Dear Non Birding Bill, We've given this whole marriage thing one heck of a try. I'm a birder, you're not and hilarity ensues, we've put in a good eleven years and are closing in on 12--we've given it the old college try. However, after spending some time in Panama, I regret to inform you that I most likely will not be returning home.
First of all, the feeder birds are off the hook--here we have a green honeycreeper (creeping up on some bananas) that I got with the Wingscapes camera coming in to Canopy Lodge. What can I say, I'm in love with this crazy green fella. The temperatures at the lodge are surprisingly cool, although humid, but I think I can live with that for the sake of such colorful birds.
You might think that I'm bluffing since I love the brown birds so much, but never fear there are brown birds here too. Above we have a couple of broad-bill euphonia next to a very brown clay-colored robin (with blue-gray tanagers in the back). And look at the mashed banana stuck on the bottom mandible of the euphonia--such lovely bird shenanigans.
At the moment, I'm at Canopy Tower and this is the view from the top--look at those mountains covered in green. I love snow, but living in Minnesota, I've experienced my share. I think all this green will suit me.
And in the morning, there are toucans to serenade me. They have yet to use their noses to direct me to sugary rings of cereal or to any dark Irish stout, but they are pleasant to see lurking about the canopy. And life here is leisurely! We start with an early breakfast, do some birding, come back for lunch, have a siesta, do a tiny bit more of birding, have dinner, maybe a drink and then off to bed to begin the day anew. I love this birding with breaks--it's so relaxing, no more of this go and go and go and go all day for me--I'm all for this imposed afternoon napping system.
I'm typing this to you from the comfort and security of my hammock, where my digiscoping equipment is at the perfect angle to catch whatever may fly by the open window...
...or swing by as did this howler monkey who is working its way in the trees around the tower. So we are clear, it's not that I'm leaving you for Raúl Arias de Para ( the man who owns Canopy Tower and Canopy Lodge and turned them into a birder's version of Disney Land) he has a lovely wife. I'm not even leaving you for my guide Carlos (even though he did give me a great poptoo yesterday).
Think of this as me joining a birding order along the lines of a strange nunnery where all I do is go out into the rainforest, find birds and taking photos of them like this above linneated woodpecker (and in the case of the tinamou, take video). It's been fun and I appreciate all the times you tried to enjoy birds. Go out and find yourself a nice girl who isn't covered in chigger bites.