The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks)


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Mammals, Amphibians, and Reptiles of Costa Rica A Field Guide

The relationship of latitude and elevation becomes apparent at higher elevations because there are many temperate-origin plants and birds in the highlands.

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For example, the avifauna present at 8, feet on Costa Rica's mountains includes a higher proportion of temperate-origin thrushes, finches, juncos, and sparrows than is found in the tropical lowlands. It is interesting that the Painted Lady butterfly Vanessa virginiensis is found in temperate regions of North America and also at the highest elevations in the paramo of Costa Rica.

Many plants of higher elevations in Costa Rica are in the same genera as plants found in the northern United States and Canada, including alders Alnus , oaks Quercus , blueberries Vaccinium , blackberries Rubus , bayberries Myrica , dogwoods Cornus , bearberry Arctostaphylos , Indian paintbrush Castilleja , and boneset Eupatorium. Of course, in temperate areas there is a great deal more variation above and below the annual average temperature than in tropical areas, where there is little variation throughout the year; and in Costa Rica, there has never been a snowfall.

To understand the role that elevation plays in plant and animal distribution, it is useful to understand the main categories by which biologists classify elevations and how those zones relate to the highlands. These elevational zones are shown in Figure 8 and described below. Tropical lowlands : The tropical lowland zone ranges from sea level to about 2, feet on the Pacific slope and 2, feet on the Caribbean slope. The lowland zone includes dry forests like those in Guanacaste as well as moist and wet forests of the southern Pacific and Caribbean lowlands.

Premontane zone : This zone is called the "foothills" or "subtropical" zone and is also referred to as the "middle-elevation" zone. Some birds and other animals are found only in the foothills; examples are the Speckled and Silver-throated Tanagers. Two species of frogs are endemic to the microhabitats of Costa Rica's foothills, Hylomantis lemur in the Caribbean foothills and Duellmanohyla rufioculis in the Caribbean and Pacific foothills. This zone ranges from about 2, feet to 4, feet on the Pacific slope and 2, feet to 4, feet on the Caribbean slope.

It could also be called the coffee zone because it is the zone in which the conditions are ideal for coffee production—and for human settlement. It includes the region from 4, feet to 8, feet on the Pacific slope and 4, feet to 8, feet on the Caribbean slope. One special habitat that occurs within this zone, and in upper levels of the premontane zone, is cloud forest.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird

The cloud forest occurs roughly from 4, to 5, feet. A cloud forest, like that at Monteverde, is characterized by fog, mist, and high humidity as well as high precipitation—about to inches per year. The emerging problem of climate change is now causing the Monteverde forests to become drier and is placing cloud forest species of plants and wildlife in serious jeopardy. Orchids, bromeliads, philodendrons, and dozens of other epiphytes grow in lush profusion among the branches of cloud forest trees.

The Resplendent Quetzal is a well-known bird of the cloud forest, as well as lower montane and montane forests. Montane zone : The montane zone ranges from 8, feet to 10, feet on the Pacific slope and from 8, feet to 10, feet on the Caribbean slope. Among plants of lower montane and montane zones are many of northern temperate origins: oak Quercus , blueberry Vaccinium , bearberry Arctostaphylos , bamboo Chusquea , alder Alnus , bayberry Myrica , magnolia Magnolia , butterfly bush Buddleja , elm Ulmus , mistletoe Gaiadendron , boneset Eupatorium , dogwood Cornus , Indian paintbrush Castilleja , and members of the blueberry family Ericaceae like Satyria , Cavendishia , and Psammisia.

Other conspicuous plants are Oreopanax , Senecio , Miconia , Clusia , Bomarea , giant thistle Cirsium , Monochaetum , wild avocado Persea , poor-man's umbrella Gunnera , and tree ferns. Subalpine paramo : Above the montane zone is the area above the treeline called the paramo.

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It has short, stunted, shrubby vegetation, including bamboo Chusquea , many composites like Senecio , and plants of South American origin from the Andes: a terrestrial bromeliad called Puya dasylirioides and a yellow-flowered composite with fuzzy white leaves called lamb's ears Espeletia. The sixth biological zone, not portrayed on the map of biological regions Fig.

This shoreline habitat consists of the beaches to the high-tide line and adjacent forests, offshore islands, rocky tidepools exposed at low tide, coral reefs, and mangrove lagoons. The only coral reef is at Cahuita NP. Coastal beaches and river estuaries are extremely important as habitat for migratory shorebirds, seabirds, sea turtles, and mangrove-dependent wildlife species. Peregrine Falcons also winter along the coasts and prey on the shorebirds.

