Blue Dacnis / Turquoise Honeycreeper (Dacnis cayana)

The Blue Dacnis or Turquoise Honeycreeper (Dacnis cayana) is a small passerine bird and a member of the tanager family.

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This bird has a huge range from Nicaragua to the south of Brazil.  I have personally seen them at Cristalino and Laguna de Lagarto in Costa Rica but this is nowhere near an exhaustive list.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT BLUE DACNIS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

Just look at the gorgeous blue on this hungry little guy!

Bird feeders with fruit will attract them.

 

 

 

Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker (Celeus castaneus)

The Chestnut-colored Woodpecker is one of the fanciest of the woodpeckers in Central America. It is a member of the genus Celeus, which is composed of numerous “chestnut” colored woodpeckers, all of which also have a characteristic “hammer-head” crest. The Chestnut-colored occurs farther north than any of its congeners, ranging from southern Mexico south to extreme northwestern Panama. Overall the bird is bright chestnut-brown. The crest is a paler light rufous-brown, the underparts and back have extensive black chevron-shaped scaling, it has a red “mustache” stripe, and the bill is light yellow.

IMG_9699 IMG_0042 IMG_0048It is found in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama, so you will need a Central American award to get within their range.  My best sightings were at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

VIDEO

Foraging and “woodpecking” for food.

 

Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)

The Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis), also known as the Tovi Parakeet, is a small mainly green parrot of the Brotogeris genus.  It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and heavily degraded former forest. Its name comes from a small clump of bright orange feathers located under the lower beak.

Radisson Summit, Panama

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WHERE TO SEE THEM

Orange-chinned Parakeets are found from southern Mexico, throughout Central America to the northern parts of Colombia & Venezuela.  A Central America award will get you to the main places you can see them.  We saw them from the balcony of the Radisson Summit in Panama albeit at a great distance.  Views at the Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica were much closer!  The parakeets enjoy the bananas put out for them and tend to frequent the surrounding trees as well.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PARROT

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

VIDEO

Although the dialogue is is Spanish, the footage of the birds is beautiful!

 

Costa Rican Bird Route

The Costa Rican Bird Route is the first birding trail of its kind in Central America. Located in the northern region of Costa Rica, this ecotourism project offers a variety of bird watching and nature tourism opportunities. The Bird Route consists of 18 nature reserves specifically chosen for their high diversity of bird species. Most importantly, this region hosts the last remaining habitat in Costa Rica for the endangered Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus). The Costa Rican Bird Route offers the best opportunity to view this species on the planet!  Use your miles for a Central American award to get here!

On our trip, we visited two of the lodges on the Bird Route:  Selva Verde & Laguna del Lagarto.

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SUPPORT THE BIRD ROUTE

1. Visit the Bird Route The success of this project is dependent on sustained tourism to the sites involved, so come explore all that the Bird Route has to offer.

2. Make a Donation. Make a tax-deductible donation to the Costa Rican Bird Route project using the secure Paypal button here. Donations are used to support the efforts of the private landowners. This includes assistance with producing brochures, maintaining websites, creating signs, etc. Money will also be used for continuous education efforts within the communities of the Bird Route. Rainforest Biodiversity Group is looking to implement bird education curriculum within these communities as well as fund future workshops for the landowners.

3. Volunteer. Rainforest Biodiversity Group is looking for volunteers to work with the private landowners of the remote sites of the Bird Route, assisting them in developing their land for eco-tourism. These newly created reserves are at varying stages of development as eco-tourism sites.

 

Golden-hooded Tanager (Tangara larvata)

IMG_9691a IMG_9798The Golden-hooded Tanager (Tangara larvata) is a neotropical species that inhabits humid forest and forest edges. It belongs to the speciose genus Tangara and is often considered to belong to a superspecies with the Masked Tanager (Tangara nigrocincta) and Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis).

This tanager is a resident breeder from southern Mexico south to western Ecuador.  Some of the easiest places to see this beautiful little tanager is at Selva Verde Lodge & Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica.  Use an award to Central America to get to San Jose.  The lodges can organize a private shuttle or you can use the local buses to get there.  They are also frequently seen in Soberania National Park in Panama as the video clips below show.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Selva Verde

VIDEOS

This is an adorable video of a baby Golden-hooded Tanager fledging.  I love how he works up his courage, then takes off!

This adult is preening, perhaps getting ready for his close-up!

Here’s a hungry little guy!

 

Brown-hooded Parrot (Pyrilia haematotis)

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The Brown-hooded Parrot (Pyrilia haematotis) is a small parrot which is a resident breeding species from southeastern Mexico to north-western Colombia. Until recently, it was placed in the genus Pionopsitta, which now is restricted to the type species, the Pileated Parrot. It is sometimes considered conspecific with the Rose-faced Parrot (P. pulchra). This species has been adversely affected by deforestation.

It is found in lowlands and foothills locally up to 1600 m altitude in forest canopy and edges, and adjacent semi-open woodland and second growth. The white eggs are laid in an unlined nest, usually a natural cavity in a tree.

Although their range extends from Mexico to northern Colombia, the easiest place to see this beautiful parrot is at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica.  Use an award to Central America to get to San Jose, then the lodge has a shuttle to transfer you there.  It’s quite a remote area.