The great green Caribbean lowlands – Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

I am in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, in the very southeastern corner of Costa Rica. But why would someone look for that, an easy and common one among the 920+ bird species of Costa Rica? Part one: An Absolute Beginner in Costa Rica.

An Absolute Beginner in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

I have just returned from Costa Rica, the country about which I knew very little, despite it coming under my radar all the way back in 1999 when the “Africa – Birds & Birding” magazine published some of John Graham’s experiences from his visit in 1993. Costa Rica, here I come!

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Tips for Birding Costa Rica in 2017

10,000 Birds

Are you on your way to Costa Rica? That said, not even 300 of those were identified in an area around the same size as Costa Rica. Red-headed Barbet at the Cafe Colibri, Cinchona, Costa Rica. Destinations Costa Rica

The “Turkeys” of Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

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. The turkeys I’m talking about up in here are three of the five members of the Cracidae family that occur in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, it’s pretty common and easy to see in and near just about any protected forest.

Dusty, Dry Forest Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Tis the dry season in Costa Rica and on this side of the mountains, we are under the direct rule of the glaring sun. In fact, I’m not sure if I have ever had so many of those crested, rufousy flycatchers at one site in Costa Rica. If you are birding Costa Rica anytime from now until early April, be ready for that dust, wind, and sun on the Pacific slope. Destinations Costa Rica

A Bittersweet Life Bird in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

It was that way for my first Indigo Bunting (a male that absorbed all light and sang in morning wet forests of northeastern Pennsylvania in 1979), and my first Brown Noddy seen from a ferry in Costa Rica earlier this year. Costa Rica has more than 900 birds on the country list but the small size of the territory and easy access to good habitat eventually results in sightings of most resident species. However, it was also one that I never expected to see in Costa Rica.

A Brief Guide to Birding Costa Rica in 2016

10,000 Birds

Are you headed to Costa Rica this year? Hotspots : Costa Rica has so much good birding packed into a small place, it would be easy to give hotspot status to the entire country. To see more information about hotspots in Costa Rica , I also wrote something about it. The distances are short but those winding mountain roads are even slower when you run into speed bumps, buses making their stops, and other slow-going regular occurrences on roads in Costa Rica.

Highlights from the 2016 Arenal, Costa Rica Christmas Count

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, we sometimes deal with constant rain but never have to worry about numb toes or seeing just a few birds. But enough of that, now for some highlights from the first count of the season in Costa Rica, the 2016 Arenal Christmas Count !:

Christmas Counting in Arenal, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Although this tradition started in the temperate zone, we also celebrate it in Costa Rica with counts that are more like organized events featuring vendors, talks, sponsors, and, best of all, an awesome birding tee-shirt. White-fronted Nunbirds : These coral-beaked rainforest birds are always a highlight when birding in Costa Rica. I can’t think of a better way to end another year of birding in Costa Rica.

The Smallest Trogons in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, the Blue-gray Tanager is an ideal species for opening the door to everything birds. With a big fat ten species on the trogon list, Costa Rica is one of those choice places. Destinations Costa Rica trogons

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

10,000 Birds

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

Get Saltators in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

“Saltator” is another one of those “intriguing” names for certain bird species that live in Costa Rica and the Neotropical region. The other saltators in Costa Rica are more classic members of this odd family. Destinations Costa Rica

My Best and Worst Birds from Costa Rica in 2015

10,000 Birds

I never saw one there but this year, finally caught up with one of several vagrant Arctics on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Brown Noddies are regular summer residents in Costa Rica, I saw mine from the Puntarenas-Paquera ferry. Green-winged Teal : It might not sound exciting for birders slinging their binos in the temperate zone, but this fancy little duck is a heck of a rare sight in Costa Rica. Destinations Costa Rica

Mini-Pelagic Birding in Costa Rica at Puntarenas

10,000 Birds

Costa Rica borders two oceans. There are no pelagic trips” That ironic pseudo-haiku almost sums up pelagic birding in Costa Rica. I wish I was one of those fortunate folks but as luck would have it, the main semi-pelagic trip that does happen in Costa Rica is also one of the easiest boat rides you will ever take. Destinations Trips Costa Rica pelagic birdingThe country has a healthy list of pelagic species.

