Parrots, Woodcreepers, Titi Monkeys and more at Finca Estrella

Yes, this is a bird blog but Costa Rica, and Finca Estrella in particular, offer much more. The Central American Titi Monkey (also called Squirrel Monkey) is found only in Costa Rica and only in the central Pacific region. At the beginning of this century only an estimated 1200 remained, but happily its numbers have now rebounded to around 4,000. At Finca Estrella it seems to be omnipresent. At first I took its curious high-pitched call to be that of some unknown bird species:

Squirrel Monkey 2.jpg

A rather annoyed Titi Monkey scowls at us from next to Casa Amarilla at Finca Estrella; photo by Larry Waddell

A little further down the path we found our first woodcreepers. There are 16 species of these in Costa Rica, not counting the 2 Xenops. They are all attired in brown and are quite difficult to distinguish both for the novice and for me! Fortunately, and despite the dark environment in which woodcreepers live, John was able to get good close-up shots of two species on this day:

Woodcreeper, Cocoa, Finca Estrella (6)

Cocoa Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus susurrans); photo by John Beer

The size difference, particularly of the bill, plus the very loud call note of this species made it easy to distinguish from the Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (Glyphorhynchus spirurus)  that shared the same forest patch:

Woodcreeeper, Wedge-billed, Finca Estrella (1)

The bill of the little Wedge-billed Woodcreeper is its chief field mark. Photo by John Beer.

A Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus) kept the woodcreepers company. It has a rather similar bill to the Wedge-billed Woodcreeper but is even smaller and prefers to hang acrobatically instead of creeping up tree trunks:

Woodcreeper, Xenops, Plain, Finca Estrella

Plain Xenops shows its hallmark, the white malar stripe. Photo by John Beer.

Bird of the day for me, however, was a small flycatcher species that I had never seen before. The Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet (Camptostoma obsoletum) is restricted to the central and southern Pacific regions. The following individual appeared early in the morning close to the Casa Amarilla:

Flycatcher, Tyrannulet, Beardless-, Southern, Finca Estrella (1)

Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet at Casa Amarilla. Photo by John Beer.

Finally, to add some colour to a post that features rather drably attired bird species, here is a lovely photo of a Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis):

Parrot, red-lored, Finca Estrella

Red-lored Parrot, a very common species at Finca Estrella. Photo by John Beer.

An eBird checklist can be found at:


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