Refugio de Los Angeles is the home to many bird species. Over the years, dedicated birders have visited the property. Prominent among them is naturalist and author, Michael Godfrey.
Godfrey writes about his birding experiences at Refugio de Los Angeles:
“Refugio de Los Angeles is perfectly located for bird sightings. The sharp elevational change from sea level to the high ridges of Quebrada Grande is a key to high density biodiversity. The ascending landscape presents different climates, soils, and plant communities which sustain birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles obligate to those communities. Remember too that many of North America’s birds migrate to winter in the tropics, further boosting Quebrada Grande’s diversity with birds familiar to the U.S. as well as those endemic to Central America. Also, Refugio de Los Angeles is a great place to observe Bergmann’s Rule at work — Biodiversity is richest near the equator and decreases northward. The natural heritage of upper elevations on the Nicoya Peninsula has seen good stewardship through a benign agricultural history and enlightened national policy.”
Michael Godfrey is an accomplished bird videographer who has produced videos for the National Audubon Society. One of his popular videos is the “National Audubon Society Video Guide to 258 Birds of North America”.
When Godfrey visits Refugio de los Angeles he often prefers to spend the evening in a hammock on the front porch to be closer to the birds he loves to observe.
“The pleasure of sleeping in the drift of ideal temperatures and the music of night birds followed by the dawn chorus that greets the day at Refugio de Los Angeles is the most beautiful of sounds.”
In the winter of 2008 educator-naturalist Dr. William Hilton spent the day at Refugio de Los Angeles with his research team catching, banding and releasing hummingbirds for his field study on migration patterns of the ruby-throated hummingbird. Dr. Hilton was pleased to find an active hummingbird population in residence on the property. Within an hour of their arrival, Dr. Hilton and his associates observed nine species of hummingbirds. (www.rubythroat.org)
During the past 10 years, Dr. Hilton has led more than 2000 U.S., Canadian, and Costa Rican citizen scientists on 24 Neotropical hummingbird field expeditions, (through Oct., 2014), including 12 to Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica. There he became the first researcher to systematically band and observe ruby-throats on their non-breeding grounds in the tropics; 798 ruby-throated hummingbirds have been banded in Guanacaste. (Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History)
Banding the hummingbird is a skill few are qualified to do. Dr. Hilton accomplishes this feat with calm precision. One of a select group of “master banders” in the United States, Dr. Hilton received his certification from the U.S. Bird Banding Labratory, part of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Bird Watching at Refugio de Los Angeles
Friends and valued teachers, Linda and Ernie Carman are owners of Cafe Cristina, an organic coffee farm in Paraiso, Costa Rica. (cafecristina.com) The Carmans have visited Refugio de Los Angeles on many occasions. Their son, Ernesto, is one of Costa Rica’s outstanding naturalists and bird guides. On a rare break from leading birding tours all over Costa Rica, Ernesto spent a brief time at Refugio de Los Angeles. On a warm afternoon during the dry season he rested in the shade of the main house front porch and did what he does best! In the span of a few hours, he sighted 72 different bird species.
Refugio De Los Angeles, Quebrada Grande, Guanacaste
Compiled By E.M. Carman on 31-March-2002.
(all of the photographs of birds that appear in this list were taken by Michael Godfrey on Refugio de Los Angeles, except where otherwise noted.)