A New Bird Quiz: Let’s Go ‘Urban Birding’!

Quiz Bird #1

City parks are often sites of great birding adventures. In New York, Central Park is a famous spot with more than 230 documented species. It is particularly ‘hot’ during spring and fall migrations and is the subject of a wonderful documentary called ‘The Central Park Effect’. Likewise, Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is another birder’s dream and hosts 175 field trips per year for all birding skill levels. In Costa Rica, La Sabana Metropolitan Park has been reforested with native trees and now boasts about 200 species of birds.

Recently, in an enormous park in Mexico City – Parque Chapultepec  — we ventured out to bird one morning and took some amazingly not-great photos BUT they are good enough to make a new Quiz Bird post for you!

Quiz Bird #2 — just the families will win the game!

Just name the five families and the first person who figures them out correctly will win either 6 Currant Scones or a six-pack of Imperial, Costa Rica’s national beer (your choice). If you can name all five species, you’ll get an extra surprise. Send your answers to: eltangaral@gmail.com. If you live in San Vito, your prize will be delivered at our next Bird Walk on Sunday, November 4 at 7:30 a.m. at Las Cruces. If you live anywhere else, we’ll mail you a non-comestible prize.

Quiz bird #3

In Cornell University’s local environmental education program, Detectives de Aves or BirdSleuth-International, any of the students would ace this quiz. Lesson 7 features bird family silhouettes and these photos, although they appear to have been taken by our anti-photographer, are perfectly adequate for you to correctly identify these groups. All our Detectives de Aves students are eligible to win this contest but no beer for them; instead, a dozen homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies. Attention Detectives: please include your name, school and grade level for proper eligibility.

Quiz Bird #5 — and it’s a gimme!

Quiz Bird #4

 

Birds on the Move/Las aves en movimiento

ESPANOL SIGUE

Female Flame-rumped Tanager, a new record for Costa Rica. Photo by Pepe Castiblanco

On a sunny morning in early November, Pepe Castiblanco and I went to look for a bird that had never been recorded in Costa Rica until it was discovered in October. Most followers of this website know Pepe but, in case you do not, he is a birder, natural history guide, musician, raconteur, photographer, baker, restaurateur and co-owner – with his wife Kata Ulenaers — of a nearby B&B.

Pepe’s friend, Juan Abel, who is dashing and works at the Organization for Tropical Studies as a forest guard, found this bird – a Flame-rumped Tanager – on his finca, consorting with a group of Cherrie’s Tanagers. He called some friends, extraordinary birders, to come take a look and so it went. Because this is private property, the search becomes a question of permission. We were grateful to have a chance to go look and got lucky with the bird.

Juan and his wife Ruth have a large, enthusiastic dog that lunged through the door as we pulled into the driveway. Before we were able to get out of the car, the dog clipped one of Juan’s sons’ legs, sending coffee dribbling all over its back, and climbed into the car onto my lap. It was an auspicious start.

We walked around the house, through a guava orchard. The trees look odd because each round, fat fruit is sequestered in a bag to stymie insects and birds. The Abels have chicken coops and banana feeders and a ring of old trees around their farm. We saw four Rose-breasted Grosbeaks taking the sun in a pine tree and heard woodpeckers and Slaty Spinetails churring from the woods.

After a bit, Hafjeth Abel, 19, joined our search party while he fed the chickens, steering us away from making hopeful glances at their banana feeder. The group of tanagers we were after apparently does not frequent the feeder but hangs around the other side of the property near the forest edge. Over we went and suddenly they arrived, sputtering and squeaking, with the Flame-rumped female in plain view, perched for Pepe’s camera. Two Yellow-billed Caciques came out of the forest — an uncommon sighting as they are more often heard than seen.

The new tanager comes with some confusing taxonomy. It has three common names: Flame-rumped, Lemon-rumped and Yellow-rumped. And two scientific names: Ramphocelus flammigerus and R. icteronotus plus a subspecies indicator like this: Ramphocelus flammigerus icternotus. You can consult the authority of your choice, but the Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica follows the American Ornithologists Union checklist so this one is being presented to the Rare Records Committee as Flame-rumped Tanager, Ramphocelus flammigerus.

Maybe another one will join it or show up elsewhere. We will try to keep ourselves updated and report back from time to time.

Juan Abel, standing back row center, found a new bird for Costa Rica in October 2017. Also pictured Pepe Castiblanco, standing right. Photographer unknown.

