Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Royalty at the Beach Today...

Nah...  we didn't see any procession or parade...  even though it is "Three Kings Day", which is widely celebrated in Mexico, Spain and Central and South America.  I didn't even see "King Cake" at the grocery store...  so maybe it isn't as widely celebrated as I thought.  One year in Mexico,  I got the plastic "Baby Jesus" and had to buy ice cream for everyone (I think it was originally I had to buy the tamales, but somehow that got changed)  ...  but maybe someone made that up just so I'd have to pay for the treat.

I don't know...  but... I digress.....

We saw Royal Terns...
Terns have a unique body shape and neither Bill nor I have trouble telling a tern from a gull....
However...  then the ID-ing gets tricky....

Where we're at, here in Costa Rica, there are at least 10 different species of terns.
The orange bill and his lovely hair-do (feather do?) along with his large 20" size help us narrow this group down to the Royal Tern.  This is "non-breeding" season, and we have to remember that when looking through our field guides.

While we're looking at these guys, we spot another bird....
There are only 2 gull species here...  the Laughing Gull and the Franklin's Gull.  Again...  this is non-breeding season, and we've settled on the Laughing Gull...  the coloration on his head seems more like that.  While he does have rather large white "spots" on his tail feathers, and the 2" difference in the birds isn't much, we'll stick by Laughing Gull unless we hear differently.

We haven't seen many gulls...  in fact, the 2 we saw today are the first we've seen close enough to attempt to ID.

We saw a few pelicans (what fun to watch them dive-bomb into the water) and some frigates...  and even a big flock of pelicans WAY up in the sky...  wheeling round and round....

But we were on our way to the grocery, and didn't tarry long.

That's All For Today!


  1. More wonderful bird pictures , thanks for the bird class.
    You was on a mission to get food, thats a good reason to keep on moving,

  2. How did you get started with your incredible knowledge of the avian empire? And, great photos.

  3. I guess I need to get my old Peterson's out and brush up on the birds. Back when I was younger I started a list of observed birds, but never finished it. Guess I need to get busy on it.

  4. What a place! But sure hope the birds didn't get shot at by the frigates... How strange.

  5. Afternoon, Sharon .... ;) nice birds ....;) ... I'm champing at the bits to get to some water... I'm a minute from the big ol Arkansas River but it's urban ... I want lapping into the shore water with a tern ... royal or common ... seagull ~ laughing or not.

    I am really .... reeeeeeally tired of this cold weather. It got up to 37 a bit ago ... yay! going back down to 27 ... but a whole lot better than THREE .... !

  6. Nice to see what birds you're seeing. You seem pretty good at them.

  7. Isn't it funny how they all face the same direction?
    It looks like you are seeing plenty of birds!

  8. I do love the shore birds and pelicans are awesome! What a treat...just walking to the grocery store! I'm guessing you ere dressed in shorts and freezing here in Winnie,TX!