Searching for Misplaced Warblers at Parque Rio Loro, Costa Rica – 10,000 Birds


On the earth of birding, we now have our stars, the birds that carry our spirits and provoke oohs, aahs, and admiration. These are the birds that make us race to the closest park, scan refuge headquarter timber with anxious eyes, and switch a few of us into short-term paparazzi. The celebs of the chook world take many varieties and fame is commonly associated to location however some species, some cool teams of birds are accorded precedence irrespective of when or the place they’re seen.

One such star avian household is the Setophagidae, the birds often called wood-warblers.

The Olive-crowned Yellowthroat is considered one of Costa Rica’s resident wood-warbler species.

In Could of the north, these handsomely patterned little birds migrate into city and entertain us with music and recent, vibrant colours. After bedazzling birders for a number of weeks, most aren’t seen once more till they tour their approach again south. In doing so, they stealth their approach again by means of native parks and reserves and yard timber to problem us with notorious fall plumages.

Small, cute confronted birds that may take the type of greater than two dozen varieties; what’s to not like about wood-warblers? In Costa Rica, we don’t get the stunning assortment that entertains birders at Greatest Week they usually sing their songs elsewhere however we nonetheless get sufficient of those cool little birds to create a sizeable wood-warbler fan base among the many native birding neighborhood. We now have one or two show-stoppers which might be widespread wintering species, and some transfer by means of in honest numbers to websites additional south. From Yellows to Blackburnians and Wilson’s, they’re particular however as with birders elsewhere, the misplaced birds are those we wouldn’t thoughts seeing perhaps just a bit bit greater than the others.

In Costa Rica, these could be the wood-warblers that do much more wintering within the southern USA and the Caribbean than in southern Central America. These could be birds like Nashville, Black-throated Blue, Prairie, and Cape-Could Warblers. All are on the official checklist however these and another widespread wood-warblers are uncommon for Costa Rica, birds that solely make it right here after they get misplaced or uncommonly adventurous.

It was these needle in a haystack birds my accomplice and I had been hoping to bump into throughout a go to to Parque Rio Loro this previous Sunday. October is excessive time for fall migration in Costa Rica and the inexperienced oasis-like side of this small park would appear a super place to discover a wayward warbler. It didn’t open till eight however the go to was nonetheless one.

Established to guard a watershed and used for environmental schooling within the japanese Central Valley, Rio Loro has a number of good trails, picnic tables, and even has a small cover tower (!). Certainly one of varied little visited and off the crushed observe birding websites in Costa Rica included within the lately printed second version of a e-book I wrote, “Methods to See, Discover, and Establish Birds in Costa Rica”, this beautiful place additionally has a butterfly enclosure, a turtle exibit, and a number of other snakes on show (sure!). We checked out these cool reveals however not earlier than finishing up our misplaced warbler search. This endeavor concerned cautious strolling of trails whereas making pishing noises, sometimes whistling like a pygmy-owl, and anticipating any little bit of motion. In different phrases, it was the standard birding shenanigans. These had been among the highlights from our morning of trying into timber and tropical undergrowth.

Violet Sabrewing

No, not a warbler however sufficiently big to be one and a star in its personal proper. This massive and in cost beautiful purple chook was the most typical hummingbird on the website. Sure, you learn that proper. We bought bored with them.

Chestnut-capped Warbler

This cheerful little chook is quite common in second progress and occasional farms of the Central Valley. We loved listening to their distinctive chip notes and watching their colourful antics.

13 Warbler Stars from the North

Warblers had been certainly current, numerous them and this small park confirmed how essential any little bit of habitat is for each migrants and resident species. In line with October colours, our first warbler of the day was a good looking male American Redstart. It sallied over a small water catchment space, flashing vivid orange on velvet black.

It was rapidly adopted by wintering, pearly coloured Chestnut-sided Warblers, tiny Tennessees, and one sensible Black-capped Wilson’s after one other.

As we unsuccessfully yearned for a cuckoo to fly into view, a number of Northern Waterthrushes pumped their tails, Ovenbirds chipped whereas strolling on branches, and Black-and-whites creeped by means of the vines. Ultimately, at the least one Blackburnian made an look (at some websites, they’re much more widespread), and we had wonderful appears to be like at a Worm-eating Warbler. Regardless of being a chook that lacks vivid colours generally present in different members of this famed household, the “Wormer” is considered one of my favorites. I suppose I really like seeing them as a result of it doesn’t fairly make it as much as Niagara and so, for my incipient birding life, it was a species simply out of attain. In truth, the primary one I ever noticed was a wintering chook in Mexico. In addition they winter in Costa Rica and I see a number of yearly however not that many. It was and at all times is a deal with to get good views of this skilled lifeless leaf searcher.

Additional inspection turned up at the least three Golden-wingeds (sure, considered one of our common show-stoppers), a few Yellows, a Mourning (one other cool, widespread wintering chook in Costa Rica), and some large Bay-breasted Warblers.

By the tip of the morning, we didn’t handle to seek out any Yellow-throated, Cape Could or different misplaced wood-warblers however we nonetheless had a good looking morning of an try. The birding was rounded out by the noisy calls of Brown Jays, excessive pitched notes of brushfinches, and appears at a male Lengthy-tailed Manakin (just like the one pictured above). The celebs of the present, although, had been 14 species of wood-warblers, birds that weren’t misplaced however ones we had been nonetheless very comfortable to have discovered. See our eBird checklist right here.


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