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My Wildlife Photo Features from Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Hello and Happy Snowy April Day, here in Alberta.

I thought I would write just a short little blurb today on the friends I encountered in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica when I was there in February.

Manuel Antonio is truly a magical place if you are into Nature and Wildlife. For me, I realized pretty quickly that this was the place to confirm what I have believed in for a long time and that is #natureismychurch. I have to admit, I didn't go into the National Park. We didn't have many days and I felt like I was presented with an abundance of local sitings without having to pay for a ticket. Granted, from what I heard, there are many wonderful local guides who can take you in and give you the best experience. I would recommend asking your accommodation who they support.

My new friend John Chaves is a wonderful guide. He took Thomas and I out on a Night Safari, but he has excursions to other places. He's becoming quite popular, so you need to book him in advance.

In the mornings I would wake up between 5 and 5:30am because some of Mother Nature's friends thought it was a good time to wake visitors up. Granted, by 10am the temperatures were already at 30 degrees Celsius, so getting up earlier was a nice "cool" welcome. There was one bird that would make this very loud call first thing in the morning as the sun was rising and then I heard it once when the sun was setting. Using my hand dandy Merlin App it identified this bird as the Gray-Cowled Wood-Rail. I never saw this bird but its morning alarm clock call reminded me of the Chachalacas in Mexico.

The next sounds I would hear were the Howler Monkeys, which were present for about 4 days by our hotel. I have presented a couple of pictures already on my socials but this one was not possible.

Mama, Baby and Male Howler Monkey in a tree
Three Howler Monkeys in a Tree

To be honest, when I was taking this picture I didn't even realize the Mama was holding a baby. I was just clicking away. So, when I was sitting at my computer looking through my 1600 pictures, this was a wonderful surprise.

Mama and Baby Howler Monkey in a tree
Cropped picture of Mama Howler Monkey and Baby

The birds would slowly start waking up at the same time my Costa Rican coffee would kick in. This is where I sat each morning to watch the show.

My morning setup

Usually about an hour into my morning wake up, I would hear the Scarlet Macaws coming in from my right (so north?) from where I assumed they would sleep. There were up to 8 Macaws that would spend time in our area, from what I saw. So, 4 couples. In the evening near sunset I would see them flying back

Two Scarlet Macaws flying in the distance amongst green trees
A Pair of Flying Scarlet Macaws

Scarlet Macaws mate for life. At our resort there was this dead palm tree that a couple had taken over to have their baby. An employee had shown me a video of several scarlet macaw couples back in the late fall fighting over the palm tree, as I guess it was a great place to nest.

Scarlet Macaw peeking its head out a palm tree trunk
Scarlet Macaws in their Palm Tree

I just love these birds and how colourful they are. That was one of my favourite things about Costa Rica...colour. Vibrant Colours. At home back in Alberta, so many months are black, white, greys and browns. I felt like I was a kid in Disneyland in Costa Rica.

Scarlet Macaw in a tree
Scarlet Macaw looking down at me

I would hear the Yellow-Throated Toucans but I never saw one up close. These are a couple of pictures I cropped so you can see the local residents. The partners would call back and forth to each other. I was really good and picking up the direction they were in by their calls but they were never close to me.

Yellow Throated Toucan on a branch
A cropped picture of a Yellow-Throated Toucan

Flying Yellow-Throated Toucan by some trees
Can you see the Flying Yellow-Throated Toucan?

Here's another picture of the beautiful sloth encounter I had just up the road from where we were staying.

In the afternoons we would have many visitors by the pool. Each day we wondered who would show up today.

One day it was the Squirrel Monkeys who climbed everywhere and tried to get a hold of tasty snacks. They would swing by the bushes and the trees and just be everywhere.

Here's a Mama with a baby on her back.

Back side view of a Mama Squirrel Money and Baby
Mama Squirrel Money and Baby

The Capuchin Monkeys made their presence one day as well. They were picking mangoes and sucking the juices out and peeling bark and I assume trying to get water out of it. Some of the guests were worried that the Capuchins would start flinging coconuts at them or even worse. This one was tuckered out from the hot day and decided to take a bit of a rest.

Capuchin Monkey lying in a tree
Lazy Days for this Capuchin Monkey

One morning I got up early and was walking past the pool area wondering if there was anything interesting to meet. I heard this pattering noise along the water and turned around in the pools direction to see what it was. There, right on the edge was this Common Basilisk Lizard also known as The Jesus Christ Lizard because it can walk on water.

Common Basilisk, Jesus Christ Lizard by the side of the pool
Common Basilisk (The Jesus Christ Lizard)

Well, that's about it for today. This is only a taste of the wildlife/birdlife we saw in the area. It's a place to please all of your senses and it seems like Mother Nature and Humans can co-exist very nicely. Next stop San Gerardo de Dota. Stay Tuned.

Wishing you a wonderful day.


Greeting Cards are available for purchase at

You can find me on April 13th and 14th at the Spring Fling Market in Okotoks presented by Okotoks Market Square. I will be selling Greeting Cards and Prints. Please come by and say hi!

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