The photograph of this Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Tigrisoma mexicanum, was taken by Hotel Sugar Beach waiter and up and coming nature photographer Manfred Jimenez. Manfred took this stunning photograph by the estuary on Penca Beach, just two small coves away from Sugar Beach. This particular heron with its black cap, yellow face and feathered throat belongs to a secretive species that dwells along the tropical coastlines of Mexico and Central America, and as far South as Northwestern Colombia. Because of its shy demeanor, the Tiger Heron is not often observed. But armed with his Nikon and watchful patience, Manfred caught the Tiger Heron sunning in the last rays of the day’s sun.
Costa Rica is known the world over for its pristine beaches and its stellar biodiversity. With only 51,100 square kilometers (19,678 Square Miles), the country boasts an avifauna of 878 species, grouped into 75 different families. This is a greater variety of birds than are found in the United States and Canada combined, countries with a total surface equivalent to 383 times the size of Costa Rica. The variety of habitats, concentrated within a relatively small area, make this country a paradise for that singular species of humans that is the birdwatcher. At Hotel Sugar Beach, various other bird species have been sighted, including the fancy-feathered Turquoise-browed Motmot, the Streak-backed Oriole, the Steely-vented Hummingbird, and flocks of cheerfully loud Orange-fronted Parakeets.