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Goodbye to Madre Selva

December 2, 2011

The gate to Madre Selva Station

My time in Costa Rica is winding down.  Last week was my third (and final) visit to Madre Selva.  It was a bit of a disappointing end, as I came down with a cold partway through and we had to miss out on two glorious sunny mornings of banding. (The stations are on steep hillsides and the net poles have to be carried to each net lane,  and I couldn’t handle the trek that is each net round each half-hour, with a sore throat and clogged up lungs.  Plus it would be too much for Morgan to do on her own.)  And then the final morning there we were rained out.  So I had one last 3-km hike to the bus in the rain.  That I am not sad to be done with!  It was especially not an enjoyable walk with my cold.

But I have nice memories of the station and a few more photos to share with you.

The station house as seen from the road in

Costa Rica is filled with brightly painted houses.  Our next door neighbour in the yellow house had 4 barking dogs (not a nice memory!)  The Madre Selva station is on a family farm.  A couple of cows live in a pasture across from the house and we would often see one of the farmers walking down the road, a dog and a cow following him.

This was a nice dog that didn’t bark at us, but also was scared of me.  But he looked so happy as he was frolicking in a field.

This cow liked to stare at us

Bromeliads (photo by Morgan)

The trees up there are covered with hundreds and hundreds of epiphytes.

The butterflies there aren’t as spectacular as those in the lowlands, but they are still pretty.

Rufous-collared Sparrow

Black-capped Flycatcher

Those two species are some of the most commonly seen from our porch.  We banded one of the sparrows but never caught any of the flycatchers, unfortunately.  Rufous-collared sparrows are very common in many parts of Costa Rica, including downtown San José.  They are one of my favourite birds here, probably because I  am also fond of many of the sparrows in their genus (Zonotricia) up in North America (White-throated, White-crowned, and Golden-crowned.)

Least Grebes

One of our banding sites (there are three at Madre Selva) is called Lake, as it is located by a pond, which is inhabited by this pair of grebes.  I was very happy to see them as they are one of the birds in the North American field guide I’ve been wanting to see (but I’ve never made it to Texas to see them in the North American range.)

I have some more pictures of some of the birds we banded at Madre Selva, and I will post those soon.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2011 5:13 pm

    love the closeup shots, especially of the sparrows.

  2. Jennie Frances permalink
    December 3, 2011 8:17 pm

    Love the photos Jillian, especially the butterfly and flowers.
    See you soon

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