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Archive for August 13th, 2010


The morning is hot! I wake up at 5 in the morning for birdwatching. The birdwatch yields several new birds for me. A Variable Seedeater, a black and white chickadee sized bird, Yellow-headed Caracara, a large white falcon with a thin black eye stripe, a Blue-black Grassquit, which resembles the seedeater, but has no white markings, a White-crowned Parrot, which has a lovely green color and distinctive white forehead, a Smooth-billed Ani, black birds with large gray beaks which nest communally, and a Grey-breasted Martin, which resembles our Northern martins, are all added to my list.

Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

We drive to San Isidro after breakfast. We go to the market, where I discover my love for mamochinos: red or yellow spiky fruits with a translucent, chestnut sized fruit in the middle. I also purchase some great Costa Rican coffee from a farmer who produces shade grown coffee without chemicals. The rest of my visit is spent wandering around the city.

Mamachinos

My head is pounding from the heat and humidity. A dip in the stream makes me feel much better. Sarah, Bryan, and I show Andrus our plans. He seems to approve. We begin our work with the machetes. It is a bit too gratifying. The destruction we wreak is quite scary too. I can only imagine what logging companies can do. This is very hard, physical work, but also very fun. Another group sees Capuchin Monkeys. I fear that we may not see anything because of the racket.

Just before dinner, we find a bird eating snake. This is a beautiful turquoise and red snake, which is, fortunately for us, not venomous. After dinner we have a lesson on birds to conclude the day. Bird diversity in the tropics is incredibly high, with 850 species in Costa Rica alone. To put this in perspective, a country the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined has about the same number of bird species as the continental United States!

Bird-eating Snake

Bird-eating Snake

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