This looks like a green backed heron, except green backed herons and green herons have maroon necks, and it does not have a maroon neck. Maybe it is a juvenile and they do not develop their maroon neck until adulthood. I do not consider this a very attractive heron, although it s beady red eyes are rather striking.
The reason Costa Rica has such diversity of wildlife, including more bird species than the USA and Canada combined, is that its location between North and South America has placed it in migratory range for both North and South America. Its lush habitat also provides a welcome environment for birds.
Egrets have an unusual breeding behavior. They will lay more eggs than the number of chicks they can feed during normal times. If food is especially abundant, all of the chicks will survive. If food is not unusually plentiful, the smaller chicks will not be able to compete for food with the larger, more aggressive chicks in the nest. The larger chicks will even attack a smaller sibling, which is a behavior biologists call siblicide. The eggs are laid one or two days apart, so it is the youngest chick that most often does not make it.
This week we are showing photos of Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia on Viva la Voyage, our travel photo site.