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|A Report from birdtours.co.uk|
Costa Rica 15 till 30 December 2001,
For additional information, please contact:
Koning Albertlei 90
Tel : ++ 32 03-605.35.96
Fax : ++ 32 03-605.35.96
other participants:David Van den Schoor, Carl Goyvaerts, Dirk Van Den Eynde
David and I just arranged this trip two weeks in advance and we decided to book everything with a local tour operator.
The reason for this was that we could spend all of our time birding and didn’t have to bother to drive, find the right directions etc…
A few days later our friends Carl and Dirk decided to join us, although they are not ‘true’ birders they enjoy more the whole experience of travelling. They are always good company and more important to us they don’t affect the true birding.
As we had only 13 full birding days, I created the itinerary in this way that we would see a fair amount of Costa Rican specialities and concentrate on a few locations mainly around the centre with visits to both Caribbean and Pacific slopes and the highlands as well.
We only drove 1200 kms and visited Carara Biological Reserve, Cerro de la Muerte including San Gerardo Valley, Tapanti National Park, Rancho Naturalista, Finca La Selva Biological Station and Braulio Carrillo National Park.
It is not my intention to write a true trip report with maps and notes on locations, for this I refer to both excellent trip reports of Jan Vermeulen (1990) and Jon Hornbuckle (2001).
We managed to see 396 species in this rather short time.
I contacted a few tour operators and Costa Rica Gateway was the only one who did great effort to make the arrangements in such a short notice. The travel consultant Sonia Nuňez was very friendly and helpful.
We paid for 4 persons the total amount of US$ 6672 (US$ 1668/person) for their services. This included 14 nights lodging, all meals, guiding at Rancho and a mini van with A/C for 13 full days with a bilingual driver.
In my opinion this was a good deal.
Flight and visa
We flew from Brussels to San José via Newark with Continental for 27720 BEF (687 €) return, taxes included. The flights were punctual and trouble free.
When leaving Costa Rica you are required to pay a departure tax of US$ 17 or the same amount in local coconuts. Be sure to reconfirm you return flight at least 72 hours before departure.
No visa was required for us.
The Costa Rica unit of currency is colones.
During our visit, the exchange rate was as follows:
1 US$ = 340 colones
In most of the places you can pay either in US$ or colones.
All the National Parks charge an entry fee of US$ 6 per person a day.
Another good thing to know is if you want to call home
cheaply, you can buy different telephone cards of 3000/6000 colones and US$
With the cheapest one you can call approximately 15 minutes.
This was included in our package deal with Costa Rica Gateway.
The mini van we had was a nearly new Toyota with A/C and provided enough space for the four of us. (at least 10 people could sit comfortable)
In general most of the roads we travelled on were in good condition with sometimes a few nasty potholes. Cars drive on the right.
Accommodation and food
In most towns you will find a variety of restaurants, supermarkets, and food-stalls. Menus are usually simple but the food is generally good to excellent and fairly inexpensive.
You can safely drink the water in all major towns, as well as licensed tourist hotels/lodges in outlying areas.
Accommodation you can find everywhere in all different price classes.
For more details about the accommodation, see useful addresses.
There is little variation in temperatures with May to December cooler than January to April.
In general the wet season is from June towards November and dry season from December to May.
During our stay the weather was good with a few occasional short showers and it was hot and humid at the lowlands and at the higher-altitude areas pleasantly warm during the day and cooling of around 10 degrees at night.
At the Caribbean side we had only 2 days with rain for several hours or more, so that it influenced our birding.
GMT minus 6 hours.
Hotel Bougainvillea (very nice reasonably priced hotel in a quiet residential neighbourhood not far from downtown. Also good birding in the gardens and only 20 minutes by taxi from the airport) Price US$ 90/double room.
Apartado 11-3100 Santo Domingo, Costa Rica
(506) 244-1414 tel
(506) 244-1313 fax
http://www.bougainvillea.co.crSavegre Mountain Lodge
(506) 771-6096 tel
(506) 771-2003 fax
Price US$ 75/person/night.
