Odd habitats appeal to odd birds. Or quite, I ought to say that misplaced habitats appeal to misplaced birds. The nice previous sewage ponds usher in waders and wandering waterbirds which have nowhere else to go. Turf farms in wooded areas are large open oases for grasspipers and different species tailored to pure lawns. The identical could be mentioned of wooded parks in city areas and different bits of treasured habitat surrounded by areas much less hospitable to numerous kinds of the avian type.
Though Costa Rica is famous for tropical forests and their subsequent wealth of birds and biodiversity, us native birders even have our personal, out of the best way habitat hotspots. One of the ceaselessly visited is a spot created for pretend birds of the big steel flying type. Such machines require an in depth, flat, open and flat place the place their can safely land and take off. It doesn’t matter if that very same spot was once forest or whether it is surrounded by woods or wetlands or housing; an airport can’t perform if it doesn’t share traits with tundra or open steppe.
Because the Juan Santamaria Airport in Costa Rica’s Central Valley is positioned in an space that lacks related open habitats, its grassy fields and adjoining puddles usher in birds that will have flown proper over whereas additionally attracting different non-forest resident species looking for a house. These are a number of the birds we search for and a few of what we discover.
Birds that Would Have Flown Over and Saved on Going
Upland Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper are the avian stars us native birders search for. These are the three most important species that urge us to scan a grassy subject with puddles in September and October. The truth that all three are seen most years tells us that they do fly over the town, likely unseen and largely unheard. This yr, not less than 4 Uplands have been doing their grass strolling factor and some Baird’s have been additionally seen. Sadly, we collectively dipped on Buff-breasteds; there have been few if any information in different elements of Costa Rica this previous fall migration. At the very least comfort got here within the type of an American Golden-Plover that lingered for a number of days!
Different shorebirds additionally make appearances, we regularly see Solitary Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs. As they stand in puddles and listen to the jets fly overhead, we additionally see flocks of migrating Cliff, Financial institution, and Barn Swallows, and listen to the distinctive sounds of Dickcissels. In late fall, an unusual for Costa Rica kestrel or two typically reveals up and stays for the winter. I ponder the place they arrive from?
Resident Birds Eking Out a Residing in City Environment
Though native birders are all in regards to the migrants, sufficient resident species additionally happen to pique our curiosity. Killdeer (one other unusual species in Costa Rica) can typically be heard and seen on the airport. It shares house with flashy Southern Lapwings, and competes for auditory house with Crested Bobwhite, Japanese Meadowlark, and occasional Lesser Floor-Cuckoo whereas Groove-billed Anis and different edge species work the hedgerows.
The Odd Ones that Might Happen
The airport additionally acts as a uncommon alternative for the misplaced birds, birds not usually current in addition to those that basically shouldn’t be there. Whereas we search for sandpipers and plovers, different uncommon species might take the type of alternative birds like Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Mangrove Cuckoo, and even Palm Warbler. Fork-tailed Flycatcher has been seen a number of occasions, Purple-breasted Meadowlark can present up, and there have to be different species which have occurred however gone unseen. With a lot of the airport inaccessible and most of our trying restricted to fall migration, what number of Grasshopper and Savannah Sparrows visited the airport in the course of the winter months? What number of different odd birds made a cease on the airport earlier than persevering with on? Maybe birds like Aplomado Falcon and Northern Harrier, possibly even American Pipit.
None of these are out of the query, if we had extra folks repeatedly checking the airport all year long, would a kind of and even “crazier” birds be discovered? I guess so. I’m reminded of uncommon birds present in so many locations by devoted observers who spend many hours of many days scanning and checking their favourite websites. Might Purple-throated Pipit happen? Not going however then once more…one was seen within the Guatemalan highlands, one other in Ecuador, one other in Peru they usually do happen as vagrants in western North America earlier than migrating additional south….
What a couple of wagtail? Yeah, that basically can be pushing dream birding into waken actuality however understand that, just like the pipit from Siberia, some vagrant wagtails additionally discover themselves misplaced in California. Additionally they fly south- have some flown over Costa Rica? Will a wagtail see a strip of open, inexperienced grass and shallow water flanked by woods and homes and resolve to go to that sudden oasis? In that case, hopefully, there can be a birder or two there to make the invention. Our native birding neighborhood has grown, it might occur. If it does, I’ll let you already know!