By Derek Stoner, Seasonal Program Team Leader
Continuing our “flashback tour” from our Costa Rica 2015 adventure:
As our group settled in at the comfortable Evergreen Lodge on the banks of the picturesque Tortuguero River, we could hardly imagine the bounty of wildlife could be any greater than what we found right around our accommodations. Dazzling hummingbirds fed from fire-red Heleconia flowers all around us while White-faced Capuchin monkeys scrambled about in the treetops in search of ripe fruit. Rainbow-hued land crabs scuttled underfoot to hide in their burrows as they avoided the feet of distracted nature enthusiasts.
Our evening adventure took us into the dark and narrow canals cut into the nearby rainforest, allowing special access to a world of trees, vines, flowers, and teeming wildlife. The captain of the boat deftly brought our vessel with close range of the animals while our guide provided a running commentary on the interesting life history of these unique species.
We encountered a very confiding pair of Northern Jacanas, rail-like birds with impossibly long toes that help them walk delicately atop the floating aquatic vegetation. At point-blank range we witnessed the male showing off his bright-yellow wing spurs while pumping his chestnut-colored wings and chest. The display continued as we motored on to view the next wildlife spectacle around the bend.
Our exploration led us to close encounters with the endemic Black River Turtle, a bright red-and-black Red-capped Manakin, Howler Monkeys hooting overhead, and Great Currasows (a turkey-like bird) scrambling through palm fronds. As the boat gently nudged a log, a Caiman (small crocodilian) splashed into the water from its camouflaged hiding place. Our group spied a Boat-billed Heron resting amidst an umbrella of vegetation, staring back at use with its large eyes used for nocturnal hunting. The rattling calls of Green Kingfishers and Amazon Kingfishers seemed to greet us around almost every turn.
As our blog journey back to last Fall’s Costa Rica trip continues in future posts, we invite you to look ahead on your calendar and consider joining Delaware Nature Society this November for a bigger and better Costa Rica exploration: a twelve-day Tropical Wildlife Adventure. From the Caribbean to the Pacific, from the lowlands to the cloud forest, we will visit unique habitats and stay at spectacular lodges during this grand tour of the best natural areas in this tropical paradise. Guided by Costa Rican native Jose Saenz.
Costa Rica: A Tropical Wildlife Adventure, will run from November 10 to November 21. Delaware Nature Society staff Judy Montgomery and Derek Stoner will be the hosts and provide you with a first-class eco-tourism experience as we travel together to the tropics. Member pricing is $3,920 (airfare not included) and includes all lodging, meals, ground transportation, and special experiences like snorkeling. Call 302-239-2334, extension 127 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for trip details.
Registration deadline is July 31.