Bright orange iguanas--never expected to see that. But I have learned that it is common for the males to turn orange during mating season. It is their signal to the females that they are ready to go. I guess subtlety is lost on your average iguana.
For more on Central American reptiles look at: http://centralamerica.com/cr/moon/moreptile.htm
The ringed kingfisher is not often found in the U.S. (only in the extreme southeastern tip of Texas). But we saw plenty of kingfishers on the Tortuguero River. They are carniverous and hunt fish, frogs and water retiles. I desperately wanted to get a decnt photo of a diving kingfisher but they were way to fast--I was lucky to get this one perching on a limb overhanging the water.
The anhinga is a diving bird. It will float along the river and then dive down underneath the surface to give chase to a tasty looking fish, It can swim underwater for several minutes at a time. When it returns to the surface it will find a place to roost and then unfold its wings so that they can dry out.
Also known as the snake-bird because its long curvy neck can resemble a snake when it is diving and swimming underwater.
Hands down my favorite animal sighted in Costa Rica. I'm sure that a jaguar would top the frog--but it is nigh near impossible to catch sight of a jaguar. So I will gladly settle for the dart frog.
These frogs are extremely small--this one was no bigger than my thumbnail. And they are extremely toxic. The reason that they are called poison dart frogs is that the secretions from their bodies were used by indigenous peoples to coat their blow-darts which were then employed to bring down big game.
Some people have also licked frogs in the hopes of reaching a hallucinogenic state, but that is not recommended as it could be potentially lethal.
check out the Nashville Zoo site for info on blue poison dart frogs: http://www.nashvillezoo.org/blfrog.htm
We saw several members of the Trogon family in Costa Rica. All trogons are very colorful--none more so than the resplendent quetzal. Trogons are tropical arboreal birds (that means they live in jungle trees) who feed on insects and caterpillers. The elegant trogon is the only member of the trogon family that makes an appearance in the U.S., but only in the far southeastern corner of Arizona.
The bird shown in this photo is the slaty-tailed trogon.
The sungrebe has a special adaptation that is unique in the world of birds--the male can put its young into shallow pockets under his wings and transport them while swimming or flying. Young swans allow their young to hitch a ride on their back and other grebes also allow such hitching, but no other bird is known to fly with their chicks. Fascinating, no?
The sungrebe is exceedingly rare and shy, so we were most fortunate to get a glimpse of this wonderful bird.
The bare-throated tiger heron is a wading bird that does not grace U.S. shores. Like all wading birds it plies the brackish waters for fish and other aquatic creatures.
Check out this great birding resource to learn more about herons: http://montereybay.com/creagrus/herons.html
At night turtles will come to the beach and lay their eggs in the sand. When you book a tour, you will be guided along the beach, and if you're lucky you can see some turtles laying eggs on the beach.
When walking back to the hotel during the night your not allowed to carry any lights, because it will frighten the turtles.
You can hire a guide and navigate the canals by motorized boat, canoe or in kayak. You may be able to see crocodiles, alligators, spider capuchin and/or howler monkeys and more!
Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet? So the next time a butterfly lands on your arm, remember that you are being tasted!