|The Birds of Poas Volcano area|
The Poas Volcano area in Costa Rica is host to many bird species, the following are just a few of what you can look forward to seeing on your visit to the area.
Poas Lodge is an excellent place to stay to enjoy sightings of the following species of birds.
The Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) is a medium-sized hummingbird which breeds only in the mountains of Costa Rica. It is the only member of the genus Panterpe.This is a common to abundant bird of mountain forest canopy above 1400 m, and also occurs in scrub at the woodland edges and clearings.
This bird is 11cm long and weighs 5.7 g. It has a straight black bill and dusky feet.
The adult Fiery-throated Hummingbird has shiny green body plumage, a blue tail, and a white spot behind the eye. It often looks dark, but when the light catches it at the right angle, it shows a brilliant blue crown, yellow-bordered bright orange throat, and blue chest patch. The call is a high-pitched twittering.
The female Fiery-throated Hummingbird is entirely responsible for nest building and incubation. She lays two white eggs in a bulky plant-fibre cup nest 2-4 m high at the end of a descending bamboo stem or on a rootlet under a bank. Incubation takes 15-19 days, and fledging another 20-26.
The Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Chlorospingus pileatus, is a small passerine bird. This tanager is an endemic resident breeder in the highlands of Costa Rica.
The Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager is found in mossy mountain forests, second growth and adjacent bushy clearings, typically from 1600 m altitude to above the timberline. The bulky cup nest is built on bank, in a dense bush, or hidden amongst epiphytes up to 11 m high in a tree. The normal clutch is two pink-brown marked white eggs.
The adult Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager is 13.5 cm long and weighs 20g. The adult has a blackish head with a white supercilium and a grey throat. It has olive upperparts and yellow underparts, becoming white on the belly.
Sooty-capped Bush-Tanagers occur in small groups, or as part of a mixed-species feeding flock. This species feeds on insects, spiders and small fruits.
The Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager’s call is a high tseet tseet, and the song is a scratchy seechur seechur see see seechur seechur with variations.
The Slaty Flowerpiercer, Diglossa plumbea, is a passerine bird which is endemic to the highlands of Costa Rica.
This is a common bird in mountain forest canopy and edges, and especially in sunlit clearings and areas with flowering shrubs, which can include gardens. The lower altitudinal limit of its breeding range increases from 1200 m in the north of Costa Rica to 1900 m in the southern mountains.
The large cup nest, built by the female, is made of coarse plant material and lined with fine fibres. It is placed 0.4 to 4 m up in a dense shrub, grass tussock or pine. The clutch is two brown-speckled pale blue eggs, which are incubated by the female alone for 12–14 days to hatching.
The Slaty Flowerpiercer has an upturned bill with a hooked upper mandible and pointed lower mandible. It is 10 cm long and weighs 9 g. The adult male is blue-grey with a lead-grey throat and breast. The tail and wings are blackish with grey feather edges. The female is olive-brown above with a paler throat and breast shading to buff on the belly.
The Slaty Flowerpiercer has a thin tsip call. The male’s song consists of a mixture of whistles, warbles and trilled notes, see-chew see-chew see-chew seer seer surrzeep, tsee tsew tsink tsink tsink.
As its name implies, the Slaty Flowerpiercer pierces the base of the flowers of shrubs and epiphytes with its bill and extracts the nectar through the hole with a brush-like tongue.
The Mountain Elaenia, Elaenia frantzii, is a small passerine bird in the tyrant flycatcher family. It breeds in highlands from Guatemala to Colombia.
This tyrant flycatcher is 14-15 cm long and weighs 17-20 g. The upperparts are dull olive, with a narrow white eye ring. The wings are dusky with narrow yellow feather edges and two off-white wing bars. The throat and breast are yellowish grey, becoming dull yellow on the belly.
This is an inconspicuous species, with a slurred peeeeur call, longer than that of Mistletoe Tyrannulet, and a repetitive d’weet d’weet song.
The Mountain Elaenia breeds between 1200m and 2900m altitude in wet mountain forests, especially at the edges and in clearings, and in adjacent second growth, semi-open areas, or pastures with trees. It moves lower in winter, down to 600 m, and also appears to undergo seasonal movements.
It is solitary when not breeding. It perches on a shaded watchpoint from which it sallies forth to pick insects, spiders, and many berries and seeds from foliage or even the ground. All its food is taken in flight.
Its nest is a cup of mosses, liverworts and lichens, lined with plant fibres. It is built by the female 2-15 m high in a tree or bamboo. The two cinnamon-blotched whitish eggs are incubated by the female for 15-16 days to hatching.
The Black-billed Nightingale-thrush, Catharus gracilirostris, is a small thrush endemic to the highlands of Costa Rica.
It is found in the undergrowth of wet mountain oak forests and second growth, typically from above 1350 m altitude to patches of shrubbery beyond the timberline. The nest is a bulky lined cup constructed 1–5 m high in a scrub or small tree, and the typical clutch is 2 brown-blotched greenish-blue eggs
This small species is 13.5 to 16 cm in length and weighs 21 g. The adult has olive- brown upperparts, a grey crown, paler grey under parts, becoming whitish on the belly, and an olive breast band. Its bill is black.
The juvenile is darker on the head and under parts, has a brown breast band, and the belly is marked with brown.
The Black-billed Nightingale-thrush will normally forage low in vegetation or on the forest floor, alone on in pairs, progressing in hops and dashes with frequent stops. It turns leaf litter in typical thrush fashion seeking insects and spiders, and also eats many small fruits. Despite its habitat, this species is tame and often confiding.
This Black-billed Nightingale-thrush's song is up to three flute-like tones followed by a jumbled trill, and the call is a high thin seet.