Birds We Rarely See (possibly because they don’t want to be seen): part II

Oilbird: photo courtesy of Randall Jimenez

The bird you see above is an extreme rarity…the Oilbird. Rarely seen for three reasons:

  1. It is a nocturnal bird and is dressed in the colors of the night.
  2. It lives primarily in caves during the day.
  3. It is,,,rare. To learn more about the Oilbird, one of the most unusual bird species on Earth, follow the link below. But be sure to come back.

Now let’s have a look at some more of our local birds; those with subtile and clandestine coloration.

Ruddy Foliage-gleaner: photo courtesy of David Rodriguez Arias.

A lot of birders come down to Coto Brus to see rarities and localized species. These species are often referred to as ‘target birds’. The Ruddy Foliage-gleaner (above) is definitely one of our most targeted. You’ll hear it more often than see it; and almost always in the lower stratum of the forest.

Rose-throated Becard (female): photo courtesy of Randall Jimenez
Barred Becard (male): photo courtesy of Randall Jimenez

A bit like Cotingas, a bit like Flycatchers the Becards are an interesting family. Dressed in subtile and elegant earth-tones you’ll find them (if you’re lucky and quick) in the upper middle to canopy level of our forests. Both the Rose-throated Becard (the first one above) and the Barred Becard (just above) have distinct sexual dimorphism; meaning males and females look different. But all Becards seem to have heads just a little too big for their bodies.

Brown-billed Scythebill: photo courtesy of David Rodriguez Arias

If you ever need a bird to retrieve the last olive out of the olive jar, may I suggest the Brown-billed Scythebill (above). One of our many Woodcreeper species; all having a shadowy brown coloration and robust calls.

Black-and-White Owl: photo courtesy of Randall Jimenez

For the gloriously-marked Black-and-Whitle Owl (above), a bright street light on a clear, dark night has all the attraction of a full buffet to a hungry tourist. Big moths and other nocturnal insects are irresistibly attracted to bright lights…Black-and-White Owls are irresistibly attracted to big moths (and bats!). As Walt Disney taught us; IT’S THE CIRCLE…THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.