15/12 Departure at Brussels at 10.50 with some delay for a 7 hours and 11 minutes flight to Newark (- 6 hours difference with Belgium) with a brand new Boeing 767-200 which seated well and had enough place for my long legs. We had to wait here in transit for 5 hours and again with a little delay we left here at 18.00 for the connection flight towards San José (- 7 hours difference with Belgium) which took 4 ½ hours.
Landed at 22.10 and after some time consuming at the customs we took a taxi (US$ 15) towards our hotel Bougainvillea where we arrived close to midnight.
The temperature was pleasant with 22°C.
16/12 After a good but short night’s rest, it was getting light at 05.15. (there is some little difference between east and west) Did some birding in the nice hotel garden.
At 06.30 we had a meeting with John Erb, owner of Costa Rica Gateway and paid the total amount for our customized trip.
We met our bilingual driver Mauricio Quirós at 07.30 and a few minutes later we were on our way to Carara (straight it takes 2 hours) on the Pacific side.
We did a few short stops along the way with of course the obligatory stop at Orotina. In this small town, the very little park at the town square is a stake-out
for Black-and-white Owls. We also saw here a Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth, amazing!
Arrived at Villa Lapas around 13.00 for a three nights stay.
After lunch we did some birding around the hotel and in late afternoon we visited the bridge over the Grande de Tárcoles River for a late afternoon birding session. It was dark at 17.30.
17/12 Whole day at Carara Biological Reserve (entrance to the park is US$ 6/day/person) with the morning spend at the Vigilancia trail (also known as the riverside trail), this trail is a wide track with excellent birding throughout the day.
In the afternoon we visited Tarcol Lodge which is situated at Tárcoles River mouth. We did some birding around the lodge and nearby mangroves.
18/12 During the morning we did the new trail around the new headquarters which connects with the older double loop trail like a figure 8 at the old ranger station. Birding was pretty slow here.
In the afternoon did again the superb Vigilancia trail.
19/12 Drove (4 ½ hrs) towards Savegre Mountain Lodge (also known as Las Cabinas de Chacon) with a few short stops along the way. This lodge (altitude 2200 m) where we stayed for the next three nights, is situated in the San Gerardo valley on the Pacific slope of Cerro de la Muerte (turn off at km 80).
Arrived here at 14.00 and spend some time around the hummingbird feeders at the bar and the rest of the day birding around the lodge and at the trail at the end of the nearby camping.
20/12 During the morning we birded along the Cerro de la Muerte (which is the famous Pan American Highway) with visits to the paramo (which starts at km 88.5 and reaches the highest point at 3491 m) and the area around km 95-98.
In the afternoon we spend some time again at the trail at the end of the nearby camping as also the first km of the 4 ½ km long Cataract Waterfall trail.
21/12 David and I spend the whole day (from 07.00 till 17.30) at the splendid La Quebrada trail which starts at our lodge.
The other two did some birding from the highest part (2950 m) till the lower part (2200 m) of San Gerardo valley and around the lodge.
22/12 Early start towards Rancho for a three nights stay. (situated on Caribbean slope foothills at 990 m altitude) A major birding stop from 09.00 till 12.15 was made at Tapanti National Park were we birded mainly on the main track.
Arrived at Rancho Naturalista at 14.15 and birded along the lower trail with resident guide Frédéric Vanhove.
23/12 A typical day at Rancho starts at first light on the balcony of the main building where banana slices and rice are put out on the bird tables in the garden.
Within minutes the garden is full of birds. It’s amazing that from this balcony more than 200 bird species has been seen. At 07.00 the breakfast bell is rung.
One of the special joys of birding at Rancho is watching the frenetic activity at the hummingbird feeders at the balcony and in the forest.
Whole day with our guide at the trail of Tuis river valley, which is situated about 5 km further than Rancho.
The birding started slowly and then there was some rain for 3 hours, but after the rain was gone we had some very good flocks. We were all wet and muddy but we had some good species under our belt.
Scanned the river for Sunbittern but here we had no luck, despite a through search from David and myself who walked in the river for quit a long time.
24/12 The lower trail was done in the morning and in the afternoon we did the higher trail of Rancho accompanied by our local guide again.
In late afternoon there was the traditional Christmas Eve dinner with the whole Erb family, needles to say we could not escape on this, but luckily the food and beer were great.
