Guayabo National Monument – First Bird Count

The first official bird count at nearby Guayabo National Monument was held on Sunday November 19. Although many very common species went unrecorded by the 4 birding groups, a total of at least 164 species was registered.

My group trekked from the Monument headquarters at around 1000 m elevation up to the Torito road at more like 1600 m. We were still in what is considered the buffer zone of the Monumento and this gave the opportunity to record some middle-elevation species that are absent down below.

Beautiful sighting of the day must go to the male Red-headed Barbet (Eubucco bourcierii); a pair shared a tree with 3 late-migrating Red-eyed Vireos and a resident Olive-striped Flycatcher just before the first waterfall on the Torito road.

File photo of male Red-headed Barbet, courtesy of Fernando Burgalin.

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus):

Red-eyed Vireo Minnesota
Red-eyed Vireo in Minnesota; preparing to fly to Costa Rica and points south? Photo courtesy of Larry Waddell

By way of comparison, here’s a Yellow-green Vireo (Vireo flavoviridis) in a file photo taken at the other end of the country in Paraíso, Guanacaste:

Vireo, Yellow-green, Paraiso (1)
Yellow-green Vireo living up to its name; the black eye-line is much less noticeable than on the Red-eyed Vireo. Photo by John Beer

The species above is not often found on the Caribbean slope between late October and late January. It is one of the few migrants from the south and has nested in my garden. Identification can be a problem when both this species and the Red-eyed Vireo are present. Our group did report one Yellow-green Vireo this time, although I personally missed it.

The Olive-striped Flycatcher (Mionectes olivaceus) is a species that prefers middle and higher elevations:

Olive-striped Flycatcher
Larry Waddell took this photo here at nearby Calle Vargas; it clearly shows the white triangle behind the eye and the streaky breast characteristic of the Olive-striped Flycatcher

Come back soon Larry!

With the whistle of  a Great Tinamou as a back-drop, one of the first birds of the day was a Gartered Trogon (Trogon caligatus), the commonest trogon in our area:

Gartered Trogon, Aquiares
Male Gartered Trogon at Aquiares a little lower down; photo by Larry Waddell

Our little group found 7 different species of hummingbird, including the following:

Hummingbird Mountain-gem, Purple-throated female, Santa Rosa (3)
Female Purple-throated Mountain-Gem at Santa Rosa; photo by John Beer

We recorded the Purple-crowned Fairy (Heliothryx barroti) at two different locations:

Hummingbird, Fairy, Purple-crowned, Aquiares (1)
Purple-crowned Fairy at Aquiares; photo by John Beer

My thanks to the members of our team and most especially to the many hard-working and dedicated workers at the Guayabo National Monument who gave so willingly of their time and resources.

2 thoughts on “Guayabo National Monument – First Bird Count

  1. What a great excursion. That Barbet is so beautiful. You found more species there than I think is even possible in northern Minnesota, I guess I better head back down to help you find all these gems.


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