Discover Your Adventure: For the Bird Lovers

Renata Faeth

Auto Counselor: Tami Neubauer
Personal Interest: Wildlife
Destination: Costa Rica

When AAA Auto Counselor Tami Neubauer met her husband, Bill, she was welcomed into a family who loves Minnesota’s great outdoors.  “He used to take me to a game refuge, where we’d observe waterfowl, songbirds, and other wildlife, and he’d quiz me on what I’d learned,” she laughs.  

These days, the view from their living room is a heavily wooded backyard, where turkeys, rabbits, and fox roam, and deer bed down for the night.  Graceful sandhill cranes emerge from the wet meadows surrounding their pond, and colorful wood ducks nest in the cavities of her oak trees.

It’s birds  - especially the colorful males - that fascinate her most.  To satisfy her curiosity, she hopes to someday travel to the jungles and rainforests of Costa Rica, where exotic species like quetzals, red-headed barbets, tanagers and macaws are among the favorites of birdwatchers and photographers.  

For a small country, Costa Rica has a remarkably diverse topography with twelve climate zones that can support abundant wildlife, including over 900 bird species. In the Montverde Cloud Forest of the central highlands, visitors break out their binoculars to catch a glimpse of the bright green male resplendent quetzals and the iridescent-colored hummingbirds.  Along the coastal lowlands, the red, blue and yellow plumage of the scarlet macaw (a Central American parrot) - brightens the lush canopies of the rainforest.

Each spring, Neubauer pulls up a lawn chair in her backyard by her pond, in hopes of watching a mother wood duck coax her ducklings out of the nest into the water below.   It may take similar patience to wait for her time in the rainforest, but it will be worth it. The colorful creatures of the jungle will be soaring above to reward her when that time finally comes.