.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Seen on the grounds at Rancho.
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – One was seen at Volcan Irazu.

Tawny-chested Flycatcher is an inconspicuous species of the forest understory. (Photo by participant François Grenon)

TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea) – A playful pair was seen along the river at La Mina.
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus) – Finally caught up to this species at Tapanti NP.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Heard and seen in the forest at Rancho and one or two other places.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – Common in the forest at Rancho and other sites, but not in the lowlands.
PALTRY TYRANNULET (Zimmerius vilissimus) – Common on the grounds at Rancho.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) – Killer looks at Tapanti NP. At eye-level and close.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Lived up to its name. Common.
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) – More difficult to see than the previous species. It likes to stick to the canopy, but we still managed to see it well. A big song for a small bird.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Heard lots, but also seen a few times.
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) [*]
SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius aureatus) – One was above the hummingbird pools at Rancho.
TAWNY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Aphanotriccus capitalis) – It was heard most days, but finally came into the moth cloth for us to see. A fairly local species found only in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
DARK PEWEE (Contopus lugubris) – One seen at Tapanti. A Chiriqui endemic.
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – Good numbers around Rancho. Often heard.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – Also heard quite frequently in the forest. A common NA winter visitor to CR.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – Just one in the lowlands at EARTH.
BLACK-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax atriceps) – This Chiriqui highland endemic was seen at Irazu on our first morning.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – Fairly common along the rivers and streams.

Yellow-thighed Finch (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – One was perched on a snag along the entrance road to EARTH.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Common (at least by voice) in the forest at Rancho.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – Seen and heard on several days.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – Calls quite frequently from the forest interior. Another common winter visitor to CR.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Every day of the tour.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Most days of the tour.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Ditto above. Most days.
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – Not as common as the other yellow-bellied flycatchers above, but still seen most days.
GOLDEN-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes hemichrysus) – Seen on our final day at Tapanti.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – This open-country species is common in most places we visit except the deep forest.
Cotingidae (Cotingas)
PURPLE-THROATED FRUITCROW (Querula purpurata) – We managed to call in a group of four while birding the forest at EARTH. Nice show of the purple throat!
Pipridae (Manakins)
WHITE-RUFFED MANAKIN (Corapipo altera) – Singles (one male, one female) and difficult in the forest at Rancho.
WHITE-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus candei) – This is the common manakin at Rancho, though it was still tough to get folks on a male. Snap, crackle, and pop!
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Dixiphia pipra) – Also another tough bird to see in the forest at Rancho, but we managed. Nice looks at male, eye-level along the upper forest trail.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)

White-necked Puffbird -- widespread but always cool to see. (Photo by participant François Grenon)

MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – Seen at a few spots including on the grounds at Rancho. Los Chancos, b/c of their pig-like calls.
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) – Seen well on the Rancho entrance road.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – One also seen on the Rancho entrance road..
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – Fairly common winter visitor and seen on most days.
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – One was seen (finally) at Tapanti on the final day. This is a highland species, so also found at Irazu and Silent Mountain.
PHILADELPHIA VIREO (Vireo philadelphicus) – At least three were in the same tree during our morning birding at La Mina.
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata) – Most days at Rancho.
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio) – Very common at most places. Loud and raucous.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Every day of the tour. The most common swallow seen.
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – Most days and also very common on this tour.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – Seen in nice comparison with the previous species. They are often found together.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Our first were at the gas station stop (in Siquieres) on our way to EARTH.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – Several over the soccer pitches at EARTH.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Good numbers feeding over Lake Turire.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (WHISTLING) (Microcerculus marginatus luscinia) [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – Very common.

The lovely Silver-throated Tanager (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

OCHRACEOUS WREN (Troglodytes ochraceus) – This small, arboreal wren (a Chiriqui endemic) was seen well feeding in the bromeliads on Irazu.
TIMBERLINE WREN (Thryorchilus browni) – Seen nicely (another endemic!) near the crater at Irazu.
BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus) – Seen okay at CATIE, but I think, better views desired.
RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (Campylorhynchus rufinucha) – A cool bird to watch. Seen on the grounds at Hotel Bougainvillea.
BLACK-THROATED WREN (Pheugopedius atrogularis) – Mainly heard, but finally seen on the upper forest trails where it gave us fits.
STRIPE-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus thoracicus) – A common wren species at Rancho, but always tough to see well. We managed quite nicely with a cooperative bird just down the entrance road from Rancho.
PLAIN WREN (Cantorchilus modestus) [*]
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – Seen at CATIE and again at EARTH.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Such a fun visitor to the moth cloth.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – A pair were seen at Tapanti. This species replaces the previous in the highlands.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Seen or heard at most places including Rancho and EARTH.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BLACK-FACED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes melanops) – This Chiriqui endemic was seen super well at Tapanti. Very tame feeding on fruit.
BLACK-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus gracilirostris) – Another Chiriqui endemic seen on the slopes of Irazu.
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – Seen on Silent Mountain Road where it danced around us. It gave us more fits and struggles at Tapanti.
SLATY-BACKED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus fuscater) – Seen nearly by accident while birding the road at Tapanti.

