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Birding Tours of Costa Rica

The Art of Bird Photography

A Journey with the rainforest birds of Costa Rica

Objetives: Capture Bird Images on its natural environment during the begging of the dry season.

Sarapiqui 01-02-03

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. Around the lodge area some of the most beautiful birds are Green Ibis, Sunbittern, jacamars, tanagers, orioles, woodpeckers, tityras, euphonias, macaws, etc. Botanical gardens nearby offer great opportunities to spot a dozen or more species of hummingbirds and its adjacent forest always bring good surprises like Little Tinamou, Lattice tailed Trogon, Chestnut colored Woodpecker, Cinnamon Becard 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.


Species Highlights

Sunbittern, Great Green Macaw, Bat Falcon, Snowy Cotinga, Green Ibis. Fasciated Antshrike, Long tailed Tyrant, Spectacle Owl, Sharpbill, Bare necked Umbrellabird, Black bellied Wren, Dusky faced Tanager, Lattice tailed Trogon, Rufous Motmot, Great Tinamou, Cinnamon Becard, Bicolored Antbird, Pied Puffbird, Nicaraguan Seedfinch, Black crested Coquette.

Boca Tapada 04-05- January

Laguna Lagarto nestled on the some of the more quite parts of Costa Rica and home base on Great Green Macaws. Located at Maquenque National Park, this secret gem of rainforest is the best destination to photograph macaws, parrots, toucans, aracaries, antbirds, hawks, king vultures, oropendulas and much more. Its pristine forest and immense trees make this destination favorite among travelers; its lake timing with wildlife it’s a true sanctuary for nature photographers.

Species Highlights

Sungrebe, Tawny faced Quail Dove, Agami Heron, Collared Aracari, Chesnut mandible Toucan, Montezuma Oropendula, Brown hooded Parrot, King Vulture, Ocellated Antbird, Great Potoo, Red lored Parrot and hundreds more.

Arenal 06-07

Arenal Volcano Area is well known for its active summit, but little is talk about its great bird diversity and its beautiful rainforest. Coming across Quail doves, mix flocks, soaring eagles, elusive antpittas arejust another day in paradise. Bordering forest edges by the lake is very successful, the complex vegetation of many different ages makes this piece of Costa Rica a must to visit for birdwatchers. Great Currasows in the middle of the paths, active Black throated Wrens on tangled vines, silently perched raptors on expose death tree trunks, hyperactive Coquettes going from flower to flower are just part of a daily birding.

Birding Highlights:

Scaly breasted Wren, Black crested Coquette, Thicket Antpitta, Ornated Hawk Eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Three wattled Bellbird, Fasciated Tiger Heron, Keel billed Motmot, White fronted Nunbird, Brown capped Tyrannuelt, Long tailed Tyrant, Black headed Nightingale Thrush.

Solimar 08-09- January

Solimar Hacienda is a private preserve area in which thousands of birds inhabit during the migration from the north, also a fabulous place to find dry tropical forest specialties such as Thicket Tinamou, Long tailed Manakin, Lesser ground Cuckoo, and the rare Jabiru stork, but the North American migrant species find a suitable habitat on this seasonal swampss and marshes. The adjacent mangroves, dry tropical forest patches, shrubs, tall grasses and active pastures are incredible habitats for birding. Within a short drive Salinas, coastline, mud flats are found, and with those hundreds of new species could be easily access.

Species Highlights 

Jaribu, Long tailed Manakin, Lesser ground Cuckoo, Yellow naped Parrot, Pacific screech Owl, Crane Hawk, Thicket Tinamou, Stripe headed Sparrow, Banded Wren, Three wattled Bellbird, Green breasted Mango, Crested Bobwhite, Lineated Woodpecker, Elegant Trogon, Boat billed Heron, Collared Forest Falcon, White collared Puffbird.

Carara 10-11-12 ( Departure ) January

Carara is by far one the best birding places all year round in Costa Rica. With the phenomenal number of 587 species recorded!!! The national park protects the second largest population of Scarlet Macaws for Costa Rica, it’s easy access to all trails thru most of the year. Some of the ecosystems found within the park area are mangrove swamps, pasture fields and forest edges, secondary and primary forests.  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 and quantity of birding, tinamous, trogons, wrens, antpittas, manakins, cotingas, bellbirds, antshrikes are among the most common birds on this trail. The nearby forested edges give as a good number of open field birds such as jays, blackbirds, greenlets, rails, ground doves, motmots, hawks, parakeets, owls and many others is part of the avifauna is 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. 

Species Highlights

American pygmy Kingfisher, Fiery billed Aracari, Riverside Wren, King Vulture, Yellow billed Cotinga, Orange collared Manakin, Streak chested Antpitta, Golden crowned Spadebill, Baird’s Trogon, Mangrove Hummingbird, Three wattled Bellbird, Scarlet Macaw, Northern Royal Flycatcher, Ruddy Quail Dove, Crane Hawk, Pale breasted Spinetail, Red breasted Blackbird, Turquoise browed Motmot, Spot crowned Euphonia, Red throated Ant tanager, Little Tinamou, Black striped Woodcreeper, Black and White Owl



All content 2003 - 2007. Design by Com One Communications, S.A.

*Photography by Randall Ortega 2007.