The Rusty Sparrow (Aimophila rufescens) is an uncommon species even in its typical Costa Rican location in northwestern Guanacaste. It is a well-known bird in Mexico and its northern range closely approaches the US border. I had long had the intention of visiting an isolated Costa Rican population much nearer to us, close to San Ignacio de Acosta in the mountains south of San José, and thanks to Daniel Martinez, Julio Madriz and Mauricio Calderón I was finally able to do so. Julio drove us from Daniel’s place in Cartago out on tiny dirt roads south of Acosta and Tarbaca to meet Mauricio, who was to show us the location, which is among impressive mountains clad for the most part in thick forest. I will deal with other parts of our trip in later posts.
The habitat of the Rusty Sparrow is not among the forests themselves but on adjacent stony hillsides with bushes and scattered trees. As you can see, Daniel was able to get some really good close-up shots of one of the three birds we found. This was a life bird for Daniel, Julio and me. Thank you, Mauricio!