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: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com.

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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: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com.

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.

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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: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com

Gracias!

!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 sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com. 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: sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com. 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.

 

 

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

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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!

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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.

1st Annual Volunteer Thank You Lunch/Primer Almuerzo de Agradecimiento a los Voluntarios

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As the rainy season draws to a close we decided it was time to thank members who’ve volunteered time, energy and supplies over the past several years with a special Volunteer Thank You Lunch at OTS Las Cruces!

Whether it was painting faces at the Festival Eco-Cultural and the Feria Brunka Emprende, baking and selling for our fund-raiser bake sales, contributing expertise to the Detectives de Pajaros community projects or anything else, we are extremely lucky to have these members who consistently, year after year, help the SVBC participate in community-based special events.

Horticulturist Dave Janas leading the Garden Walk November 8, 2014. Photo by Liz Allen.

Horticulturist Dave Janas leading the Garden Walk November 8, 2014. Photo by Liz Allen.

We have bird walks all the time but just prior to our lunch on Saturday, November 8, Dave Janas led us on a Garden Walk to the Cactus Garden, Cycad Hill, the Economy Garden and the Hummingbird Garden, pointing out interesting plants and answering all kinds of questions along the way. A trained horticulturist, Dave is new to the Wilson Botanical Garden — we all hope he will be here for some time to come!

Many of the “lunchees” signed up to help Dave twice a month with gardening projects that will renovate and beauty-up the botanical grounds. With a garden of this immense size, projects and needs for equipment and supplies never end so if you have time and energy to contribute, please contact Dave at davetheplantguy@gmail.com or click here to contact us or just send an email to sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com.

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Attendees at the SVBC Volunteer Thank You Lunch in November 2014. Photo by Liz Allen

Attendees at the SVBC Volunteer Thank You Lunch in November 2014. Photo by Liz Allen

Conforme la estación lluviosa se acerca a su fin, decidimos que era tiempo de agradecer a aquellos miembros que han aportado tiempo, energía y suministros durante los últimos años con ¡Un Almuerzo de Agradecimiento especial en la OET Las Cruces!

Ya fuese pintando caritas en el Festival Eco-Cultural y la Feria Brunka Emprende, horneando y vendiendo para nuestra venta para recaudar fondos, aportando experiencia a proyectos comunales de los Detectives de Pajaros o cualquier otra cosa, tenemos muchísima suerte de tener a estos miembros que consistentemente, año tras año, ayudan al SVBC participar en eventos especiales enfocados en la comunidad.

Tenemos caminatas para pajarear todo el tiempo pero, justo antes de nuestro almuerzo el sábado 8 de noviembre, Dave Janas nos guió en una Caminata de Jardín por los Jardines de Cactus, la Colina de las Cícadas, el Jardín de la Economía y el Jardín de Colibríes, señalando plantas interesantes y respondiendo toda clase de preguntas durante el camino. Dave es un horticultor entrenado nuevo en el Jardín Botánico Wilson ¡Todos esperamos que esté aquí por un tiempo más todavía!

Muchos de los “almorzadores” se inscribieron para ayudar a Dave dos veces al mes con proyectos de jardinería que van a renovar y embellecer los terrenos botánicos. Con un jardín de este inmenso tamaño, los proyectos y las necesidades de equipo nunca terminan. Así que, si usted tiene tiempo y energía para contribuir, por favor contacte a David a la dirección davetheplantguy@gmail.com o haga click aquí para contactarnos o envíe un correo electrónico a la dirección sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com.

Quiz Bird #2 Revealed/La Respuesta del Prueba #2!

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Quiz Bird #2 had nine entries, two of which were correct: Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria).

Lesser Goldfinch photographed by Jo Davidson.

Lesser Goldfinch photographed by Jo Davidson.

Our Official Winner is Suzanne Gross of Piedades, Santa Ana, who came on one of our walks at the Wilson Garden last December. Due to the difficulty of mailing cookies from San Vito, Suzanne has generously donated her one dozen Chocolate Chips to our next Bird Walk at the Wilson Garden.

Other entries included two orioles, two tanagers, a vireo, a warbler and a seedeater.

Thanks for a great job Photographer Jo Davidson on making sure the bill was hidden behind a leaf: we fooled everybody except Suzanne and member Jim Zook.

Gracias a nuestra miembre Jo Davidson para su foto de un Carduelis psaltria!

Tuvimos mas respuestas este vez, pero solo dos de nueve estaban correctos.

Felicidades a Suzanne Gross de Piedades, Santa Ana: su respuesta estaba correcto: Lesser Goldfinch!

Festival at Las Cruces/Wilson Garden Saturday, June 28!

Festival_Eco_Cultural_2013 036Come one, come all to the OTS Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Garden Festival de la Conectividad Saturday, June 28.

We will be painting faces and selling yummy cookies and cakes to support our education class ‘Detectives de Pajaros’! Hope to see you there!Festival_Eco_Cultural_2013 039

 

A Birder’s Bird

A guest “Viewpoint” written by Greg Homer, a birder’s birder who has led many trips to Costa Rica over the years. Greg and his wife Helen are our newest members. . . . .

