Costa Rica is rated as one of the best bird-watchers paradise in the world for very good reasons. As a bridge which connects the Americas, it is the home to a vast array of striking tropical birds. There are very few locations across the globe that boast such an array of different species of birds. Over the years 850 species of these birds were identified which is more than Canada and the United States combined. It is important to consider that the entire area is similar in size to West Virginia.
Costa Rica also has twelve of the planet’s 18 varying life-zones, that offers an expansive range of different climates. This includes rolling hillsides, volcanoes, and the different altitudes which contribute to the variety of species. The more popular of the birds in Costa Rica include the motmots, scarlet macaws, toucans and the beautiful and shy Quetzal. From humid lowlands associated with Caribbean Coast to dry topics associated with the Nicoya Peninsula, there is always an outstanding array of micro-systems and habitats that create just about endless opportunities to watch birds in the world-renowned Costa Rica. Below are some of the best destinations for viewing birds in this beautiful country with Costa Rica Focus.
- La Selva Biological Station
For those looking for an area where they can cross a large amount of species off their lists as possible, La Selva Biological Station is a top-rated destination. The protection area in La Selva spans over 1,500 hectares, while the station is the host to around 300 students and scientists every year. The outstanding bird numbers reported in this area is a rival to just about any of the other Central American sites. Over half of bird species which makes up around 450 are local, and the remainder migrate through La Selva.
Experts suggest that booking accommodation at the Selva Verde Lodge offers an excellent opportunity for bird watchers. This beautiful location is made up of 500-acres of a breath-taking cloud forest. The walkways and elevated wooden-paths are tucked neatly into this rainforest, which offers visitors incomparable opportunities for getting up close and personal with nature.
- Monteverde Cloud Forest
In the year 2007, the Costa Ricans named this area as 1 out of the 7 natural-wonders in this country. Due to its highly unique location, this Reserve is made up varying ecological zones, with around 90% of untouched forests. Cloud cover which hovers around the canopy of the forest is not something you can find anywhere else across the globe. In addition to containing the highest numbers of orchid species within a single area, Monteverde is also the home to more than 400 bird species. The early morning bird tours offers ample opportunities to tick off a significant amount of species off your list.
- Santa Juana
Where the Southern and Central Pacific Regions of Costa Rica meet up, avid bird watchers will find endless opportunities to spot a vast array of beautiful bird life. Travel experts recommend the Santa Juana Lodge where bird-lovers will be placed on one of the main migration routes. The nearby Talamanca Mountain Range is also responsible for contributing to a number of unique bird species that can be viewed from the higher-elevations and the foothills. In the migration seasons, you can be sure to view at least 250 species in one day. It is also not a surprise if you are traveling from Canada or the USA to see some of the birds from your own country, this particular migration corridor happens to be one of the more favored, making them stand out from the topical brilliantly-colored birds.
The red-capped manakin has been regarded as one of the top birds you will want to see on your trip to Costa Rica. These curious and intriguing fruit-eaters are very common during the months of January and February. The name for this species may sound strange, but as soon as you view these birds conducting a mating-dance you will soon gain an understanding as to why the locals call this species the “Michael Jackson bird.” The attractive males feature a vibrantly-red head and a satin black body. These males imitate a high-speed version of a moonwalk as a part of the mating dance. They slide along the thin branches and when several males conduct this dance at the same time, it will feel like you are watching a comical moonwalk competition.
- Carara National Park
Located on the Central Pacific Coast, Carara National Park is home to endless species of birds and is one of the favorites for a number of bird-watchers. While the numbers that you will see cannot compare to the other locations, this destination is slightly drier which means that the rainforests are more open along with less evergreens, which makes bird and wildlife-spotting much easier.
The more popular of the birds that is spotted frequently in this park would have to be the highly colorful Scarlet Macaw. The biggest member to the parrot family, the macaws are similar to humans in the way of choosing one partner for life. They are often viewed flying together in a pair or in larger flocks. The wild macaws are able to reach up to 50-years in age, while in captivity they can live up to 75 years.
This lodge is situated in Costa Rica’s central highlands and is home to more than 450 bird species that can be spotted in the local areas or the private reserve. Before the sun comes up, bananas are placed on the feeders to attract all the different birds. Rufous Motmot and the Collared Aracaris Chachalacas are often found sitting from the balcony of the lodge. The trail on this property leads onto a number of natural pools and offer the ideal spots to see hummingbirds bathing in the afternoon. This lodge also provides a number of birding tours around the immediate surrounding areas as well as the various habitats. The Tapanti National Park is a great place to see the Ornate Hawk-eagle, barbet and tangers, while the Dota Highlands is the ideal place to view the Resplendent Queztal.