Tree Planting Photo Essay, June 30, Concepcion

Thanks to an army of volunteers last Sunday, the Restoration Project in Concepcion on the Gamboa Property was a huge success!

Rodrigo de Sousa organized this large group for a morning of grunt work that resulted in 450 new trees planted, new fencing installed to curtail bovine wandering and reforestation to benefit the community’s future.

Troops fanned out going out and around the pasture and watershed; a morning well spent.

Even the youngest members of this volunteer group worked all morning, digging holes, staking young trees and ensuring an enhanced habitat for wildlife. Special thanks to San Vito Bird Club stalwart supporter Terry Farling for these photos!

Friends From Afar — We’ve Got Mail!

Greetings, members of the SVBC:

We wish to convey to you all our sincere thanks for the welcome that the SVBC members extended to us during our recent visit to San Vito this past March. Our little group of six was comprised of short term visitors (a few days for four of us; an additional couple of weeks for two of us). Although there was only one formal SVBC member among us, we were all treated as regulars and included in a delightful variety of birding adventures: the walk and brunch at Cecilia Sansonetti’s beautiful finca; the walks at Cántaros (with the opportunity to meet new owner, Lilly, and managers, Yei and Marylin); the tense photo competitions, the awards, the refreshments, etc.

Greg Homer took two of us on an early morning walk to Tres Rios in search of, among other birds, the albino vultures. Peter Wendell gave us a primer on using eBird. Alison Olivieri gave us perfect directions to Rio Negro. And everyone else was equally gracious. We were also impressed with the club’s industriousness—from its nascent effort to merge with the Pajareros del Sur, to the continuing inclusion of young birders, the involvement with the local schools and the Detectives de Aves education progam. You folks gave us all great memories of San Vito, its birds and its birders. Thank you! 

David and Audrey Fielding, on our own behalf and on behalf of our friends: David Rorick, Sandra Braden, John Denvir and Miriam Rokeach.

David and Audrey Fielding, members from San Francisco


PS – It must be about time to renew our membership, so for David & Audrey Fielding, our check is in the mail (via Paypal).

The SVBC responds: this is the nicest news we’ve had in forever, so thank you both for your note and your Membership Renewal.

Quiz Bird #7 = Yellow Tyrannulet!/Mosquerito Amarillo!

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Photographed in Linda Vista by Jo Davidson, here is our Yellow Tyrannulet

Photographed in Linda Vista by Jo Davidson, here is our Yellow Tyrannulet.

Congratulations to Mike Judd of North Carolina for promptly and correctly identifying our Yellow Tyrannulet. He will receive an original Liz Allen design greeting card in person in March when he arrives in San Vito!

Thanks to everyone for submitting their guesses: we received four this time of which three were correct.



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Felicidades a Mike Judd de el estado North Caroline por identificar de forma pronta y correcta nuestro Mosquerito Amarillo. El recibirá una tarjeta original diseñada por la miembro Liz Allen cuando llegará a San Vito en marzo.

Muchas gracias a todos por enviar sus estimaciones: Recibimos cuatro en esta ocasión, tres de las cuales fueron correctas.



Quiz Bird #7/Acertijo Aviario #7

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Mystery Bird photo by Jo Davidson

Mystery Bird photo by Jo Davidson

What bird is this? A resident bird of some difficulty, found on both Caribbean and Pacific slopes. Members of a large family with 78 representatives here, these charmers are excitable, often vocalizing, and prefer brushy understory.

The prize will be an arresting butterfly greeting card — one of member Liz Allen’s original designs — so send your answer pronto to:

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Cual ave es? Un ave residente con cierta dificultad, que se encuentra tanto en la costa Pacífica como Caribe. Parte de una gran familia, de 78 miembros acá, estos encantos son nerviosos, frecuentemente vocalizando, y prefieren el sotobosque cubierto de maleza.

El premio será una llamativa tarjeta — uno de los diseños originales de la miembro Liz Allen – así que envíe pronto su respuesta a:

!Bird Count on the Osa/Conteo de Aves en la Osa!

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We have received an invitation from the organization Osa Birds: Research and Conservation, Inc. to participate in its Audubon Bird Count Satuday, December 19.

Scarlet Macaw from

Scarlet Macaw from

As many of you know, Audubon Bird Counts have been going on in the US and Canada since Christmas Day of 1900 and, needless to say, the data generated is invaluable: this is Citizen Science in action!

Costa Rica has more than nine official counts — more than any other Latin American country. The counts begin in early December and end in early January.

