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Posted by on Mar 19, 2014 in Attempts at Humor, Culture, Uncategorized | 35 comments

Rare Bird Seen in Costa Rica

Rare Bird Seen in Costa Rica

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I love hiking. One of the great things about my hikes, other than the health benefits, is that I get to see many things.  Walking down farm roads, through finca’s and even on the main road that goes by our home, allows me to commune with nature and say hi to neighbors as I go by or they pass me in their vehicles.

This morning I was fortunate to run into a very rare bird. As a matter of fact, this is the second time this week that I have been witness to this variety of rare bird.

Most people who are looking for a rare bird in Costa Rica are looking for the Resplendent Quetzal (a male is pictured to the left). This beautiful bird is found throughout Central America but is difficult to for the average person to find and they are secretive and are listed as Near Threatened on the endangered species list. The Aztecs and Mayans venerated the bird and the Quetzal was treated as a god .

But this is not the rare bird I saw. The one I saw went right past me as I was hiking up the road to my house. I quickly identified it from by its song. The Greater Muffled Motorcycle has a nice, almost pleasant, constant song. Compared to its distant cousin the Common Unmuffled Motorcycle, with its annoying, non-stop ear-splitting whine, the rare Muffled Motorcycle was a welcome sight…ehr, sound.

Because of seeing 2 of these rare birds in one week, I wonder if there is a captive breeding program nearby or if it was just luck to see them instead of their close relative.  I sure hope so. I would love to see the Greater Muffled Motorcycle replace the Common Unmuffled Motorcycle in Costa Rica. One can dream.



Happy Birding,


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Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
Greg Seymour Amazon Author Page

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  1. I to agree with you about hoping that these rare birds become common place in CR, however I would not want to necessarily want to see the total eradication of the species we use for a comparison.

    • I think we are going to be out of luck on that count. This country loves the loud. I guess if its too loud your too old – so I better just shut up. LOL.

  2. What a good hook to capture a reader’s interest! I’d feel duped if I weren’t laughing so hard. Great post!

    • Haha – sorry about that. Sometimes the craziness just flows. Glad you got a laugh out of it at least. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  3. Hey Greg,

    You should come by our house around dusk. We’ve been getting motmots for the past three days or so. You should be able to snap a pretty good pic.

    • You don’t have to tell me twice. I’ll shoot you an email.

  4. Hiking is a great way to get out and explore an area ‘off the beaten path’! Plus you add a great advantage that it is beneficial for your health. Now the concept of bird watching or should I say ‘bird spotting’ is not something that I have a great deal of experience on, maybe its because of my lack of patience but I have to say that this is a great image that you have captured – kudos to you on that one.

    All these blogs that I have been reading on Costa Rica by yourself and MyTanFeet are certainly enticing me to head there for myself to explore a clearly beautiful country!

  5. I was waiting for a super bird or something (BTW saw some gorgeous one today, such a blue! For a European like me it’s always a surprise, we don’t really have many like that around with nice colours) and then… Well we own another species in Asia, the Common 2 stroke motorcycle & the Uncommon 4 strokes, we own the first unfortunately! It’s great fun on the road! We all sing together to see who will be the loudest! Our 2 strokes gives us some great and beautiful notes!

    • Well the Costa Rican’s love the loud – loud vehicles, music…talking. And I am cool with that cultural aspect…except on the weekends when our casa, which is on a main road, gets buzzed by motorcycle after motorcycle after quad of the Common variety. Oh well, Pura Vida.

  6. Thanks for sharing that story! I’m happy I’ve discovered your blog as I really want to visit Costa Rica one of these days! It really seems to be paradise on earth. You’re very lucky to live there 😉

  7. Are these serious the names of those rare birds? How awesome!

    • We have very loud motorcycles that run up and down our ridge in the mountains here in Grecia. This is my way of complaining about them without coming across as an old fart saying “get off my lawn”.

  8. Costa Rica’s wild life doesn’t stop to impress me. So happy for you Greg to come across, not one, but two rare birds. Especially if you say it’s so difficult to for the average person to find and see them.

    • Nature here is quite varied and impressive, and sometimes depressive. That could be said for anywhere though. I love my new home and all its animals.

  9. haha! This is hilarious. I was really interested into reading your encounter with the quetzal because it’s on my bucket list but laughed out loud when I read what “bird” you really saw. Yes indeed, never thought I’d say this but hopefully the common unmuffled motorcycle will go extinct in Costa Rica 😀 They are pretty annoying here too!

    • The Quetzal is on my list as well. I would love to just see one…to photograph one would be unbelievable.

  10. Yeah I get you there Greg. Hiking in the peaceful nature, being one with it, and then bam… the huge roar of those motorcycles. In Belgium, some forests are simply forbidden for any motorized vehicle (except for forest guards of course) and I think it’s great. It’s annoying for hikers yep, but more than that, it’s annoying and somehow harmful for the wildlife :/.

    • It doesn’t help that I am down the street from a motorcycle repair place.

  11. Haha, I had a really great laugh! These loud motorbikes must really annoy you a lot, if seeing two rare not loud ones made you write such poetry! :)Thanks for the fun read!

    • Such poetry indeed! It was a fun post to write.

  12. lololololol those are endangered in Argentina, too. sigh.

    • Yes, I believe the whole Central/South American corridor has lost the majority of the Greater Muffled. A shame. We need some environmental group to get involved. It is certainly not because of loss of habitat.

  13. I definitely feel your pain here. We have some very young 20-something boys, at the farm next door, who like to tear up an adjoining unused field between both of our houses with their “muddin'” trucks & dirt bikes. I want to beat them with their own over-sized mufflers. Is that wrong?

    • Not wrong at all. In fact, it is right.

  14. I love hiking! It is amazing what you can see and discover while being surrounded by nature – birds, flowers, trees, breathtaking views, beautiful sky, etc.!! Costa Rica sounds like an amazing place to wander aimlessly around. You picked the perfect place to retire and awesome place to explore. Thanks for sharing some of your finds through your blog. I hope to one day visit this picture perfect paradise! BTW, love the title of this post!!

    • CR is beautiful – I highly recommend a visit.

  15. Awesome, I love living in a place with great wildlife, that’s one of the reasons why I miss Australia so much. In England I just have to put up with crows and pigeons 🙁

  16. Cute, now have you seen the real bird?

    • Unfortunately, I have not. But I will, I will.

  17. Well twice in two occassions, i have a hard time photographing birds, it really takes a lot of patience to capture them…lucky you!

  18. Sounds like you’re living the dream 🙂 Costa Rica is also the place I call “home” even though I live nomadically.

    • Thanks for reading. Yes, Costa Rica is great – and a great country to live nomadically in. There are so many different things to see.

  19. Got great news. The highway patrol (traficos) told me 2 weeks ago that new law is ticketing no mufflers of motorcycles!!! btw been hearing less noise this the past week. He said they are making surprise code enforcement on the ridges now.
    LOVE IT.

    • Haha – it has actually been quitter since I wrote “Rare Bird” – I think they started ticketing them. At least we stopped seeing the guys riding wheelies. Now its just the Sat/Sun tourists going up in the hills… Hopefully it stays more quite. Now, about those hound dogs….

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