Well, it’s not a bird to put the cognoscenti into raptures, but the Inca dove (Columbina inca) sitting in my driveway yesterday was my first sighting here in San Antonio in the six years that I’ve lived here. I saw only a single bird, but here’s a nice shot of a pair taken, I believe, in Guanacaste.
The bird is quite common in Guanacaste and through to the western Central Valley, but my only previous sighting around here was of a pair in the road down the hill at Verbena in the first months of my arrival in Costa Rica.
I have no other unusual sightings to report for late January, other than two or three Giant cowbirds (Molothrus oryzivorus) that sat noisily in a big guayabo in the back garden last week. I had to look quite carefully because both Great-tailed grackles and Melodious blackbirds were also present. The red iris separates this and the Bronzed cowbird from the two aforementioned species, while size easily distinguishes the Giant cowbird from its more common and much smaller relative. I have seen this species here only very infrequently, and usually accompanied by host Montezuma oropendolas.