The Sights and Sounds of Costa Rica, Page 2

The Sights and Sounds of Costa Rica, Page 2

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Fortuna FallsFortuna Falls, near La Fortuna, at the base of Volcan Arenal, is a spectacular falls, where you can swim at the base and experience first-hand the power of a waterfall. The hike in is steep and wet, and the hike out is strenuous, but well worth the effort. After hiking out the perfect next stop is Tabacon Hot Springs (go across the road from the big resort) - it's a beautiful natural setting complete with an incredible creek rushing with water heated by the volcano and flowing through pools where a visitor can rest and relax!

RedstartThis Slate-throated Redstart was a colorful surprise at Monteverde. They were nesting near a road in the reserve, so we were treated to the sight of two nestlings in a bank-side nest as well! House Wrens are as common as Black Beans and Rice in Costa Rica. I recorded them virtually everywhere we went, and the song was different each time (but the voice is the same!). These two are from the Monteverde area: 1st Example and 2nd example

Cecropia LeafThe forest floor provides an endless source of rich visual fascination - the way a Cecropia leaf lies inverted, exposing it's white underbelly, the slow progress of a Python Millipede through the leaves, or the organized march of the Parasol ants can captivate you and take you to another world!

White Tent BatsWhite Tent Bats are one of the most peculiar residents of the Costa Rican forests. They like to sleep during the day in a folded banana leaf, which they engineer by biting and scratching along the main leaf vein until it looses its ability to stay unfolded. They are harmless and beautiful, like so many things here.

Howler MonkeyHowler Monkeys are noisy residents of most of the forests in the country. Their howls can be heard for several miles, and they are fond of waking us all up with this territorial display. The males are the ones that howl, and the troop has a well-established hierarchy, like most monkeys, led by the "alpha" male. Howling is a way to help establish and preserve territory. Factoid: Only New World monkeys have prehensile tails (tails that can hold onto things). Notice how this one uses his tail as a third (or fifth!) hand. There are no apes in the New World.

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