Costa Rica: Brown-billed Scythebill

I spotted this unusual bird in the most unlikely spot; just outside our hotel room door while on the way for coffee.

I spotted this unusual bird in the most unlikely spot; just outside our hotel room door. We were so impressed with the La Fortuna area that we had elected not to return to our villa. It was a long 3-hour drive through dense jungle, but rather to rent a hotel and continue our explorations first thing in the morning. I was headed to the lobby for coffee with the Brown-billed Scythbill flew past me and landed in a tree. It wasn’t hard to identify this species in my guide books.

The Brown-billed Scythebill is a slender woodcreeper of foothill and montane forest. Like the other Campylorhamphus scythebills, the Brown-billed is notable for its very long, strongly decurved bill. It is actually one of the shorter-billed of the scythebills, and is the only species within its range with a dull brownish bill. It occurs in low densities, traveling with mixed flocks and foraging for arthropods on the bark surface or in crevices. It occurs in mountainous terrain in Costa Rica and Panama and in the Andes from extreme northwestern Venezuela south to the Marañon valley in northern Peru.

Habitat: The Brown-billed scythebill (Campylorhamphus pusillus) is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae. It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

Physical Description: Slim, medium-sized woodcreeper with long, slim, strongly decurved bill. Nominate race has the side of head and neck streaked blackish-brown.

Diet: Arthropods, including a variety of beetles, earwigs (Dermaptera), ants, insect eggs and larvae, and spiders.

Height/Weight: 20–25 cm; 32–48 grams.

You can read more about the various animals we encountered here. Please your own personal observations or encounters in the comments.

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