25/12 Early morning from 06.00 till 08.00 brought us again on the lower trail and from 09.00 till 10.00 we searched the river again for Sunbittern, but again no luck.
Transfer towards Selva Verde (3 hours) where we arrived at 13.30.
Afternoon birding on the grounds of the lodge.
26/12 From 06.00 till 07.00 around the lodge of Selva Verde (on Caribbean lowland) and from 08.00 till 17.00 David and I spend the day at La Selva with Erick, our local guide.
Birding inside of the primary forest can be very slow and ‘birdless’ at times but with the fantastic help of Erick the species did slowly build up.
If you ever go to this place take Erick as guide (they said he is the best) and he is really amazing to find the birds and other good things around. He is also equipped with scope and infrared marker to point out some of the skulkers.
For the both of us we had to pay US$ 130 for entrance of the park and our private guide for the whole day.
The other two did some birding around Selva Verde Lodge and surroundings.
27/12 David and I went again to La Selva, this time from 06.00 till 17.25. Again we had a private guide for the both of us.
We didn’t had much luck today because it was already raining from midnight and it did stop around noon and today we had also another guide named Carlos because Erick had another group today, but it did turns out that we know much more than our guide this time.
Luckily birding was getting better after the rain.
The other two did some birding again around La Selva Verde Lodge and surroundings.
28/12 Early morning from 06.00 till 07.30 birding on the grounds of the lodge and transfer towards Braulio Carrillo National Park. (entrance US$ 6/person)
We arrived at the ranger station Quebrada González (altitude 500 m) at 08.30 and till 16.45 we did some birding on following trails: Las Palmas trail beyond the ranger station (exceptionally slow birding), El Ceibo trail connecting Botarrama trail (better birding here) and we made our way back from the Rio Susio bridge via the main road towards the ranger station.
The best birding we had was along the very busy San José-Limón highway where we had 2 very big mixed species flocks.
They were led by Black-faced Grosbeaks and one flock was holding 23 different species. Great birding for our last day.
Afterwards transfer towards our hotel Bougainvillea and said goodbye to our fantastic driver Mauricio.
Later we went into San José downtown to celebrate all the good species we had seen on this trip.
29/12 After a few hours of sleep transfer with a taxi (US$ 13) to the airport. We left at 09.30 for the 4 hours and 11 minutes flight towards Newark. After a few hours in transit we had our connection flight to Brussels. This time it took 6 hours and 12 minutes.
30/12: Finally touched down in Brussels at 07.00 where the landscape was covered in snow and temperature was minus 2 C°.
F. Gary Stiles and Alexander F. Skutch (1995) A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. (although a little outdated, cf many faults in text and some incorrect pictures of birds, this is still a very useful field guide).
Aaron D. Sekerak (1996) A travel & site guide to Birds of Costa Rica with side trips to Panama & Nicaragua.
Keith Taylor (1990) A Birders Guide to Costa Rica.
Trip report by Jan Vermeulen, Birding in Costa Rica, 2 – 25 December 1990.
(very useful with excellent maps)
Trip report by Jon Hornbuckle, Costa Rica, 23 February – 27 March 2001.
(very useful with good notes on localities)
There are many trip reports on the Internet but mostly of limited use to the serious birder.
Up to date bird news can always been seen in Richard Garrigues’ Gone Birding Newsletter. Go via firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Mark Van Beirs for providing some good tapes and information.
Annotated Bird List
Great Tinamou Tinamus major fuscipennis
Heard several times at Rancho and finally saw one at La Selva with others heard.
Little Tinamou Crypturellus soui
Heard at Rancho and La Selva and we taped a pair in very close till 4 meters with excellent views at La Selva.
Slaty-breasted Tinamou Crypturellus boucardi
Heard at Selva Verde and La Selva and a total of three birds seen well at different trails at La Selva.
Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus brachypterus
A single bird in the marshy area along the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis
At least 100 birds at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Neotropical Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
More than 50 birds at the Tárcoles river mouth at Carara and a single one at Selva Verde.