Rare Birds in Costa Rica from a Local Birding Perspective

10,000 Birds

For example, in Costa Rica, we have Eastern Phoebe on the list because one lone, very lost (or extremely adventurous) individual took a really big detour at Pismo Beach instead of making a short flight to wintering grounds much closer to home. It ended up on Cocos Island and since that eastern Pacific isle is in Costa Rican territory, Eastern Phoebe is on the list. None of these are rare in their normal haunts but seeing them in Costa Rica would be a major birding event.

United Airlines launches Eco-Skies Vacations in Costa Rica

Green Traveler Guides

Initial destinations are in Costa Rica, a destination known for stunning biodiversity, beaches, rain forests and a commitment to sustainable tourism. “United […] United Airlines launches Eco-Skies Vacations in Costa Rica is a post from: Green Traveler Guides.

The Raptor Situation in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, we have more than our fair share. This basically means that it’s not easy being a raptor in Costa Rica. As with so many other bird species in Costa Rica that require humid tropical forest, various raptors seem to also be in decline.

Tanagers at the San Luis Adventure Park, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

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

A Birding Lexicon for Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, when speaking English, we use a combination of words associated with both North American and UK birding communities. I also have some additional terms that would be appropriate additions to a Costa Rican birding lexicon: “It’s a Jay” : If you hear a local or guide say this, they aren’t talking about birds like Azure-hooded Jay , the rare Silvery-throated Jay , or the much more common and outrageous White-throated Magpie-Jay.

Caribbean Lowland Birding at Ara Ambigua Lodge, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

As with peninsulas and places situated on an isthmus, Costa Rica has more than one coast. White-crowned Pigeon might be on the list, but that rare prize for Costa Rica is far from regular. Golden-hooded Tanager- beautiful and common in Costa Rica.

Aplomado Twitch in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, we don’t get many chances to chase birds. The open, dry habitat was perfect for it and the experience was so real, it was almost painful to wake up but alas, no Loggerhead Shrike, just a vivid dream of a migrant bird that could make a mega appearance in Costa Rica.

Want to Escape the Heat? Go Birding in Costa Rica!

10,000 Birds

Yep, come to Costa Rica to cool off! Plant as many trees as you can, support organic, locally produced food, don’t buy products associated with deforestation, and feel good about coming down to Costa Rica. Destinations Costa Rica

Costa Rica: 5 great green reasons to go NOW

Green Traveler Guides

| The Americas’ Greenest | Costa Rica and eco-travel have long been synonymous. Costa Rica: 5 great green reasons to go NOW is a post from: Green Traveler Guides.

The Cutest Birds in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Go birding in Costa Rica to get these avian examples of cuteness on the life list: Collared Redstart – cute and common in the highlands of Costa Rica and western Panama. Destinations Costa RicaAre all birds created equal?

A Hummingbird Quest in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Yes, the time had come to see how many of Costa Rica’s hummingbird species we could find, and we had two days to work with. This oh so awesome endeavor was apparently somewhat inspired by a blog post I had written that toyed with the idea of doing a hummingbird big day in Costa Rica. Shetland Island birder, guide, and nature writer Jon Dunn saw the post, had a chance to come down to Costa Rica for a weekend, and the hummingbird quest was on!

Duck Quest in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Costa Rica is known for its quetzales, many hummingbirds, beautiful tanagers, and a host of other tropical birdies not found back at the home patch. That’s of course why most birders visit Costa Rica and rightly so. Destinations Costa Rica

Six Months of Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

As with any region endowed with bio-rich tropical habitats, the more time you spend in Costa Rica, the more birds you end up seeing. Destinations big year Costa RicaIt’s 2017 and we have reached the halfway point.

When a Ring-billed Gull is a Rarity- Tortuguero, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Although the bird in question wasn’t the major, mega target known as a Crested Eagle , Robert Dean, the illustrator and co-author of “The Birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide” still shared my jubilation at seeing none other than a Ring-billed Gull.

