The Ant Swarm

Now the main draw to the Costa Rican Amphibian Center is of course the over 50 species of amphibians in the reserve, but the birding at CRARC was pretty darn good as well. Parrots were common including a flock of Brown-hooded Parrots and two Blue-headed Parrots

Brown-hooded Parrot at CRARC

Brown-hooded Parrot at CRARC

 which I hadn’t expected this far north. Please excuse the terrible photos.Blue-headed Parrot                  Blue-headed Parrot

Two ficus trees were fruiting while I was at CRARC and they were loaded with birds.  Eight species of tanagers & honeycreepers, three species of flycatcher as well as some North American Warblers and Clay-colored Thrushes galore.  Here are a few of them.

Bay-headed Tanager feeding at a ficus tree

Bay-headed Tanager feeding at a ficus tree

Masked Tityra

Masked Tityra

Golden-hooded Tanager

Golden-hooded Tanager

In fact while I was watching the ficus tree a Bay Wren broke into song behind me.

Bay Wren at CRARC

Bay Wren at CRARC

But the most exciting thing bird wise during my stay at CRARC was the ant swarm.  Brian and I had found it during our first night walk so I figured I’d give a try at relocating it.  But I couldn’t find it.  So I gave up and began walking back to the guest house.  But I could hear a bunch of bird chattering.  I tracked the noise down and there was the swarm of army ants.  And I nice assortment of antbirds and woodcreepers.  Checker-throated Antwrens and Spotted Antbirds were joined by Northern Barred Woodcreepers

Female Spotted Antbird at the ant swarm

Female Spotted Antbird at the ant swarm

Male Spotted Antbird at the ant swarm

Male Spotted Antbird at the ant swarm

One of at least four N. Barred Woodcreepers at the ant swarm

One of at least four N. Barred Woodcreepers at the ant swarm

But what totally captivated me were seeing the two obligate feeders at ant swarms – Ocellated Antbirds and a Bicolored Antbird – their blue orbital rings stunningly eye catching. Both were also life birds.

Bicolored Antbird

Bicolored Antbird

Ocellated Antbird

Ocellated Antbird

Ocellated Antbird

Ocellated Antbird

I was burning both ends of the candle by herping at night and birding duuring the day, but what the heck, I could sleep back in Colorado.

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2 Responses to The Ant Swarm

  1. Jim Vanderpoel says:

    I like this one. I’m sure I didn’t see that on my two trips.

  2. Jim Vanderpoel says:

    Wow,

    not all of the photos had been posted the last time I read this post. The Ocellated Antbird is out-of-this-world!

    Jim

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