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Birding Tours of Costa Rica

 In Search of Endemics    21-30-2015           

Talamanaca Mountains there is not destination in Costa Rica more fulfilling for endemic birds, although the number of species in the highlands in the country are far less than rainforest lowlands, the exceptional number of endemics far exceeds those ones in areas as Corcovado National Park or La Selva. Hummingbirds, flycatchers, vireos, trogons, wrens, are some the families that had been isolated for millions of years; creating specialization of species therefore endemics.

Among some of the most beautiful birds are found the Resplendent Quetzal and perhaps the only place in which can be found all year round. Giant oaks, misty mornings and crispy air are among many of the wonderful things that make this destination a favorite among us....

Birders!

 

Birding highlights:

 

Spotted Woodquail, Resplendet Quetzal, Silvery throated Jay, Sulphur winged Parakeet, Dusky nightjar, Costa Rican Pygmy Owl, Buffy Tuftedcheck, Flame throated Warbler, Blue throated Toucanet, Maroon chested ground Dove, Fiery throated Hummingbird.

 

Day 1   Savegre Lodge. Early departure to the Savegre Valley; birding along the road for endemics such as Timberline Wren, Junco Volcano, Volcano Hummingbird, Flame throated Warbler, etc.. Upon arrival lunch and garden birding. All meals included

 

Day 2   Savegre Lodge. Birding before breakfast. In Search of Resplendent Quetzal.

Early birding in search for always elusive Zeledonia, Tapaculo and Resplendent Quetzal. All day birding at the lodge grounds, roadsides, gardens and river edges. All meals included.

 

Day 3   Savegre Lodge or Paraiso del Quetzal.  Birding after breakfast to oak forest, were dozens of birds are found in the dense understory or high in the canopy. Redstars, silky flycatchers, woodcreepers, woodquails, becards and some eagles are among others to search for. In the late afternoon we will visit several local spots for endemic warblers.

 

Sarapiqui is a real rainforest experience with vast areas to cover, primary rainforest, active and non active pasture fields, river edges, canopy bridges, thick understory, etc. Cotingas, macaws, oropendulas, guans, eagles, toucans are some of the many species to find. At Gavilan Lodge daily birds to spot are Green Ibis, Sunbittern, Jacamars, Tanagers, Orioles, Woodpeckers, Tityras, etc.

Botanical gardens nearby offer great opportunities to spot a dozen or more species of hummingbirds and its adjacent forest always bring good surprises as Little Tinamou, Lattice tailed Trogon, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and much more. The Braulio Carrillo National Park is a real rainforest experience with the largest mixed flocks ever including favorites such as Sharpbills and Umbrellabirds.

Birding Highlights:

Great green Macaw, Nicaraguan SeedFinch, Green Ibis, Snowy Cotinga, Slaty breasted Tinamou, Shinny Cowbird, White collared Manakin, Great Potoo, Bare necked Umbrellabird, Sharpbill, Blue and gold Tanager, Short tailed Nighthawk, Spectacle Owl.

Day 4   La Selva Biological Station.Traveling to the Braulio Carrillo is breath taken, its 95% of the forests has never been altered by human hands, dozens of small waterfalls, evergreen vegetation makes this little piece of jungle one of the best places in Costa Rica to visit.

More than 350 species had even recorded within the park area & adjacent villages. Our first visit is a local’s farm in search for Spectacle Owl, Long tailed Tyrant, Great Potoo, White throated Crake and the least goes on!! Lunch on a nearby restaurant and visit the national park to try to find Sharpbill, aracaries, mix flocks of tanagers, orioles, woodpeckers, barbets, woodquails, rare wrens, etc. All meals included.

Day 5   La Selva Biological Station. La Selva Biological Station, whom is some of the best birding in the area with large forested it areas combined with secondary vegetation and gardens. Dozen of birds are found upon arrival, guans, tanagers, motmots, toucans, becards, euphonias, etc. Several hours at La Selva and continue to explore close by grounds for Great Green Macaw, Bat Falcon, etc.

Day 6   La Selva Biological Station. Birding all day at the lodge grounds. At the lodge, the nearby riparian forests holds a good biodiversity of birds, such as Sunbittern, Green Ibis, Bright rumped Atila, Fasciated Antshrike, Rufous tailed Jacamar to mention few. We will also visit couple local spots for guans, toucans and more.

Carara National Park is by far one the best birding place all year round in Costa Rica.Within the national park protects the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws, easy access to all trails, mangrove swamps, pasture fields and forest edges. There are very few places in the country where more than hundred species can be found in one trail.

Meandrica’s trail it has become an icon for quality birding, tinamous, trogons, wrens, antpittas, manakins, cotingas, bellbirds, antshrikes are among the most common birds in the forest. The nearby forested edges give as a good number of open field birds, jays, blackbirds, greenlets, rails, ground doves, motmots, hawks, parakeets, owls are among many of the avifauna found in these habitats. The mangroves at Rio Grande de Tarcoles are very rewarding on a good day along the river edges 5 species of kingfishers can be spotted, more than a couple dozens of shorebirds, herons, egrets are also easy to find but the most remarkable species are the ones with a restricted range or to the mangroves such as vireos, warblers, cuckoos, flycatchers, the elusive Rufous necked woodrail and the only true Costa Rican endemic Mangrove Hummingbird.

Birding Highlights:

 

Scarlet Macaws, Orange collared Manakin, Fiery billed Aracari, Baird’s Trogon, Riverside Wren, Crane Hawk, Red breasted Blackbird, Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Hummingbird, Scrub Greenlet, Cherrie’s Tanager, Great Tinamou, Northern Royal Flycatcher.

 

Day 1   Paloma Blanca Residence. No meals included. Pick up transfer and information meeting. Today, CRBJ staff will describe the day by day activities, the destinations, possible bird sightings, what to wear by destination and all other general information regarding the trip.

 

Day 2   Paloma Blanca Residence. Breakfast at local restaurant after a boat trip to the mangroves.Travel a for half hour to birdwatch about 3 hour boat tour to Tarcoles River Mangroves in which a combination of deforested areas, river edges, mangrove forest and river mouths are impressive. Herons, egrets, vireos, hummingbirds, frigatebirds, shore birds, waders, cuckoos, macaws, parrots, hawks, also looking for White throated Magpie Jay, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Black headed Trogon and much more are among the common groups of birds sighted; although the boat tour main goal is to find the mangrove specialities such Mangrove Hummingbird, Cuckoo, Vireo, Warbler, Rufous necked Woodrail, Panama & Scrub Flycatchers & American Pygmy Kingfisher. On the afternoon we will visit open farm lands, forest patches, river edges and more pasture fields; the goal here is to find seedaters, raptors, parakeets, flycatchers, lapwings, anis,ducks, species that are not longer found at the national park due their habitats disappearance.

 

Day 3   Paloma Blanca Residence. Breakfast on the go! “The early bird catches the worm”, today we will visit one of the best birding sites in Central America, Carara National Park is a combination of ecosystems, that aloud an amazing number of endemics, birds with restricted ranges and many other beauties with more than 400 species recorded antbirds, macaws, hummingbirds, euphonias, tanagers, flycatchers, cotingas, wrens, manakins and dozen more families are daily sightings. All day at the park, lunch at a local restaurant & dinner at Jaco Beach town.

 

PRIVATE JOURNEY

 

PRICE PER PERSON $2200

 
 
 
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*Photography by Randall Ortega 2007.