+800-451-7111 For USA and Canadian Guests

   506-2761-1800 For Costa Rican Guests

   +352-377-7111 Outside Costa Rica, USA / Canada

 

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+800-451-7111 For USA and Canadian Guests
+506-2761-1800 For Costa Rican Guests
+352-377-7111 Outside Costa Rica, USA and Canada

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Selva Verde Lodge Blog

Shining Honeycreeper 00Shining Honeycreeper

The shining honeycreeper (Cyanerpes lucidus) is one of two similar and strikingly-colored honeycreepers common in upper level forests and semi-open areas of Costa Rica. The bright yellow legs and feet of the shining honeycreeper are a primary distinguishing feature. At Selva Verde, it is most often encountered in pairs or small family groups.  Although its prominent curved beak is specialized for nectar feeding, its main diet comprises succulent fruit.

 

The call is an unimpressive series of sharp staccato chitters, often intermixed with high thin peets.  Researchers confirm this species illustrates the general rule that birds with elaborate colorful plumage often have inferior vocal endowments.

After pair formation, males of this species use song to stimulate females and to maintain the pair-bond. Often, song is used by both adults simultaneously, in duet fashion. Tests show that in this species, there is much individual variation in vocal components and local song dialects occur. The high degree of individuality in song is important for pair members attempting to maintain contact in thick cover.

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11 costaricafeb08 131 300x201Blue-Gray Tanager

The blue-gray tanager (Thraupis episcopus) is one of about 230 species of tropical and subtropical tanagers, and one of the most common and unmistakable birds in Costa Rica. It is a generalist frugavore (fruit-eater), found in a great variety of different habitats, most often in pairs.

It is plentiful and highly visible at Selva Verde, where it regularly frequents bird-feeding trays. Its primary diet comprises succulent fruit from trees, shrubs and vines. Recent studies confirm it has remarkable discriminatory capabilities and can detect 0.09 percent protein variations in food.

These tanagers are restless, always on the move. Their call is a raspy squeaky twittering. In flight, they are easy to distinguish because they seem to bounce through the air, alternatively flapping their wings, then gliding with the wings tucked close to the body.

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ara ambiguaGreat Green Macaw

The great green macaw is arguably the most spectacular bird at Selva Verde. At almost 32 inches in total length and weighing close to three pounds, it is the 2nd-largest New World parrot. It is easily recognized by its robust body and long tail. It has an extraordinarily powerful bill and dexterous toes that grasp food items that are being eaten.

 Unfortunately, despite its iconic status, the future of the great green macaw in Costa Rica is precarious. In 2006, it was listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and since then its numbers have continued to decline. At present, it is believed there are no more than 200 in Costa Rica; the breeding population is roughly 35 pairs. Selva Verde is on the edge of the range of the last remaining population in Costa Rica; none of the approximately 20 known active nests are in the Sarapiquí zone, where Selva Verde is located.

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4 Rufous Motmot r alison 300x200Rufous Motmot

The rufous motmot (Baryphthengus martii) is the largest of six motmot species in Costa Rica; three others occur elsewhere. Motmots typically have short broad beaks, often decurved, and striking plumage coloration. There is no significant sexual dimorphism.  All motmots in Costa Rica  have two elongated central tail feathers; racket-tipped because loosely-attached barbs upshaft fall off, leaving much of the shaft itself bare.

These are mainly solitary birds, sometimes occurring in pairs, which usually perch inconspicuously in shade, with the tail swinging frequently like a pendulum. Foraging involves aerial sallying from a perch, capturing insects and plucking fruit from foliage.

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3 Slaty Tailed Trogon r alison 300x200Slaty Tailed Trogon

The slaty-tailed trogon (Trogon massena) is one of 40 species of trogons with similarly compact bodies, arboreal habits and colorful plumages. Most are sedate and characteristically perch upright, with the tail almost vertically downward. The flight is typically undulating, with brief spurts of rapid wing beats, and is silent. The birds perch in one location, rarely hopping or stepping from branch to branch; the feet are small and appropriate only for stationary perching.

They are among several trogon species that regularly occur at Selva Verde, often observed in clearings close to the guest lodgings and dining room, especially early in the morning. They are obligate frugivores, although they sometimes eat insects, and might even consume small lizards on occasion. They focus their foraging activities in the upper and middle levels of lowland forest, where they are especially fond of ficus and palm fruits. They often frequent the fig trees at Selva Verde.

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