Thursday, December 4, 2008

Monkeys, trogons, and more rain

We decided to stay another day in Tortuguero, in hopes of catching a break from the rains and getting a chance to see some of the wildlife that's here. At daybreak, the weather was gray and overcast, but actually dry, so we decided to walk the sendero el gavilan, or hawk's trail, just west of Tortuguero Village. Although still closed, we discovered this trail has many access points from the beach and was OK to hike, if you didn't mind stepping over a fallen tree here and there.

For nearly a couple of hours it was dry, before torrential rains resumed. During this time, we saw lots of monkeys, some sloths here and there, and a few more life birds, including Slaty-tailed Trogon.

Here's some video of this bird doing what I think is a courtship display, although it looks more like a balancing act. While it was doing this, it was cooing softly, but on the video that's drowned out by the sound of the waves from the beach nearby. (Postscript: yes, it's a courtship display - Alexander F. Skutch, renowned author of The Birds of Costa Rica, describes it vividly in his book Trogons, Laughing Falcons and Other Neotropical Birds.)

And here's another trogon: Black-headed Trogon. We also saw a Mourning Warbler, a Slate-headed Tody Flycatcher, a Slaty-breasted Tinamou, a Slaty Antshrike, and a female of some kind of manakin. On the beach we found Whimbrel and Semipalmated Plover.

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