My appreciation for birds really began with a trip to Costa Rica some years ago, where our tour group tallied 102 bird sightings in 10 days. That qualifies as a success. We trekked through mud and rain. We got up especially early and went out late, to see what Mother Nature had to show us. Who needs an alarm clock when the howler monkeys wake you daily at 5 a.m.? The highlight, at least among the birds, was seeing a quetzal, whose iridescent green feathers were coveted by the ancient Mayans. They did not harm this rare jungle creature, oh no – harming a quetzal was considered a capital crime, and his tail plumage was more precious than gold. I think they had the right idea.