ESPANOL AQUI
Una mañana soleada de noviembre, Pepe Castiblanco y yo salimos a buscar un ave que nunca había sido registrada en Costa Rica, hasta que fue descubierta en octubre. La mayoría de quienes siguen este sitio web conocen a Pepe, pero en caso de que usted no lo conozcan, él es un pajarero, guía de historia natural, músico, anecdotista, fotógrafo, panadero, restaurador y co-propietario – con su esposa, Kata Ulenaers, — de un B&B de la localidad.

El amigo de Pepe, Juan Abel, quien es gallardo y trabaja para la Organización para Estudios Tropicales como guarda, encontró esta ave, Flame-rumped Tanager, en su finca, compartiendo con un grupo local de sargentos. Juan llamó a unos amigos, pajareros extraordinarios, para que vinieran a ver. Dado que esta es una propiedad privada, la búsqueda se convierte en una cuestión de permiso. Tuvimos la suerte de tener la oportunidad de ir a observar y encontrar el ave.

Juan y su esposa, Ruth, tienen un perro grande y entusiasta que se lanzó a través de la puerta mientras nos parquéabamos. Antes de que pudiéramos salir del carro, el perro atrapó una de las piernas de un hijo de Juan, echándose el café sobre el lomo, y se encaramó en el carro hasta llegar a mi regazo. Un prometedor comienzo.

A guava, bagged to exclude insects and birds. Photo by Alison Olivieri

Caminamos por la casa, hasta llegar a una plantación de guava. Los árboles se ven extraños porque secuestran su fruto en una vaina, para protegerlos de aves e insectos. Los Abels tienen gallineros y alimentadores de aves, y un anillo de árboles viejos alrededor de su granja. Vimos varios Picogrueso Pechirrosado (Calandrias) tomando el sol en un pino y escuchamos carpinteros y Arquitectos Plomizos en el bosque.

Después de un rato, Hafjeth Abel, de 19 años, se unió a nuestra búsqueda mientras alimentaba las gallinas, alejándonos de echar miradas esperanzadas al alimentador. Aparentemente, el grupo de tangaras que estábamos buscando no frecuenta el alimentador, sino el otro lado de la propiedad, cerca del lindero del bosque. Fuimos ahí y llegaron, chillando y revoloteando, con la hembra Flame-rumped a plena vista, en una posición privilegiada para la cámara de Pepe. Dos Caciques Picoplata salieron del bosque, una observación entraña, ya que frecuentemente se los escucha más de lo que se los ve.

La nueva tangara viene con una taxonomía confusa. Tiene tres nombres comunes: Flame-rumped, Lemon-rumped y Yellow-rumped; dos nombres científicos: Ramphocelus flammigerus y R. icteronotus; y un indicador de subespecie: Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus. Usted puede consultar con la autoridad de su escogencia, pero la Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica sigue el listado de la American Ornithologists Union, así que esta especie está presente en el Comité de Registros Raros como Flame-rumped Tanager, Ramphocelus flammigerus.

Quizá otra se le unirá o aparecerá en otro lugar. Trataremos de mantenernos al tanto y reportarle de cuando en cuando.

Distinguished Visitor: a Crested Owl at Finca Cantaros

One of the most charismatic owls in the country was spotted in late June at Finca Cantaros in a large bamboo grove near the lake. Although not considered “rare”, Crested Owls are not common and provide lucky viewers with a striking visual of the large white “V” between the eyes that sticks up over the head — all feathers, of course — and known as an “ear tuft”.
Lophostrix cristata, photo by Harry Hull.

Lophostrix cristata, photo by Harry Hull.

This beautiful owl was spotted by Ismael Cruz Medina, one of the students in a local environmental education program from nearby Sabalito called “Guardianes de la Tierra”, created and taught by the SVBC education program “Detectives de Aves” teacher Eugenio Garcia.

Cantaros owner Gail Hull would be happy to show visitors where the owl has been seen during the day but, of course, no guarantees! The reserve opens at 6:30 am every day, closing at 5:00 pm. The entrance fee for permanent residents and Ticos is C1,750 per adult, C1,000 for adolescents (12-17), and free for kids under 12. Foreign visitors pay $6 per adult and $3 per teen.

