Lovely Cotinga

Cotingas are rare in the Turrialba area, with the obvious exception of the two tityra species. The only other of that family that to my knowledge has appeared recently has been the Snowy Cotinga (Carpodectes nitidus), featured in previous posts of mine.

Snowy Cotinga at Lagunas de Bonilla; photo by John Beer

Now, however, there has been a rash of sightings of Lovely Cotinga (Cotinga amabilis) both at Rancho Naturalista near Tuis and much higher up at the less accessible location of Grano de Oro near the Cabécar indigenous reserve. This is not a bird that I expected to encounter close to home and I only wish I could have been on this trip to be able to see it for the very first time.

Male Lovely Cotinga at Grano de Oro; photo by John Beer

The Lovely Cotinga is a generally silent species that prefers high perches and may be overlooked everywhere in its range from southern Mexico to western Panama. The female has grey-brown upper parts and pale lower parts with greyish spots; it could easily be mistaken for a bird of some other species. Unfortunately, I have no access to a photo of the female and must leave you with another shot of the male that the Beers and Steven found at Grano de Oro:

Who me? Male Lovely Cotinga sneaks a peak at photographer John Beer at Grano de Oro

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