New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Krausman's Woodcarving Studio 2016 Costa Rica "Pura Vida" Birdcarving Extravaganza!!

                                       Krausman's Woodcarving Studio 25th Anniversary

                                                                     Costa Rica!!

         Continued.......Day 10, Oct 8, 2016, The last day at Savegre- Hard to believe, but today is the last day we will be spending at Savegre........I can't believe the week went by so quickly! But I guess that old cliche' from what "they say" is true; "time flies when you are having fun"!

     Today, Beny, Ricardo and another staff driver Andy will be arriving back at Savegre in the late morning. Since there was time this morning to get in that last bit of birding, Marino would be taking us back to Felo's mirador to get one last look at the Quetzals. Last night Marino and I were talking about the Emerald Toucanets not being seen this week. Usually they are seen often throughout the area. I told him that I did see one in the trees behind cabin #141 earlier in the week, but it was a brief look way high in the tree. There was one spotted in the aguacatillo tree at Felo's mirador on the morning of our first visit to the mirador. We missed that bird by only a few minutes; it left just before we had arrived. Usually when I would see Toucanets at Savegre, it was mostly first thing in the morning, just before the sun crept over the mountains.

     I suggested to Marino that we get a little earlier start this morning and leave at 5:30 am instead of 6:00 am.....and he agreed, "That would be a good idea"! So just before 6:00 am we were standing on Felo's mirador. We were actually there before the Quetzals were this morning. Finally the Quetzals started arriving, but unfortunately, no Toucanet!

                         Jim Carpenter adding more Quetzal photos to his flashcard!-

                                          Within minutes, we had three Quetzals in the tree-

               One of my main focus' for my Quetzal photography this week was to "focus" on flying images of the Quetzals....and this tree offered me incredible opportunities! Now if I can figure out how to follow these fast moving birds in my lens!! :^)-

   This male catches the first morning rays of the can see this in the backlighting of the tail-

               After successfully feeding, this hen flew off down the hill towards the river-

                 This male manipulates the large Ocotea fruit to try and swallow it. Quetzals ingest the large aguacatillo fruit and digests them. When the flesh of the fruit is digested, it regurgitates the large seed and it falls to the forest floor. This is a classic symbiotic relationship: Quetzals and the Avocado, and the Avocados and the Quetzal-

          This male is about to take-off, it has been looking for a ripe fruit, and has found one-

       After securing a few ripe fruit, this male flies off to another tree to digest the fruits. When Quetzals do this, they land in a tree with their dark-red breasts facing into the sun. The warm sun speeds up their digestion process-

          Beautiful male grabs a few sun rays which ignites the vibrancy of its plumage coloration-

                                         Classic perched posture of a Quetzal-

                                                              Landing on its perch-

       This adult male had long caudal plumes.....they were nearly straightened by the gentle breeze-

                                             One of my favorite landing shots...........

                                    And now there are four together in the same image-

       This adult males caudal plumes were so long he needed small branches to support them! :^)-

          After about an hour and a half, the Quetzals stomachs and crops were full of little avocados. Most of them left to their digesting trees, and only a few remained. I was watching a few Warblers a Silky-Flycatcher and a Clay-colored Robin feeding in the upper branches of the tree. I was on the top level of the platform and looking to my right when I saw a medium sized bird fly into the tree. Even though I only had a small cleared area to see it and a really quick look, my instincts said "Toucanet"! And sure enough, I immediately located the bird in the upper branches on the other side of the tree.....Emerald Toucanet!-

        The Toucanet, a male, hopped around the branches in true Toucan form. It was visible in an open area, than it was hidden again. It was however gorging itself on the large ripe Ocotea fruits.........

 .....with a fruit swallowed it would hop off again and be hidden. And then it would re-appear again! It is obvious from this image that the Quetzals have been feeding heavily in this lone tree judging by the high number of empty red caplets in this tree.

       The Toucanet fed in this tree for about five minutes.......

        .........and then it flew off to the right in the same direction from where it came. This was a nice way to end the birding adventures at Savegre which had many highlights: Quetzals, Red-headed Barbet, and now a male Emerald Toucanet. (Thank You for the photo Jacquie Donahoe)-

         I would like to personally Thank "Felo" for inviting us to his wonderful Quetzal mirador! It was a great pleasure meeting you, and a heart-felt and humble Muchas gracias for your generous gifts of the Quetzal caudal plume, and for this mirador......THANK YOU, I am honored! And I also want to Thank Marino once again for taking all of us up here to enjoy these wonderful birds!

