Tropical Field Ecology in Costarica

Palo Verde! (Sat., 3/7/09) – Cows, Howler Monkeys and Poisonous Snakes
by -- March 8th, 2009

Some animal photos from the beautiful Palo Verde.

This day has been incredibly long, but so amazing.  A short summary of the day and numerous pics follow.

6 AM, wake up, walk out by the wetland, the wildlife sightings begin, cows, birds and iguanas…



Birds and Cows

Many birds live in the wetlands in Palo Verde. Cows are also used to keep down damaging cattail plants.


My first wildlife sighting in Palo Verde.

7 AM, breakfast, the a boat nature tour, full of crocodiles and howler monkeys.


We saw so many crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus)out on the river that I couldn't even count them all. Here is one of the larger ones we saw.

Howler Monkey

A howler monkey (Alouatta palliata) we saw while on the river. They make a low rumbling noise that is kind of scary, but they are not very big. : )

12 PM, lunch, nap, then some field work, sweltering hot, with a forgiving breeze every once in a while.  But on the walk back is where the action occurred, The stars of the show were white faced monkeys and a gorgeous Macaw.

More Monkeys

White-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus) is feeding and cleaning its infant. What a life. The baby breast-feeding is a little hard to see.


A beautiful Macaw (Ara macao) eating mangos, and the moon. He sat up there for at least 30 minutes.

6 PM, Dinner, then a night walk where we saw a coral snake (beautiful but poisonous), some tiny scorpions and scary spiders.

Coral Snake

Jeez it was a full day.  And now at 10:20 PM, am I playing games?  No, I am posting pics for your viewing pleasure…  Enjoy.  : )


  1. Harvey Swenson
    Mar 8, 2009

    Thanks for posting the pics and comments Alexandra. Now, if you could just include one of the non-indiginous Stella Domec in your next bunch….

  2. Teri
    Mar 9, 2009

    Thanks Alexandra,

    These pictures are awesome! Your mom is so proud she sent us all looking at your website! Keep up the good work. We love it when you share pictures and tell your exciting stories.. The mystery meat was a little on the edge though! 🙂 Hope you have a great time!

  3. Aubrey Young
    Dec 21, 2010

    These pictures are excellent!! How did you get so close to the coral snake?

    • Alexandra Fries
      Dec 22, 2010

      Hi Aubrey! Thanks so much, I’m glad you like them. : ) The coral snake was just along the side of the trail and I think we startled him a little (blinding by flashlight), so I was able to get a few photos before he realized what was happening and slithered away! Thanks again for your comment!


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