Tuesday, December 15, 2015


After nearly a year away (and apart), the NPARS team is back together for another month-and-a-half of field work in the tropics.  This winter field season represents the fifth consecutive year of bird banding and research our first trip in 2011.  As we get settled in, we will periodically post updates of our field work, as well as anecdotes about living and working in the tropics.

This post is the first of several of the latter type.

Quite easily the best 'welcome back' we receive upon our return to the Nicoya Peninsula is the hummingbird spectacle at Finca Pura Vida.  The scene is chaotic and mesmerizing, involving hundreds of hummingbirds of nearly a dozen species buzzing around the feeders with dizzying speed.  I recorded the following video in 2014 of the feeding frenzy at Finca Pura Vida:

The main function of the feeders is to facilitate the capture of large numbers of hummingbirds for our research, since they provide us with sufficient sample sizes of these normally seldom-captured birds.  The hummingbird frenzy, however, has become as much a part of life here as the humidity.  Every day, from dawn to dusk, the frantic swarm drones away in the background.  We share a great sense of nostalgia for our hyperactive nectivorous friends, and it has become tradition for us to spend at least a few hours during our first morning back in Costa Rica enjoying and photographing them.

A tree full of Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)

Male Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)
It sure feels good to be back!

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