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What are Lifer Tour Guides Doing During the Pandemic?

The pandemic caught all of us by surprise but in Costa Rica, we at least had the fortunate advantage of reacting quick enough to close the borders in March. This helped to greatly limit the number of cases and keep our health system from being overrun but as with so many other places where international tourism plays such a big role, our economy has been seriously affected. In common with birding tours in so many other places, Lifer Tours had to cancel some trips but, thankfully, most were actually postponed until the following year.

We are grateful! We can't wait to show you stunners like these Fiery-billed Aracaris!

We are of course looking forward to those tours. With time on our hands to look for and study the avian side of life in Costa Rica, our guides will be especially prepared and eager to show you a wealth of beautiful tropical birds!

Speaking of guides at Lifer Tours, we thought it would be fun to show you what they are up to these days. We start with one of the main guides and founder of Lifer Tours, Juan Diego Vargas.

Trying to stay dry during a session of filming Red-capped Manakins.

Despite the lack of tours, Juan Diego is still kept busy with a variety of projects. One of the more satisfying of those projects has been putting in plantings and other ways to attract and photograph birds right from home.

Golden-hooded Tanager

Although beautiful species like the Golden-hooded Tanager come to their yard, Juan Diego and Maria Jose haven't limited birding to their nest. They have also been heading into the field to check new sites and look for uncommon bird species. At one such place, they have been making videos of displaying Red-capped Manakins. Once those videos are ready, we hope to share them on our blog.

A screen shot from one of the videos.

Other bird-related projects he is involved with are searches for rare and little known birds and helping with studies of nesting raptors.

Juan Diego has also been keeping busy by answering emails, working on updating the Lifer Tours website, and volunteering as an eBird editor. Watch this blog to stay updated on birds that Juan Diego finds and how other guides at Lifer Tours have been spending their time.

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