Please join us for the first walk of 2022 at Hacienda Pino Colina, next door to the Wilson Botanical Garden/Las Cruces.
Judy Richardson has kindly invited us to visit her beautiful homestead where we have seen nesting Rufous Jacamars, White- crested Coquettes, White-winged Tanagers and more, so much more!
Drive through the open gate to the right (just north) of the main Pino Colina gate at 7 am. Follow the road down the hill and park near the bodega. Judy will meet us there; as always, we will have binoculars and guides to share.
Here is a photo of our last walk of 2021 at Las Cruces/Wilson Botanical Garden.
Hope to see you there for fabulous birds and gorgeous gardens — it will be a real treat!
Pop Quiz: if you are drinking your morning coffee at first light and you see a Northern Waterthrush, Common Black Hawk, Brown Pelicans and House Wrens, where are you?
Answer: Cabinas Los Cocos at Playa Zancudo, where else?
The waves are calling you, not to mention the River Cruise, for which Los Cocos is justifiably famous. Recent highlights included soaring King Vultures, Grey-lined Hawk, Mangrove Hummingbird and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron.
It is a total bird show there, from the river to the beach to the rice fields (where Red-breasted Meadowlarks, grassquits, seedeaters and Fork-tailed Flycatchers steal the show).
Just in case Susan England, boat captain and owner of Los Cocos, decides not to run her boats this coming high season, we had a good run with Captain Erick Chavarria who is not accustomed to birders but did a great job backing up, turning around for better views, etc. His boat is comfortable, he speaks English, is reasonably priced and on WhatsApp at 8638 7712.
If you need to be reminded about Cabinas Los Cocos, here you go:
Please go find a 2022 calendar and mark February 27 as the date for the SVBC Annual Meeting.
You’ll not want to miss this one as we plan to have the famous Tico Breakfast at Las Cruces/Wilson Botanical Garden PLUS speakers, birdy games and prizes.
This event is for members only so please remember to pay your dues! Any executive committee member will be happy to accept them. The dues will entitle you to a Membership Card that you can use to receive entrance to Las Cruces at the lower price for nationals and residents, $3 or 1,800 colones per person.
Membership Dues are as follows:
Local individual = $25 or 18,000 colones
Local family, defined as two adults and two children = $50 or 35,000 colones
We don’t know what you’re doing but we are going back into the field to look for birds and we’d like you to join us.
It’s time! Let’s get started! Kick that inertia through the door! Wear masks if you are more comfortable but know that we will be outside even when we break for coffee.
Along with Bird Walks and upcoming events, we’d also like to ask you for Membership Dues. We’ve let them slide for a while now but to keep our teachers in the classroom and the Detectives de Aves lessons flying, please pay your dues now for 2022. You can do it here via PayPal by clicking on Membership in the website drop-down menu OR bring cash to the next Bird Walk.
We need your support! Those faces below? They need your vote of confidence. As always, thank you!
Congratulations to Judy Richardson who correctly identified the butterfly from our Father’s Day Bird Walk at the Wilson Botanical Garden as a male Surprising White, Pereute charops. Male and female butterflies often look identical so how did she know? Well, she’s a butterfly whiz and the females apparently have red stripes! According to a website called http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org, it is also known as a Darkened White. When Judy next arrives in San Vito, we will treat her to a glass of wine for her efforts.
Not to leave you hanging from that last post, here is a photo of the Lesser Goldfinch (Spinuspsaltria) from a website called allaboutbirds.org. This was one of the three species we don’t often see and we didn’t want you to miss out on its striking looks:
Editor’s note: apologies to Leandro Barrantes who is in his first year of teenagism — he is 13, not 9, and I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that post.
It is still standing and an attraction for visitors to the OTS/Las Cruces Research Station and Wilson Botanical Garden.
This photo, from 10 years ago, will remind you of pre-pandemic SVBC events! The Tower requires a climb of 75 steps to reach the top. All of the folks you see in the photo above have done it; many times. Photo by Harry Hull III.
The slender and powerful young man in this photo, however, is the only person to have made the climb in less than one minute while toting 36 pairs of binoculars, 20 birding books and 120 juice boxes … Peter Wendell, head of the SVBC, standing alone. That’s what a pandemic will do for you. Photo by Alison Olivieri.
Thank You Again!
Speaking of which, we would like take some space here to honor the major donors to the construction of this amazing gateway to another world: Wildwood Foundation, Judy Richardson, Peggy and Fred Sibley, Jean and Fred Schroeder, Patricia J. Scott, Lauren and John Royer, Theodore Wickwire Royer and Zak Zahawi.
Finally, this is how small you look from the top; photo by Peter Wendell.
First, we want to acknowledge Memorial Day for our members in the US — the beginning of summer but a solumn day commemorating the countless soldiers who lost their lives in wars over too many years.
Closer to home, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Canopy Tower at OTS/Las Cruces Research Station inaugurated on this day in 2011. SVBC members, supporters and friends pulled together to raise the necessary funds for this rather daunting project that began with an enormous hole in the ground.
Special thanks to Campaign Committee Members: Julie Girard and Dave Woolley; Lydia and Ernie Vogt; Michael Olivieri; Zak Zahawi, then Director of Las Cruces; Kate Allen and Patrick Desvenain for special events assistance; our architect Felix Villalobos; Jim Zook for site consulting; the entire staff of Las Cruces for encouragement; the construction crew and, finally, the two Great Tinamous that walked right up the trail to the ongoing building site and bobbed around for a bit, leading me (at least) to think it would work out in the end.
We re-dedicate the Tower to all birders — past, present and future.