|Posted on January 9, 2018 at 9:00 AM|
Exciting news this morning! Our resident biologist and naturalist guide Stacey Hollis spotted a group of highly endangered YELLOW-BILLED COTINGA, this being the second sighting here at the ecolodge after last year's first in February '17.
These birds are highly endangered. Their population is estimated to range between 250 and 999 individuals remaining, according to Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Neotropical Birds website. This is attributed to deforestation of rainforest and mangrove ecosystems, both of which these birds rely upon. This rare species is endemic (existing locally) only to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, including tucked here into our beautiful corner of the rich Golfo Dulce, as well as ranging slightly into the extreme western corner of Panama.
We're happy to report that this sighting was shared with Andy Whitworth of Osa Conservation (Conservación Osa), Gary Strehlow and Terri Peterson of Nueva Tierra de Osa as well as a lovely family of guests staying here with us at the ecolodge.
From the wild nutmeg tree, the birds most enjoy the aril (inside the seed casing the nutmeg nut is covered by the aril, which is another of our kitchen spices, called mace.) The aril is a bright reddish pink and looks like an octopus hugging the nut.While the white faced capuchins crack open the seed, discard the spicy mace and eat the nutmeg nut. The cotingas, which aren't bothered by the spice, enjoy it tremendously!
Their presence speaks highly of the health and functionally of these intact local ecosystems that we help protect. We are happy to be able to share these beautiful natural spaces and rare sightings with our guests while informing them of the importance of maintaining and protecting these natural habitats. This is in keeping with our education-based tourism ethos and we love to share this never to be forgotten experience, this incredibly rare, beautiful, snow-white bird.