Pigeons and Doves of Coto Brus: ID by Song

Pigeons and Doves of Coto Brus: Identification by Song

Bird Name Description Song
Short-billed Pigeon Upright, reddish-brown. 4-5 syllables long. Think, ‘dos tontos son’.
Ruddy Pigeon Similar to previous; a little darker. Think, ‘what’s the matter’; sometimes ‘hey, what’s the matter’.
Scaled Pigeon Big and stocky, thick neck. Scaly neck and chest, light-colored. Deep pitched ‘wooo-oo-hoo’. The baritone of pigeons.
Pale-vented Pigeon Light-colored pigeon; soft colors on head, dark bill. Think ‘here we goooo’ or maybe ‘what the hell’.
White-tipped Dove Our most common dove. White head and white tips on tail. Sad sounding ‘wooooooooh’. Grey-headed Dove looks and sounds similar.
Ruddy Ground-Dove Little guys; light-colored head, reddish-brown body. Two distinct notes; think ‘woo-HOOT, woo-HOOT’ repeated several times.
Blue Ground-Dove Male is actually BLUE! Female brown. Single note ‘BOOP’.

(Scaled Pigeon photo courtesy of Luis Fallas)


Identifying Coto Brus Woodcreepers: Appearance and Song/Como identificar los Woodcreepers de Coto Brus: apariencia y canción

  1. Our most common woodcreeper./Nuestra woodcreeper lo más común.–Streak-headed Woodcreeper.  (All photos from SVBC members)
  2. streakySong/cancion

2. The closely related Spotted Woodcreeper with a very different song./Muy simlar, es el Spotted Woodcreeper con una canción muy diferente.


3. The remarkable Brown-billed Scythebill./El woodcreeper increible; Brown-billed Scythebill.


4. The very active Olivaceous Woodcreeper./El Woodcreeper con mucho energía; Olivaceous Woodcreeper.



5. The Wedge-billed Woodcreeper./El Wedge-billed Woodcreeper.


6. The very similar Plain Xenops. El Plain Xenops, muy similar.



Bird Report: Tropical Mockingbird

Mimus gilvus: Tropical Mockingbird.

Mimus gilvus: Tropical Mockingbird.

A Tropical Mockingbird, Mimus gilvus, has been spotted on the grounds of the Catholic church in downtown San Vito by Wally Barton. It is slightly larger than a thrush, predominantly gray on the back with white bars on blackish wings, white below, white patches in the wings and tail.

Historically this interesting species has had a discontinuous two-part range from Mexico to Honduras and then in northern South America, however, in the 1930s an introduced population was found in Panama. This might explain its occurrence here. The Birds of Costa Rica by Robert Dean and Richard Garrigues suggest this species is becoming established in Costa Rica where breeding pairs have been reliably found in Siquirres and Limon for many years. Reports of sightings have come from disparate locations like Bagaces, Arenal, San Isidro de General and Cartago and a breeding pair has been seen in La Union de Sabalito for the past five years. Closer to home, one or two of them have been visiting feeders near the San Vito Hospital and these (or this individual) may have taken up residence in the church yard.

They like open habitats with trees and shrubs so town parks and gardens are ideal. Readily visible, they often perch out in the open on telephone/electric lines or tops of bushes and trees.

Eating a small lizard!

Eating a small lizard!

Mockingbirds eat insects, small vertebrates and fruit. Their song is unmistakable: a long musical series of repeated phrases. Apparently, unlike Northern Mockingbirds, they do not mimic other species.