It’s possible — even probable — that in the entire history of the world no non-birder has ever uttered the phrase “Ooh look, a Thrushlike Schiffornis!”.  But this wonderful creature, described by field guide author Richard Garrigues as “. . . a non-descript olive-brown bird . . . ” and somewhat more generously by the great Alexander Skutch as ” . . . not brightly colored”, is most definitely a joy to behold when seen by a birder.

Greg Homer, on deck at his new digs near the Wilson Botanical Garden.

Greg Homer, on deck at his new digs near the Wilson Botanical Garden.

Toucans, motmots, most parrots and many tanagers fall into a category of birds often referred to as Charismatic Avifauna (C.A.).  These birds are so colorful and/or charming that both birders and non-birders alike stop what they’re doing to give them a look. It’s extremely easy to love a Bay-headed Tanager or Fiery-billed Aracari.

But the Thrushlike Schiffornis most certainly does NOT fall into the C.A. category.  Not only is the Thrushlike Schiffornis non-descript and not brightly colored, it does not live a particularly exciting or charismatic lifestyle (at least not to all of us non-Thrushlike Schiffornises).  The terms ‘sluggish’ and ‘secretive’ and ‘solitary’ are often used to describe its behavior.  The song of the Thrushlike Schiffornis is unlikely to ever become a Top 10 ringtone.  And, on top of all that, there is the name — to me, ‘Thrushlike Schiffornis’ sounds more like a medical diagnosis than a bird.

“Mrs. Hartoonian, we have the results back on that culture we did on your eye.  You have thrushlike schiffornis.”

 “Is that bad?”

“Well, it isn’t good; but these days it is treatable with antibiotics.”

And get this. . . in my copy of A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica by F. Gary Stiles and Alexander Skutch (first edition 1989), the Thrushlike Schiffornis isn’t even called a Thrushlike Schiffornis.  Back then it was listed as a “Thrushlike Manakin . . . which may possibly be a Thrushlike Mourner.”

When I was a kid back in the citrus belt of California, family, friends and neighbors used to look at me, smile and then tell my parents, “Well, there’s a face only a mother could love.”  And so it goes for the Thrushlike Schiffornis — a bird only a birder could love.

Birding from the Canopy Tower

On a recent Bird Walk at the Wilson Botanical Garden, our group of 10 climbed the Canopy Tower to look for returning migrants. Although we did not see any of those, we did see two Masked Tityras, spotted by Caroline Torres.

Masked Tityra. Photo by Mark W. Eaton.

Masked Tityra (Photo by Mark W. Eaton)

I’m not sure why but these birds always give me a jolt of surprise. Maybe it’s the incredible white plumage or perhaps it’s the bright pink orbital skin around the eye and face? Being close to them in the canopy was a thrill as their size is often diminished when they’re seen – typically high in the trees — from the ground. Here, on the Tower, we had the chance to view them at slightly lower than eye level, allowing us to experience them as striking-looking, big, white flycatchers.

When the Tower was inaugurated in May 2011 (click here to read more about this event), we decided to keep a list of all species seen and/or heard in the immediate vicinity. On our recent visit we added add two new ones to the Canopy Tower Bird List: Laughing Falcon (heard not seen) and Spot-crowned Euphonia.

Laughing Falcon (Photo by Alison Olivieri)

Laughing Falcon (Photo by Alison Olivieri)

The falcon’s resonant, slightly eerie call is described by F. Gary Stiles and Alexander F. Skutch in A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, as “. . . . a long, rhythmic series of loud, hollow notes with somewhat the quality of a child’s shout.”  The local name of this raptor, Guaco, is synchronous with its call so once you learn and hear it, you can be certain it’s a Laughing Falcon. It is well known that this bird of prey’s favorite food item is any kind of snake so they are cherished by local people and those of us who wish they would visit often and eat their fill.

Our female Spot-crowned Euphonia perched quite close to the Tower, affording some of the group excellent looks at her distinctive field marks of rufous forecrown and belly. Identifying this species is easy if you are prepared to do a little work with your field guide. The males are the only euphonia with yellow spots on the crown patch but, if you are looking from below, it is often easier to identify the female. This is a puzzle where the range maps in the Garrigues and Dean field guide (The Birds of Costa Rica) really come in handy. You’ll quickly see another species with similar markings on the female, Olive-backed Euphonia, but a glance at the map will tell you the Olive-backed is found on the Caribbean side and Spot-crowned is the bird you see here.

To date we have 67 species on this list and 10 birders have contributed sightings. If you are curious and would like a copy, don’t hesitate to contact us. Likewise, please let us know if you see or hear a species we are missing.

Thanks to Caroline Torres, Roni Chernin, Jeff Wick, Barb Barton, Judith and Joe Ippolito, Donna and Tony Pagano and their surrogate grandson Rolando for joining us on this walk.