It is difficult to watch a pair of Great Green Macaws in a full 30-second flyover, a straight line in perfect formation, and not think that you are the most blessed person on the planet to have witnessed such an incredible event!
The Great Green Macaw was one of six parrot species we were lucky to see during our trip to Costa Rica. We also saw eleven species of hummingbirds at various elevations, with such magical names like Crowned Woodnymph, Red-footed Plumeleteer, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, and Green-crowned Brilliant! Here are some photos from Google Images:
I have been on the board of the Tirimbina Biological Reserve and Lodge in Costa Rica, which has been managed over the years by Lynde Uhlein and her staff at Milwaukee-based Brico Fund and other supporters primarily in Wisconsin, since the Milwaukee Public Museum’s finances imploded and they had to jettison their precious Costa Rican asset. Lynde Uhlein stepped up and infused a lot of her money to build infrastructure and keep the place running. It is now a world class research facility with a well-maintained lodge with extremely fast wi-fi (wow, I wish all the high-end hotels I stay at around the world could say that).
To get to the rain forest, you need to cross high above a river on an 800’ long suspension bridge, Costa Rican’s longest (here is a photo with George Fenwick, the Executive Director of the American Bird Conservancy):
Home to mot-mots and trogons and cuckoos and Great Tinamou (we saw this very elusive bird for over five minutes feeding alongside a stream), Tirimbina is a birder’s treasure spot. It is also the place where visitors can go and learn about cacao and how chocolate is made (lots of sampling, I might add)! And see a viper on the walking trail!
Recently, at my suggestion and with The Brico Fund and ABC’s approval following appropriate due diligence, Tirimbina’s ‘oversight‘ has been transferred from Brico to ABC. All signs point to a very successful new partnership, which may even result is greater funding of Tirimbina through donations by individuals and groups made more tax efficient through ABC. The Rusinow Family Foundation just made such a contribution.
A group photo on the last day of the trip, at El Socorro Private Reserve, run by a wonderful farmer named Jose who has a passion for conserving the land of his forefathers (with George; Carlos, the manager of Tirimbina; and Julio, a long-time birder well known in local birding and conservation circles):