        The other "gem" of a bird that visited us every time we were at the mirador was this female Golden-crowned Chlorophonia, what a beautiful bird! I did see the male several times, but he was a little shy; I was never able to capture any images of him.-

                I think this would make a nice painting; the female Chlorophonia with a peach.-

            Back down the stairs by the road there were plenty of bird buzzing through the trees to keep us interested. While we were waiting to be picked up by Rolando, we enjoyed many birds including: Flame-throated Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Brown-capped Vireo, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, and many others. We also had a great close look at a Mountain Robin-

                                                And Black and White Warblers-

            Arriving back at the Hotel, I spotted an Osprey circling the river. This is the first Osprey I have ever seen up here in the mountains at Savegre. Marino said they are uncommon here, but they do see them once and a while. Seeing how there are numerous Trout Farms on the Hotel grounds, I was surprised they are not as common here as the Turkey and Black Vultures-

       The outside deck classroom area was taken down and restored back to its original deck to relax and take it all in! After breakfast, Beny and the other buses would be arriving, and after lunch we would be on our way back to San Jose. Why not enjoy the Hotel for just a little while longer!-

               The time to head out was getting closer, our last lunch at Savegre. I was sad to leave, I love this place, and I will miss everybody! But it was indeed time to go! Jen had business in San Jose, and we had so many other places to see!-

            Barry absorbing just a little bit more of that mountain air and this tropical paradise!-

                               Kent takes one last walk around the Hotel grounds-

                                       Yeah, that's me, not ready to go just yet! :^)-

         Maybe enough time left to pose for a few group shots (from left to right): Bob Harris, Kim Monkhouse, Jim Koschman, Jan Wilken, Robert Rankins, Teri Netter, Yours Truly, Ronaldo Chacon, Senior Don Efrain Chacon Urena, Marino Chacon, Pilar Cisneros, Larry DuBey, Jim Krausman, Edgar Espinoza, Pam Krausman and Butch Wilken-

    (left to right): Pilar Cisneros, Larry DuBey, Jim Krausman, Edgar Espinoza, and Pam Krausman-

(from left to right): Daniel Fernandez Chacon, Rolando Chacon, Marino Chacon and Senior Don Efrain Chacon Urena-

                                              Senior Don Efrain Chacon Urena-

                                            And me with Senior Don Efrain Chacon-

        What an amazing time! Again I want to give a GRANDE "MUCHAS GRACIAS" to Felipe Chacon, Rolando Chacon, Marino Chacon, head chef Lorena Chacon and Senior Don Efrain Chacon for having such a wonderful facility to host our seminar, and for giving all of us a little taste of paradise in this beautiful place, but mostly for your taking such amazing care of us.....we felt very much at home here.

     Muchas gracias also to Pilar Cisneros, Edgar Espinoza and Daniel Fernandez Chacon for the amazing articles that you wrote about us, my deepest heart-felt and humble Thank You!


         Sorry to say, it is time to say adios to Savegre and all the wonderful people.......Hasta luego!! 

            Beny arrived and it was great to see him, I missed him! He packed Pam and Jim's, and Jen and my pile of suitcases in the back of his van.....and there was still room for us!-

     Pam spent most of the morning organizing everyone's luggage and bags in the Hotel's storage area. Since everybody would be going to several Hotels in San Jose tonight, this could present many problems if the luggage was incorrectly packed on the wrong bus! In the end, Pam did a great job......all the luggage was packed on the correct buses! Way to go Pam!-

                                  Yup, it started raining......this is the rainy season!! :^)-

                With the buses all packed and ready to go, time to say our Good-byes and start getting on the buses. This was very moving, its hard to say good-bye after spending a week together......

                                          Make sue you get on the correct bus!! :^)-

          THANK YOU EVERYBODY!! Pam and Jim and Jen and I wish to offer you our most sincere and profound Thank You for being a part of this Costa Rica bird carving extravaganza! We could not have done this without all of you. We were blessed by everyone of you being here. We hope this holds a wonderful memory for each and every one of you. Hasta luego!!- 

           Part of the reason for the great success and enjoyment of this seminar at Savegre, was the superb staff in the restaurant. They all took great care of us and made our mealtime get-togethers so special. I personally would like to recognize and THANK them for their tireless and impeccable service that they gave to all of us! We were made to feel very special!

                                       Luis, Mathiew (not pictured) and...........


                                                                Andres and Samantha

                                                         Lauren and Samantha

                                                             THANK YOU!!