For more information on how you can participate, please call Karen Leavelle, Director of Osa Birds, at 8969-2817 or email her:

And for more information about the work of Osa Birds, visit its Instrument Campaign here. The organization’s mission is Conserving birds and their habitats on the Osa Peninsula through research and education.

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Hemos recibido una invitación de la organización Osa Birds: Research and
Conservation, Inc. para participar en su Conteo de Aves de Audubon el sábado 19
de diciembre.

White Hawk (photo by Ryan Phillips)

White Hawk (copyright Ryan Phillips, all rights reserved)

Como muchos de ustedes saben, los Conteos de Aves de Audubon han ocurrido en
EEUU y Canadá desde el Día de Navidad del año 1900, está de más decir que la
información generada es invaluable: ¡esta es Ciencia Ciudadana en acción!

Costa Rica tiene más de nueve conteos oficiales – más que cualquier otro país
latinoamericano. Los conteos inician durante las primeras semanas de diciembre y
terminan al inicio de enero. Para recibir más información sobre cómo puede usted participar, por favor llame a la Directora de Osa Birds, Karen Leavelle, al 8969-2817 o envíele un correo electrónico a

Y para obtener más información acerca del trabajo de Osa Birds, visite su CampañaInstrumentl aquí. La misión de la organización es Conservando las aves y sus hábitats en la Península de Osa, a través de la investigación y la educación.

Hummingbird Workshop Sunday, Oct. 4/Taller sobre Colibríes el domingo 4 de octubre

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What hummingbird is this? Photo by Jo Davidson.

What hummingbird is this? Photo by Jo Davidson.

Birders and photographers: please come to a Hummingbird Workshop at Lydia Vogt’s property, Finca Sofia, at 8:00 am this Sunday (Oct. 4)!

You will find this beautiful and “birdy” property on the road to Los Angeles, just past the large AyA water tank on the left. The gate will be open a little before 8:00 am and you will see the sign for “Finca Sofia”. Park inside the gate; please bring something to sit on plus a hat or sunscreen.

We will spend an hour or so sitting by the “Pavo” and “Rabo de Gato” bushes watching and identifying hummingbirds feeding on and guarding these food sources. Last week on our bird walk there we had 8 species of hummingbirds in as many minutes!

As usual, we will have binoculars and bird books to share. This will be a good opportunity to learn these beautiful but difficult-to-identify birds!

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Pajareros y fotógrafos, ¡por favor únansenos en un Taller sobre Colibríes en la propiedad de Lydia Vogt, Finca Sofia, este domingo (4 de octubre) a las 8 am!

Encontrarán esta hermosa y “pajarera” propiedad en la carretera a Los Ángeles, después de pasar el tanque grande de agua del AyA a la izquierda. El portón estará abierto poco antes de las 8:00 am y usted verá el letrero de “Finca Sofia”. Parquéese dentro del portón; por favor traiga algo sobre lo cual sentarse y un sombrero obloqueador solar.

Vamos a pasar más o menos una hora sentados junto a los arbustos de “Pavo” y “Rabo de Gato” viendo e identificando colibríes alimentándose y resguardando estas fuentes de alimento. La semana pasada, en nuestra caminata para pajarear allí, ¡vimos 8 especies de colibríes en la misma cantidad de minutos!

Como siempre, tendremos binoculares y guías de campo para compartir. ¡Ésta será una buena oportunidad para aprender sobre estos pájaros hermosos pero difíciles de identificar!

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: 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.

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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:


Ta-daa: Quiz Bird #6!/¡Acertijo Aviario #6!

Congratulations to Nilanthi Kelsey of London (yes! UK!) for correctly and speedily identifying this Prothonotary Warbler, Protonotaria citrea.

Prothonotary Warbler (photo by Bill XXXX).

Prothonotary Warbler (photo by Bill Batsford).

Nilanthi kindly declined her prize so we will send our tee shirt to Linda Threatte, (first runner up) of Pisgah Forest, NC!

We had 9 entries for this contest; 7 of which were correct. Congratulations to: Mike Judd, Wendy Russell, Patty Scott, Dave Janas and Nic Korte!

Again, special thanks are extended to Bill Batsford of New Haven, CT for permission to use this photo, taken in April 2015 at the Connecticut Audubon Larsen Sanctuary in Fairfield, CT.

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Felicitaciones a Nilanthi Kelsey de Londres (si! Angleterra!) por identificar rápida y correctamente a la Reinita Cabecidorada.

