Costa Rica Bird Watching Tours and Activities
If you love nature, then one of the best things to do in Costa Rica is to go Birdwatching. Many areas of Costa Rica are perfect for birdwatching. Costa Rica has a great fluctuation in climate,
temperature and a variety of forest types. Costa Rica has over 800 species of wild and exotic birds.
What You Will See while Birdwatching in Costa Rica:
- 16 species of parrots including the fabulous scarlet macaw.
- 50 species of hummingbirds.
- 10 species of trogons with the resplendent quetzal as the jewel.
- 6 species of toucans, including the keel-billed and chestnut-mandibled.
- Half the bird species in Costa Rica are passerines including warblers, sparrows and finches.
- 16 species of ducks, including the fulvous whistling, white-faced ruddy and American wigeon.
- 13 species of falcons, including the peregrine falcon, merlin and American kestrel.
- 36 species of prey, including the gray hawk, swallow-tailed kite, solitary eagle and northern harrier.
- 6 species of cracidae which look like turkeys.
- 8 species of new world quails.
- 15 species of rallideas including the rufous-necked wood-rail, American coot and ruddy crake.
- 19 species of owls including the black-and-white, Costa Rican pygmy, central American pygmy and striped.
- 3 species of potoos including the great, northern and common.
- 16 species of woodpeckers, including cinnamon, chestnut-colored and pale-billed.
While birdwatching on the coast of Costa Rica, you will be sure to see:
- 19 species of herons & wading birds such as the great blue
heron, great egret, boat-billed heron, reddish egret and yellow-crowned
- 2 species of recurvirostraide which are waders and include the black-necked stilt and American avocet.
- 2 species of jacans including the northern and wattled.
- 34 species of scolopacidae including the short-billed
dowitcher, spotted sandpiper, wandering tattler, surfbird, and red
- 9 species of gulls including the gray, Heermann's and ring-billed.
- 14 species of sternidae (terns) including the gull-billed tern, Forster's tern, least tern and white tern.
- 4 species of vultures including the the king vulture.
- 24 species of doves and pigeons.
- 11 species of swifts including the black, spot-fronted and Costa Rican.
- 6 species of kingfishers including the green, Amazon and American pygmy.
- 5 species of threskiornithidaes including the roseate spoonbill and white-faced ibis.
- 2 species of ciconiidae including the wood stork and jabiru.
Premium Birdwatching spots in Costa Rica include:
- Monteverde Cloud Forest has more than 400 species of birds, including resplendent quetzals.
- Tortuguero National Park has 300 species of birds.
- Santa Rosa National Park has more than 250 species of birds.
- Cahuita National Park has toucans, parrots, rufous kingfishers; the park is on the beach.
- La Sevla Biological Station in the northern lowlands has 420 species of birds.
- Helconia Island has 228 species of birds.
- Corcovado National Park has 400 species of birds and 1,200 scarlet macaws.
- Huedal Nacional Terraba-Sierpe has a myriad of birds along the coast and swamps.
- Carara National Park has 400 species of birds.
- Tárcoles has 400 species of birds and great river tours highlighting crocodiles.
- Whale Marine National Park has frigate birds, boobies, ibises and pelicans.
- La Amistad National Park has 500 species of birds including resplendent quetzals.
- Manuel Antonio National Park has 350 species of birds and three lovely beaches.
Most hotels, as well as tourist information centers, will provide
bird watching guides, maps and other essentials for bird watching.
Unless you are an experienced neotropical birder, it can be a lot more
productive to go out with an experienced birding guide. Do not forget to
bring a hat, rain gear, boots, binoculars and camera. In hot areas, an
umbrella can be more useful than a poncho or jacket. Southern Costa Rica
is generally considered the better option for bird watching.