Sunday, January 27, 2008

Scuba diving in Tiquicia

Hello, this is a very funny and well-edited video that I found on Youtube and that I will use to show you some of the species that you will find under the sea. The video contains scenes of Puerto Viejo, Cano Island and Playa Cocos in Costa Rica.

Note:
a high-speed internet connection is recommended to watch the video

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rainbow in Heredia, Costa Rica

Click on picture to enlarge
Outstanding photograph of a rainbow in Heredia taken by a Costa Rican flickr user with a Canon PowerShot SD450 on January 2, 2008. To see more pictures taken by this guy click here.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The yigüirro: the national bird of Costa Rica

The Clay-colored Robin or Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi) is a common Central American bird of the thrush family (Turdidae). It is the national bird of Costa Rica, where it is well known as the yigüirro.

It ranges from northeastern Mexico to northern Colombia; west and north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec it is limited to the Atlantic slope, except for a population around Oaxaca City that probably originates from escaped cagebirds. It occurs rarely in south Texas, mostly in winter, and has bred there. Its habitat is open areas with trees or hedges and forest edges.


The plumage is brownish, somewhat lighter below than above, lightest on the flanks. Birds from humid regions are darker than those from dry regions.

The throat is faintly streaked. Immature birds have faint mottling on the back and underparts. The bill is greenish-yellow with a dark base, the legs are pinkish or flesh-colored, and the irises are reddish – all useful identification points.

The song, rather low-pitched and with a slow steady tempo, consists of many slurred musical phrases which are often repeated irregularly.

In 1977 the Costa Ricans chose the yigüirro (over many much more colorful birds that inhabit the country) as a tribute to its strong and melodious song that always comes during the start of the rainy season.

In addition, unlike many of the forest songsters of Costa Rica, the present bird has been familiar to the general population since the country's early history, thanks to the species' tendency to live near houses and settlements.

The yigüirro usually forages for fruit or invertebrates on the ground or near it, singly or in pairs, but flocks may feed high in fruiting trees. It will follow army ants to feed on small prey disturbed by the ant columns.

It builds a heavy cup nest of grass, moss, and mud on a firm support above the ground, which may include human constructions such as windowsills.

It lays 2 to 4 pale blue eggs with red-brown and gray markings between March and July and may double-brood. It is aggressive in defense of its nest, but is not otherwise particularly territorial.

Information and photo provided by Wikipedia

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Arenal Lake

Arenal Lake is a reservoir in Costa Rica, formed by enlarging an existing small lake of the same name by the completion of a dam in 1979. It is located near the Arenal Volcano and the Monteverde cloud forest.

Lake Arenal is the key driver in a nationwide hydroelectric project that currently produces the majority (70 percent) of electricity for the entire country. Water depth generally varies between 100 and 200 feet. The communities of "old" Arenal and Tronadora were submerged by the expanded lake.

From November through April the dependable strong winds attract windsurfers to its western end. Primarily, there are two species of fish in Lake Arenal, the Machaca fish (not to be confused with Machaca food) and Bass. Birds found in the area include the hummingbird and woodpecker.

Arenal Lake offers areas for activities all year round on and around it: windsurfing, fishing, boat tours, boat shortcut to the Monteverde Cloud Forest, kayaking, horseback riding and mountain biking along the shore.