Anhinga Anhinga anhinga leucogaster
Always a few at the marshy area along the Vigilancia trail and about 15 birds at the Tárcoles river mouth both at Carara.
Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens
Ten birds at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Fasciated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma fasciatum
An adult fishing in the river at Selva Verde.
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron Tigrisoma
An adult sitting in a tree with very close views near the river at Villa Lapaz, Carara.
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron Nyctanassa
An adult bird in the marshy area along the Vigilancia trail and 25 birds at the Tárcoles river mouth at Carara.
Boat-billed Heron Cochlearius cochlearius
A total of 13 birds roosting in a tree along the marshy area at the Vigilancia trail, Carara with some splendid views obtained.
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis ibis
A common and widespread species, seen practically everywhere.
Green Heron Butorides virescens
Both singles at Carara and La Selva.
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
Small numbers on the Pacific and Caribbean lowlands.
Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor ruficollis
Three at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Snowy Egret Egretta thula brewsteri
Seen at Carara in small numbers.
Great Egret Ardea alba egretta
Small numbers on the Pacific and Caribbean lowlands.
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias herodias
Ten birds at Carara and another two at Selva Verde.
Wood Stork Mycteria americana
Only seen at Carara with a maximum of 11 birds.
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
Fairly common throughout.
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
Fairly common throughout.
King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa
Three adult birds at Carara and another adult at La Selva.
White Ibis Eudocimus albus
Only seen at Carara with maximum of 40 birds.
Roseate Spoonbill Ajaia ajaja
A single adult at the bridge over the Grande de Tárcoles River, Carara.
Blue-winged Teal Anas discors
The only observation of 50 birds was on a lake on the journey from San José towards Carara.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus carolinensis
Four birds were fishing at the Tárcoles river mouth at Carara and another single was seen at La Selva.
Gray-headed Kite Leptodon cayanensis
A single at La Selva.
Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus
A single near the entrance of Tapanti NP.
Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides
A single observation at Rancho.
White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus majusculus
Two on the journey towards Carara and another two also on the journey towards Rancho.
Double-toothed Kite Harpagus bidentatus
A single near Tapanti NP and another adult perched in a tree very close at La Selva.
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
Two birds at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii
A single observation at Carara.
Gray Hawk Asturina nitida plagiata
Three times an adult at Carara and also another adult along the way from La Selva towards Braulio Carrillo.
Great Black-Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga
One was seen at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
Two birds on the journey towards Carara.
Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus
Seen in very small numbers throughout.
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus fuliginosus
Five observations mostly seen on the journeys.
Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni
Only one was seen at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus
An adult soaring in San Gerardo valley close to our lodge and another heard at La Selva.
Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway
A maximum of four birds around Carara and two times a single near La Selva.
Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago
A single observation at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans
Heard two different birds near the HQ at Carara.
Barred Forest-Falcon Micrastur ruficollis
Two times an adult at Carara.
Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon Micrastur
Very nice views were obtained of a immature bird calling at La Selva with also another bird further away calling.
Collared Forest-Falcon Micrastur semitorquatus
A bird seen in San Gerardo valley near our lodge was more than probably this species.
Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis petoensis
We saw two times the same adult bird during the journeys towards and from Carara.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
Very nice views of an adult bird perched on the journey towards Carara.
Gray-headed Chachalaca Ortalis
Early morning there where always around 15 birds on the bird tables feeding on banana’s at our lodge at Rancho Naturalista. Another five birds at Tuis river valley and a party of 12 at La Selva.
Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens
One seen and another calling his dawn song on Vigilancia trail, Carara and three parties of totalling eight birds at La Selva.
Black Guan Chamaepetes unicolor
One roosting in a tree with another on the ground at La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo. These birds were very tame and we saw them as close as 4 metres. Another eyeball-to-eyeball sighting at Tapanti NP of a single bird feeding in a low bush and again another single at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Gray-necked Wood-Rail Aramides cajanea
Two birds were feeding near the bird tables at Selva Verde.
White-throated Crake Laterallus albigularis
Heard a few at Tuis river valley near Rancho. We had incredible views of a pair bathing in a small pool in the gardens of Rancho Naturalista.
