Despite Costa Rica having a relatively well-studied bird fauna, our five years of field work on the eastern Nicoya Peninsula have yielded many surprising discoveries. Among the most interesting are our encounters with bird species which, according to the literature, are not expected to occur on the Nicoya Peninsula at all, or at least during the period we visit each year. Our most recent three-day banding session at the Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco provided several examples of how even our basic knowledge of bird distributions needs quite a bit more work.
One species whose capture this morning represented our fourth encounter is the Ruddy Quail-Dove (Geotrygon montana). The species' Costa Rica distribution as described by The Birds of Costa Rica (by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean) and BirdLife International (http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22690966) extends northward along the Pacific coast only to the Rio Tárcoles. The Tárcoles lies directly east of the Nicoya Peninsula on the mainland. A literal (albeit small) gulf separates our encounters of this species with its described distribution.
|Female Ruddy Quail-Dove (Geotrygon montata) banded on December 22|
|Male Ruddy Quail-Dove spotted in January 13, 2014|
|Two Wood Thrushes banded on December 22 at Cabo Blanco|
|NPARS's first Swainson's Thrush, banded in 2011|