A Cuckoo in Costa Rica Brings in the Birders

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12 species of cuckoos are on the Costa Rica bird list. Tortuguero- one of many excellent birding areas in Costa Rica. I can’t say the same for the other especially tough cuckoo in Costa Rica, the one and only Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo (or RVG as I like to call it).

Classy, Elegant Bird Art from Costa Rica

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In Costa Rica, lately, I have been enjoying the class and elegance of bird poster art produced by CaraCara. These are all of the toucan species that occur in Costa Rica. The post Classy, Elegant Bird Art from Costa Rica appeared first on 10,000 Birds.

How to See Sunbitterns in Costa Rica

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Given the ample distribution of this species in Costa Rica, I am sure that we have more than a few folks out there who know the Sunbittern well even if they don’t watch birds at all. I should also mention that March might be the best time to hear Sunbitterns in Costa Rica.

Some Birding News about Birders in Costa Rica

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In Costa Rica, our July birding news usually consists of interesting sightings during the mid-summer tours. Nevertheless, although Costa Rica might be a small place in terms of land area, it’s a mega place in terms of diverse habitats and subsequent biodiversity.

Urban Birding in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is well known for national parks and other protected areas than offer access to tropical ecosystems dripping with biodiversity. In Costa Rica’s Central Valley, the former denizens of moist tropical forest and brushy wetlands have had to adapt to a mosaic of agriculture, gardens, and wooded remnants mostly restricted to riparian zones. In Costa Rica, the Crimson-fronted Parakeet can nest in buildings and forages in a variety of fruiting trees.

Colorful + Devious = Toucans of Costa Rica

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I think this is one of the reasons why so many people visiting Costa Rica want to see the bird with the big banana bill, some ask if you have seen “the toucan” Photos and field guides have shown them that these fantastic cartoonish birds do indeed exist and they have heard that a lot of visitors to Costa Rica see toucans. Much to the good fortune of resident and visiting birders in Costa Rica, this is true, we see toucans at many sites in the country.

How to Bird the Colibri Cafe at Cinchona, Costa Rica

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This is also why so many of the birding tribe travel to watch birds, a good number of which eventually make it to Costa Rica. As with every site in Costa Rica, the best way to bird this wonderful spot is to get there in the first place. Birding Destinations Costa Rica

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Six Months Birding in Costa Rica, 620 Species of Birds

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” During migration, I also see Eastern Wood-Pewees in Costa Rica. Living in Costa Rica, June is just as warm as the rest of the year. June in Costa Rica is the half-way point; when I figure out what I need to do, where I need to go to attain birding goals for the rest of the year. Snowcap and White-tipped Sicklebill – Choice hummingbirds in a speciose, fantastic family of birds. Destinations big year Costa Rica

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Barbets of Costa Rica- Clowns of the Cloud Forest

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The two families of New World barbets, the Capitonidae and the Semnornithidae, are actually more related to toucans. Although most New World Barbets live in the tropical forests of South America (“the bird continent”), us birders in Costa Rica are fortunate to have two species to watch and listen to. This species can be seen in any middle elevation rainforest in Costa Rica, it also visits fruit feeders at Cinchona, Bosque Tolomuco, and Vista del Valle.

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The Top 25 Target Birds to Look for in Costa Rica

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Although it’s feasible and fairly easy to see Great Tinamou at some sites in Costa Rica, in most other places, the time investment needed to see one usually relegates it to the “heard only” category. In defense of target birding, in most cases, sacrificing sightings of other species isn’t even necessary to see our “most wanted” As is often the case in Costa Rica and elsewhere, the rare species are found in the birdiest, high quality habitats.

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The “Turkeys” of Costa Rica

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In other words, millions of people got together with family and friends for a cozy day of mashed potatoes, gravy, apple pie, naps, football, and some serious turkeyliciousness. In Costa Rica, although I did spend a memorable one years ago in the Osa Peninsula where flocks of parrots flew into the mangroves while we feasted on turkey, pie, and the works, we have no actual Wild Turkeys , nor an official Thanksgiving. Destinations Costa Rica

Some Cool Woodpeckers from Costa Rica

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The Woodpeckers are one of the more popular of the avian families. Those woodpeckers are some smart-looking birds, and Costa Rica has her fair share with 16 species that head-bang from the dry forests of the northwest to the high-elevation rainforests of the mountains. A local, brownish subspecies of the Hairy Woodpecker is one of this avian clan that resides in Costa Rica. A Lineated Woodpecker looking for ants in Costa Rica.