Purple Gallinule Porphyrula martinica
An adult bird in a marshy area between Selva Verde and La Selva.
Sunbittern Eurypyga helias major
We succeeded in our search and we all had fabulous views of a single bird walking under the suspension bridge over the Sarapiqui river at Selva Verde for more than 20 minutes.
Northern Jacana Jacana spinosa spinosa
Up to five at Carara and another two near La Selva.
Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus
Only seen at Carara with up to 12.
Black-bellied Plover Pluvalius squatarola
A single one at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus hudsonicus
25 birds at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Note: The race hudsonicus is considered
in near future to be a full species, then be known as Hudsonian Curlew –
Willet Catoptrophorus semipalmatus
A single one at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
A fairly common and widespread winter visitor.
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres morinella
Eight birds at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Sanderling Calidris alba
Up to ten birds at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Laughing Gull Larus atricilla megalopterus
Around a 100 birds at the Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Royal Tern Sterna maxima maxima
15 birds seen at Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Black Skimmer Rynchops niger niger
Three birds at Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Rock Dove Columba livia
Fairly common in cities and villages.
Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata
Regularly seen in highlands with flocks up to 25 birds at San Gerardo valley.
Red-billed Pigeon Columba flavirostris minima
More than 100 birds were roosting in the mangroves near Tarcol Lodge at Tárcoles river mouth, Carara.
Another few seen on the journey towards Tapanti NP.
Ruddy Pigeon Columba subvinacea
A few different observations of mostly singles along San Gerardo valley.
Mainly a middle and high-elevation species.
Short-billed Pigeon Columba nigrirostris
A pair was seen at Tuis river near Rancho, around five birds at La Selva and a few at Braulio Carrillo.
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
Only a few seen on the journey towards Carara.
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
A few around Carara and two birds near Selva Verde.
Inca Dove Columbina inca
Fairly common around Carara.
Blue Ground-Dove Claravis pretosia
Only a female was seen on the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
Up to five at Carara and a single one at Tuis River valley near Rancho.
Gray-headed Dove Leptotila plumbeiceps
A nice observation of a single one in San Gerardo valley.
Note: The Central American form of Gray-fronted
Dove – Leptotila rufilaxa is considered to be a new species called
Gray-headed Dove – Leptotila plumbeiceps.
Gray-chested Dove Leptotila cassini cerviniventris
Two birds on Vigilancia trail, Carara and a few singles at La Selva.
Chiriqui Quail-Dove Geotrygon chiriquensis
Splendid views of a pair along La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo and another one was seen for more than five minutes at Tapanti NP.
Olive-backed Quail-Dove Geotrygon
Two seen at Selva Verde and another single obtained nice views at La Selva.
Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana
Two times two birds at Carara.
Scarlet Macaw Ara macao macao
Up to 15 of these magnificent birds at Carara.
Great Green Macaw Ara ambigua ambigua
Only two seen flying towards their roosting place from the suspension bridge at Selva Verde.
Crimson-fronted Parakeet Aratinga
Around 50 birds on our first morning in the garden of Bougainvillea hotel near San José. Another 40 seen near Selva Verde.
Sulfur-winged Parakeet Pyrrhura hoffmanni
Around 50 birds at San Gerardo valley and another 25 at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris
Up to ten at Carara and about 20 at La Selva.
Brown-hooded Parrot Pionopsitta haematotis
Six birds at Tuis river valley and around ten at Rancho. A few sightings at Selva Verde and La Selva with up to ten birds.
White-crowned Parrot Pionus senilis
Small numbers at Carara, Tuis river valley near Rancho and at La Selva.
Blue-headed Parrot Pionus menstruus
Six birds seen near Selva Verde.
Red-lored Parrot Amazona autumnalis salvini
Only two seen near the entrance at Selva Verde.
Mealy Parrot Amazona farinose
Only seen at Carara in small numbers.
Most of the above parrots and parakeets were seen in bigger numbers at various locations but only positive identifications were noted.
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana thermophila
Regular sightings throughout.
Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
Fairly common in the lowlands.
Pacific Screech-Owl Otus cooperi
One bird roosting in an almond tree at the entrance of Tarcol Lodge, Carara.