A Step in the Right Direction: How Costa Rica made me a Climate Change Optimist.

Elephant Journal

In the first quarter of 2015, Costa Rica produced 100% of its energy from renewable resources, an impressive accomplishment. Adventure Bicycle Conscious Consumerism (Sustainable Business) Enlightened Society (Politics, Active Citizenship, Social Good) Equal Rights Green Sustainability (Business, Entrepreneurship, Livelihood) WAYLON: Editor''s Picks alternative energy carbon neutrality central america Costa Rica green net zero offsets

Ecotone Birding around Guacalillo, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

En route, we also saw the three expected dry forest Psittacine species in Costa Rica; Orange-fonted Parakeet, White-fronted Parrot, and Yellow-naped Parrot. Although Surfbird is a regular migrant in Costa Rica, we were happy to see them because they can be easy to miss. In Costa Rica, Northern Scrub Flycatchers only occur in mangroves. Destinations Costa Rica Turquoise-browed MotmotBirding opens numerous portals to knowledge.

Volcanic Birding on Irazu, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Irazu is the name of a volcano in Costa Rica. but it’s not common in Costa Rica. Stop at any bit of forest en route and you might see species like Flame-throated Warbler, Yellow-winged Vireo, Ruddy Treerunner , and other birds that only live in the high elevations of Costa Rica and western Panama. Destinations Costa Rica

Where to Stay on Your First Day of Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, since winter doesn’t exist, June is kind of like every other month except that it rains more and the little summer of San Juan is right around the corner. This break from the rain coincides with two weeks off from school, and also makes a perfect excuse for visiting Costa Rica during the summer. Costa Rica is so compact, you could spend the first night in just about any of the major biomes in the country. Destinations Costa Rica

Some Cool Woodpeckers from Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

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. Lineated Woodpecker : Pileated Woodepeckers might not live in Costa Rica but Lineateds do! A Lineated Woodpecker looking for ants in Costa Rica.

600 Bird Species in Costa Rica by August, 2015. Which Birds Are Missing?

10,000 Birds

That 600th species was a Streaked Xenops , an especially uncommon bird in Costa Rica usually seen at Tapanti National Park. I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen one yet this year but then again, viewing a Jabiru in Costa Rica usually requires a visit to the Palo Verde area or Cano Negro. Raptors : A pretty high number of raptor species occur in Costa Rica but hold your feathered horses raptorphiles because most are rare!

Costa Rica is now running on 100 percent renewable energy

Green Blog

Costa Rica has been getting all of its electricity from renewable energy sources since the beginning of the year. This accomplishment is no random luck, it’s the result of hard work to reach the country’s goal to become carbon-neutral by 2021, as Costa Rico announced back in 2009. “We

Photogenic Birding in San Vito, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

I reside in Costa Rica, the country is roughly the same size as West Virginia, but I rarely make it to some parts of this birdy nation. This bird is fairly common in many parts of Costa Rica but it’s so stunning, it always deserves a mention. Destinations Costa Ric

New Big Day Record Broken for Costa Rica!

10,000 Birds

But what about Costa Rica, isn’t this post about a new Big Day record for my adopted, birdy country? On October 25th, a new Big Day record was indeed broken in Costa Rica by Ernesto Carman and Jairo Jimenez. It was wonderful to see that they hit more than 350 species in Costa Rica because I have known that this was possible since I started looking into Costa Rican Big Day routes in 2009. competitions big day Costa Rica

No Need to Fear the Flycatcher in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

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, they look pretty similar, and also look sort of look like four or five other species in Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, the Mountain Elaenia is one of the most common species in semi-open highland areas.

Easy, Bonus Birding at Cano Negro, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

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

Avian Oddities from Two Days of Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

That’s what it’s like in some of the rainforests in Costa Rica. A Scarlet Macaw hangs out with a Great Green Macaw near San Miguel, Costa Rica. Destinations Costa RicaOne of the many things about birding that keeps us heading back into “the field” is the opportunity for the unexpected.