White-eyed Vireo and 100 more

Our area is again host to a White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus), quite possibly the same individual that stayed faithful to my garden for months last year. Visitors to nearby San Rafael, James and Laetitia Hart, discovered and photographed the bird just a few days ago at a Santa Cruz location barely 2 km from my house in San Antonio.


Not easy, but James did manage to take some convincing photos of the White-eyed Vireo at San Rafael de Santa Cruz de Turrialba

So far, it has not been easy to reliably find the bird, since it accompanies a passing mixed flock that seems not to have a very fixed schedule! Two other migrant vireo species, the Philadelphia and the Yellow-throated, are also typically present, but the White-eyed has been recorded in Costa Rica on only a very few occasions. By way of comparison, here’s a Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons), a fairly common migrant in Costa Rica:


Yellow-throated Vireo, courtesy of Sergio Venegas and the Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica

The San Rafael area is very  beautiful, overlooking as it does a wide drainage below the Turrialba Volcano that empties into the Río Reventazón on its way to the Caribbean. My first (unsuccessful) attempts at locating the vireo rarity involved some very pleasant birding among pastures and small forest remnants just below the private Espino Blanco Reserve. The following list of 100 bird species that I have identified recently in San Rafael is typical of what you can expect to find:

  1. Gray-headed Chachalaca
  2. Green Heron
  3. Great Egret
  4. Great Blue Heron
  5. Cattle Egret
  6. Rufous-naped Wood-Rail
  7. Black Vulture
  8. Turkey Vulture
  9. Swallow-tailed Kite
  10. Short-tailed Hawk
  11. Roadside Hawk
  12. Broad-winged Hawk
  13. Crested Caracara
  14. Common Pauraque
  15. White-collared Swift
  16. Blue-and-white Swallow
  17. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  18. Southern Rough-winged Swallow
  19. Green Hermit
  20. Green-crowned Brilliant
  21. White-necked Jacobin
  22. Crowned Woodnymph
  23. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
  24. Green-breasted Mango
  25. Red-billed Pigeon
  26. Ruddy Ground-Dove
  27. White-tipped Dove
  28. Crimson-fronted Parakeet
  29. Brown-hooded Parrot
  30. White-crowned Parrot
  31. Groove-billed Ani
  32. Squirrel Cuckoo
  33. Blue-crowned Motmot
  34. Collared Araçari
  35. Keel-billed Toucan
  36. Black-cheeked Woodpecker
  37. Hoffmann’s Woodpecker
  38. Golden-olive Woodpecker
  39. Lineated Woodpecker
  40. Spotted Woodcreeper
  41. Streak-headed Woodcreeper
  42. Paltry Tyrannulet
  43. Yellow-bellied Elaenia
  44. Common Tody-Flycatcher
  45. Bright-rumped Attila
  46. Olive-sided Flycatcher
  47. Tropical Pewee
  48. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  49. Great Kiskadee
  50. Boat-billed Flycatcher
  51. Social Flycatcher
  52. Gray-capped Flycatcher
  53. Tropical Kingbird
  54. Masked Tityra
  55. Brown Jay
  56. Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush
  57. Clay-colored Thrush
  58. Tropical Gnatcatcher
  59. Band-backed Wren
  60. Bay Wren
  61. Cabanis’s Wren
  62. House Wren
  63. White-breasted Wood-Wren
  64. Yellow-throated Vireo
  65. Philadelphia Vireo
  66. Golden-winged Warbler
  67. Black-and-white Warbler
  68. Tennessee Warbler
  69. Yellow Warbler
  70. Mourning Warbler
  71. Tropical Parula
  72. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  73. Black-throated Green Warbler
  74. Wilson’s Warbler
  75. Rufous-capped Warbler
  76. White-lined Tanager
  77. Passerini’s Tanager
  78. Blue-gray Tanager
  79. Palm Tanager
  80. Silver-throated Tanager
  81. Golden-hooded Tanager
  82. Green Honeycreeper
  83. Scarlet-thighed Dacnis
  84. Bananaquit
  85. Thick-billed Seed-Finch
  86. Variable Seedeater
  87. Yellow-faced Grassquit
  88. Grayish Saltator
  89. Buff-throated Saltator
  90. Black-headed Saltator
  91. Black-striped Sparrow
  92. White-naped Brush-Finch
  93. Rufous-collared Sparrow
  94. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  95. Summer Tanager
  96. Melodious Blackbird
  97. Great-tailed Grackle
  98. Baltimore Oriole
  99. Montezuma Oropendola
  100. Chestnut-headed Oropendola

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