Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Costa Rica - Palo Verde National Park

Below: This is a laughing falcon , and the photo was taken with a little point-and-shoot camera through a spotting scope. They aren't real falcons and they apparently make a lot of noise, but we were probably the only ones that didn't hear them. Beautiful bird! Photo by AREA.below: In the tree next to the laughing falcon a gray hawk was sitting looking for prey. Photo by AREA.
Around the OTS research station there were lots of iguanas called ctenosaurs. They can climb trees and up on roofs, and are about 50-60 cm long. They look fierce but they run away if you get too close to them. I don't know what they eat, but they hang out in the sun. One morning I saw a scorpion on the sidewalk to the bath rooms. Palo Verde research station is nice, in a beautiful spot on a slope with large marshland areas with a million birds right next to it.
The view from the research station, over the marshlands. When we were there is was still dry season, but it rained a tiny bit everyday, which was a record. It is not supposed to rain yet. Early morning below, with dew and low fog.
In the forest we heard and saw howler monkeys. It was very hard to get good photos, but here is the best one. See the baby?
Early sunrise. In the dry season most leaves loose their leaves, and then they come back in the wet season. It is really easy to see the birds when the trees have no leaves!
This is a spiny acacia branch, with spiny stipules. Ants live inside the thorns and protect the plant and get nectar from glands inside. Each thorn is about 3 cm long (an inch).
Funky vines are everywhere in the dry forest. This is the genus Bauhinia in the legume family. The stems really look like S S S S and can climb so high.


EH said...

Fantastic that you´ve seen so many animals already and keep up the good photographing. Here I´ve seen nothing, but snow fog and grey dull weather, so it´s nice to see something completely different on the blog.

Did the howler monkey howl? I know a girl who was called a howler monkey by her uncle once, AREA...

LS said...

Yes, the howler monkeys howled a lot, but when we saw them there were lazy and sleepy on branches. We also saw white-faced capuchin monkeys that were really active, and tried to look threatening. They would stand on branches and jump up and down and make lots of sounds. Howler monkeys sound like this: Ho Ho Ho Ho!