What did we spy beyond that large tree? A male Resplendent Quetzal! (Photo by participant François Grenon)

WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina) – Seems to be in trouble per its population. It winters in such a narrow corridor in Central America. We saw them frequently however at Rancho.
SOOTY THRUSH (Turdus nigrescens) – This large Turdus is a Chiriqui endemic. We saw it at Volcan Irazu.
MOUNTAIN THRUSH (Turdus plebejus) – One briefly while walking the road at Tapanti.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Common and seen every day of the tour. The national bird of Costa Rica.
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
BLACK-AND-YELLOW SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Phainoptila melanoxantha) – A female was studied for a long time at Tapanti.
LONG-TAILED SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys caudatus) [*]
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum) – Singles were around Rancho.
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – One was along the river at La Mina.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – More common than the previous species as they prefer slower waters. Singles seen on a few different days.
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – Nice to see this species so frequently on its wintering grounds. Good numbers and most days at Rancho.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Usually around most forest types. Common as a wintering bird in CR.
FLAME-THROATED WARBLER (Oreothlypis gutturalis) – This lovely Chiriqui endemic was seen in the highlands at Volcan Irazu.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Common on the first half of the tour.
GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis poliocephala) – A pair were seen on our day at Silent Mountain along the road to Cali's town (Platonillo).
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – Just one hanging out in the verbina below the deck.
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa) – Another one seen below the deck at Rancho.
OLIVE-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis semiflava) – A cooperative pair were seen at EARTH.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – A female was seen at CATIE.
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – Francois spotted this rare winter visitor on the edge of Lake Turire. Awesome bird, and would have been a lifer for Vernon. :-(
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Common at Rancho, seen especially well from the deck.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – Mostly females were seen, but a few males in the highlands at Tapanti. Males and females seem to segregate out by elevation.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – A few around Rancho and CATIE.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – Lots on the grounds at Rancho.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata) – Another rare warbler seen at EARTH on the soccer goal netting (?). This one is probably not annual, but seen every few years in CR.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – Two were seen in the forest on Irazu.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – Usually on the grounds at Rancho where it sticks to the understory. Seen from the deck a few times.

Crimson-fronted Parakeets (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – Good numbers in the forest at Rancho.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – Nice studies on the river at La Mina.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – Winters in good numbers to Costa Rica.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – A pair were seen at Tapanti. They are all yellow below in CR.
COLLARED REDSTART (Myioborus torquatus) – A lovely bird seen VERY well at Volcan Irazu.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus) – Seen on our day at Silent Mountain.
CRIMSON-COLLARED TANAGER (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus) – Just one on the entrance road to Rancho. Seems like there should have been more.
PASSERINI'S TANAGER (Ramphocelus passerinii) – Seen every day of the tour. The males are especially nice looking.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Also common and seen every day.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Seen every day at Rancho and one or two times on the bananas.
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Tangara larvata) – Also around in good numbers at Rancho.
SPECKLED TANAGER (Tangara guttata) – A nice looking bird that we saw well a few times at Rancho and again at Silent Mountain.
SPANGLE-CHEEKED TANAGER (Tangara dowii) – Really nice looks (and close) at Tapanti. A Chiriqui highland endemic.
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – Not great, but most folks saw them at EARTH.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Seen more than a few times. Always nice to look at.
EMERALD TANAGER (Tangara florida) – Alway a favorite and this trip was no exception. Seen a few times.

Torrent Tyrannulet in a typically lovely setting along a forested river. (Photo by participant François Grenon)

SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – One of the more common Tangaras we see on this tour.
SCARLET-THIGHED DACNIS (Dacnis venusta) – Seen well in the scope at CATIE. Did anyone see the scarlet thighs?
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) [*]
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Good numbers in the lowlands at EARTH.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Good numbers seen on the tour.
BLACK-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Chrysothlypis chrysomelas) – Just a pair at Silent Mountain. Much less common than some of the other tanagers.
SLATY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa plumbea) – Several at Irazu and a female was seen at Tapanti.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – One at EARTH.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina) – Uncommon, but seen most days around Rancho and other sites.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Common and seen most days.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – Not many, but some in the pasture at Rancho and others on the walk at Silent Mountain.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – Seen and heard most days around Rancho.
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps) – Pretty common like the previous species. Call is an obvious electrical chatter.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
SOOTY-CAPPED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus pileatus) – This one was seen well at Irazu Volcano. A Chiriqui highland endemic.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus) – Good numbers at Tapanti on the final day.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – Seen on our first days morning walk along the Rancho entrance road.
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris) – Occasionally around the verbina edge near the feeders. Also at the moth cloth.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – One was seen bathing at the Rancho pools. Its white throat really stood out.