Espanol aqui

Uno de los búhos más carismáticos del país fue visto durante los últimos días de junio en
Finca Cántaros en un bosquecillo de bambú, cerca de la laguna. Aunque no se considera
“raro”, el Búho Penachudo no es común y dio a los suertudos observadores un vistazo a su llamativa “V” blanca entre los ojos, que sube por su cabeza, – toda de plumas, por
supuesto – y conocida como “ear tuft” (penacho).

Este hermoso búho fue visto por Ismael Cruz Medina, uno de los estudiantes de un programa de educación ambiental de Sabalito llamado “Guardianes de la Tierra” creado e impartido por el profesor Eugenio Garcia del programa educativo del SVBC “Detectives de Aves”.

La dueña de Cántaros, Gail Hull, estaría feliz de mostrar a los visitantes dónde fue avistado el búho durante el día pero, por supuesto, ¡no se garantiza que se vuelva a observar! La reserva abre a las 6:30 am todos los días y cierra a las 5:00 pm. La tarifa de entrada para residentes permanentes y ticos es de C1,750 por persona para adultos, C1,000 para adolescentes (12-17) y gratuita para niños menores de 12 años. Para visitantes extranjeros, la tarifa es de $6 por persona para adultos y $3 para adolescentes.

New tee shirts for sale!/Camisas nuevas a vender!

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New Tee Shirts! We have a limited quantity of new SVBC tee shirts — the men’s are chocolate brown (although you’d never know it by the attached photo, sorry!) and the women’s are cobalt blue with a fetching vee neck.

SVBC camisas nuevas; tomanos de hombres cafe y mujeres azul

SVBC camisas nuevas; tomanos de hombres cafe y mujeres azul

Please let us know if you are interested in supporting the club’s activities by purchasing one or more @ $20 or C10,000 each.

Send us a message by email to: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com to place your order no later than Monday, September 7!
International orders will require an extra cost to cover postage and handling. We will advise you of the total cost upon receipt of your order.

Espanol aqui

Tenemos camisas a vender; una foto arriba. Los hombres son cafe; las mujeres son azul con un diseno de “V” al cuello.
Por favor, avisame si quiere a comprar una (o mas) al precio de C10,000 cada una.
Vamos a pedirlas el martes siguiente, entonces por favor avisanos el lunes (7 setiembre)!
Envianos un mensaje al correo electronica: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com

Gracias!

Saturday Meeting Location Change/Sabado Reunion Cambio de Ubicacion

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Please note we will meet at 7:00 am at the Rio Java Gas Station (between the BM and Materiales Coto Brus) for our trip to the Museum of the Stone Spheres on Saturday. Please be on time so we can arrange carpools before our departure. Hope to see you there!

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Un aviso: vamos a reunir a las 7 por la manana sabado at la Bomba Rio Java (cerca de el supermercado BM y Materiales Coto Brus) antes de nuestro viaje a la Finca Seis. Por favor llega a tiempo; vamos arreglar los carros! Te esperamos, no falta!

!Quiz Bird #5/Acertijo Aviario #5!

Sigue en espanol

This is a hard one, so get out your field guides!

Mystery Bird #5 (photo by Gail Hull)

Mystery Bird #5 (photo by Gail Hull)

Clue #1: This bird belongs to the most diverse (and some say most ‘difficult’) group in Costa Rica comprised of 78 species.

Clue #2: The photo was taken in April at the San Joaquin Wetlands just outside of San Vito on the road to Sabalito.

Clue #3: Our bird stays low in secondary growth and is often found near water.

The prize for this contest is a handy-dandy rain poncho – lightweight, compact and perfect to tuck into your pocket or birding pack — especially useful at this time of year.

Please note: if your initials are JD, JG, JR, JZ or LA you are not eligible for this game!

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Este es difícil, ¡Así que saquen sus guías de campo!

Pista #1: Esta ave pertenece al más diverso (y algunos dicen que al más “difícil”) grupo en Costa Rica compuesto por 78 especies.

Pista #2: La fotografía fue tomada en abril, en los humedales de San Joaquín, en las afueras de San Vito sobre la carretera a Sabalito.

Pista #3: Nuestra ave se mantiene en la parte baja del bosque secundario y se encuentra usualmente cerca de agua.

El premio para este concurso es un poncho conveniente para la lluvia – liviano, compacto y perfecto para meterlo en su bolsillo o mochila para pajarear (especialmente útil durante esta época del año).

