Having been suitably smitten with the outstanding birds in the Caribbean Lowlands, the Funky Tourist Bus puttered us next to Mount Arenal in La Fortuna in the Northern Lowlands, just on the fringe of the Talamanca Mountain range.
Arenal is one of the most heavily touristed areas in Costa Rica, but we managed to avoid the throngs of people. We stayed at the lovely Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa. Nothing rustic about this place. Beautiful accommodations, gardens, trails, views and birds!
Let the eye candy begin!
The hot and humid tropical jungles of this area are home to, what else, but beautiful neotropical birds.
Behold, The Watermelon Tree!
A rather strange, mind-blowing event happened every day at the lodge. A huge metal structure was festooned with a variety of tropical fruits and cranked up high into the air. We dubbed it “The Watermelon Tree.”
As we gathered ’round the edge of the viewing platform, binoculars and cameras at the ready, the large Montezuma Oropendolas, who clearly had first dibs, swooped in to claim the booty. The smaller birds arrived next. It was truly a feeding frenzy!
A pack of Coatis were hanging around The Watermelon Tree, awaiting the fruit festooning. This Coati was particularly adventurous, as he managed to climb all the way up the pole to the top of the structure high in the air, and reach up over the top to eat the fruit pieces that the birds dropped as they were eating.
I didn’t get a picture of the entire structure top-to-bottom, but suffice to say this thing was very high and the coati had to slide down the pole when he was done eating. It was a hilarious thing to watch!
Next up: Birding Palooza, Part Four.
Next we traveled to the Puntarenas Province on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica to a VERY rustic lodge called La Ensenada. More birding adventures awaited us there.