Vermiculated Screech-Owl Otus vermiculatus
Two birds heard at La Selva.
Mottled Owl Ciccaba virgata ventralis
A pair seen at a day roost, only a meter above the ground beside a trunk of a tree at Rancho.
Black-and-white Owl Ciccaba nigrolineata
Superb views during the day of an adult in the little park at the town square, Orotina.
Lesser Nighthawk Chordeiles acutipennis
More than 300 were counted at dusk on the bridge over the Grande de Tárcoles River, Carara.
Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis intercedens
Six birds at dusk on the entrance road towards La Selva.
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne
A flock of 100 flying high above the mountain ridges at Tapanti NP.
Vaux’s Swift Chaetura vauxi richmondi
Up to 40 birds at San Gerardo valley, more than 30 at Tuis river valley and small numbers at Rancho.
Band-rumped Swift Chaetura spinicauda
15 at Carara. Occurs only along the Pacific side.
Gray-rumped Swift Chaetura cinereiventris
Around 20 at La Selva. Occurs only along the Caribbean side.
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila
A few seen at Rancho and another single at La Selva.
White-tipped Sicklebill Eytoxeres aquila
Splendid scope views of a nice bird perched in scrub at La Selva.
Western Long-tailed Hermit Phaethornis
Up to two or three different birds at La Selva.
Green Hermit Phaethornis guy coruscus
Two at Carara and seen on three days in Rancho with a maximum of two.
Stripe-throated Hermit Phaethornis striigularis
At least ten around the feeders and gardens of Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo.
Note: This is a recent split from Little Hermit
– Phaethornis longuemareus.
Green-fronted Lancebill Doryfera ludoviciae veraguensis
Very nice views on a co-operative bird along the trail at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Scaly-breasted Hummingbird Phaeochroa cuvierii
Up to five at Carara.
Violet Sabrewing Campylopterus hemileucurus
A nice male at the feeders in the forest at Rancho.
White-necked Jacobin Florisuga mellivora
A male was seen at Carara and fairly common with up to 15 at San Gerardo valley and along Sierra de la Muerte.
Green Violet-ear Colibri thalassinus
A common bird in the highlands near San Gerardo valley and along Sierra de la Muerte.
Green-breasted Mango Anthracothorax prevostii
Regular sightings at Carara and Rancho.
Violet-headed Hummingbird Klais guimeti
We saw two females of this very small hummingbird, which could have been this species at Braulio Carrillo.
Green Thorntail Discosura conversii
Regularly seen at the feeders at Rancho with a maximum of three birds a day.
Violet-crowned Woodnymph Thalurania colombica
Very common at Rancho and a single sighting at Braulio Carrillo.
Steely-vented Hummingbird Saucerottia
Up to eight birds at Carara.
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia tzacatl
This common species was seen on almost days throughout the country.
Black-bellied Hummingbird Eupherusa
Around five birds at Tapanti NP.
Snowcap Microchera albocoronata parvirostris
The only place in Costa Rica where this species is guaranteed year-round is at Rancho Naturalista. We saw at least three gorgeous males and two different females.
White-bellied Mountain-gem Lampornis
A few at Tapanti NP and a pair at the trail at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Purple-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis calolaema
Only one male was seen by David at Tapanti NP.
White-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis castaneoventris
Up to eight in San Gerardo valley.
Green-crowned Brilliant Heliodoxa jacula
A male was seen at the feeders at Rancho.
Magnificent Hummingbird Eugenes
Up to ten at San Gerardo valley.
Purple-crowned Fairy Heliothryx barroti
Two different sightings of a single at Carara.
Scintillant Hummingbird Selasphorus
Fairly common in the highlands.
Volcano Hummingbird Selasphorus flammula
Fairly common in the highlands around San Gerardo.
Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno
Seen every day along San Gerardo valley. We saw probably around ten different birds, most of them were splendid males.
Slaty-tailed Trogon Trogon massena
Three birds at Carara and two males and three females at La Selva.
Baird’s Trogon Trogon bairdii
Two males at Carara.
Collared Trogon Trogon collaris puella
Three males at Tapanti NP and another single male at Braulio Carrillo.
