One of our tiny hummingbirds – the Green Thorntail

The small town of La Suiza is located about 13 km from Turrialba at about 650 m elevation. A dirt road at the end of the town leads up the valley of the Rio Armado, a small tributary of the Rio Tuis.  Santa Cristina de La Suiza is a tiny place located among pastures and forest patches some 200 m higher. Our short trip this time was highlighted by excellent views of a middle-elevation hummingbird, the Green Thorntail (Discosura conversii). John Beer and I discovered both female and male individuals in the very same tree as on previous occasions. The birds were cooperative and John was able to take excellent photos of both. If you are visiting our area and see a very small hummingbird with a white rump band, you have either a coquette (probably the Black-crested Coquette) or else this species. The white malar stripe further distinguishes the female…

Thorntail, Green, female, Cristina de la Suiza (1)

Female Green Thorntail at Santa Cristina de La Suiza; photo courtesy of John Beer

…while the male displays a long and somewhat wiry tail:

Thorntail, Green, male, Cristina de la Suiza (3)

Male Green Thorntail; the tail appears deeply forked and each fork has wiry tips; photo by John Beer

Otherwise, this excursion provided views of mostly common species such as the little resident warbler the Tropical Parula (Parula pitiayumi):

Warbler, Parula, Tropical, Cristina de la Suiza

Tropical Parula; the wing bar that features in the guide books is rarely visible in birds in our region; photo by John Beer

Butterflies are everywhere in Costa Rica. Here’s one that we found on this walk. If you can identify it, please send me a message.

Butterfly, Cristina de la Suiza (1)

Not showy, but very pretty: A butterfly at Santa Cristina; photo by John Beer

The bird list for this day’s walk, including some additional photos, can be found at:

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