Jan 062017
New Estimate: There are Over 18,000 Bird Species on Earth

Birds (class Aves) are traditionally thought of as a well-studied group, with more than 95% of their global species diversity estimated to have been described. Most checklists used by ornithologists as well as by bird watchers say that there are roughly between 9,000 and 10,000 species of birds. But those numbers are based on what’s […]

Mar 012015
After a cruel attack, an injured toucan will get its beak back, thanks to 3D printing

It was a shocking case of animal cruelty that caused outrage in Costa Rica and beyond last month. The victim? A male toucan, since nicknamed Grecia, whose beak was horribly mutilated by a group of teenagers. Grecia’s story inspired people all across South America to turn their anger into action – and thanks to a […]

May 012014
Help Save Wood Thrush: Drink Bird Friendly Coffee

The Wood Thrush is an ambassador for the forest birds of eastern North America, and a modern-day “canary in the coal mine.” According to the Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), this species has declined by over 50 percent since systematic counts began in the late 1960s. I wrote about the demise of the Wood Thrush in […]

Dec 282013
A  Mouth Full

Factoid: The Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus), also known as Sulfur-breasted Toucan or Rainbow-billed Toucan, is a colorful Latin American member of the toucan family. It is the national bird of Belize. A very productive morning, very close to Nicaragua . Seems the keel billed mafia, loves to fly in invade the berry laden trees. A […]

Feb 092013
Tucán pico verde (Red-breasted Toucan)

Transcurrieron bastantes recorridas por distintas localidades del sur de Misiones con el grupo sin poder obtener una fotografía del Tucán pico verde, cuando lo podíamos ver siempre estaba en vuelo y nunca era suficiente el tiempo para apuntar la cámara hacia arriba y cruzar los dedos para que haya un espacio libre entre árboles que […]

Jan 242013
A Few Highlights from Recent 2013 Birding in Costa Rica

I apologize to the folks who keep checking this blog for a new post. Guiding, writing, and finishing an app. for birding in Costa Rica have occupied most of my time and explain my virtual absence. As you can probably imagine, the birding in Costa Rica has been wonderful and I might be close to […]

Nov 242012
How does Birding in Costa Rica differ from that of the Temperate Zone?

Before my first trip to Costa Rica, I prepared for it like a commando on an all important mission. There was a scheduled departure date printed on my plane ticket (no e-tickets back in 1992) and the destination was San Jose, Costa Rica. This meant that I had a near certain date with a baptism […]

Oct 312012
Why It’s Worth it to Visit Manzanillo when Birding Costa Rica

Manzanillo is almost as detached from the typical Costa Rican birding circuit as you can get without leaving the country. Tucked way off in the southeastern corner of the country, it seems silly to drive there when you can see most of the same birds in the Sarapiqui region. If given the option, though, I […]

Sep 262012
Size matters

A scientists’ work is never done. That’s because there’s always another layer to peel away, another stone to turn, another angle from which to view the situation. Case in point—nearly 200 years ago, Charles Darwin made the connection between the size and shape of a finch’s beak and the availability of the seeds they eat; […]