Trolling for Cuckoos in Costa Rica

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Like if a chickadee calls while a family member is making his or her wedding vows, the covert birder won’t even blink. In Costa Rica, instead of frogmouths, we have equally weird and wonderful potoos. I never stop birding no matter where I am, Costa Rica included. In Costa Rica, at least the Mangrove Cuckoo is way less ninja than the Black-billed. Destinations Costa Rica cuckoosI watch birds pretty much all the time.

15 Hummingbirds that Can Only Be Seen in or Near Costa Rica

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A couple of the biggest of bird families are restricted to the Americas. Just about anywhere a birder ventures, the miniscule members of the latter family can be seen, and in most tropical locales, it’s not just one species. Costa Rica is no exception. Even better, several are only found in and near Costa Rica, including these species: White-throated Mountain-gem. The high mountains in southern Costa Rica are the realm of this sprite.

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Galapagos Birds in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica? Although Cocos Island is halfway between Costa Rica and the Galapagos, we are still talking about hundreds of kilometers of ocean between us and the place of the big tortoises. Really, there’s not much connection but thanks to the wandering ways of seabirds, Costa Rica does boast some loose links to that bucket list archipelago. The Tico families laughing and talking. Destinations Costa Rica Galapagos shearwaters

Get Saltators in Costa Rica

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“Saltator” is another one of those “intriguing” names for certain bird species that live in Costa Rica and the Neotropical region. In Costa Rica, five species can be found, one of which used to masquerade as a non-saltator on account of its big orange bill, sweet voice, and canopy ways until mDNA revealed its true evolutionary heritage. The other saltators in Costa Rica are more classic members of this odd family.

A Birdy Lunch in the Caribbean Lowlands of Costa Rica

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In Costa Rica, whether I happen to be birding for fun or searching out target birds for others, I strive to combine birds with lunch. In Costa Rica, that’s easy enough to do. Recently, while guiding in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica, I have had the pleasure of enjoying lunch with birds at an overlooked gem known as the Bar Restaurant Horquetas. In Costa Rica, there are lots of little, family-owned diners like this one.

The Smallest Trogons in Costa Rica

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Some birds are so familiar, even non-birders can’t help but know what they are, or at least what family they belong to. In Costa Rica, the Blue-gray Tanager is an ideal species for opening the door to everything birds. The only regularly occurring member of its esteemed family within the ABA boundaries, this cool bird exhibits the same sort of iridescence and striking looks that challenge us to stop gazing at any of the Trogonidae.

Collared Aracari at Finca Luna Nueva Lodge, Costa Rica

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Few if any species are as emblematic of the Neotropics as Ramphastidae, the family that includes the toucans, toucanets, and aracaris. Costa Rica has more than its fair share of these charismatic creatures to the point where the first edition of The Birds of Costa Rica features an Emerald Toucanet and the second edition, just published, features the subject of this post, the Collared Aracari. … Birds Collared Aracari Costa Rica Finca Luna Nueva toucans

No Need to Fear the Flycatcher in Costa Rica

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A lot of birders who come to Costa Rica do indeed fear the flycatcher because they assume that the country’s 80 plus members of the Tyrannidae are going to be just as painful as the little beasts sporting the eye-ring/wing bar combination back home. Yes, I realize that sounds familiar to the semi-sadistic challenge known as Empid watching but since it only involves a small percentage of the family, it’s not that bad. Destinations Costa Rica flycatchers

A Birding Lexicon for Costa Rica

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As with every tribe, we have our own set of sayings, slang, and “shop-talk” Many of us talk about twitching, lifers, and sewage ponds with nary a second thought even though such speech outside the birding community would provoke confused glances at best, and, at worst, concerned calls to family members or “the authorities” Our hobby-related lingo also changes by locale. There are plenty of these in Costa Rica. Destinations Costa Rica

Easy, Bonus Birding at Cano Negro, Costa Rica

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There are lots of great birding sites in Costa Rica. Although most birders visiting Costa Rica hit pretty much the same sites, you could just as well go to a bunch of other, lesser known places with the same type of habitat and see most of the same birds. Although a straight fast road might not seem to be a big deal, it’s a rare, welcome occurrence in seriously mountainous Costa Rica. Destinations Costa Rica

How Many Bird Species on Poas Volcano, Costa Rica?