Costa Rica's beaches are extremely important as nesting sites for Green Turtles on the Caribbean coast and for Ridley, Hawksbill, and Leatherback turtles on the Pacific coast. Among the mammals frequenting the beaches, mangrove lagoons, and estuaries are raccoons, coatis, tapirs, White-throated Capuchins, silky anteaters, river otters, and manatees on the Caribbean coast. Other important coastal habitats that are critically endangered by foreign beachfront developers and pollution are those of the mangrove lagoons and mangrove forests.

These are important nurseries for fish and wildlife. They provide exceptional wildlife-watching opportunities during guided boat tours. The fauna of Costa Rica includes thousands of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies, moths, and other invertebrates. This diversity can be both overwhelming and inspiring to a nature enthusiast. Even the casual tourist is drawn to the tropical beauty and appeal of monkeys, motmots, and morphos.

The three volumes of the Field Guide to the Wildlife of Costa Rica series have been written to help visitors to Costa Rica learn more than just the names of species.

They are written to explain fascinating aspects of the ecology of common and unusual wildlife and the remarkable adaptations relating to predation, camouflage, and environment that are characteristic of many tropical organisms. These are the gee-whiz facts that make every day in a tropical forest a fun and scientific adventure, providing lifelong memories. During twenty-three trips to Costa Rica, Henderson birding tours have visited seventy-six sites. I have subsequently compiled an Excel spreadsheet listing more than 28, wildlife sightings from those tours.

A total of wildlife species were selected for the first edition of this book, in The expanded coverage of this three-volume set now includes more than species, representing over 75 percent of the species sighted on our wildlife tours. The first volume covers the country's diverse birdlife, including more than three hundred species accounts; it will leave you overwhelmed by the beauty, diversity, and fascinating ecological adaptations of birds in Costa Rica. The second book in the series presents introductory information, species accounts, and about colorful photos of more than selected species of butterflies, moths, and other invertebrates that may be encountered during a visit to Costa Rica.

This third volume includes selected species and photos of some of the most conspicuous, colorful, and memorable mammals, amphibians, and reptiles in Costa Rica. This guide is different from most field guides, which try to cover all the species in a particular group of wildlife, like mammals or reptiles. Many of the species in those guides are so rare that casual tourists will never see them. This book instead provides a sampler of species, including many of the most conspicuous and interesting mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that are most appealing to tourists, based on my experience in leading tours in Costa Rica since Some of these are colorful creatures like leaf frogs, memorable mammals like monkeys and sloths, impressive reptiles like crocodiles, and amphibians with intriguing adaptations like poison dart frogs.

Some accounts describe seldom-seen creatures like big cats, venomous snakes, and glass frogs, which are of keen interest to tourists who are curious about these well-known inhabitants of the rainforest. The life-history information available for Costa Rica's wildlife varies greatly among species.

Some have been well studied; others are largely unknown. The large amount of scientific literature that has been reviewed represents the best information available. Much information was obtained from Dr. Nocke All literature used is included in the bibliography. Each species account is preceded by the common name, scientific name, Costa Rican name, number of sightings, body length and weight when available , geographic range, and elevational range.

The number of sightings includes a summary of how many trips out of twenty-three Henderson tours the species has been encountered on, and the cumulative number of times that the species was recorded during those twenty-three trips. The accounts are also accompanied by distribution maps indicating the sites where each species was found on our various trips.

Our Costa Rican tours have taken us to seventy-six sites, which are mapped and listed in Appendix B, along with details for each site and contact information for nearby lodges. Verified Purchase.

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I bought this book to take on a trip to CR. As soon as I received it, I knew it was not what I had in mind.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird By June Osborne

I would not call this a "field guide" as it had so few species included. I took photos in one day of more organisms than this book covered. If you are a traveler who is curious about what you might see, this book might be fine. If you are a hobby naturalist trying to identify actual moths, etc, then this will not help. This was a gift and greatly appreciated for their upcoming Costa Rica trip! I know there are more exhaustive guides available but they are too heavy for hiking. This suited my needs well. Obviously, one book can't cover the hundreds or thousands of invertebrate species found in a tropical country.

But, there does appear to be a good selection of what are probably the most common species--and certainly enough species to keep the first-time visitor to Costa Rica busy. The format is one species per page. Some species have more than one image if there are different color phases. The images and range maps are excellent.

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The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks) The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks) The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks) The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks) The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks) The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks)
The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks) The Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Corrie Herring Hooks)

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