Les Oiseaux du Costa Rica: Final

Part III of bird photos from notre bon ami (our good friend/nuestra buen amigo) Jean-Philippe Theilliez. Jean-Philippe has returned to France. We wish him a speedy return.

All photos taken in Costa Rica except the Great Jacamar, which was taken very near…in Panama.

FYI: Note the detail in the Turkey Vulture’s beak. That big hollow space houses the most sophisticated and efficient olfactory (smell detecting) organ in the entire animal kingdom. Turkey Vultures can smell death from several miles away. Their close cousin, the Black Vulture, relies more on their eyesight.

Les Oiseaux du Costa Rica

Spectacular photographer and good friend of the San Vito Bird Club, Jean-Phiilippe Thelliez has submitted some more of his bird photos from our area. Name them, if you can.

Plus, a bonus photo of Jean-Philippe’s favorite thing to eat.

A Photo Album from SVBC Member Jean-Philippe Thelliez

Always energetic, Jean-Philippe Thelliez travels the world in search of nature photo opportunities. Submitted by Jean-Philippe himself, here are five recent photos taken in Columbia, Panama and Costa Rica.

(All photos taken by Jean-Philippe Thelliez)

Photo #1: The Hoatzin-Columbia

Living along riparian forests in the Amazon basin, the Hoatzin has been called ‘…the reptile bird’. Young Hoatzins actually have vestigial claws on their wings, allowing them to climb away from threats. Not surprisingly, this odd looking bird is only member of the taxonomic family Opisthocomidae.

Photo #2: The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock-Columbia

What female could fail to be impressed by this male Andean Cock-of-the-Rock? Yes, it does have a bill in there somewhere

Photo #3: Harpy Eagle-Panama

For many treetop monkeys and sloths, the massive (2nd largest raptor in the world) Harpy Eagle is the last thing they ever see. Open your hand and spread your fingers as wide as you can; the Harpy Eagle’s claws are bigger!

Photo #4: Three-wattled Bellbird-Costa Rica

‘BONG’ Spend a little time up in the highlands around San Vito and you’ll probably hear the male Three-wattled Bellbird give its echoing and eerie call.

Photo #5: Plumbeous Kite-Costa Rica

Our fifth and final bird is the Plumbeous Kite. This particular bird appears to be bowing a polite ‘thank you’ for viewing these wonderful photos. The Plumbeous Kite also wishes to remind all of you to remain healthy, safe, patient and most importantly…ACTIVE!

(descriptions by Greg Homer)

POW (photos of the week) for Sept. 11, 2018: Slaty Spinetail coming and going.

There’s a term in sports photography, nature photography, current event photography and probably all photography–The MONEY Shot.  In sports, the money shot could be the wide receiver catching the game-winning pass; in nature photography, something like the Humpback whale breeching up out of the sea; in current events, a fireman walking out of a burning building holding a child.

Bird photography is the same.  When photographing a Slaty Spinetail, the ‘money shot’, as you might imagine, comes in capturing the distinctive spiny tail!  Gail Hull, of Finca Cantaros, has done just that.  In photo #1 below, we see the bold rusty and black coloration of the Slaty Spinetail as it is facing us.  In photo #2 we get the Slaty Spinetail ‘money shot’…a good, close look at that distinctive spiny tail as the bird is facing the other direction.  Well done.

We have three different spinetail species down here in the south; the Slaty Spinetail, the Pale-breasted Spinetail and the Red-faced Spinetail.  All three are quite secretive.

(both photos taken at Finca Cantaros, Sept. 2018 by Gail Hull)

slaty 1

slaty 3



POW: Photos of the Week for July 7/Fotos de la semana: 7 de julio

Our two birds for this POW were taken in the small town of Caracol, near Rio Claro.  The great husband and wife team of Yeimiri Badilla and Marilin Saldana brought us these amazing photos.

Photo #1: You should recognize this bird from all of our San Vito Bird Club publications, t-shirts and coffee mugs; it is the Turquoise Cotinga!  Taken in their front yard.

T Cotinga 1



Photo #2: Taken in the palm plantations near Caracol.  Palm oil plantations often contain a surprising variety of bird species.  This young Striped Owl was probably in search of small rodents who feed on the palm nuts.

Striped Owl

POW for June 19: Parakeet and Woodpecker!

Normally, our two Photos of the Week (POW) are somehow connected.  (See last week…both birds have streaked breasts.)  This week I’m challenged to find a clever connection between these two birds; Olivaceous Piculet and Sulpher-winged Parakeet.  Sure, they both have feathers, a cloaca and lay eggs but I’m looking for a CLEVER connection!  Your help appreciated.

Photo #1: Olivaceous Piculet.  Courtesy of Gail Hewson-Hull

Olivaceious Piculet ghh

Photo #2: Sulpher-winged Parakeet.   Courtesy of Alison Wickwire Olivieri (taken at Las Tablas)

Sulphur-winged Parakeet LA Feb 8 2018

The Streakers! POW for June 2018

Our first streaky Photo of the Week comes from Finca Cantaros duena Gail Hewson-Hull.  This streaky-breasted bird is a Sulpher-bellied Flycatcher.  One of our larger tyrant flycatchers, the Sulpher-bellied is more often seen feeding on fruits than catching flies.

Sulpher B FC gail

Our second streaker comes from SVBC President Emeritus Alison Wickwire-Olivieri.  Many birders who come down to the southern zone have this bird, the Streaked Saltator, on their must-see list.  FYI: that bill is heavy and powerful!  Distinctive and musical song.

Streaked S alison

P.O.W.-Week #27/F.D.L.S.-Semana #27

Congratulations Gail Hull and me (sort of)./Felicidades a Gail Hull y yo (mas o menos).

THEME: Migrant birds; early arrivals./Migrantes temprano.

PHOTO #1: A Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher.

(photo courtesy of SVBC member Gail Hull; taken at Finca Cantaros)


Photo #2: Baltimore Oriole. I didn’t actually get a photograph of this bird.  What you see is merely an artist’s rendition.

bird 2