Tropical Field Ecology in Costarica

Rio Tempisque (3/9/09) – On the Tempisque River
by -- March 10th, 2009

On a boat ride down the Tempisque River, we see many diverse and colorful animals

The Rio Tempisque is a long river located entirely in Costa Rica.  Along the path from the Guanacaste Cordillera to the Gulf of Nicoya, it travels through the Palo Verde National Park, where we spent the first three days of our trip.

On Monday morning, we climbed into a motor boat to travel down the Tempisque.  We saw several species of waterfowl, such as red-rumped tanagers, tri-colored herons, eagrets, blue herons, night herons, and swallows.  Basking along the banks were crocodiles, ranging from an adorable one foot to an impressive fifteen feet in length.  One of the larger ones gave us quite a scare when it looked directly at us and suddenly slid into the water.

A large crocodile on the Tempisque

A large crocodile on the Tempisque

We passed by an isolated island dense with wood storks who came there to nest away from species that prey on their young.  The sounds of the wildlife on the river were vibrant, and were occasionally pierced by the low-pitched barking of howler monkeys.  What an unforgettable soundtrack!

After this long trip down the river, we returned to base camp with sunburned arms, anticipating another delicious meal of rice and beans.

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