Episode 174 – Costa Rica Revisited Part 2 (Ted & Bodacious Birds)


Ted remains unmotivated to write, so you’re getting my words (AGAIN) and his gorgeous photos.

Two days ago we took in naturalist Stephen Marsh’s talk entitled “Costa Rica – A Wildlife Paradise”, which included lots of great photographs and a couple of National Geographic videos featuring the many colourful butterflies, birds, amphibians, lizards and mammals that live here, to get us excited about what Ted might see on his tour while we were in Puntarenas.

Did you know that sloths’ hair is home to algae, sloth moths – and even sometimes cockroaches – in a symbiotic relationship? Now if we see a green-tinged sloth, we’ll know it is exceptionally healthy (if aesthetically gross). Stephen also shared information we didn’t ever expect to need to know: sloths have to descend from their trees to poop, which makes them vulnerable to predators, so they only do it ONCE PER WEEK and can excrete up to 30% of their body weight! This might just fall into the category TMI (too much information).

The half-day afternoon tour Ted took was called “Jungle Boat Crocodile Safari”, but that was a bit of a misnomer since the most prevalent wildlife were the glorious birds – and he didn’t see a single crocodile. Those on the morning excursion saw a few though, and got the pictures to prove it, so we know they were there. Nor was it technically a “jungle”, but rather a mangrove swamp in the Guacalillo Estuary, but maybe it was the vessel in which they travelled that was actually a “jungle boat”. It all depends on how you read it, I guess.

Even before boarding the boat, Ted was already pleased with the tour, since he got some great pictures through the bus window of a Scarlet Macaw in flight.

As the tour progressed, their tour guide Allan spotted and identified 27 species of birds! Naturally, many were too fast to capture on film, but what a great experience – and another testament to the quality of the guides here in Costa Rica, where tourism is a popular university double-major in conjunction with other subjects. On our various tours we’ve had guides who were botanists, historians, and political science majors.

Top: Osprey. Bottom: Common Black Hawk

Anahinga (I was proud to be able to identify this one, having seen them in South Carolina)

Top: Bare-throated Tiger Heron.
Bottom left: Great Egret. Bottom right: White Ibis
Green Kingfisher
Top left: Little Blue Heron. Top right: Great Blue Heron.
Bottom left: Tri-coloured Heron. Bottom right: juvenile Yellow-Crowned Heron
Neotropical Cormorants and Common Terns
In Collingwood, we considered ourselves lucky to see a single Black-Crowned Night Heron migrating through our area. Here Ted was able to see an entire log full of Yellow-Crowned Night Herons!
A Pelican tree!

In total, it looks like Ted got pretty wonderful shots of 14 of the 27 species that Allan spotted. I’d say he had a successful day!

No green-tinged sloths though.


  1. Terrific bird shots ! Very glad so many birds came out to meet Ted, I guess they got the notice and came out to greet him !

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy !


  2. Nice to hear that Stephen Marsh is your naturalist on board. He was the naturalist on the cruise where we met you in 2019. Don’t know if you have heard but really sad news about Crystal Cruises. They are bankrupt and their ship just arrested in the Bahamas. All the passengers are scrambling to get home as the cruise was supposed to end in Miami. Your itinerary may have changed but at least you are still sailing.


    • We’re definitely enjoying Stephen again. We had heard the rumour that Crystal were denied refuelling in the Bahamas because they couldn’t pay for it. Very sad for those passengers. We sail on !!


  3. We’ve been in Costa Rica twice and have never been close enough to photograph a parrot or macaw. But we have sure heard them! Oddly enough I do have parrot photos from London and Barcelona where they are a new invasive species. Great bird photos!

    Liked by 1 person

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