The Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway) is by no means a rare species but, in a similar manner to the Yellow-headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima), it seems to be increasing its range in Costa Rica as deforestation progresses.
After my first sighting of this species here in the village of San Antonio earlier in the week, I now spotted an adult bird in flight on the road between La Pastora and Capellades.
A brief roadside stop a little closer to La Pastora, at the new bridge over what I believe is the Rio Aquiares, yielded several of the common mid-level species that I have been seeing at Calle Vargas-Las Virtudes, namely Silver-throated Tanager, Common Chlorospingus, Purple-throated Mountain-gem and Slate-throated Redstart. A nice addition that a rarely see was an Olive-striped Flycatcher with its streaky breast and white spot behind the eye. This bird was very cooperative and eyed me inquisitively at close quarters. Below is a photograph taken at CATIE in Turrialba of what I believe is a pairing of a Yellow-olive Flycatcher (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) and an Olive-striped Flycatcher (Mionectes olivaceus). This photograph was originally labelled as Yellow-olive and Yellow-margined flycatchers together. The bird on the right has a rather streaky breast, however, and I think the spot behind the eye is almost in view. Opinions welcomed!
Now I know what kind of bird I saw….. thanks to you……. The Caracara was pecking at a piece of rotting flesh in the sand on Play Buena over here as you say in your article…. I guess he is expanding his habitat for some reason……… Thank you for solving the puzzle I was asking of myself.
Hi John. The Yellow-headed Caracara is also expanding its range, so keep your eyes peeled!