~ by Susana García
Arrival of the Migratory Birds at the Costa Ballena
During the months of August and September, I always have my eyes on the sky, the sand of the beaches and the river mouths to discover the ﬁrst migratory bird that reaches our region. Even before the fall begins in America thousands of birds prepare for their annual trip in order to ﬁnd their dream paradise, their wintering area in the tropics or in South America, where a more benign climate awaits them.
Some birds, such as the Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) or the Baltimore Oriol (Icterus galbula) appear suddenly among the treetops with a red, orange and yellow ﬂare, while others such as the Whimbrel and the Spotted Sandpiper arrive with more discreet colors to take refuge on our banks. The Canadian ducks (Anas discors) arrive in groups. They are easily found in the low course of the Uvita River and small lagoons. It is also time for raptors, as more than 4 million of them cross the skies of Costa Rica. So each year we await the return of birds such as the impressive Osprey (Pandion haliaetus).
Do you know the little American Golden Plover ?
This small bird beats records, covering more than 40,000 kms each year, of which 3,900 kms are ﬂying over open sea, so that it cannot stop to feed or eat. This is a bird of only 200 grams! Another famous traveler is the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). This miniscule bird of less than eight centimeters is capable of crossing 500 miles over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in an overnight journey that can last between 18 and 22 hours.
It is not surprising that many people also imitate these birds and decide to migrate during the American winter to our wonderful country, where the climate is benign all year long and the food always delicious and abundant. Of course, a plane ride is much faster and less dangerous than the crossing of our feathered friends. We await you at the 1st Migratory Bird Festival of Perez Zeledon on October 14 and 15 in Santa Elena del General, Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor to celebrate this phenomenon.