Southern migrants arrive

Harbinger of verano - Costa Rica's national bird,  the yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush

Harbinger of verano – Costa Rica’s national bird, the yigüirro or Clay-colored Thrush

This week the national bird of Costa Rica, the yigüirro (Clay-colored Thrush), started to tune up for what will shortly be its dawn chorus, heard throughout the country to announce the arrival of verano. Verano isn’t really summer, but rather the dry season. For us here in Turrialba that usually just means less rain than before, because we generally have some rain almost every day. This year the wet season (invierno) has been exceptionally long, soaking the ground almost non-stop from late November to the end of January.

Late January and early February is also the time to look out for the arrival of the returning southern migrants. Here, for me, it means looking and listening for the return of the first Piratic Flycatchers (Legatus leucophaius)  and Yellow-green vireos (Vireo flavoviridis), both of which will nest in my garden

Ready to take on the big guys

Piratic Flycatcher returns to Costa Rica in late January, early February, each year


Yellow-green vireo CR (1)Web

Yellow-green Vireo, soon to nest here again also


The other common southern migrant, the beautiful Swallow-tailed kite (Elanoides forficatus), returns a little earlier, in December, and has already put in a couple of appearances here.

What is he eating?

What is he eating?

Many thanks again to Karel Straatman for his fine photos. Keep dancing Karel and Nicole!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s