Today we went over to the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. They are amazing with rehab animals. They get in hurt animals or confiscated pet trade animals or well anything that isn't suitable for just tossing back in the forest. We got to see the veterinary clinic there and it is top notch, with capabilities to do everything from disease testing to literally putting in metal pins to set broken bones. Every animal they get goes through a very rigorous process to fix it up and get it back to rights and then release it back into the wild in an appropriate area and in an appropriate way. And this process is way too complicated to cover here, but they currently have some pretty neat animals so wanted to put up some photos.
Monkeys are notoriously hard to release, as they are tribal and a new arrival may not be accepted. This spider monkey is probably at the sanctuary for the rest of its life.
This female white-faced capuchin has a chance at a wild release, which would be fantastic.
One amazing couple the sanctuary is this brocket deer and an agouti. There is a story behind that includes the poaching of the deer's mom and then the baby deer being confiscated by the authorities and taken to the sanctuary. The agouti was a young one as well and bonded on the deer. Now they are inseparable. When we walked by the agouti was sleeping on the back of the deer but they woke up. Totally cute couple in a very odd relationship.
Another ball of cuteness they had was a collared peccary only about a month old.
There is a really nice resort situated at Alturas, and got a chance to check out the view from the tourist area and pool. Would certainly not be a bad place to take some vacation time.
While we were at the beach, a flock of scarlet macaws came in and were hammering what appeared to be almond trees but I am unsure. Trees aren't my specialty. Spectacular birds.
Surprising number of green-backed herons on a nearby beach when we stopped by. This one was pretty friendly and landed close to where I was standing.
Both male and female crowned woodnymphs were around this afternoon. I like this photo of the male but would like to get an image from straight on showing the bright green bib. Gorgeous birds.
The female is strikingly different looking. This is called sexual dimorphism and is really common with birds.
This is a super pretty hummingbird and can be seen every day by the feeders at the Program House. But the "white-necked" part is not always obvious. Don McFarlane asked me yesterday what kind of hummingbird is that, and I told him. His comment was that the bird appears to have white in many places but the neck is decidedly not one of them.
But once you get a couple looks at it the white is visible on the nape of the neck.
So this is not a lesson on how to take photos of hummingbirds, but a shout out to anyone who can take great photos of these birds. It's tough! I am learning but still not getting the photo quality I need.
Here is an image I took today, which is barely passable at best. I'll figure it out but am running out of days left to get the couple species that come in to the feeders here. I think this is a crowned woodnymph but I was twiddling with the camera and not paying attention to the bird species.
This ringed kingfisher was seen along the Rio Cacao. It is the largest of the kingfishers here and not super common. There was also one of the small green kingfishers with it but it bugged off into the forest before I could get much of a look at it.
These very attractive large birds come by when the trees are fruiting at the FCRE, and right now we've been seeing them every day.
The ovenbird is a warbler that looks a whole lot like a thrush. You have to keep a sharp eye out to see them, but they have a loud unmistakable call of "teacher teacher teacher".
This is a fairly average photo of an American robin, but when I looked at it pretty much every field mark on the bird was visible (except for the bits at the outer tips of the tail) so it makes a nice ID photo. Not that there are hordes of folks that can't ID a robin, but...
Keith Christenson - Wildlife Biologist