Costa Rica is one of the preferred destinations for birdwatchers and photographers alike since it has a huge list of bird species compared to the size of the country. It has more than 800 species grouped in 75 different families and provides the opportunity to observe at short distances in a wide variety of habitats, tropical forests, wetlands, mangroves, forests, and rivers.
If you wish to be part of this unique experience, you can hire the services of a tour operator, in which you will not only be able to observe the birds, but you will also enjoy their environment, besides being amazed by their melodic behaviors since the descent into the forest foliage will allow you to listen to calls and songs of the amazing birds.
One of the best places to live this adventure is the Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste; its humid forests are home to 250 species of birds including the endemic “Saltarín Toledo” and the “Barraquero”.
Other great places for bird watching
“Glowing Quetzales” are more popular among birdwatchers and are found in the high altitude cloud forests of Central America, like the Monteverde rainforest, the area of the Barba Volcano and the mountains of Dota and the Cerro de la Muerte in the south of San José; there you can listen to the quetzales singing.
The rainforest of the Monteverde Reserve is home to 400 species of birds that include the three types of bellbirds, the “Oropéndola de Montezuma“, the “Tordos”, various hummingbirds and other migratory birds. In the rich Palo Verde National Park, there are the most attractive birds of the wetland season as well as migratory birds when they reach the swampy areas.
Areas such as the rainforests of the lowlands of the Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park and the Carara biological reserve offer protection to endangered species and even the fascinating “Lapa Roja”.
Integrated with eco-tourism, eco-lodging, Costa Rica also serves various educational and research projects of tropical biology, offering top-notch facilities for bird watching. The “Parque Del Este” in San José provides critical habitat for various bird species including “Orioles”, “Barraquero”, “Herons”, “Jacanas”, “Water chicks“, and the “Kingfishers”. Another good place is the Caño Negro wildlife reserve that contains an important collection of nesting and sites for rare waterfowl species. Also, you can go to Tortuguero National Park and observe the “Great Macaws” and take a boat ride to the National Park for some amazing bird watching.
Hundreds of guides specialized in the natural history of the country are experts in birds and can help visitors who are interested in that activity during their stay in Costa Rica. Dozens of new species are constantly added to the nation’s bio-registry.
Admire in Costa Rica the resplendent “Quetzal”, the most majestic of tropical bird, observed mainly on the “Cerro de la Muerte”. The “Tres Barbas” bellbird is another species that can be found in Monteverde. The “Scarlet Macaw” is easily observed in the Carara National Park that is one of the main bird watching sites starting from the bridge located on the Tarcoles river between 6 and 6:30 in the morning or from 5 to 6 in the afternoon, when you can admire them flying among the trees in the mangroves within the reserve.
Carara is one of the main naturalistic bird watching sites with large populations of “Trogons” and “Hummingbirds”. The latter can be more easily observed in the areas near hotels or mountain lodges where dining rooms have been placed to attract these small birds.
Finally, one of the reasons for the extraordinary abundance of birds in Costa Rica is the wide variety of habitats in the country, rain, cloud and dry forests, beaches, rivers, and mangroves. And these different ecosystems with their bird species are generally very close to each other. Birdwatchers from North America, for example, who visit Costa Rica in winter, recognize several of these species, since many of them migrate to the country at this time.