Cool Birds and Canals
I still have pictures from Costa Rica to share with you. Here are a few more from Tortuguero.
They were one of the most common species seen and heard. One of their calls is “Kis-ka-dee” and another call sounds like (to me, at least) “Pit-sul.” For most field jobs I am used to using a 4-letter alpha code based off the English common name but in Costa Rica they use a 6-letter code based off the latin name (because Spanish-speaking volunteers often don’t know the English name.) Kiskadee’s code is PITSUL. So their calls made it very easy to identify them! You can hear one here, although this is an Argentinian bird and his accent is a little different. [Chai came running over when I listened to their calls!]
Social flycatcher, a smaller relative of the kiskadee, audible here
A big flock of these would fly into the CCC yard, often late in the afternoon, and make all sorts of noise as they fed high in the trees. This photo is highly cropped– they never came low and besides the light seemed to always be terrible. But it is their calls that I will remember the best. They are extremely cool sounding birds. You can listen to them here, but really, you should go to Costa Rica and hear them yourself.
Black-cheeked woodpecker, whose calls reminded me of their cousin the red-bellied woodpecker (same genus) that I heard long ago in Florida.
This is a terrible photo, taken with a little point and shoot camera, but it was my life gray-necked wood-rail. It was sunning itself on a log not too far from our banding area the first time I went to the Aeropuerto banding site– when I saw it, glowing in the sun, I almost fell off my chair. They actually were quite common at INBio; they would often dash across the path in front of me and we heard them frequently early in the morning. The field guide likened their call to “drunken chickens.” I’m not so sure, but you can listen for yourself.
And now onto the canals. As I mentioned before, Tortuguero is on an island and you can only reach it by boat (or plane.)
(For the story of my first trip in, see here)
What’s a cool bird you’ve heard while travelling?