Pronotonaria citrea (foto de Bill Batsford)

Pronotonaria citrea (foto de Bill Batsford).

Nilanthi rechazo su premio debido al costo de correo; entonces vamos a enviar la camiseta a Linda Threatte, la subcampeona, en el estado de North Carolina.

Tuvimos 9 entradas para este concurso; 7 de las cuales fueron correctas.

Nuevamente extendemos un agradecimiento especial a Bill Batsford de New Haven, CT, por su permiso para utilizar esta foto, tomada en abril de 2015 en el Connecticut Audubon Larsen Sanctuary en Fairfield, CT.

!Quiz Bird #6/Acertijo Aviario #6!

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Quiz Bird #6!

Quiz Bird #6!

Here is a Mystery Bird of medium difficulty:

Clue #1: During the breeding season (April-August), we notice the absence of shorebirds, thrushes, flycatchers, warblers, orioles and tanagers; about 25% of our total species migrate to North America to breed.

Clue #2: This photo was taken in April in the small state of Connecticut.

Clue #3: In Costa Rica, it is usually found within 6 meters of the ground and favors thickets near water.

Please send your answer ASAP to The prize for this contest is a black SVBC tee shirt, women’s size 14.

We extend our thanks to Bill Batsford for permission to use this beautiful photo.  Please note: if your initials are JR, JZ or FS you are not eligible for this game!

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Quiz Bird #6

Acertijo Aviario #6

Aquí hay un Pájaro Misterioso de mediana dificultad.

Pista #1: Durante la temporada de cría de abril – agosto, notamos la ausencia de aves playeras, zorzales, mosqueros, reinitas, bolseros y tangaras; cerca del 25% del total de nuestras especies migran hacia América del Norte para criar.

Pista #2: Esta foto fue tomada en el pequeño estado de Connecticut en abril.

Pista #3: En Costa Rica, usualmente se encuentra bajo los 6 metros al suelo y prefiere los matorrales cercanos al agua.

Por favor envíe su respuesta tan pronto como le sea posible a este correo electronico: El premio para este concurso es una camiseta negra del SVBC talla 14 femenina.

Un agradecimiento especial a Bill Batsford por su permiso para utilizar esta hermosa foto.



Bird Walk Report: White-ruffed Manakin Lek

Looking for manakins. Photo by Harry Hull.

Looking for manakins. Photo by Harry Hull.

This story comes under the category of “Things That Go on While You’re Doing the Laundry” because we know now — thanks to Colleen Nell and Dave Janas — White-ruffed Manakins are dancing in a nearby forest! On Saturday, June 20, Colleen and Dave led us to a mossy log along the Rio Java Trail that these tiny black and white birds have chosen as a ‘lek’ in the OTS Las Cruces forest.

What, actually, is a lek? Well, it’s a little bit like a Single’s Bar but far more enchanting: leks are arenas where males display competitively to entice visiting females to have sex. (Several kinds of birds, including hermit hummingbirds, cock-of-the-rock, grouse, birds of paradise and pihas, as well as some fish, butterflies, moths and orchid bees use leks.)

We were not lucky enough to see the manakins do their thrilling displays but most of us saw them flying around and we saw two predators in the area — likely attracted by the goings-on — a Double-toothed Kite and a Roadside Hawk.

Thanks to the technical know-how of Harry Hull, you can see a short video of a full display from the Cornell Ornithology Lab’s Macaulay Library collection, by clicking here. This opens a video player in a separate tab/window in your browser where you can play the video by clicking on the “go” arrow. (Close that tab/window to return to this post.) In the clip, two males with bulging ruffs compete for the attention of a female. Both males do the “Butterfly Flight” that Colleen described as part of the display and then they dance in step on the log. Finally, as the female waits, both males, one after the other, do a stupendous aerial dive that ends with a flip and a loud mechanical wing flap!

Hiking the Rio Java Trail, Front left Dave Janas, Intern Norman Liu, Alison Olivieri. Photo by Harry Hull.

Hiking the Rio Java Trail. Front, from left, Dave Janas, Intern Norman Liu, Alison Olivieri. Photo by Harry Hull.

We are grateful to W. Alice Boyle who made this video (and more) in the course of her research on this species in Costa Rica in March 2009. Our guide Colleen worked as a field assistant for Megan Jones at Rara Avis on this very project. Colleen is currently at work on her PhD dissertation at the University of California Irvine. Dave Janas, well known to SVBC bird walk participants, will start working at Las Cruces/Wilson Botanical Garden as the staff horticulturist on July 1.