Costa Rica- Caño Negro boats boats boats! (Day Five)

Our first full day in Caño Negro was all about boat trips.  In the morning we went with Andrea from our hotel (Hotel de Campo) around the wetlands.

Prothonotary Warblers were pleasantly abundant.


The day before we had met Russet-naped Wood-Rails around the hotel grounds, sometimes drinking from the fountain.  The ones along the river seemed a bit more natural.

Crimson-fronted Parakeet

 Wood Storks

Steve mentioned we had not yet seen Common Potoo so Andrea took us to a spot off the boat to see one roosting.

So weird.

 We made another stop at some wetlands and picked up some trip shovelers and a Peregrine, then back on the boat for more.

Boat-billed Herons

 Tropical Gnatcatcher

 American Pygmy Kingfisher gettin weird

American Pygmy Kingfisher gettin normal

It's hard to tell how tiny this kingfisher is in photos, but I will assure you that at least twice we saw one and my first thought was warbler.  Check out this photo on Flickr from a bird bander to see one in hand.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron

Amazon Kingfishers working on a nest burrow

 Capuchin with no tail

 Black-headed Trogon

 Gray-headed Kite (with Black Vulture)

 Scarlet-rumped Cacique flying out of its nest

 Baby iguana

 Black Vulture

We had great looks at this three-toed sloth!

Green Ibis

Meso-American slider (Trachemys grayi ssp. emolli per iNat)

We finished the boat tour without seeing one of our target birds, the Agami Heron.  At least we saw tons of other stuff!  Complete checklist here.  Back at the hotel we had lunch and birded around the grounds until it was time for the next boat trip.

 Squirrel Cuckoo

Gray-headed Dove

 Mistletoe Tyrannulet (right?)

Gray-headed Chachalaca

The only Belted Kingfisher of the trip?  Maybe? 

 Blue Morpho

 Variable cracker (Hamadryas feronia)

Finally it was time for our next boat trip at Medio Queso wetland with Chambita, the same guide who had shown us owls and potoos the night before.

Nicaragua in the distance

Bye dog

 Purple Gallinule

 Amazon Kingfisher with fishy

 Nicaraguan Grackle, one of our target birds for this area

 Yellow-headed Caracara

Crakes are one of this area's specialties and Chambita was able to get us on a few Yellow-breasted.

If Marsh Wrens and Soras had babies...

Another target for this spot was Pinnated Bittern which I thought would be difficult and we would get typical bittern views.  No.  They were easy and rather visible.

Fork-tailed Flycatcher

Snail Kites!

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture!

Pale-vented Pigeon

 Canebrake Wren

 Another Nicaraguan Grackle

 Laughing Falcon

The most common birds on this boat trip were Green Heron and Least Bittern, both flushed constantly from the edges of the river.

Our complete checklist from Medio Queso here

This was one of my favorite birding days from our trip- so many excellent birds seen well!  Good times!! 


  1. Very cool! The view of the bottom of the Boat-billed Heron's bill is so bizzare. Definitely aptly named!

  2. OH my so many wonderful birds, send some of those beauties up here...I just checked my Prothonotary of last yr appeared on May 25 in my I have a long wait yet!

    1. Before this trip I had never seen a Prothonotary so I am envious you will have them in your 5MR in a couple months!


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