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Flying in to Costa Rica is accompanied by porthole views of the Central Valley and the mountains that flank it. I sample birding on Poas more often than at other sites in Costa Rica because it’s close to home and makes for a worthwhile guided day trip from the San Jose area. A number of gulls, terns, sandpipers and other birds of wet habitats are prominent on most country lists, Costa Rica included. Destinations Costa Rica

Some Cool and Crazy Waterbirds from Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is one of those places that people visit to “see the rainforest” Although there’s no such thing as “the one and only rainforest”, Costa Rica is indeed a great place to check out this biodynamic habitat. There are some pretty cool tropical forests in Tiquicia (a local name for Costa Rica) and that’s where you need to go to see most of the bird species. Destinations Costa Rica Mesoamerica Sunbitterns

Starting 2018 with Hummingbirds in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is a fantastic place to watch hummingbirds. Imagine forty plus resident species of this esteemed family zipping around a place the size of a small state, many of which enjoy feeder juice, and you probably get the picture. As with other birds, different hummingbirds in Costa Rica use different habitats, some use different types of flowers, and one even likes to flycatch from boulders in the middle of rushing streams (that one would be the Green-fronted Lancebil l).

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Three Days of Birding in Costa Rica = Owls, Hummingbirds, Tanagers, and More

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I just finished three days of guiding in Costa Rica, each of which was a day trip from the Central Valley, every one a bonanza of new birds. Costa Rica’s winning combination of small size and distinct habitats makes it possible to connect with species as different as Snowcap, Crested Owl, White-throated Magpie-Jay , and glittering tanagers in a matter of thirty-six short hours, even quicker if you push your luck (and your vehicle). Destinations Costa Rica

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Caribbean Lowland Birding at Ara Ambigua Lodge, Costa Rica

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As with peninsulas and places situated on an isthmus, Costa Rica has more than one coast. Since that part of the Atlantic belongs to the Caribbean Sea, locally, the eastern low elevations of Costa Rica are also referred to as the “Caribbean lowlands” However, other than some communities made up of people of Jamaican heritage, there’s actually not much Caribbean about it. Golden-hooded Tanager- beautiful and common in Costa Rica.

Getting Lucky with a Ground-Dove in Costa Rica

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” Although some doves get as much respect as the late Rodney Dangerfield, we shouldn’t let commonality cloud our view of this big, beautiful family. As luck would have it, the Maroon-chested Ground-Dove was removed from my target list after my second trip to Costa Rica in 1994. Trips Costa Rica doves Doves tend to get a bad rap when it comes to birding.

Easy Endemics and Photography at Myriam’s Quetzals, Costa Rica

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You see, Myriam’s is located in what might be the Resplendent Quetzal capital of the world, the valley of San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica. Quetzal is THE beloved, sacred bird of Guatemala and they do live there (and in southern Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama) BUT are more accessible in Costa Rica. Last weekend, I did that while guiding a trip for the Birding Club of Costa Rica. Destinations Costa RicaMyriam’s Quetzales

Tanagers at the San Luis Adventure Park, Costa Rica

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This big, happy family of Neotropical birds is high on the list of any birder on their way to Ecuador, Brazil, Costa Rica, and other places where literally dozens of glittering tanagers brighten the pages of the field guide. Destinations Costa Rica tanagers

The Birding is Always Good at Cano Negro, Costa Rica

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As birders, we tend to spend more time in wetlands than most of our peers, neighbors, and family members. Although the few big wetland sites in Costa Rica require a bit of a trek, sun screen, and boat rides, the wetland birding is just as rewarding and acts as a welcome break from the quiet challenge of rainforest birding. There are two main wetland areas in Costa Rica, one in the Tempisque River floodplain, and the other in wetland areas associated with Lake Nicaragua.

Are Puffbirds Real? and Other Pertinent Questions for Birding in Costa Rica

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If it’s high quality coffee, the trip is that much better (and yet another reason why Costa Rica is awesome)! If the families are the same, that might not be too much of a problem. One such group of birds that leaves many a neotropical novice on the precipice of doubt is the Bucconidae or puffbirds because let’s face it, the name of the family sounds silly, and when you see a picture of one, it really kind of looks like a muppet or some plush toy.

