Birding in Costa Rica
Ask any passionate bird lover to make a wish list of locations they’d love to go bird watching and there’s no doubt that birding Costa Rica would be right there in the top three places.
That’s simply because the country is rich with birds, having more than 800 species, which represents about one-tenth of the total numbers in the world. That’s certainly more than the entire North America.
Of these 800 plus species, more than 50% reside in the country. The remainder represents migrants, especially water birds and shorebirds, that breed in North America.
You can see the very attractive tropical species of birds such as parrots, trogons and toucans on just about any day in Costa Rica.
In fact, many serious bird watchers travel to Costa Rica just to see the brilliant Resplendent Quetzal. Reputed to be the most beautiful bird in the American continents, this splendid bird is from the Trogan specie and is protected in four of Costa Rica’s national parks. A look at this beauty with its iridescent body will take your breath away. (Incidentally, it’s the national bird of Guatemala).
Others birds you’ll see are Boat-billed Herons, parakeets, pelicans, macaws (although of the 15 species, only two species make Costa Rica their home) and a variety of hummingbirds. If you’re an admirer of hummingbirds you’ll revel in the number of sightings when you bird watch in Costa Rica.
The spectacular Fiery-throated Hummingbird (only found in Costa Rica and Panama) is one of the delightful species of hummingbirds that capture birders attention. You may even be lucky enough to see the gorgeous Purple-throated Mountain-gem. Just the names of these birds create images of beauty and splendor.
The primary birding regions in Costa Rica are the Southern Pacific lowlands (where many South American species such as the parrots reside), the northern Pacific lowlands, the interior highlands and the Caribbean lowlands.
Naturally, there are tour companies that offer guided tours for birders. Some even specialize in bird watching programs. Just prepare to have your breath taken away when you go birding Costa Rica.
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