Green Kingfisher

It is quite rare to see a kingfisher in the UK, so it was a treat to see quite a few of these birds in Costa Rica’s Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge, referred to in an earlier post.

My first attempt at identification of the featured image came up with amazon kingfisher, but then I discovered that this is not much different to the green kingfisher, and the latter is probably what it is. The main difference between the two is simply one of size and the sort of waterways they frequent.

The bird in the picture looks more blue than green, but I guess that depends on the angle of the light.

It certainly corresponds with the description from Wikepedia: “Green kingfishers are often seen perched on a low shaded branch close to water before plunging in head first after their fish prey.”

I originally thought my second specimen was a different sort, but later decided it must just be a female green kingfisher. They were probably a pair, as it was on the same stretch of the river.


Alternatively, it’s also a bit like a banded kingfisher. Bird identification is not always straightforward!

Postscript: forgot to include this lucky shot of him flying.green_kingfisher_flying

Utility cables strung across the river provided a good lookout point for several of these kingfishers. Backlighting from the blue sky and significant distance prevented getting much detail shooting automatic with my travel zoom camera.green_kingfisher_cable

Black necked stilt

Perhaps the most prolific area of wildlife we saw in Costa Rica was the Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge, in the north of the country near the Nicaraguan border.

One of many highlights during our boat trip on the river was this large group of black necked stilts, apparently fairly common throughout the central Americas. Fairly obviously, the name comes from those long pink stilt-like legs and the black rear of the neck.

Black Necked Stilts

According to the RSPB, stilts are rarely seen in the UK, apart from avocets, which are of the same family but have an upward curved beak.

I may be paranoid, but along the river there were just small signs of creeping low level development – the odd landing stage, clearing, dwelling, fishermen – along the banks of this magnificent wildlife haven. For how long?