Costa Rica 2000


Sunday, August 6, 2000  - Monteverde Cloud Forest

The first place we went after breakfast was the Monteverde Forest Reserve.  It gets crowded by afternoon, so we wanted to get an early start.  Elston knew where  the nest of the Resplendent Quetzel was.  When we got there, the birds were not around, but within 5 minutes, one flew in.  I spotted it because it was a flash of teal and landed very near us.  It had something in it's mouth - probably a small avacado, it's favorite food.   Normally Quetzels move from the higher elevation of Monteverde to lower elevations by this time of year, once the young have fledged at the end of July.  But luckily for us, this was a late-breeding pair.  The young in the nest were 2 weeks old and fledge at 2 months old.  This male Quetzel sat in the tree for 15 minutes before flying to the hole in the tree.  It was digesting a small alvacado that it had eaten.  Finally, it flew to the hole in the tree.  They don't have as strong of beaks as woodpeckers, so they make holes in dead wood.  They return to the same nest each time.  Due to it's very long tail, the hole is large enough to accomodate the turn-around space for the bird.  It was only in the nest for a minute or two before it flew back to perch in the tree.  We left before it did.

Resplendent QuetzelResplendent Quetzel
The Resplendent Quetzel sat in the tree for 10-15 minutes digesting an avacado before going to it's nest - a large hole in the tree.
Resplendent Quetzel
When the Quetzel came out of the tree, it landed in the tree once again.
Monteverde Cloud Forest
We hiked approximately 2 miles total.  We saw the 2 species of millipedes and a land crab.  We heard the song of the Slaty-Backed Nighingale-Thrush.  The cloud forest in Monteverde was cloudy, damp and sometimes it rained lightly.  This would be the coolest place we visited on our trip to Costa Rica.  Elston said it might get down to 60 degrees.

Monteverde Cloud Forest

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This page was last updated 8-18-2005

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  Emporia State University

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