About Me

My photo
Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer had been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Costa Rican Birding

Teel Biled Toucan

It is always a sad time every spring when I reluctantly take down

Montezuma Oropendola
the bird feeders. I know that the birds will find plenty to eat among the newly exposed grass, and I understand the importance of avoiding attracting the newly awakened and ravenous bears, but I will miss the flocks of energetic Chickadees, sparrows, Titmice Woodpeckers and more that entertained us on our deck. It is a good time to embrace memories of the green and warmth of our tour of Costa Rica in January. it was an active two weeks traveling from the topical rain forest along the Caribbean Coast, through the coffee plantations and cloud forest of the central mountains, to the warm sands of the Pacific Coast. It was an active and exciting trip including white water rafting and zip lining through the topical forest, but the major focus was on the remarkable diversity of wildlife and especially the birds.


Great Egret, Tortuguero
I always insist that I am NOT a bird photographer, but I keep placing myself in situations where the birding is unavoidable. Trips to Alaska and especially the Galapagos Islands have forced these feathery creature in front of my lens. When unavoidable, I do enjoy capturing these amazing creatures, but Costa Rica was an entirely new level of birding exposure. For a small country, Costa Rica has a remarkable concentration of wildlife diversity. Veronica, a fellow traveler on the tour and a devote and knowledgeable birder, recorded more than 70 new species during our two weeks in the rain and cloud forests, and along both Pacific and Caribbean coasts .



Blue-Grey Tanager, Serapiqui

During two long layovers on our way home, Veronica patiently reviewed all my 3000+ images from the trip, identifying the birds, while I entered the names into my Lightroom Metadata. She saved me hours of time wading through my Costa Rican wildlife guides.


Little Blue Heron

What follows is a gallery of just some of Central America's feathery fauna. Hopefully it will encourage some of you to tour Costa Rica's amazing environments, but I also assembled this article as a way of refreshing my own memory. I hate when I have to describe these majestic animals as: "pretty red bird", "pretty blue bird", ".... etc".


Tortuguero is along Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast and next to a large tropical Rainforest preserve.  On hikes and boat trips through the forest we had our first intense exposure to the diverse wildlife of the region, especially the birds.

Female Anhinga
Male Anhinga 

Juvenile Black Hawk

Chestnut Mandibled Toucan

Bare Throated Tiger Heron

Yellow Crown Night Heron

Green Kingfisher



Located on the Sarapiqui River the Sarpiqui Lodge was a great place for white water rafting and touring a Banana Plantation, but it was also rich with rainforest birds.

Red legged HoneyCreeper
Green Honeycreeper

Collared Aracari

 San Gerado

Sangerado Valley Mist

The Chirio Valley in the central  highlands of the Talamanca Mountain Range of Costa Rica is an isolated area of pristine cloud forest with its own ecosystem and unusual birds including the famous Resplendent Quetzal. 

Black Throated Trogon
Tail  on the Blue-Crowned Motmot

Distant Resplendent Quetzil

Thanks to Veronica I guess I am now an official Birder.

Costa Rica Gallery

Jeffrey Newcomer


  1. I spent 6 weeks in Tortuguero in 2000, and that was an amazing trip. I stayed at a biological research station and the array of wildlife was simply amazing. Glad to see you also enjoyed your trip there.

  2. I forgot to mention my fond memories of canoeing down the canals with my camera and tripod steadied in front of me, when suddenly a Howler Monkey crossed the canopy overhead and took a dump landing squarely on my camera! I was later told by the field biologist that this was normal behaviour for these not so distant relatives. I still laugh about it today.

  3. Like and appreciated your nice post .