My Patch

Our house is in the hamlet of San Antonio located on the slopes of the now active Turrialba Volcano near Santa Cruz de Turrialba at  1288 m (4226 ft) above sea level. We have mostly middle-elevation bird species but easy access to both higher (up to 3000 m) and lower (down to around 500 m) elevations. This information on elevation is necessary for determining what bird species are most likely to be observed. Under the category In My Patch you will find only species observed within the boundaries of San Antonio. Similarly, my San Antonio Checklist contains only those species.

We live in a cattle-farming area (cheese production) and thus, if you walk out from the house, there are for the most part only remnants of forest in the close vicinity. Nearby, however, is the private Espino Blanco Biological Reserve (see Espino Blanco Checklist), located in Verbena Norte at 1100 m elevation, while the Guayabo National Monument (similar elevation) is also just a short drive away.

Higher elevations are best accessed either from Santa Cruz (dirt road to Bajos del Volcán) or from La Pastora (Turrilba Volcano road, partly paved). Note that, because of the recent eruptions, the volcano itself is no longer accessible after the hamlet of La Central. Lower elevations are at and around the town of Turrialba itself, 11 km below us via a paved road, where the chief location for bird-watchers is CATIE, the world-famous Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre (see CATIE Checklist). Coincidentally, one of the most renowned birding lodges in Central America, the Rancho Naturalista, is just a few kilometers from Turrialba near the village of Tuis. Their authoritative bird listing includes sightings at CATIE of species not recorded at Rancho Naturalista or in the Tuis River valley.

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