Birding in Costa Rica (3) – about Gender

White-Whiskered Puffbirds

They are a pair. But which one is male and which is female? The bird on the right is not only more prominent, more active and it’s the one who brought its mate the food.  I was surprised to know that she is the female.

It puzzled me how God created the male and female so differently. I guess it is a protection that they are the only ones who identify their mates.  They are small, about 4 inches.

Here is another case. The turquoise-blue colored bird is a male bird, and he is named Green Honey Creeper, named after the female bird. I am guessing. The male bird was found and called before the female came around.  I don’t blame the person who named and categorized the birds. There are just too many to be tracked.

Costa Rica Birding (2) – brawls

Squirrels are aggressors when pursuing their food. Acorn Woodpecker is more courteous, but he could not help not to voice his complaint.

Hummingbirds are everywhere. I seldom see two of them on one feeder at home, but in Costa Rica, the feeders are often fully occupied. When the feeder is overly crowded, the fight occurred.

Birding in Costa Rica (1)

Not really a birder, I went with a birding group to Costa Rica. I chose a birding group because I don’t care for photographing birds out of the feeders and I expected to see more birds with the birders. Birds are everywhere, but it does not mean that you got to see all. Experienced birders can raise their binoculars and said, ” I see it.” while I was still asking help to locate it.  Even so, I still got to see about two-thirds of what others did.

Getting good images is something else. Most of the birds are either up high, in distance or hidden in the bushes. 100-400 mm lens is the most commonly used, but I used only 70-300mm due to weight concerns.

There are lots to share, I will just be showing some highlights in the next few posts.

If you have been to Costa Rica, you cannot miss this bird. Among so many beautiful birds, they are one of my favorites. The color combination of their bodies is amazing. Their elegant gesture is charming, and I love that natural pendulum.

The last image was taken after the dusk. Their eyes sparkled in the dark.


Asian Celebration

Living in my own box and spending most of my time with my computer and camera. I am indeed not an event-goer. It is because some of my friends are involved in the event, I decided to check it out and take some pictures. And, I am glad that I did.The Japanese dance and music performed by Japanese Fusion School are presented in a very organized fashion not mentioning the costumes of boys and girls are all authentic. Usually, we would see some smaller kids who could not quite catch up with the group, but I did not see that on this occasion.

The Caucasian kids in Japanese wardrobe look so cute, and their performance is the result of good coaching and training. I just grabbed a few single shots here to show. In fact, there are so many exciting moments that I wanted to capture. The drummer girl was giving out all her efforts to beat the drum plus singing.

When the kids sing, they sing with all their heart and mind. It is quite impressive.

We all know what Aladdin Fables and Genie in the Lamp, but the Middle East up to this date, still a mystery to me.  It was nice to see the Middle East Music and Dance. The costume is very ornate and intricate as expected. I like the mysterious and exotic tone of the music and the choreography.


Ants – the Industrious Model

Grown up in the city, I am so used to cement and tile, the clear-cut environment. After two decades of living among trees and ever-growing vegetations, I thought I’d been accustomed to the small creatures in the rural and rustic areas. But, no, I screamed when this brown ant crawled into my hiking pant. It is the fear of the unknown in the place like a jungle. Once the mystery is solved (not tick or chigger), I then noticed the ‘moving leaves’ on the ground and the ‘undercover agents’. I guess they are transporting building materials for their spring home.

The project manager is measuring the size of the leaf and assign it to his workers.

The big daddy can handle a good-sized leaf while

two siblings are struggling to make inches of movement.

If not for the bite and the small scare I had, I would not have the chance to share these pictures.

‘Friends’ – a butterfly and a leaf

Not an extraordinary butterfly. Just a simple green leaf. However, the combination of the colors, lines, and shapes of the ‘team effort’ makes it an attractive image. This counterpart to add the magic touch to our life can be your significant other, your friend, your family or simply an occasional acquaintance.

Emerald Toucanet

One of Costa Rica’s iconic birds is Toucans.  They have striking and colorful appearance plus a distinctive calling sound. They usually fly high or hide in higher branches. Otherwise, the calls are loud and clear, its’ hard to miss.

Their curved beak with seesaw-like edges is quick to approach and consume their prey. Do you think your scissors are sharper or their beaks?

Basketball – candid shots

Action and motion. Speed, spirit, and sportsmanship.  These are the elements drew me into sports photography at the beginning.

Not a sports fan of any kind. I know basic rules of each game, but my mind is mostly set on capturing the moments of action and excitement. The facial expression of the athletes is what interests me. Under pressure, determined to win, never give up till the last minute. When there is time to shoot a basket, there is a chance. The players have no time to fake a smile or sneer, and all we see are honest and natural expressions. When the background is often crowded with people, black and white seem to illustrate the content better.


Just came back from a two weeks birding trip in Costa Rica. It was one of my dreams come true and an eye-opening experience.  This is Guatemala’s national bird, Quetzal.

Hundreds of people were lining up on the road bright early in the morning to observe the bird. Male has a waving long tail while female’s tail is much shorter. In either case, their stunning colors and dramatic appearance are a major attraction. Unfortunately, they were usually too distant or too sensitive to people’s existence. I was not able to capture a clear shot until this guy suddenly showed up right above us. His beautiful tail was hidden, but I am content to snap this shot.