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Bird Watching & Birding at Costa Rica

There are more than 880 species of birds in the 51,000 km² of Costa Rica

Trogon Violaceous. See more Costa Rica Exotic Birds pictures. Rufous-tailed Humming Bird. See more bird pictures in Gallery.  The extraordinary biodiversity of Costa Rica is a natural fact that includes a great quantity of species of wild birds worthy of being appreciated up to the last detail. All the colors, feathers, sounds and rituals of these exotic birds can be enjoyed in a very accessible and professional way at their habitat with bird watching or birding tours and with the proper equipment under the experienced and expert guidance. While taking care of not disturbing the environment, the study and appreciation of birds within sustainability guidelines, is the way of take consciousness about the need of protect and conserve the birds and its habitat, at the time that it is a contribution with that.

(En Español: Pájaros Exóticos de Costa Rica   ||   Also learn about Costa Rica Exotic Birds)

Summary of Costa Rica Birds Facts
Families: About 80.
Featured: Clay-colored Robin or "Yigüirro" (Turdus grayi) is the national bird of Costa Rica.
Ecosystem role: Several including seed dispertion and population growth control.
Problems: Loss of habitat, hunting and trapping.

  • There had been recorded 887 species of birds in Costa Rica. (1)
  • Among the most common sighted birds are: Clay-colored Robin (Turdus grayi), Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus), Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus), Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis) and the Rufous-tailed Humming Bird (Amazilia tzacatl).
  • The highest activity hours of birds are in the dawn and at dusk.

Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus) at Northern Zone.
Maquenque EcoLodge. Bocatapada, San Carlos.
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) from Northern Costa Rica forests.
Maquenque EcoLodge. Bocatapada, San Carlos.
Couple of Slaty-tailed Trogons (Trogon massena).
Maquenque EcoLodge. Bocatapada, San Carlos.
Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus) adult male.
© 2010 Olger Aragón (Derechos reservados)
White-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta formosa).
Tropical Dry Forest, La Norma Ecolodge, Guanacaste.
Great Curassow (Crax rubra).
© 2010
Rufous-tailed Humming Bird (Amazilia tzacatl).
© 2010
Trogon Violaceous (Trogon violaceus).
© 2010 Olger Aragón -
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) at Central Pacific coast.
© 2010
Rainbow-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus).
© 2010 Olger Aragón -
Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum).
© 2010 Olger Aragón -
Montezuma Oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma).
Laguna del Lagarto Lodge. Boca Tapada, San Carlos.
Turquoise-browded Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa).
Courtesy of Canoa Aventura.
Bird Watching & Birding in Costa Rica

Costa Rica Bird Watching & Birding

 Expression of the male hunting ancestral instinct and relic of human evolution, as considered by Nobel laureate ethologist Niko Tinbergen, Bird Watching and Birding is one of the most fascinating activity at nature, that inevitably raises biodiversity appreciation, interest and knowledge as well as care and protection on this dinosaurs era remains: the bird and its habitat, including the whole ecosystem with its flora and fauna, without which all the bird species could not exist.

 Bird watching and birding have its paradise in Costa Rica Tropical Rainforest because of its intrinsic extremely high biodiversity. At the Arenal Volcano surrounding forests the Great Curassow (Crax rubra) can be seen foraging almost times on the ground and sometimes hovering into the trees foliage. Kingfishers, as the largest of America, the Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata), are found easily on the rivers and springs. You can be wondered about the conspicuous bill of toucans, either the full colored Rainbow-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) or the yellow and purple of Chestnut-mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii).

To enjoy bird watching at Costa Rica rainforest near Arenal Volcano area you can be surely impressed with the possibilities of the zone with its natural gardens and forest trails as well as some hotel facilities. If you have the need, there is the possibility to obtain some bird watching and photography equipment (binoculars, lenses, cameras or flash memory) at La Fortuna village. And for a more natural approach and different habitats is available the Bird Watching Tour with specialized guides with bird watching equipment as telescope and binoculars.

According to the increasing of the the quantity of people doing bird watching and birding, there is growing concern about the impact of this activity on the birds and their habitat. So, a bird watching etiquette, whose need of settle down and practicing is obvious, is evolving in order to promote the welfare of birds and their natural environment; avoiding stressing the birds by controlled use of photography and video equipment, keeping back from nests and nesting colonies, and respecting general environmental guidelines as well.

Bird Watching Books

This is a selection of recommended and suggested books for further reading and learning about Costa Rica bird watching, flora and fauna; which are available for look at their reader reviews and buying online if needed (* As a form to support this website, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites).

Notes & References:
- Official 2010 List of Costa Rica Birds. Scientific Committe Científico. Ornithology Association of Costa Rica (AOCR).
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