Birds of Costa Rica
Conspicious, frequently seen Birds on the Nicoya Peninsula
You might wonder why this unconspicous bird has been choosen the national bird of Costa Rica. However, have a look at his body: it has the breast of an opera singer!
The Robin is widely distributed in all of Costa Rica. He is mostly silent until he starts breeding, at the begin of the rainy season. With his melodious, rich serenades Costa Ricans say that the robin is calling the rains. His songs accompany the farmers when they start working in the early morning, that's how the Ticos grew fond of the humble brown colored bird.
The colorful Turquoise-browed Motmot with its striking long tail feathers is one of the most beautiful birds of Costa Rica. They rival the Quetzals in their glorious colors, and are certainly easier to find.
Motmots don't build their nest in trees, but in an earth hole on a steep slope. A legend tells that when God created the world all animals came to help, only the motmot was lazy and hided in a hole in the ground. However, his long tail feathers sticked out and God saw him. So he decided that henceforth the motmot would have to build his nest in the ground.
Motmots are related to kingfishers and are only found in the Neotropics.
Costa Rica is home to 6 species of kingfishers (Martin Pescador) who are often seen along rivers. The Ringed Kingfisher on this picture can grow up to 41 cm and is the largest kingfisher in all the Americas. The birds nest in a horizontal burrow up to 8 feet deep which is excavated in the cut bank of a river or an eroded hillside.