It’s rather stunning to see a Fasciated Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma fasciatum) outside the window instead of the usual yigüirros, wrens, grassquits and sparrows. Our house is located in the middle of the village of San Antonio, straight opposite the Catholic church and the primary school. Not the ideal spot for herons, especially since the nearest bodies of water are small streams quite a distance away. To my knowledge this is the first visit our house has received from this species in all our ten years in Turrialba. John Beer’s picture below is from a lower location and an earlier date and captures a juvenile without extended neck. Today’s bird was also a juvenile and was drawn up to its full length as it stalked towards our small koi pond for a late breakfast.
Our house in San Antonio de Santa Cruz de Turrialba is located at 1288 mm, supposedly too high an elevation for all three Costa Rican tiger-herons. However, the Fasciated Tiger-heron, denizen of rocky streams and rivers, is now regularly found in the highlands wherever trout have been introduced. Such is the case here, with Las Truchas trout restaurant just 1 km up the hill. The nearby stream Quebrada La Loca is a favorite haunt, and yet this garden visit is still most unusual. When I attempted a photograph, the bird flew very high into one of the rainbow eucalyptus trees and flew off uphill, perhaps towards Las Truchas, just before John could get here from Santa Rosa to record the event. Let’s see what the next few days bring.