Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Roadside Hawk Sighting

This is a really cool bird!!!  During  the bird watching tour this week we saw several type of birds like tanagers, woodpeckers, and other very nice ones, but we saw one that really attracted our attention…the Roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris). 
This bird is an excellent hunter.  On this particular sighting, it was concentrating, looking for its breakfast and at the same time was singing, a way it marks its territory.  
Its favorite food are lizards, but it also eats many type of insects.  The Roadside Hawk has great eyesight; its specialized eyes can see its prey very far away.  It will catch the mouse or lizard and kill it with its sharp claws, and then start to eat it with its strong bill.  The Roadside Hawk is a bird of 16 inches and weight is about 11 ounces.  It was fantastic to see in the Reserve of Arenas Del Mar!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

White Tailed Deer Sighting!

Last week during a tour of Manuel Antonio National Park, we were walking along the path when suddenly from the bush an interesting animal appeared next to the trail!  It was a White Tailed Deer!  This herbivore animal was not shy at all…It was only within a few feet of our guests and they all got very nice pictures of it. This deer is a mother that takes care of two babies.
The White Tailed Deer is an animal that is not easy to see around the country and is endangered in Costa Rica.  Also, believe it or not, this is the national symbol in Costa Rica!  The deer represents the wildlife of Costa Rica and was declared the wildlife symbol in 1995.  The White Tailed Deer is just one of the many animals we can find in this beautiful park!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Plant a Tree With Us!

With the rainy season now here, it the also the right time to plant trees in our Reserve!  This past week, with the support of Olger, our new tour guide, we planted several trees with two little ladies staying at the hotel.  The girls took part in the reforestation program of the Reserve of Arenas Del Mar.  It is a very nice activity to participate in because this is a donation program where people can a plant a tree and help the rain forest, and the money that is collected is spent in schools of few economical resources; helping kids to have shoes, books and better materials for studying.

In the activity of “Plant a Tree”, the kids (and adults, too!) have the opportunity to choose the tree they want to plant, like ¨monkey guaba tree, inga tree, jicaro tree” and others, and participate in the entire process: helping dig the hole, planting it with their hands and finally, covering the roots with the best fertilized soil.  The forest and animals are so grateful for this project because it helps to provide more life in the reserve.

So, if you come to our hotel, you are invited to participate in the program of ¨Plant a tree with us¨, like these little ladies did…the forest and the kids of the schools will appreciate it!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Fiery Billed Aracari

In the family of toucans in Costa Rica, there are two aracaris species which are smaller than the true toucans but more colorful. The Aracari above has "fire" color in the upper jaw which gives the bird its common name.  It's only encountered in the Pacific slope of Costa Rica and Western Panama.  This species is primarily an arboreal fruit-eater, but will also eat insects, lizards, bird eggs and other small prey.

They will often lay two white eggs, using abandoned woodpeckers nests in trees. Both sexes incubate the eggs for about 16 days, and the toucan chicks remain in the nest after hatching.  They are blind and naked at birth, and have short bills and specialized pads on their heels to protect them from the rough floor of the nest; they are also fed by both parents.

We can see this toucan in Manuel Antonio NationalPark; several of them currently live in a nest in a tree at the main trail of the park.  It´s also possible to see them in the reserve of Arenas del Mar Resort in the bird watching tours early in the morning.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Walking Sticks!

The walking stick is one of the best experts in camouflage!  During this last week in Manuel Antonio National Park, we found a territory of several of these insects. The walking stick is an insect that is hard to find because the shape is like a little branch and does not move at all, so it blends very well.  It is also the same color as the plant.  The lifecycle of this insect is around one year. It is nocturnal and territorial.  Normally, the walking stick is not going to move more than 9 feet from its feed plant.
During the day it stays in the same place until the night arrives. When this insect starts to grow, first it is green, then light brown and eventually becoming darker brown. Costa Rica is a paradise for more than 200,000 species of insects, but the walking stick is one of the most successful, because thanks to its camouflage, it can avoid the predators and keep the next generations alive.