Since San Antonio is located between two mountain streams, Quebrada La Loca and the Rio Guayabito, we get occasional visits from birds that like to eat fish. Our ponds contain more small fish than both the aforementioned streams, I suspect, because dry spells and rushing torrents make it difficult for fish to survive there easily. Consequently, kingfishers and herons are rare visitors to the San Antonio valley. One resident, however, is not too hard to find, the Green heron (Butorides virescens), once called the Green-backed heron. Though it is neither green nor green-backed, it is a beautiful bird and I am happy to sacrifice a few alumina (local Spanish for tiddlers) in order to enjoy watching its stealthy actions at the side of the pond. Here’s a great photo of a Costa Rican bird, courtesy of Karel Straatman:
The heron is not a very frequent visitor to my garden but appeared today at the start of a torrential downpour. He was very skittish and stayed by the side of the pond only briefly. After flying into a nearby hibiscus bush, he surveyed the scene until the rain became too heavy even for him. The pond will soon have a major renovation, during which I’ll transfer the koi to the small pond temporarily. They’re much too big for the Green heron, I hope!