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The Sunbitterns of Costa Rica

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Our recent trip to Selva Verde Lodge in Costa Rica was one such trip that held an unexpected surprise. A displaying Sunbittern close to Selva Verde Lodge, Costa Rica Secondly, Sunbitterns belong to a monotypic family, Eurypygidae. Already a shy bird, the Sunbittern takes secrecy to the next level when it comes to its family life. Birds Baby Bird Week Costa Rica features Sunbitterns Worldwide Birding Adventures

Highlights and Quotes from Costa Rica During the Global Big Day

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Although I could have spent a morning birding at one of my favorite sites in Costa Rica, I couldn’t just settle for that. Rufous-winged Woodpecker – one of the many forest-based birds in Costa Rica. If enough rare birds are heard, you just might break a record, and since I know that getting the world record (even the new 35o plus one) is possible in Costa Rica, I can’t help but try and go for the avian twitching gold.

Zamora Estate… Avian-rich Eco-Luxury in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica enjoys an international reputation as an iconic birding location, bursting with epic Neotropical species and breathtaking natural attractions. Understandably, certain lodges have, over the years, come to be associated with the Costa Rican birding circuit. Stay at Zamora Estate and you’ll have a chance to enjoy what will undoubtedly be a future fixture in the firmament of Costa Rican birding ecotourism. Trips Costa Rica eco-lodge hotel zamora estate

Visit the Arenal Observatory Lodge and Spa

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The Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa in La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica has a rich history as a birding-friendly eco-lodge. Family-owned since 1972, the property’s first guests were volcanologists from the Smithsonian Institute. Destinations Birding Tourism Costa Rica

Thanksgiving at Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

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Despite the gull fest down at the river, I rarely went birding on Thanksgiving Day as it was a special time reserved for the treasure of sharing good food and laughs with family. Even so, I rarely celebrated this special holiday in Costa Rica. Destinations Costa Rica

The Little Big Year: Week 40 – Last week in CR, and The Quetzal!

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Our trip to Costa Rica has come to an end, and sadly, it ended with one of the best weeks of birding in the entire year. There is no way this week could have been as excellent as it was without a huge amount of help from the Costa Rica Birders and their “network”. I have to send out a huge Thank You to 10000 Birds Beat Writer in Costa Rica, Patrick O’Donnell for all his help in our planning as well as providing some amazing contacts.

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Birding in Costa Rica, Birding in Guatemala

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In addition to Spanish, several other languages continue to be spoken, the pines and cypress trees of the Guatemalan highlands only occur as introduced species once you travel south of Nicaragua, and dozens of bird species that occur in Costa Rica and Panama don’t even make it to Nicaragua. Recently, I was witness to the differences in birding between the northern part of this region and Costa Rica during a week of guiding in Guatemala.

How to See 300 Bird Species in 3 Days

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It’s all good in the birding hood no matter where one raises the bins but in Costa Rica, it’s easy to get spoiled by diversity. Recently, while guiding ABA 2017 Big Year winner Yve Nagy Morrell in Costa Rica for a handful of days, we found ourselves trying for just a few more. That’s also no surprise for Costa Rica because this bio-rich country has the benefit of easy access to multiple bird-rich habitats within a small area.

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Migration Up North, Migration in Costa Rica

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When people find out that I moved to Costa Rica from Niagara Falls, New York, one of the first things they ask is if I miss much from the City of the Cataracts. Before coming to Costa Rica on a permanent basis, I knew and accepted that there would be some things I would obviously miss right away (like the DiCamillo bakery , Viola’s subs, family, and friends), and unforeseen aspects of life later on. Destinations Costa Rica migration

Birds that Costa Rican Birders Want to See the Most

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In Costa Rica, the growing local birding community likewise have their lists of most wanted species, both local and global. It will never occur this far south but thanks to the Endangered Species Act and recovery efforts, at least they an excellent chance of seeing Bald Eagles if they venture way north of Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, a few adventurous (or lost) waxwings make it this far south but they tend to be elusive one day wonders rather than reliable ticks.

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Hang your hammock in the hummingbird family tree

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Hummingbirds have long been classified as most closely related to the widespread, well-known swifts and the treeswifts , a small, predominantly Indomalayan family. As for the hummingbirds themselves, distinctive as the group is, the relationships within the large hummingbird family have been quite difficult to unravel. Green Violetear ( Colibri thalassinus ) in Costa Rica © David J. Magnificent Hummingbird ( Eugenes fulgens ) in Costa Rica © David J.