Black-throated Trogon Trogon rufus tenellus
One male at Rancho and another male at La Selva.
Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus
A pair at Carara and two different males at La Selva.
Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata
Two at Carara and a male at Selva Verde.
Belted Kingfisher Ceryle alcyon
Only a female at Carara.
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle
Small numbers in suitable habitat.
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana
Regularly seen at Carara and a single one at Tuis river near Rancho.
Broad-billed Motmot Electron platyrhynchum
Up to three at La Selva and another two at Braulio Carrillo.
Rufous Motmot Baryphthengus martii
A single on different days at Rancho and a single at La Selva.
Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota lessonii
A single one early in the morning in the gardens of Villa Lapas, Carara and another one at Rancho.
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Galbula ruficauda
A single male at the end of Vigilancia trail, Carara and a pair at La Selva.
White-whiskered Puffbird Malacoptila
A pair, quietly perched in the understory was seen at La Selva.
Red-headed Barbet Eubucco bourcierii
A male in a fig tree at Tapanti NP.
Prong-billed Barbet Semnornis frantzii
Five birds eating figs in a large fig tree at Tapanti NP and three birds along the Tuis river valley near Rancho and another one heard at Braulio Carrillo.
Collared Aracari Pteroglossus torquatus
Fairly common at Rancho, La Selva and Braulio Carrillo.
Fiery-billed Aracari Pteroglossus
Up to three at Villa Lapas, Carara.
Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos
Only one was seen at Carara which in fact is very rare here and fairly common at Rancho, La Selva and Braulio Carrillo.
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan Ramphastos
Fairly common around Carara and a few around La Selva.
Olivaceous Piculet Picumnus olivaceus
A pair was seen on the dusty road towards Tarcol Lodge, Carara.
Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
Common bird of the highlands.
Black-cheeked Woodpecker Melanerpes pucherani
Different sightings at Rancho and La Selva.
Hoffmann’s Woodpecker Melanerpes
Fairly common at Carara and up to four around Rancho.
Red-crowned Woodpecker Melanerpes
A male and two females at Carara.
Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
Two birds seen on two different days in the highlands at San Gerardo valley and Sierra de la Muerte.
Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus
A male at Tuis river at Rancho.
Rufous-winged Woodpecker Piculus simplex
Three different males at La Selva.
Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker Celeus
Only one bird was heard at La Selva.
Lineated woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus
A male at Rancho and two birds near Selva Verde.
Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis
All our sightings were males; at least 2 at Carara, heard at Rancho and two or three at La Selva.
Tawny-winged Woodcreeper Dendrocincla
Three birds on the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
Ruddy Woodcreeper Dendrocincla homochroa
A single observation at Carara.
Long-tailed Woodcreeper Deconychura
A single one on the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus
One was seen at Rancho.
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Glyphorhynchus
Three different birds at Rancho and up to five at La Selva.
Northern Barred Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes
Up to five on the Vigilancia trail, Carara and a single one at La Selva.
Cocoa Woodcreeper Xiphorhunchus susurrans
Two birds on the lower trail at Rancho.
Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius
One at Tuis river valley, two at Rancho and a single one at Braulio Carrillo.
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes
At least three at Carara and two times a single at La Selva.
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes
Fairly common in the highlands, especially along San Gerardo valley with 15 birds.
Brown-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus
Two times a single of this long beaked creature at Rancho.
Slaty Spinetail Synallaxis brachyura
A female at Tapanti NP.
Red-faced Spinetail Cranioleuca
A single bird only seen by David at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Ruddy Treerunner Margarornis
Common in the highlands with more than 20 birds along San Gerardo valley and Sierra de la Muerte.
Buffy Tuftedcheek Psedocolaptes lawrencii
A single bird only seen by myself on La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo.
Lineated Foliage-gleaner Syndactyla
Two birds seen at Tapanti NP.
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Automolus
Four birds at Carara (A. o. exsertus) and two times two birds at Rancho (A. o. hypophaeus) and another two at La Selva (A. o. hypophaeus).
Plain Xenops Xenops minitus ridgwayi
Quite a few sightings throughout, except for the mountains.
Streaked Xenops Xenops rutilans septentrionalis
A single sighting at Tapanti NP.