The oh-so-glorious Montezuma Oropendola (Photo by participant Bob Sprague)

SOOTY-FACED FINCH (Arremon crassirostris) – A pair were seen at Tapanti very well.
VOLCANO JUNCO (Junco vulcani) – This Chiriqui endemic was seen near our lunch spot on Irazu Volcano.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Pretty common in the highlands.
WHITE-EARED GROUND-SPARROW (Melozone leucotis) – One was seen as we left Tapanti on the entrance road. A real skulker.
YELLOW-THIGHED FINCH (Pselliophorus tibialis) – Seen on the slopes of Irazu. But, did anyone see the yellow thighs?
WHITE-NAPED BRUSHFINCH (YELLOW-THROATED) (Atlapetes albinucha gutturalis)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Pretty common winter visitor to CR.
WHITE-WINGED TANAGER (Piranga leucoptera) – A pair was heard near the visitor's center at Tapanti. We eventually called in both the male and female.
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (Habia fuscicauda) – Our best looks were at the moth cloth.
CARMIOL'S TANAGER (Chlorothraupis carmioli) [*]
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – We saw several at Birris Reservoir and again at Turire. Usually this species is more conspicuous as a winter visitor in CR.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – Several on the drive to Rancho on our first day.
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – This is a recent immigrant from the south as areas open up and forest is converted to fields. Now fairly common in the Central Valley of CR.
MELODIOUS BLACKBIRD (Dives dives) – Pretty common aroud Rancho and in the lowlands.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Very common. Seen all days.
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – Not super common, but seen on our first day around San Jose.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – At Turire & Rancho and again in the lowlands at EARTH.
BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE (Icterus prosthemelas) – Seen at EARTH in the lowlands.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Pretty common including some nice males visiting the Rancho feeders.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – Heard several times (which is normal), but eventually seen by a few folks on the upper forest trails at Rancho. Always difficult.
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (Cacicus uropygialis) – We called in a cooperative pair in the forest at EARTH.
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – Both species of Oropedolas were common and regular visitors to the areas around Rancho. Montezuma is more common the Chestnut-sided.
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla) – This is a good tour for euphonias. This species is uncommon, but regular around Rancho.
YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia hirundinacea) – Seen at Hotel Bougainvillea and again on the our second day birding the Rancho entrance road.
OLIVE-BACKED EUPHONIA (Euphonia gouldi) – One of the more common euphonias of the forest. Seen (or heard) most days.
WHITE-VENTED EUPHONIA (Euphonia minuta) – Also, fairly common around Rancho.
TAWNY-CAPPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia anneae) – Another common euphonia on the grounds of Rancho among other spots.

How does a black bird with a glistening white crown disappear into the rainforest? This White-crowned Manakin shows how it's not too hard! (Photo by participant François Grenon)

GOLDEN-BROWED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia callophrys) – Fantastic looks at a pair near eye-level in the mossy forest of Tapanti NP.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Not real common, thankfully. Mainly gas stations. [I]

GREATER WHITE-LINED BAT (Saccopteryx bilineata) – The species of bat seen at EARTH hanging from the ceiling of the open church.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) [*]
BRAZILIAN RABBIT (Sylvilagus brasiliensis) – One seen on our last day to Tapanti NP.
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides) – The common squirrel seen on this tour. Several morphs and subspecies are involved.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Far less common the previous species as it is found in forest or forest edge. Seen a few times at the Rancho feeders, however.
DUSKY RICE RAT (Melanomys caliginosus) – We were all excited about this one!
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – One was along the entrance road to EARTH.


Other critters seen:

1) Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) = Some big ones were seen at EARTH.

2) A large bat sp. was seen one evening flying over the pasture at Rancho. They were medium to large bats flying at dusk and were described by our local guides as "Gray-lined Bats," but I was not able to find this species online. Possibly has another common name, but what is it? I have asked experts to comment, but I am still awaiting their responses. Stay tuned...

Totals for the tour: 312 bird taxa and 7 mammal taxa