What’s Subsequent on the Juan Santamaria Aiport in Costa Rica? A Pipit? A Wagtail? – 10,000 Birds

White-tailed Kite in action- a basic airport species in Costa Rica.

Odd habitats entice odd birds. Or fairly, I ought to say that misplaced habitats entice misplaced birds. The nice previous sewage ponds usher in waders and wandering waterbirds which have nowhere else to go. Turf farms in wooded areas are huge open oases for grasspipers and different species tailored to pure lawns. The identical will be stated of wooded parks in city areas and different bits of valuable habitat surrounded by areas much less hospitable to numerous sorts of the avian type.

Though Costa Rica is famous for tropical forests and their subsequent wealth of birds and biodiversity, us native birders even have our personal, out of the way in which habitat hotspots. Some of the incessantly visited is a spot created for pretend birds of the big steel flying type. Such machines require an in depth, flat, open and flat place the place their can safely land and take off. It doesn’t matter if that very same spot was forest or whether it is surrounded by woods or wetlands or housing; an airport can’t perform if it doesn’t share traits with tundra or open steppe.

Because the Juan Santamaria Airport in Costa Rica’s Central Valley is positioned in an space that lacks comparable open habitats, its grassy fields and adjoining puddles usher in birds that may have flown proper over whereas additionally attracting different non-forest resident species seeking a house. These are a number of the birds we search for and a few of what we discover.

Birds that Would Have Flown Over and Stored on Going

Upland Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper are the avian stars us native birders search for. These are the three most important species that urge us to scan a grassy subject with puddles in September and October. The truth that all three are seen most years tells us that they do fly over the town, likely unseen and principally unheard. This yr, no less than 4 Uplands had been doing their grass strolling factor and some Baird’s had been additionally seen. Sadly, we collectively dipped on Buff-breasteds; there have been few if any data in different elements of Costa Rica this previous fall migration. At the very least comfort got here within the type of an American Golden-Plover that lingered for a number of days!

Different shorebirds additionally make appearances, we regularly see Solitary Sandpipers and Lesser Yellowlegs. As they stand in puddles and listen to the jets fly overhead, we additionally see flocks of migrating Cliff, Financial institution, and Barn Swallows, and listen to the distinctive sounds of Dickcissels. In late fall, an unusual for Costa Rica kestrel or two typically exhibits up and stays for the winter. I ponder the place they arrive from?

Resident Birds Eking Out a Dwelling in City Environment

Though native birders are all concerning the migrants, sufficient resident species additionally happen to pique our curiosity. Killdeer (one other unusual species in Costa Rica) can typically be heard and seen on the airport. It shares area with flashy Southern Lapwings, and competes for auditory area with Crested Bobwhite, Jap Meadowlark, and occasional Lesser Floor-Cuckoo whereas Groove-billed Anis and different edge species work the hedgerows.

Rufous-naped Wren is one other frequent species close to the airport.

The Odd Ones that Might Happen

The airport additionally acts as a uncommon alternative for the misplaced birds, birds not usually current in addition to those that basically shouldn’t be there. Whereas we search for sandpipers and plovers, different uncommon species may take the type of selection birds like Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Mangrove Cuckoo, and even Palm Warbler. Fork-tailed Flycatcher has been seen just a few occasions, Pink-breasted Meadowlark can present up, and there have to be different species which have occurred however gone unseen. With a lot of the airport inaccessible and most of our trying restricted to fall migration, what number of Grasshopper and Savannah Sparrows visited the airport through the winter months? What number of different odd birds made a cease on the airport earlier than persevering with on? Maybe birds like Aplomado Falcon and Northern Harrier, possibly even American Pipit.

Pink-breasted Meadowlark

None of these are out of the query, if we had extra folks usually checking the airport all year long, would a type of and even “crazier” birds be discovered? I wager so. I’m reminded of uncommon birds present in so many locations by devoted observers who spend many hours of many days scanning and checking their favourite websites. Might Pink-throated Pipit happen? Unlikely however then once more…one was seen within the Guatemalan highlands, one other in Ecuador, one other in Peru they usually do happen as vagrants in western North America earlier than migrating additional south….

What a few wagtail? Yeah, that basically can be pushing dream birding into waken actuality however take into account that, just like the pipit from Siberia, some vagrant wagtails additionally discover themselves misplaced in California. Additionally they fly south- have some flown over Costa Rica? Will a wagtail see a strip of open, inexperienced grass and shallow water flanked by woods and homes and resolve to go to that sudden oasis? In that case, hopefully, there can be a birder or two there to make the invention. Our native birding neighborhood has grown, it may occur. If it does, I’ll let you realize!

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