Wattled Jaçana at Casa Turire

Casa Turire is perhaps the best appointed hotel in the Turrialba area and although its food and accommodation prices are beyond the budget of many it offers a splendid environment on the shores of the Angostura Dam for bird-watching. Recent news of a visiting Wattled Jaçana (Jacana jacana) gave me what I thought was a vain hope of seeing this rarity. Oh happy day! Not only did the jacana appear, so too did two uncommon bittern species, Least Bittern (Ixobrychus  exilis) and Pinnated Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus). See a subsequent post for details on these.

The Wattled Jaçana is basically a South American species that extends its range into western Panama, but very rarely does it appear in Costa Rica. However, there have been isolated sightings here in recent years, mostly in the southern Pacific region. Here are photograph of the specimen that John Beer, Steven Aguilar and I found close to the grounds of Casa Turire this week:

Jacana, Wattled, Angostura, Casa Turire (1)

Wattled Jaçana on spindly grey legs! Photo courtesy of John Beer

Jacana, Wattled, Angostura, Casa Turire (2)

About to depart, harassed by our resident species.

Our resident jaçana, the Northern Jaçana (Jacana spinosa), is easy to find in our area in suitable habitat. An adult of that species displaced our rare visitor from the log above before returning to picking through the water hyacinth.

Jacana, Northern, Angostura, Casa Turire (2)

Northern Jaçana displays a yellow shield and a chestnut body.

Casa Turire and the shores of the Angostura Dam offer a great deal more than just water birds. For the full list of more than 70 different species that we found that morning, plus many more of John Beer’s photos, see




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