Por favor tome en cuenta que: Si sus iniciales son JD, JG, JR, JZ o LA , ¡Usted no es elegible para este juego!

Masked Ducks at Finca Cantaros!

A pair of Masked Ducks, Nomonyx dominicus, was seen Saturday, April 25 at Finca Cantaros, by an intrepid group from the SVBC including Roni Chernin, Jo Davidson, Peter Wendell, Nick and Mary from Colorado, and Gail Hull. These birds are often described as “secretive” and “uncommon” and can be difficult to find SO: here’s your chance!

Male Masked Duck in breeding plumage! Photo by Gail Hull (2014).

Male Masked Duck in breeding plumage! Photo by Gail Hull (2014).

!Quiz Bird #4 Revealed/La Respuesta del Prueba No. 4!

Sigue en espanol

Our Mystery Bird from last week’s Quiz #4 was correctly identified by Member Liz Allen of Concepcion as a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (photo by Jo Davidson).

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (photo by Jo Davidson).

Congratulations to Lety Andino of San Vito; Sandie Guthans of Baton Rouge, LA, and Dave Janas of Las Cruces who also correctly identified Quiz Bird #4 but sent their answers a little too late!

Thank you to Member Jo Davidson for her photo of this Rose-breasted Grosbeak that is either an immature male or an immature or adult female. See photo below for an adult male!

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Felicidades a miembre Liz Allen of Concepcion: su respuesta estaba correcto: Rose-breasted Grosbeak!

Tuvimos tres respuestas mas este vez de Lety Andino de San Vito; Sandie Guthans de Baton Rouge, LA, y Dave Janas de Las Cruces — todos correctos, pero un poquito demasiado tarde!

Gracias a nuestra miembre Jo Davidson para su foto arriba de un pheucticus ludovicianus; esta un macho joven o posible una hembra joven o adulto. Abajo: un guapo macho adulto!

Photo of a beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak from Wikipedia.

Photo of a beautiful male Rose-breasted Grosbeak from Wikipedia.

!Quiz Bird #4/Acertijo Aviario # 4!

Sigue en espanol

Time to pull out your bird book and name the species for Quiz Bird #4!

Mystery Bird #4 (photo by Jo Davidson).

Mystery Bird #4 (photo by Jo Davidson)

Location Clue #1: this photo was taken at Finca Las Nubes in Linda Vista by Jo Davidson

Time of Year Clue #2: January

Philosophy Clue #3: Things are not always as they seem

Send your answer quickly to: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com. For correctly identifying this Mystery Bird, the prize will be chocolate cake for residents or, if we have an international winner, a Tico lanyard!

Please Note: if your initials are JG, JZ, JD, JR, GH or FS you are disqualified

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¡Es momento de sacar su guía de campo de aves para nombrar la especie del Acertijo Aviario # 4!

Ubicación, Pista #1: Esta fotografía fue tomada en Finca Las Nubes, en Linda Vista, por Jo Davidson.

Mes del año, Pista #2: Enero

Filosofía, Pista #3: Las cosas no siempre son lo que parecen.

Envíe su respuesta rápido a: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com. Por identificar correctamente esta Ave Misteriosa, el premio será un pastel de chocolate, para los residentes, ¡O un collar para gafete Tico si tenemos un ganador internacional!

 Nota: Si sus iniciales son JG, JZ, JD, JR, GH o FS, usted está descalificado.

Quiz Bird #3 Revealed/La Respuesta del Prueba!

The winner of Bird Quiz #3 is TERESA BUENO of Atenas, CR, who is fast on her feet, quick with her fingers and good at telling a tale! Congratulations, Teresa! We will find a way to send your binocular cleaning cloth to Quepos, if we have to deliver it ourselves: hmmm, that’s a thought.

The answer is Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia. We had a total of five correct answers, of which Teresa’s was the first received, and one wrong response.

Spotted Sandpiper from Wikepedia.

Spotted Sandpiper from Wikipedia.

Mind you, this was an easy one. We could have tricked you with a photo of this species in non-breeding plumage like the one accompanying this post.

Thank you to all participants!

La respuesta es Spotted Sandpiper, Actitus macularia. Tuvimos seis respuestas este vez, solo uno era incorrecto!

Felicidades a TERESA BUENO de Alajuela de Atenas, Cosa Rica! Su respuesta estaba la primera recibido! Gracias a todos los participantes!