       Bird list at Savegre- Spotted Sandpiper, Black Guan, Spotted Wood-Quail, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, Swainson's Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, red-tailed Hawk, Osprey, White-tipped Dove, Band-tailed Pigeon, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Barred Parakeet, White-collared Swift, Black Swift, Blue-and-white Swallow, Green Violet-ear, Magnificent Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Scintillant Hummingbird, Green-crowned Brilliant, White-throated Mountain-Gem, White-tailed Emerald, Resplendent Quetzal, Collared Trogon, Emerald Toucanet, Red-headed Barbet, Acorn Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Tropical Kingbird, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Great KIskadee, Torrent Tyrannulet, Dark Pewee, Black-capped Flycatcher, Yellowish Flycatcher, Tufted Flycatcher, American Dipper, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Ruddy-capped Nightangale-Thrush, Clay-colored Robin, Mountain Robin, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Rufous-naped Sparrow, Black-faced Solitare, Yellow-winged Vireo, Brown-capped Vireo, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Black-cheeked Warbler, Black and white Warbler, Flame-throated Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Collared Redstart, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Baltimore Oriole, Elegant Euphomia, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager, Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Flame-colored Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Chestnut-capped Bush-Tanager, Large-footed Finch, Yellow-thighed Finch, White-naped Bush-Finch, Yellow-billed Siskin, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Melodious Blackbird.

                       Two hours later, we were in San Jose traffic close to our Hotels-

                Muchas Gracias Ricardo, we appreciated you being with us...... see you next year!

         At the end of the day, we arrived at our Hotel; the Intercontinental. Jen will be busy this week working at the International Life Science Trade Show in the Hotel. Beny and I will be showing Pam and Jim many of the places that Jen and I love in Costa Rica on both the Caribbean and Pacific highlands, slopes and lowlands. Jen and I will set up her booth early tomorrow morning, and then she will have the day with us to relax and enjoy Costa Rica.  There are many wonderful places to experience, birds and wildlife to see, typical foods to enjoy, and people to meet......Part 2 of our Costa Rica extravaganza begins tomorrow!

     I was telling Pam and Jim on the way to San Jose about the huge numbers of Parakeets that roost in the palm trees in many areas of the city. When we pulled into the Intercontinental, the noise was deafening! Hundreds of Crimson-fronted Parakeets were coming to the palm trees at the Hotel to roost for the night. The sights and sounds of these Parakeets was unbelievable!-

              There were over three dozen huge palm trees in the front courtyard of the Hotel, and every one of them was covered with Parakeets. The noise from the raucous squawking and screeching of the Parakeets was so loud you had to speak up to talk to each other! What a beautiful sight!-

                                                        Luggage?? Oh yeah, mucho luggage!!-

           We checked into our rooms, cleaned up and met back for dinner in one of the Hotel's restaurants. Over a light dinner we discussed the plans for tomorrow. We decided to go to the Caribbean town of Puerto Limon to the Sloth Rehab Center. We wished Beny Buenas nochas, and turned in for a good night sleep!

NOTE- A few days later I received the article from Pilar by email. She wrote a beautiful article, I was very flattered. Below is that article. 

      This week, we have many things planned, it continues below.........

                                                              From CRHOY-
                                                   Nos visita un gran campeón!
                                                                  EDGAR ESPINOZA          

Keith Mueller es todo un campeón mundial y se encuentra en Costa Rica. Y no es un campeón mundial de fútbol, ajedrez, surf, tiro al blanco ni nada que se le parezca sino de algo mucho más sublime: de arte.
Y no de cualquier arte; del arte de tallar, esculpir y pintar aves en madera. Y no de cualquier madera; de madera de los suampos de Luisiana, Estados Unidos, resistente al tiempo, al clima y al ambiente en general sin perder un ápice de su delicadeza.
Mueller, enamorado incondicional de Costa Rica, ha traído con él a más de 25 artistas de los Estados Unidos y Canadá al Hotel de Montaña Savegre, en San Gerardo de Dota, para darle el acabado final a las esculturas de pájaros costarricenses, especialmente el trogón, que moldearon un año antes en sus respectivos estados.
Keith Mueller, el artista. CRH

El viernes, tras los retoques finales a sus obras, los diferentes tipos de aves fueron colgadas de los árboles que rodean el hotel en un alarde de magia, color e inspiración que no pasó inadvertida para el resto de los huéspedes quienes destacaron la sensibilidad artística del grupo y su habilidad para captar cada rasgo de las especies de la zona.
Sin embargo, la exquisita calidad de estos artistas la corroboraron más bien los propios pájaros de carne y hueso, especialmente los “carpinteros” quienes temiendo la potencial amenaza que podría significar para ellos una de sus réplicas en madera que colgaban de la rama de un árbol, la atacaron sin tregua a picotazos en la cara.
Es el primer encuentro del grupo fuera de los Estados Unidos con Keith Mueller como profesor, director y autoridad mundial en ese campo y quien eligió a Costa Rica como la sede por su gran facilidad para la observación de aves, diversidad de especies, naturaleza, infraestructura hotelera y seguridad.
A falta de una, Mueller ha ganado seis competencias mundiales, y sus obras, que se cotizan en miles de dólares, se exhiben en prestigiosas instituciones norteamericanas así como en galerías de arte públicas y privadas en todo el mundo.

