Adult Fasciated tiger-heron reappears

Early morning at our gateOct312014

Turrialba Volcano remains unpredictable as village folks go off to work early morning

It’s a gloomy day here in San Antonio. The volcano is no longer in sight, though the threat remains. November is threatening to bring constant daily rain, as was often the case until the last couple of years. The birds at the feeder have almost finished off the last of my bananas, though at least one more bunch is slowly ripening. The usual chachalacas, yigüirros and sundry tanagers and saltators are all in attendance, but so too is the Blue-crowned motmot that has now been in the garden for at least two weeks. He’s quite feisty and more than holds his own against the rest. His method for spearing the banana is a very rapid jab from a bit of a distance, while the Montezuma oropendolas prefer to hold the banana down with their feet, gobble down two or three large chunks and then fly off with a final big lump firmly in the bill.

Migrants are fairly abundant but today I can find only the Baltimore orioles. I continue to look at the females carefully to see if Bullock’s oriole or even Orchard oriole turns up. No luck so far, but a Bullock’s was reported recently in Cartago, which is not so far away, so I live in hope.

I took a late afternoon stroll down to don Martín’s cabin on Quebrada La Loca and was very fortunate to find the Fasciated tiger-heron  (Tigrisoma fasciatum) (adult) fishing in the now rather swollen stream. The bird was rather skittish and took off with heavy flaps at each attempted approach of mine. Finally, it flew up into the foliage of some trees overhanging the stream and was lost from view. Assuming that this is the same individual, I hereby present don Martín’s very own but not very sharp photo, taken some months ago.

The Fasciated tiger-heron is a large, dark heron, with no similar species likely to occur in my area.

The Fasciated tiger-heron is a large, dark heron, with no similar species likely to occur in my area.

Today’s bird looked just like this, but I was not within 100 yards when it took flight. The rest of my ramble was uneventful. The Sunbittern is still in hiding somewhere, but I did add a female Green hermit to the Stripe-throated hermit that regularly sips at my passion-flower vine at the back of the house. Hermits were never to be found in my first few years here, but increased vegetation in my garden and my discovery of some attractive forest patches within the boundaries of the village have changed the situation.

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