Courier April/May Courier - Page 22

EVENTS, EXPERIENCES, EXHIBITS, ETC. COMPILED BY PAT HENDERSON Keel-billed toucan Resplendent quetzal Scarlet macaw Follow your nose Maquenque Eco Preserve The preserve is home to more than 400 species, including scarlet macaws, the endangered great green macaws, toucans and a number of migra- tory birds. San Gerardo de Dota The only spot in Costa Rica listed in “50 Places to Go Birding Before You Die,” San Gerardo has more than 170 species, including many that are endemic to the zone near the cloud forest. Selva Bananito Reserve An early morning walk with one of Selva Bananito’s experts takes birders to see orioles, kingfishers, toucans, trogons and many other species. Selva Verde Rainforest Lodge and Reserve This site is part of the recently created Costa Rican Bird Route, a group of 12 sites in the San Juan-La Selva Biological Corridor. Turrialba and Irazu volcanoes The higher altitudes in this area allow visitors to see a different species, ranging from the flame-throated warbler to volcano jun- cos and timberline wrens. For more information, contact Costa Rica Travel Excellence’s Carlos Blanco at mercadeo@te.cr or go to travelexcellence.com. Fired up for fossils? Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in central Colorado is one of the state’s top archaeological sites. Located 35 miles west of Colorado Springs, the 6,000-acre park includes a wide array of well-preserved plant and insect fossils that date back 18 April/May 2018 millions of years. At the visitor center, groups can learn more about the role the nearby Thirtynine Mile volcanic field played in helping the area become a major fossil repository. They can see the 14-minute movie, “Shadows of the Past,” and view hands-on exhibits and fossil displays. A number of ranger-led activities are available, including the popular night sky programs. Offered monthly, these ses- sions start with a 30-minute presentation and then partici- pants have 90 minutes for telescope use and stargazing. From the park, it is possible to see the Milky Way, other galaxies, planets, comets, star clusters and more. The monument also is home to North America’s largest col- lection of petrified redwood stumps. Several of the massive redwood stumps are behind the visitor center, while short loop trails lead to others. Additional nature walks on the park’s 14 miles of trails wind through pine-covered hills that are home to Douglas fir and aspen trees. The 3.8-mile Hornbek Wildlife Loop takes hikers through meadows and past Hornbek Homestead, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To learn more, call +1.719.748.3253 or go to nps.gov/flfo. bit.ly/2HoySou, CC Costa Rica has carved a reputation as an outdoor lover’s paradise. The Central American nation, known as the birthplace of canopy tours/zip lining, is also a top destination for birdwatchers. Visitors can see more than 900 species across the country at top birding spots, including the following five, which are part of a 13-day birdwatching tour offered by NTA tour operator member Costa Rica Travel Excellence.