Quetzal comiendo aguacatillo, escultura de uno de los artistas. CRH
Una de ellas, de un metro de alto, hecha con herramientas muy específicas y valorada en $35 mil, es una escultura desarmable de 450 piezas de aves nacionales volando y descansando sobre el tupido y pintoresco follaje tropical.
Siendo ya un artista mundialmente renombrado, descubrir Costa Rica fue para Keith Mueller la puerta que le abrió nuevos horizontes a su arte y, sobre todo, una perspectiva más exótica y rica en detalles, colores, expresiones y variedad propias de nuestra naturaleza tropical.
Mueller amó tanto a Costa Rica desde que la visitó por primera vez, que no solo se comprometió a hacer todos sus talleres de escultura y pintura naturales aquí sino que, en el año 2000, se comprometió sentimentalmente aquí con su hoy esposa. “Desde entonces soy también un pura vida”, bromeó entre los asistentes. 

Más de 25 artistas pintan aves de Costa Rica en el hotel de montaña Savegre.

Pájaro “carpintero” de madera destrozado por los pájaros “carpinteros” de verdad de la montaña en San Gerardo de Dota.

Pájaro “carpintero” de madera destrozado por los pájaros “carpinteros” de verdad de la montaña en San Gerardo de Dota.
Una de las artistas norteamericanas concentrada en los detalles de la belleza del trogón.
Lechuzas, halcones y otras aves nacionales figuraron entre los modelos que inspiraron a los artistas norteamericanos de paso por Costa Rica.

                           The English Translation (Gracias Amanda Chavarria):

Keith Mueller is a World Champion and he is in Costa Rica. He is not a World Champion of soccer, chess, surf, target shooting nor anything alike, but a Champion of something more sublime:art.

Not any kind of art; the art of carving, sculpting and painting wooden birds. And not any kind of wood; wood from Louisiana's swamps, resistant to time, weather and the environment in general without losing ant of its delicacy.

Mueller, an unconditional lover of Costa Rica, has brought with him more than 25 artists from the United States and Canada to Savegre Lodge, in San Gerado de Dota, to give the final touches to the Costa Rican birds' sculptures, specially the Trogon, which they carved a year ago in their respective States.

This Friday, after the finishing details of their work, the different types of birds were hung from the trees that surround the lodge in a display of magic, color and inspiration that did not go through unnoticed by the other guests of the lodge, who highlighted the group's artistic sensibility and their skill to catch each feature of the species in the area.

However, the exquisite quality of these artists was corroborated by the flesh and bone from the birds themselves, specially the Woodpeckers, who afraid of the potential thread that their hanging wooden replicas could mean to them, attacked the sculptures' faces.

The group's first meeting outside the United States with Keith Mueller as their professor, director and worldwide authority in this field,and who chose Costa Rica as headquarters for its easiness for bird watching, diversity of species, nature, hotel infrastructure and security.

While still missing one, Mueller has won six World Championship competitions, his works listed for thousands of dollars, are exhibited in prestigious North American institutions such as public and private art galleries around the World.

One of them, 3.28 ft, tall, made with very specific tools and valued at $35 thousand, is a buildable sculpture of 450 pieces with a Costa Rican bird flying and resting in the dense and picturesque tropical foliage.

Being already a world renowned artist, to Keith discovering Costa Rica was the door that opened new horizons for his art and, specially, a more exotic perspective, full of details, colors, expressions and a variety of our own tropical nature.

Mueller loved Costa Rica since he visited for the first time, that he not only committed himself to take all his workshops of sculpting and natural paintings here, but in the year 2000, he got engaged with his spouse. "Ever since I am also a "pura vida" he joked among all!

       These are a few of my sculpted Costa Rican birds and paintings that Pilar enjoyed seeing on my iPad.-

              "Emeralds, Orchids and Jade" Emerald Toucanets that Pilar mentioned in the article.

                                 "Plumed Emerald of the Cloudforest" Resplendent Quetzal

                            "La Madre de La Luna"- "Mother of the Moon"- Common Potoo

          "Symbiotic Fragility"- female Quetzal interpretive sculpture, carved from Avocado wood

             "The Aguacatillo Tree"- Emerald Toucanets and Ocotea whiteii, oil painting on board

            Illustrations I am painting for a book on Costa Rican Birds. Ornate Hawk-Eagle (above, and a pair of Flame-colored Tanagers (below)-

                                                           Sculptures "in-progress"-

                                                  Pair of Costa Rican Pygmy Owls-

                                                    flying Male Resplendent Quetzal-

                                                                       Scaled Antpitta-

                                                           Magnificent Frigatebird-

                                                        Pair of Resplendent Quetzals-

                                    "Smoothie" life-sized Ornate Hawk-Eagle, ready to paint

                                             "Smoothie" Pale-billed Woodpecker-

                    Continues............Day 11, Sunday, October 9, 2016- Pacific slopes and Coast

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