Friday, June 26, 2015

Report on June Speaker

"Fantastic!...fantastic!..." was the praise for guest speaker Pat McConnell's presentation at the June meeting by member Peter Evans, who moved the vote of thanks.
Pat, experienced bird observer and photographer, spoke about his visit to Costa Rica, with his wife Kath, and illustrated his talk with magnificent photos of the diverse variety of birds and other wildlife, for which Costa Rica is famous.
"Fantastic" are some of the statistics for this Central American country. Costa Rica is known for its progressive environmental policies, and has been identified as the "greenest country in the world." The Government has a policy of renewable energy, and aims for Costa Rica to become the first carbon-neutral country by 2021. It has
less than one percent deforestation, and, in 2012, it became the first country in the Americas to ban recreational hunting.
On Pat and Kath's tour, their guide was the author of a book on the birds of Costa Rica, so they were under expert guidance in this amazing tropical country with its rugged mountain ranges, volcanoes (some active) and lakes. Costa Rica is home to a rich variety of plants and animals. While the country has only about 0.1% of the
world's landmass, it contains 5% of the world's biodiversity. About 25% of Costa Rica is national parks and other protected areas, and eco-tourism is very popular.
In this country the size of Tasmania, there are about 850 species of birds, including 47 resident humming birds. One of Pat's many eye-catching photos showed a miniature humming bird perched on a finger as it fed from an artificial feeder. These feeders are widely used to attract humming birds, and other bird species, to tourist areas.
Pat's photos were so captivating, that it was difficult to take notes during his talk! But some of the many excell-ent photos that come to mind (apart from the almost unbelievable colours of the diverse bird species!) were of the red-tailed squirrel, toucan (one of Costa Rica's six toucan species), nightjar, roseate spoonbill, macaw, pygmy owl, laughing falcon, and white-faced capuchin monkey (one of four monkey species in Costa Rica) - not forgetting Pat's mention of the snake species, the jumping viper!
Many thanks to Pat for his fascinating presentation - and for his memory of so many bird names! (And thanks too to those club members who persisted with the computer technology so that the wonderful pictures could be shown on the screen!  
Michael Rooke

No comments: