Visit your favourite destinations
Western Europe
North America
Eastern Europe
South America
Middle East
East Indies

A Report from

COSTA RICA, March 13 - 26, 2001,

Stijn De Win

Stijn De Win, Spekmolenstraat 37, 2200 Herentals,


March 2001.

Mon. 12 : Flight Brussels – Madrid – Miami - San José. Evening arrival.
Tues. 13 : Drive form Heredia to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, visit Volcán Poás and road to Virgen del Socorro enroute.
Wed. 14 : La Selva
Thu. 15 : La Selva
Fri. 16 : La Selva – Fortuna – birding from road at Tabacón hot springs.
Sat. 17 : Fortuna – Monteverde.
Sun. 18 : Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.
Mon. 19 :Santa Elena Reserve entrance area, drive to Cañas.
Tues. 20 :Drive Cañas to Tárcoles, birding sideroads enroute.
Wed. 21 :Carara area.
Thu. 22 : Carara area and drive to San Isidro.
Fri. 23 :  Cerro de la Muerte. (drive San Isidro-Orosi)
Sat. 24 :  Tapantí national park.
Sun. 25 : Braulio Carrillo national park, trails at Quebrada González ranger station.
Mon. 26 : Flight to Brussels via Miami and Madrid.
Tues. 27 : Arrival at home : 17u00



Costa Rica is a very friendly and pleasant country to go for birding.

Getting There

I flew with Iberia from Brussels to San José via Madrid and Miami. My return ticket booked with Connetions cost me approx. 495 € / 20000 BEF.

Iberia : Arrival in San José was 2 hours later. On the return flight from Miami to Madrid we had a delay of half an hour. By the time I was at the gate for the flight to Brussels the plane was already gone. (Everyone had to go out and in again through border control !!) I had to take the next flight 4 hours later. Finally found my luggage in Brussels which came on the first flight ! Getting home took me 24 hours !!

This is the first airline I met which has no guaranteed connections between their flights. I NEVER fly Iberia again. Martinair had a flight there for only 49,5 € / 2000 BEF more. Always reconfirm your return flight.

There was a departure tax of 17 $ at Juan Santamaria international airport.

1 US$ = 322 Colones = 40,3399 € = 44 BEF. (March 2001) You can use small-denominations bills (US$ 20 ans less) to pay for just anything. Change some money into Colones for small expenses.

It’s easy to get around even if you do not speak Spanish.

Good and (very) safe, tapwater is drinkable everywhere. Never heard of someone getting sick from food in Costa Rica.

Generally a (very) safe country.

I had a rental car booked via Holiday Auto’s in Belgium from Alamo (Ada). Price for two weeks : 716 € / 657 $
Super = 209 Colones
Total of the trip = 1500 kms
There was no cleaning charge.
I had a Daihatsu Cuore and had no problems in getting to Monteverde or on other bad roads.
I only had a flat tyre nearCanas.Note that there are very few signs to get directions.
Getting around by public transport is possible but difficult for several birding sites.

I had ten minutes of rain at La Selva.Afternoons with rain and fog at Cerro de la Muerte, Tapanti and Braulio Carrillo.
The rest ofthe trip was sunny ; hot at the pacific coast, cooler in the mountains.

Places to stay
I found many good hotels at around 10 $.
I put my tent in a hotel garden for 1000 Colones in Orosi.

Literature and optic instruments
A guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, Stiles, Skutch and Gardner. ISBN 0 8014 2287 6
Lonely planet travel guide, May 2000
ITM map of Costa Rica, scale 1:500,000
Trip reports from the internet.
Tape and microphone, although I was not using it very often.


The list follows the sequence and scientific nomenclature of ‘A guide to the Birds of Costa Rica’. Stiles, Skutch and Gardner.

Used abbreviations :
...     Enroute + date
VP, Volcán Poás
VS, Road to Virgen del Socorro
M,  Feeders at café Mirador between La Paz waterfall and Virgen del Socorro.
LS, La Selva entrance area (not across the river)
THS, Along road at Tabacón hot springs (Arenal)
MO, Monteverde cloud forest reserve.
CA, Carara – Tárcoles area.
CM, Cerro de la Muerte.
TA, Tapantí National Park.
BC, Braulio Carrillo National Park, trails at Quebrada Gonzáles ranger station.

1.   Great Tinamou,     Tinamus major, commonly heard LS, 3 birds seen CA   Bonita trail
2.   Pied-billed Grebe      Podilymbus podiceps, O13
3.   Least Grebe  Tachybaptus dominicus, CA lagoon
4.   Brown Pelican      Pelecanus occidentalis, O20, O22, Tarcoles
5.   Olivaceous cormorant   Phalacrocorax olivaceus, Arenal lake
6.   Anhinga  Anhinga anhinga, CA lagoon
7.   Magnificent Frigatebird     Fregata magnificens, O20, Tarcoles
8.   Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma mexicanum, one Tarcoles
9.   Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Nyctanassa violacea, Tarcoles river mouth
10. Boat-billed Heron     Cochlearius cochlearius, CA colonie with eggs and young on nest at lagoon Meandrica trail
11. Cattle Egret   Bubulcus ibis, common
12. Green-backed Heron Butorides striatus, O19, O20, CA
13. Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea, bridge near VS, Selva Verde, CA
14. Reddish Egret     Egretta rufescens, Tarcoles river mouth
15. Snowy Egret Egretta thula, CA
16. Great Egret   Casmerodius albus, O13, CA
17. Great Blue Heron      Ardea herodias, bridge near VS, CA
18. Green Ibis     Mesembrinibus cayennensis, several LS
19. White Ibis     Eudocimus albus, several Tarcoles
20. Roseate Spoonbill     Ajaia ajaja, several Tarcoles
21. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  Dendrocygna autumnalis, O20, CA
22. Turkey Vulture     Cathartes aura, common
23. Black Vulture      Coragyps atratus, common
24. King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa, one CA perched in forest
25. Osprey   Pandion haliaetus, O20, Tarcoles
26. American Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus, VS, Arenal area, MO, O22, CM
27. White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus, O13, O16, CA, O22, O24
28. Crane Hawk Geranospiza caerulescens, one CA
29. White Hawk Leucopternis albicollis, one LS
30. Common Black-Hawk Buteogallus anthracinus, one Tarcoles
31. Solitary Eagle      Harpyhaliaetus solitarius, one near La Paz waterfall (= VS area)
32. Gray Hawk   Buteo nitidus, common
33. Roadside Hawk  Buteo magnirostris, O20, O22
34. Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus, O13, CM
35. Short-tailed Hawk     Buteo brachyurus, O20, CA
36. Swainson’s Hawk     Buteo swainsoni, CM
37. White-tailed Hawk    Buteo albicaudatus, M
38. Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis, O20
39. Ornate Hawk-Eagle  Spizaetus ornatus, one perched BC
40. Back Hawk-Eagle     Spizaetus tyrannus, one TA
41. Crested Caracara      Polyborus plancus, O20, CA, O22
42. Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima, CA, O22
43. Laughing Falcon  Herpetotheres cachinnans, O16, CA
44. American Kestrel      Falco sparverius, few throughout
45. Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, O20
46. Gray-headed Chachalaca Ortalis cinereiceps, LS, Selva Verde
47. Crested Guan      Penelope purpurascens, THS, BC, two enroute Dominical-San Isidro
48. Black Guan   Chamaepetes unicolor, 2 MO, 2 Santa Elena entrance, CM km 70, TA 6 ex.
49. Black-breasted Wood-Quail    Odontophorus leucolaemus, MO
50. White-throated Crake      Laterallus albigularis, heard only LS
51. Purple Gallinule   Porphyrula martinica, one CA
52. Sungrebe      Heliornis fulica, one on river LS, seen from trail close to soccer field
53. Northern Jacana  Jacana spinosa, O13, CA
54. Black-necked Stilt     Himantopus mexicanus, O20, Tarcoles
55. Double-striped Thick-knee Burhinus bistriatus, near S. Joaquin O20
56. Black-bellied Plover  Pluvialis squatarola, Tarcoles
57. Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus, Tarcoles
58. Whimbrel      Numenius phaeopus, Tarcoles
59. Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus, O20
60. Spotted Sandpiper    Actitis macularia, common along rivers
61. Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus, Tarcoles
62. Western Sandpiper   Calidris mauri, CA
63. Least Sandpiper  Calidris minutilla, Tarcoles
64. Royal Tern    Sterna maxima, O20, Tarcoles
65. Black Skimmer   Rynchops niger, O20 at saltpans at leats 100 ex
66. Band-tailed Pigeon    Columba fasciata, MO, very common TA
67. Pale-vented Pigeon   Columba cayennensis, LS
68. Red-billed Pigeon      Columba flavirostris, LS
69. Short-billed Pigeon    Columba nigrirostris, LS, BC
70. Mourning Dove   Zenaida macroura, O13
71. White-winged Dove  Zenaida asiatica, O17, O20, CA
72. Common Ground-Dove   Columbina passerina, O19, O20, CA
73. Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti, common
74. Inca Dove     Columbina inca, O17, O19, O20
75. Blue Ground Dove    Claravis pretiosa, LS, CA
76. White-tipped Dove   Leptotila verreauxi, O13, O20
77. Gray-fronted Dove    Leptotila rufaxilla, LS
78. Gray-chested Dove   Leptotila cassinii, CA
79. Chiriqui Quail-Dove  Geotrygon chiriquensis, MO
80. Ruddy Quail-Dove    Geotrygon montana, CA
81. Scarlet Macaw     Ara macao, several CA, also Tarcoles village
82. Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis, LS
83. Brown-hooded Parrot      Pionopsitta haematotis, LS, Selva Verde
84. White-crowned Parrot  Pionus senilis, LS, CA, BC
85. White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons, Santa Elena reserve entrance area, O20
86. Mealy Parrot Amazona farinosa, LS, CA
87. Black-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus erythropthalmus, one Rio Corobici north of Canas
88. Squirrel Cuckoo  Piaya cayana, LS, Rio Corobici, CA
89. Groove-billed Ani     Crotophaga sulcirostris, common
90. Lesser Nighthawk     Chordeiles acutipennis, Arenal area, Jaco beach
91. Common Pauraque   Nyctidromus albicollis, LS, Fortuna
92. White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris, O13, MO, O20, O22, BC, TA
93. Vaux’s Swift Chaetura vauxi, O13
94. Gray-rumped Swift   Chaetura cinereiventris, LS, BC
95. Bronzy Hermit      Glaucis aenea, LS, TA
96. Long-tailed Hermit    Phaethornis superciliosus, LS
97. Green Hermit      Phaethornis guy, M, MO, BC, TA
98. Little Hermit  Phaethornis longuemareus, CA
99. Green-fronted Lancebill    Doryfera ludoviciae, TA
100.     Scaly-breasted Hummingbird   Phaeochroa cuvierii, O19
101.     Violet Sabrewing Campylopterus hemileucurus, M, Mo, Santa Elena reserve entrance
102.     White-necked Jacobin  Florisuga mellivora, LS, Arenal area (road to Nat. Park)
103.     Green Violet-ear Colibri thalassinus, M, MO, CM Savegre lodge (km 80)
104.     Green-breasted Mango    Anthracothorax prevostii, LS
105.     Green Thorntail   Discosura conversii, M
106.     Fork-tailed Emerald  Chlorostilbon canivetii, VS
107.     Crowned Woodnymph     Thalurania colombica, VS, BC
108.     Fiery-throated Hummingbird     Panterpa insignis, MO
109.     Steely-vented Hummingbird      Amazilia saucerrottei, O19
110.     Rufous-tailed Hummingbird      Amazilia tzacatl, LS, Selva Verde, M
111.     Striped-tailed Hummingbird      Eupherusa eximia, MO
112.     Black-bellied Hummingbird      Eupherusa nigriventris, TA
113.     Coppery-headed Emerald  Elvira cupreiceps, M, MO
114.     White-bellied Mountain-gem    Lampornis hemileucus, TA
115.     Purple-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis calolaema, MO
116.     Green-crowned Brilliant    Heliodoxa jacula   , M, MO
117.     Magnificent Hummingbird Eugenes fulgens, VP, CM Savegre Lodge
118.     Purple-crowned Fairy      Heliothryx barroti, LS, BC
119.     Magenta-throated Woodstar    Calliphlox bryantae, MO
120.     Scintillant Hummingbird    Selasphorus scintilla, VP, CM Savegre Lodge (km 80)
121.     Volcano Hummingbird  Selasphorus flammula, CM La Georgina and KM 80
122.     Resplendent Quetzal  Pharomachrus mocinno, MO (one pair + 1♀), CM Savegre Lodge down at km 80 (1♀), CM 1km down the road at KM 80 (one pair)        (Total = 2♂, 4♀)
123.     Slaty-tailed Trogon    Trogon massena, LS, CA
124.     Baird’s Trogon     Trogon bairdii, CA
125.     Black-headed Trogon      Trogon melanocephalus, Rio Corobici north of Canas, O20
126.     Collared Trogon  Trogon collaris, TA
127.     Black-throated Trogon Trogon rufus, MO ! , CA
128.     Violaceous Trogon    Trogon violaceus, LS, BC
129.     Ringed Kingfisher      Ceryle torquata, SV, Puerto Viejo
130.     Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon, fairly common
131.     Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana, O19, CA
132.     American Pygmy Kingfisher      Chloroceryle aenea, one CA
133.     Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum, LS
134.     Turquoise-browed Motmot      Eumomota superciliosa, O19, common O20, CA
135.     Rufous Motmot   Baryphthengus martii, LS, BC
136.     Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota, O13, MO town
137.     Rufous-tailed Jacamar  Galbula ruficauda, LS, CA
138.     White-whiskered Puffbird Malacoptila panamensis, CA with army ants
139.     White-fronted Nunbird Monasa morphoeus, two THS
140.     Prong-billed Barbet   Semnornis frantzii, M, MO, TA
141.     Emerald Toucanet     Aulacorhynchus prasinus, O17, MO
142.     Collared Aracari Pteroglossus torquatus, LS, THS, BC
143.     Fiery-billed Aracari   Pteroglossus frantzii, CA, O22 between Dominical-San Isidro
144.     Keel-billed Toucan    Ramphastos sulfuratus, LS, O13
145.     Chestnut-mandibled Toucan     Ramphastos swainsonii, LS, THS, CA, BC
146.     Acorn Woodpecker  Melanerpes formicivorus, CM ; La Georgina and km80
147.     Golden-naped Woodpecker     Melanerpes chrysauchen, CA
148.     Black-cheeked Woodpecker   Melanerpes pucherani, LS
149.     Hoffmann’s Woodpecker Melanerpes hoffmannii, Arenal area, MO, O19, CA
150.     Rufous-winged Woodpecker    Piculus simplex, LS
151.     Chestnut-colored Woodpecker     Celeus castaneus, LS
152.     Lineated Woodpecker  Dryocopus lineatus, THS
153.     Pale-billed Woodpecker  Campephilus guatemalensis, CA ; 3 together Quebrada Bonita trail
154.     Tawny-winged Woodcreeper   Dendrocincla anabatina, CA
155.     Long-tailed Woodcreeper  Deconychura longicauda, TA
156.     Wedge-billed Woodcreeper     Glyphorhynchus spirurus, LS, BC
157.     Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes certhia, LS, CA
158.     Buff-throated Woodcreeper     Xiphorhynchus guttatus, CA
159.     Spotted Woodcreeper     Xiphorhynchus erythropygius, TA, BC
160.     Streaked-headed Woodcreeper    Lepidocolaptes souleyetii, La Paz Waterfall, LS
161.     Brown-billed Scythebill    Campylorhamphus pusillus, CA
162.     Red-faced Spinetail   Cranioleuca erythrops, TA
163.     Spotted Barbtail  Premnoplex brunnescens, MO, TA
164.     Ruddy Treerunner     Margarornis rubiginosus, MO, CM km80
165.     Buffy Tuftedcheek     Pseudocolaptes lawrencii, TA
166.     Lineated Foliage-gleaner  Syndactyla subalaris, MO
167.     Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner  Automolus ochrolaemus, CA
168.     Streaked-breasted Treehunter  Thripadectes rufobrunneus, TA
169.     Gray-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus albigularis, MO
170.     Great Antshrike   Taraba major, LS
171.     Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus, O20, CA
172.     Black-hooded Antshrike  Thamnophilus bridgesi, CA
173.     Russet Antshrike Thamnistes anabatinus, BC
174.     Plain Antvireo     Dysithamnus mentalis, MO
175.     Streaked-crowned Antvireo     Dysithamnus striaticeps, BC
176.     Checker-throated Antwren Myrmotherula fulviventris, BC
177.     Slaty Antwren     Myrmotherula schisticolor, MO
178.     Rufous-rumped Antwren  Terenura callinota, TA
179.     Dotted-winged Antwren   Microrhopias quixensis, CA
180.     Dusky Antbird      Cercomacra tyrannina, CA
181.     Chestnut-backed Antbird Myrmeciza exsul, CA
182.     Black-faced Antthrush  Formicarius analis, LS, CA
183.     Silvery-fronted Tapaculo  Scytalopus argentifron, one male seen very well MO and 5 others heard,CM heard at road down to San Isidro, TA heard only.
184.     Cinnamon Becard     Pachyramphus cinnamomeus, LS
185.     Rose-throated Becard      Pachyromphus aglaiae, O20 near San Joaquin
186.     Masked Tityra    Tityra semifasciata, LS, O19, O22, CA
187.     Black-crowned Tityra      Tityra inquisitor, LS one male
188.     Snowy Cotinga   Carpodectes nitidus, two LS
189.     Three-wattled Bellbird  Procnias tricarunculata, two below Santa Elena reserve entrance (road to)
190.     Blue-crowned Manakin    Pipra coronata, CA one male
191.     Long-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia linearis, O19 along road Santa Elena – Las Juntas
192.     Orange-collared Manakin Manacus aurantiacus, CA fairly common
193.     White-collared Manakin   Manacus candei, LS, Selva Verde
194.     Black Phoebe     Sayornis nigricans, VS, TA
195.     Long-tailed Tyrant     Colonia colonus, LS, THS
196.     Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  Tyrannus forficatus, O20
197.     Tropical Kingbird      Tyrannus melancholicus, common
198.     Piratic Flycatcher      Legatus leucophaius, Selva Verde
199.     Boat-billed Flycatcher  Megarhynchus pitangua, several LS area
200.     Bright-rumped Attila  Attila spadiceus, LS fairly common
201.     Streaked Flycatcher  Myiodynastes maculatus, CA
202.     Gray-capped Flycatcher   Myiozetetes granadensis, LS
203.     Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis, commonO13, LS area and around
204.     Great Kiskadee   Pitangus sulphuratus, common
205.     Rufous Mourner  Rhytipterna holerythra, one BC
206.     Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus, LS, M
207.     Dusky-capped Flycatcher  Myiarchus tuberculifer, LS
208.     Alder/Willow Flycatcher Emidonax alnorum / traillii, Arenal area
209.     Yellowish Flycatcher Empidonax flavescens, MO
210.     Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher   Terenotriccus erythrurus, BC
211.     Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher      Myiobius sulphureipygius, BC
212.     White-throated Spadebill  Platyrinchus mystaceus, MO
213.     Eye-ringed Flatbill     Rhynchocyclus brevirostris, MO
214.     Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum, LS, CA
215.     Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum sylvia, CA
216.     Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant    Lophotriccus pileatus, TA
217.     Yellow Tyrannulet     Capsiempis flaveola, LS
218.     Torrent Tyrannulet     Serpophaga cinerea , TA
219.     Yellow-bellied Elaenia  Elaenia flavogaster, LS
220.     Mountain Elaenia Elaenia frantzii, VP, CM
221.     Mistletoe Tyrannulet  Zimmerius vilissimus, VS, LS, CA
222.     Slaty-capped Flycatcher   Leptopogon superciliaris, BC
223.     Olive-striped Flycatcher   Mionectes olivaceus, TA
224.     Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea, Puerto Viejo
225.     Barn Swallow     Hirundo rustica, O16, CA, O22
226.     Southern Rough-winged Swallow  Stelgidopteryx ruficollis, O13, LS
227.     Northern Rough-winged Swallow  Stelgedopteryx serripennis, several throughout
228.     Blue-and-white Swallow  Notiochelidon cyanoleuca, O13, M
229.     Mangrove Swallow   Tachycineta albilinea, LS, Tarcoles
230.     White-throated Magpie-Jay      Calocitta formosa, O17, O19, O20
231.     Brown Jay    Cyanocorax morio, O17, near Fortuna, O19, MO, CA, Orosi (TA)
232.     American Dipper Cinclus mexicanus, VS, bridge at road near turnoff at VS, TA
233.     Banded-backed Wren      Campylorhynchus zonatus, LS, THS
224.     Rufous-naped Wren  Campylorhynchus rufinucha, Rio Corobici north of Canas, CA, O20
225.     Plain Wren    Thryothorus modestus, MO
226.     Striped-breasted Wren     Thryothorus thoracicus, BC
227.     Bay Wren     Thryothorus nigricapillus, VS, LS, Selva Verde, THS
228.     Riverside Wren   Thryothorus semibadius, CA
229.     Banded Wren     Thryothorus pleurostictus, river trail along Rio Corobici at bridge north of Canas
230.     Rufous-breasted Wren Thryothorus rutilus, CA
231.     House Wren Troglodytes aedon, fairly common
232.     Ochraceous Wren     Troglodytes ochraceus, MO
233.     Timberline Wren Thryorchilus browni, CM three at highest point at antennae near km 93
234.     White-breasted Wood-Wren   Henicorhina leucosticta, LS, BC
235.     Gray-breasted Wood-Wren     Henicorhina leucophrys, MO, TA
236.     Whistling Wren   Microcerculus luscinia, CA with army ants
237.     Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis, one LS
238.     White-throated Robin Turdus assimilis, MO
239.     Clay-colored Robin   Turdus grayi, common
240.     Mountain Robin  Turdus plebejus, MO, CM km80, TA
241.     Sooty Robin  Turdus nigrescens, VP, CM
242.     Black-faced Solitaire Myadestes melanops, MO, entrance Santa Elena reserve, heard km80 CM, TA
243.     Wood Trush Hylocichla mustelina, LS, CA, BC
244.     Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush  Catharus mexicanus, BC
245.     Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush   Catharus fuscater, MO
246.     Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush      Catharus frantzii, CM km 62
247.     Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush  Catharus aurantiirostris, O17 between Cabaceras – Santa Elena
248.     Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush     Catharus gracilirostris, VP, CM
249.     Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptila plumbea, LS
250.     Tawny-faced Gnatwren    Microbates cinereiventris, BC
251.     Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher     Ptilogonys caudatus, O13 between Barva-Poasito, CM km 80
252.     Yellow-winged Vireo Vireo carmioli, CM near antennae and km 80
253.     Lesser Greenlet   Hylophilus decurtatus, LS, BC
254.     Bananaquit    Coereba flaveola, VS, LS, BC, TA
255.     Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia, M
256.     Worm-eating Warbler  Helmitheros vermivorus, LS
257.     Golden-winged Warbler   Vermivora chrysoptera, LS
258.     Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus, LS
259.     Tennessee Warbler   Vermivora peregrina, LS, MO, CA, BC
260.     Flame-throated Warbler   Parula gutturalis, CM km 80
261.     Tropical Parula     Parula pitiayumi, VS
262.     Yellow Warbler  Dendroica petechia, Arenal road to National Park, CA
263.     Black-throated Green Warbler      Dendroica virens, O13, MO, CM
264.     Cerulean Warbler     Dendroica cerulea, one BC
265.     Chestnut-sided Warbler   Dendroica pensylvanica, common, O13, VS, LS, THS, CA, BC
266.     Ovenbird      Seiurus aurocapillus, CA
267.     Northern Waterthrush      Seiurus noveboracensis, LS, CA, O20
268.     Mourning Warbler     Oporornis philadelphia, LS
269.     Olive-crowned Yellowthroat    Geothlypis semiflava, two TA
270.     Hooded Warbler Wilsonia citrina, CA
271.     Wilson’s Warbler      Wilsonia pusilla, common
272.     American Redstart    Setophaga ruticilla, BC
273.     Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus, VS, MO, TA
274.     Collared Redstart      Myioborus torquatus, MO, entrance Santa Elena reserve, CM km80
275.     Three-striped Warbler  Basileuterus tristriatus, MO, TA
276.     Black-cheeked Warbler   Basileuterus melanogenys, CM km80 and antennae
277.     Rufous-capped Warbler   Basileuterus rufifrons, MO town
278.     Buff-rumped Warbler Phaeothlypis fulvicauda, LS, THS
279.     Chestnut-headed Oropendola   Psarocolius wagleri, LS, O16, O17, road to Santa Elena reserve
280.     Montezuma Oropendola   Psarocolius montezuma, Selva Verde (breeding colony across road), LS, Fortuna area, Cartago
281.     Scarlet-rumped Cacique   Cacicus uropygialis, LS
282.     Bronzed Cowbird     Molothrus aeneus, O13, LS
283.     Great-tailed Grackle  Quiscalus mexicanus, common
284.     Black-cowled Oriole Icterus dominicensis, LS
285.     Yellow-tailed Oriole  Icterus mesomelas, LS
286.     Spotted-breasted Oriole   Icterus pectoralis, O20
287.     Baltimore Oriole  Icterus galbula, common LS, M, O19
288.     Red-winged Blackbird  Agelaius phoeniceus, O16, O17
289.     Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna, O17 (Lake Arenal)
290.     Golden-browed Chlorophonia Chlorophonia callophrys, M, MO
291.     Blue-hooded Euphonia Euphonia elegantissima, MO, TA
292.     Tawny-capped Euphonia  Euphonia anneae, BC
293.     Yellow-crowned Euphonia Euphonia luteicapilla, LS
294.     Yellow-throated Euphonia  Euphonia hirundinacea, CA
295.     Olive-backed Euphonia    Euphonia gouldi, LS
296.     Spotted-crowned Euphonia      Euphonia imitans, CA
297.     Emerald Tanager Tangara florida, BC
298.     Speckled Tanager     Tangara guttata, BC
299.     Silver-throated Tanager    Tangara icterocephala, VS, TA
300.     Golden-hooded Tanager,  Tangara larvata, LS, road to National Park Arenal, BC
301.     Rufous-winged Tanager,    Tangara lavinia, BC
302.     Bay-headed Tanager, Tangara gyrola, M, BC
303.     Spangled-cheeked Tanager,      Tangara dowii, MO, TA
304.     Green Honeycreeper, Chlorophanes spiza, LS, THS, CA, BC
305.     Red-legged Honeycreeper,  Cyanerpes cyaneus, BC
306.     Shining Honeycreeper,   Cyanerpes lucidus, BC
307.     Scarlet-thighed Dacnis,  Dacnis venusta, BC
308.     Blue-gray Tanager,     Thraupis episcopus, O13, LS, CA, BC
309.     Palm Tanager,      Thraupis palmarum, LS, M
310.     Scarlet-rumped Tanager,   Ramphocelus passerinii, O13, LS, BC
311.     Crimson-collared Tanager,  Phlogothraupis sanguinolenta, VS, LS, TA
312.     Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra, LS, M, BC
313.     Hepatic Tanager , Piranga flava, LS, O20
314.     Flame-colored Tanager,    Piranga bidentata, CM km 80
315.     Olive Tanager,     Chlorothraupis carmioli, THS, BC
316.     Red-throated Ant-Tanager, Habia fuscicauda, LS
317.     White-lined Tanager,  Tachyphonus rufus, LS
318.     Tawny-crested Tanager,    Tachyphonus delattrii, BC
319.     Dusky-faced Tanager, Mitrospingus cassinii, BC
320.     Black-and-yellow Tanager,      Chrysothlypis chrysomelas, BC
321.     Common Bush-Tanager,   Chlorospingus ophthalmicus, O13, M, MO, TA
322.     Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager,    Chlorospingus pileatus, VP, CM antennae and km 80
323.     Black-headed Saltator,  Saltator atriceps, LS
324.     Buff-throated Saltator, Saltator maximus, O13, Selva Verde, LS, CA, TA
325.     Grayish Saltator,   Saltator coerulescens, LS
326.     Black-faced Grosbeak, Caryothraustes poliogaster, LS, BC
327.     Black-thighed Grosbeak,   Pheucticus tibialis, CM Savegre Lodge (km80)
328.     Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Pheucticus ludovicianus, O17, O19
329.     Blue Grosbeak,     Guiraca caerulea, one Tarcoles
330.     Blue-black Grosbeak, Cyanocompsa cyanoides, LS, CA
331.     Yellow-faced Grassquit,    Tiaris olivacea, O13, O16, O20
332.     Variable Seedeater,    Sporophila aurita, O13, LS
333.     Blue-black Grassquit, Volatinia jacarina, CA
334.     Slaty Flowerpiercer,   Diglossa plumbea ,CM km 80 and Savegre Lodge
335.     Large-footed Finch,   Pezopetes capitalis, VP, CM antennae and km 80
336.     Yellow-thighed Finch, Pselliophorus tibialis, VP, CM
337.     Yellow-throated Brush-Finch,   Atlapetes gutturalis, TA
338.     Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch, Atlapetes brunneinucha, MO
339.     Sooty-faced Finch,     Lysurus crassirostris, one TA
340.     Orange-billed Sparrow,     Arremon aurantiirostris, LS, CA, BC
341.     Black-striped Sparrow, Arremonops conirostris, LS, Selva Verde
342.     White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Melozone leucotis, O17, MO
343.     Striped-headed Sparrow , Aimophila ruficauda, O19, O20
344.     Volcano Junco,     Junco vulcani, CM antennae (common) and km 80
345.     Rufous-collared Sparrow, Zonotrichia capensis, common
346.     Yellow-bellied Siskin, Carduelis xanthogastra, CM Savegre Lodge
347.     House Sparrow,   Passer domesticus, several in towns

194 new species

SITE DETAILS (short overview)

Volcan Poas
This national park lies close to San Jose and is easely reached.A good road leads to the crater.I was lucky with no clouds around it.There is a dwarf cloud forest near the crater and a few trails. Several highland specialties occur here.

San José to Puerto Viejo de Saraqiqui, Western Route
About 8km north of Varablanca is the La Paz waterfall.Few kms further at the right-hand side (heading north) of the road is the café Mirador.They have several feeders at the terras attracting many hummingbirds.Together with the great view over the valley and a good cup of hot coffee a great place to stop enroute.

About 7 à 8 km past the waterfall is a turnoff to the right on a dirt road leading to Colonia Virgen del Socorro. There are no signs but the turnoff is 150 meters before you cross a river. This quiet road leads down to the river and is good for birds. There is a muddy trail along the river which has to be good (not tried by me).

La Selva
First ; Do not expect to bird in primary rain forest at this site. The primary forest lies across the river wich you can only visit with a guide (together with noisy tourists) on a two and a half hour walk starting only at 8u and in the afternoon costing 25 dollar a person !!

Definitely not the way to see good birds but one of the best to loose money.

Fortunately the best area for birding is the entrance area with some secondary forest and more open, grassy areas.Bird along the entrance road, around the buildings and along a few trails. Many good birds are seen here and this site is not to miss on a birding trip to Costa Rica.

Arenal Area
I only birded here from the road at Tabacon hot springs were there is a small area with primary forest. Appeared to be very good with White-fronted Nunbird and others.

The area around the Arenal observatory lodge can be good for birding. I drove around the Arenal lake to Tilaran but this was not very productive in birds.

All roads to Monteverde are in poor condition and it is a slow and bumpy ride.But it is well worth the effort !!The Monteverde cloud forest reserve is beautiful with many quality birds.I spent a 12 hour day in the reserve walking slowly almost every trail.Entrance was expensive being 10 US$.The reserve was not crowded and I met people only 6 times.

Visit the hummingbird gallery near the entance and go birding along the road to the reserve and in town. I was not going inside the Santa Elena reserve but birded at the entrance area wich was good.

Canas and Las Juntas-Tempisque Ferry area
I drove somewhat around in this area turning up some of the dry northwest (Guanacaste) birds.Not that great place.

There are two entrances at Carara.One at the reserve headquarters (entrance fee tickets 6$), being the Quebrada Bonita Trail (linked with the Araceas Trail) situated in the best forest.I saw many of the best birds here but you have to be the first person going in, afterwards many noisy groups are coming.They open between 7am and 8 am.

The other trail starts from the road near the bridge over the Tarcoles river and is the Laguna Meandrica Trail.This part is more open with the lagoon (Boat-billed Heron), views over the river, good forest and many birds.

Another good area is the road to and the Tarcoles river mouth reached by a dirt road through the village. A must on every birding trip.

Cerro de la Muerte
The road from San Isidro to Cartago and many sideroads is good for many highland specialties of different altitudes.I visited mainly the paramo habitat near some antennae near km 93 and the road going down to the Savegre Lodge at km 80.Rain and mist came in at around 2 pm making it a short birding day.

This national park is easily reached via Cartago and the village Orosi.There is a road (2 à 3 km) were you can drive in and a few trails.Good birding here.

Braulio Carrillo national park
About 22km beyond the Tunnel Zurqui is the Quebrada Gonzalez ranger station on the right.

There is a safe parking lot and two 1,5km long trails in beautiful rain forest.Very good birding here with even 18new life-species on the last day of my trip.

Many rare birds are found here, a not-to-miss site.


Nine-banded Armadillo near Tarcoles
White-faced Capuchin Monkey ; fairly common
Central American Spider Monkey ; Braulio Carrillo
Mantled Howler Monkey ;La Selva, Tabacon Hot Springs, Braulio Carrillo etc.
White-nosed coati ; Monteverde, Carara
Collared Peccary ; La Selva
Agouti ; Carara, Monteverde
Snakes ; one very thin 1 meter long totally green snake crossing the road enroute to Monteverde one big 2,5 meter long snake on stone in Rio Corobici north of Canas
Poison-arrow frog ; several green and black ones at Selva Verde (after rain)
American Crocodile ; Several in the Tarcoles river seen from the bridge near the Carara reserve, including huge 3m ones.
Many butterflies
Spider ; One black, hairy, size of a hand, on a trail at Monteverde.

Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?