Animals of the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
The tall, long-legged Great Egret is a wading bird, fishing on the rim of salt or sweet water for fish, crabs or frogs. In the 19th centure his decorative long plumes were used for making fashion articles and the bird was almost driven to extinction.
Snowy egrets are much smaller than the Great Egrets and they have a black bill, black legs and orange feet. Both egrets are often seen in colonies together with other marsh birds.
The White Ibis is a medium-sized wading bird with a long, red, down-curved bill often encountered in mangrove lagoons and shallow wetlands. They are often found in groups of birds probing for food in soft mud. For nesting and night roosting ibisses congregate in colonies with dozens or hundreds of birds.
Its pink plumeage and bizarre spoon-shaped bill make the Roseate Spoonbill a quite conspicious bird. It is almost three feet tall and you often see him alone or in small flocks among other water birds, especially in the Northern part of the Nicoya Peninsula.
The Northern Jacana is a medium-sized bird with extremely long toes which enable him to walk on lily pads and other water plants.
The much larger female has 1 - 4 male partners with whom she mates. The males incubate the eggs and raise the young, while the female defends the territory.
The surest bet to see large numbers of all kind of waterfowl is a visit to the Palo Verde National Park. It harbors Central Americas largest concentration of migratory aquatic birds.