Monday, April 30, 2018

Pale-billed Woodpecker

On 15 July 2018 we visited Costa Rica’s La Selva Biological Station. I looked forward to visiting this research area run by The Organization of Tropical Studies. Despite its nearly 4000 acres of forest, I was slightly disappointed by this famous location. The entry fee was high and I was surprised that the station was adjacent to a major highway. I thought the center was more isolated. The station teamed with biology students and the forest paths were wide and very well-travelled. A station guide was mandatory, sort of like an official minder. We saw very few birds, although, of course, our main goal was finding dragonflies.

Our tour guides took us directly to a large, overgrown pond full of dragonflies, as you will see in the upcoming posts. As the morning progressed, new dragonfly species seemed to appear from either the pond or the surrounding forest. (The official minder was a pleasant fellow who knew little or nothing about dragonflies.) Along the way, we did find a Pale-billed Woodpecker. This large bird is common from northern Mexico to western Panama. It is less tolerant for deforested habitat than the similar Lineated Woodpecker and is now absent from parts of its former range (Schulenberg 2009).

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