Tiny Moments: ‘That’s no hummingbird!’

(from SVBC members David and Audrey Fielding)

Five of us were birding together along the dirt roads of a tiny Mexican village near
the town of San Blas—three to four blocks of makeshift houses, dusty yards,
scruffy trees, blossoming grasses and bushes with the promise of maybe a painted
bunting. Suddenly, one of the group let out a cry, “HUMMER!” We all converged
to peek around a bush in the backyard of one of the houses in search of the flutter
of a close-by hummer. Jane was the one who called it out. And for the rest of her
life, Jane has never lived down the ignominy and spirited laughter of the rest of us
when we rounded the bush and there found a contented pig, nuzzling a pile of
garbage while gently snorting, sounding not unlike the familiar wingbeat of a

Photo courtesy of David and Audrey Fielding.

Tiny Moments: A Front Row Seat

(from SVBC Member Judy Richardson)

Relaxing on the sofa one afternoon, I spied a Golden hooded Tanager peeking in a hole below a Bromeliad, about 20 feet up. Then I realized that it was inspecting it for a nest. The mate sat on a branch above, awaiting the decision. Seems that she liked it , I was secretly crossing fingers, as today they were back but with bits of plant material in their beaks! Aren’t I lucky to have a front row seat to watch the action!

But wait, today I was at the pool and couldn’t miss a tiny Common Today Flycatcher weaving a hangy down nest from a branch only 5 feet above the ground! Only half done, it’s nearly in the same spot as last year’s. A lot of plant fibers and spider webs are holding it together. I’d like to be a baby rocking in that nest when he’s done.

It seems everywhere I look, new families have moved in, all furiously working on the new generation.

Judy Richardson, photo by Juan Carlos Calvachi

Bird Walk Sunday (March 12): Tres Rios

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for our every-other-Sunday bird walk.

When: Meet at 7am this coming Sunday, March 12.

Where: Down on the Tres Rios road. We’ll meet up near the little bridge that is near that little waterfall. Contact me (see below) if you need directions.

As always, binoculars and expert guides are available.

Greg Homer…8543-6665.


Crimson-fronted Parakeet in Porro tree. Photo courtesy of Gail Hull.

Tiny Moments: The Green Jay

(from SVBC members and supporters, David and Audrey Fielding)

So, we were birding in the town of San Sebastian in the mountains just east of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, hoping to see Green Jays. It was morning and the birds were using the tree foliage off our porch as a highway to local fruit trees. Suddenly, we heard a cacophony of birdcall headed our way. The calls varied: harsh, tuneful, peeping, squeaky, mockingbird-like. And then, there they were! Green Jays, deep green, blue, yellow and black, hopping here and there. The same thing happened two or three more times, mainly in the mornings—first, the peeps and squeaks, melodic and just a bit mournful. And then the gang of Green Jays! We learned to listen for the morning concert, then run out to the porch to catch the Green Jay parade. We felt pretty smug about our ability to ID the Green Jay by its song.

. . . One morning, however, a brown bird we didn’t know perched directly in front of us on a branch and began singing the exact same song! Merlin helped us identify it—a Brown-backed Solitaire, famous for its song. So THAT was what we had been hearing—not the Green Jays after all, but the contrapuntal symphony of tinkling glass falling in minor chords of the Brown-backed Solitaire!. Who knew!!!

Green Jay and Brown-backed Solitaire photos, courtesy of David and Audrey Fielding)

Tiny Moments: The Magic Duck of Laguna Zoncha

From Randall Jimenez.

This hybrid has been visiting us since 2018 at Zoncho Lagoon in Finca Cántaros, it is evident how year after year it chooses our lagoon, this is beautiful because the conservation efforts we make help to conserve its migration site. I like to think that after flying thousands of kilometers our cute duck says “hogar dulce hogar”

Blue/Green Wing Teal hybrid: Photo courtesy of Randall Jimenez.

Biodiversity Lecture at Wilson

Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 7:00 pm at the Reception Classroom at Las Cruces Biological Station, 7:00 pm

The Glory of Biodiversity in the Tropics

Speaker:  Gail Hewson Hull 

Ms. Hull will show photos of birds and other creatures on 17 acres of land she owned between 1994 and 2019 in Linda Vista de San Vito, Coto Brus County. The presentation will focus on how quickly complex life can return to land degraded by cattle and coffee farming using reforestation and understory restoration with native species.

Bird Walk Sunday at Las Cruces: Jan. 22

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for our regular every-other-week bird walk.

We’ll walk through the Wilson Botanical Gardens (OTS Las Cruces). Meet at Recepcion at 7:00am. Binoculars available as needed.

A top-notch birder who lives in San Vito tells me Cedar Waxwings are moving through the country right now. Wouldn’t that be sight to see…a flock of Cedar Waxwings!

Also, congratulations to our colleagues, los Pajareros del Sur, for spotting the very first Dark-billed Cuckoo ever seen in Costa Rica; down in the rice fields south of Ciudad Neily.

Hope you can join us.

Photo of Dark-billed Cuckoo, courtesy of Helen LeVasseur.