What’s New at Finca Cantaros?

Things to see and do galore!

A new program called Caminata Matutina (Morning Walk) is being offered twice a month on Saturdays by the Finca Cantaros Environmental Association. These walks are free and open to the public, announced in advance on social media.

Recently, we were on one of these with Executive Director Lilly Briggs and Regent Biologist David Arias Rodrigues. While enjoying the sights and sounds of birds around us everywhere (*see a partial list below*), we were startled by one of the huge Caligo butterflies that display big ‘owl eyes’ on their closed wings. This astonishing creature rested obligingly on a tree trunk for several minutes, allowing the ‘Matutineers’ a chance to see it well in the telescope.

We also had great good fortune to observe two of the country’s squirrel species: Variegated and Red-tailed Squirrels, seen below in an old version of the invaluable Guide to the Mammals of Costa Rica by Fiona Reid. Drawings 1-6 are variations on the Variegated version, more commonly seen in Guanacaste than Coto Brus, and the little one at bottom right is the Red-tailed.

An environmental art project created by the FCEA’s Women Caring for the Earth program has beautified and informed a rancho next to Laguna Zoncho. In the foreground below, one of the artists, Karla ‘Lita’ Esquivel, discusses the representative water birds painted onto the table tops with members of our group from Santa Teresa de Sabalito.

Just before we tap out our impressive bird list, we pay homage to the fascinating plant group called Costus, closely allied with heliconias, gingers, marantas and bananas.

Complicated spiraling beauty, photo by Alison Olivieri

And now finally to the birds — unusually busy at this time of year engaged as they are in local courting, nesting and caring for young OR eating as much as they can for the impending long migration to northern nesting grounds.

The morning chorus was in full voice and we were happy to hear Roadside Hawk, Tropical Parula, Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Green Hermit, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Buff-rumped Warbler, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Gray-capped Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher and a newly-fledged White- throated Thrush with attending adults!

Please make a point of following the FCEA at https://fincacantaros.org and learning more about its many programs.