Great Blue Heron gobbles up our koi

One distant fly-by Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodeas) in 7 years would seem to indicate little chance of one appearing at the ponds in our garden. However, we went to Sarapiquí last week and bought two rather expensive (imported and small) Japanese koi.   Almost immediately, a gigantic Great Blue appeared at the pond and began to do what he does best – catch fish. I myself was away at La Gamba (see my last post) but my wife reported that the heron stayed three days. We lost two Costa Rican koi and two cometas (such is the name for goldfish here). The gold-plated Japanese koi seem to be still here, but who knows for how long? All the fish are now keeping a very low profile in the murky depths. Here’s a pic of a Great Blue Heron, though not of the actual culprit at our ponds.

Great Blue Heron, courtesy of Karel Straatman

Great Blue  Heron, courtesy of Karel Straatman

The falcon images on our windows are still doing only an inadequate job of preventing birds from hitting the glass. The situation has improved, however, and all the most recent casualties, a Mourning Warbler (Oporornis philadelphia) , an Elegant Euphonia (Euphonia elegantissima)  and a Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus),  all recovered nicely.

Mourning Warbler, female I think

Mourning Warbler, female I think

The Elegant Euphonia nests nearby but is not a frequent visitor to my garden

The Elegant Euphonia nests nearby but is not a frequent visitor to my garden; this one’s parents were waiting nearby

One of two Paltry Tyrannulets that had a brush with our window

One of two Paltry Tyrannulets that had a brush with our window

I’ll close this post with a close-up of the Paltry Tyrannulet, always my first guess when I see a very small flycatcher in the garden. It can’t be confused with any empidonax or contupus flycatcher, so those are automatically excluded when trying to identify a bird like this one.

Paltry Tyrannulet, formerly Mistletoe Tyrannulet

Paltry Tyrannulet, formerly Mistletoe Tyrannulet

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