Fasciated Antshrike Cymbilaimus
Only heard on two different days at La Selva.
Great Antshrike Taraba major melanocrissus
A superb male singing and seen nicely at La Selva.
Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus
A male and female at Carara (T. d. pacificus) and another male at Rancho (T. d. intermedius).
Black-hooded Antshrike Thamnophilus
Fairly common at Carara with a maximum of ten birds seen.
Russet Antshrike Thamnistes anabatinus
Up to three at Rancho and around ten in different flocks at Braulio Carrillo.
Plain Antvireo Dysithamnus mentalis
Three different birds at Rancho.
Slaty Antwren Myrmotherula schisticolor
A male at Rancho and two birds at La Selva.
Dot-winged Antwren Microrhopias quixensis
Fairly common at Carara with a maximum of ten birds.
Dusky Antbird Cercomacra tyrannina
Up to five birds at Carara and another two at La Selva.
Chestnut-backed Antbird Myrmeciza
Fairly common at Carara with up to ten birds and another single at Selva Verde.
Dull-mantled Antbird Myrmeciza laemosticta
Very good views of a single at Rancho and again a single at Braulio Carrillo.
Immaculate Antbird Myrmeciza immaculate
Two times seen at Rancho with maximum of two birds.
Bicolored Antbird Gymnopithys leucaspis
Two very tame birds near an ant swarm at Vigilancia trail, Carara.
Black-faced Antthrush Formicarius analis
At least six heard and seen two birds very well at La Selva.
Black-headed Antthrush Formicarius
While I was trying to tape a Streak-chested Antpitta in, suddenly out of now where there was a pair very close which gave good views at the Botarrama trail, Braulio Carrillo.
Streak-chested Antpitta Hylopezus perspicillatus
It took some time to tape this species in but at the end we all had superb views of this little antpitta at the Botarrama trail, Braulio Carrillo.
Thicket Antpitta (Fulvous-bellied Antpitta)
Hylopezus dives dives
Always heard the same bird near the HQ of Rancho Naturalista.
Silvery-fronted Tapaculo Scytalopus
A single heard along the trail at the end of the camping, close to Savegre Mountain Lodge and another pair seen on La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo.
Cinnamon Becard Pachyramphus
A few birds at Rancho and two times two birds at La Selva.
White-winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus
An immature male at the entrance road towards La Selva.
Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae
Seen a few times at Carara with three males and a female as maximum.
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata
Fairly common at Rancho and La Selva.
Black-crowned Tityra Tityra inquisitor
Up to five were seen at Carara.
Snowy Cotinga Carpodectes nitidus
Splendid views of a male and a female near the suspension bridge at La Selva.
Purple-throated Fruitcrow Querula
A male and five females in a mixed flock at La Selva.
Red-capped Manakin Pipra mentalis
A pair at the Vigilancia trail, Carara (P. m. ignifera) and two males and four females at La Selva (P. m. mentalis).
White-crowned Manakin Pipra pipra
A few at Rancho around five at La Selva.
Long-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia linearis
A nice pair along the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
White-ruffed Manakin Corapipo altera
Male and a female at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
White-collared Manakin Manacus candei
A few at Rancho and many heard at La Selva with about five seen in total here.
Grey-headed Piprites Piprites griseiceps
Only one was seen by David in the secundary forest at Selva Verde.
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
A few birds in the valley of San Gerardo and a single at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Long-tailed Tyrant Colonia colonus
A distant bird at La Selva.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus
Fairly common at Carara.
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
A common bird seen every day of the trip with lower numbers in the highlands.
White-ringed Flycatcher Conopias albovittata
Up to five at La Selva.
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarhynchus
Seen in small numbers throughout.
Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus
Two times a single bird at Selva Verde and La Selva.
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher Myiodynastes
A single sighting at Carara.
Streaked Flycatcher Myiodynastes
Only once seen at Carara.
Golden-bellied Flycatcher Myiodynastes
A single one at Savegre Mountain Lodge which is pretty high for this species and another two birds at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Gray-capped Flycatcher Myiozetetes
A single one at Tuis river valley near Rancho and around five at La Selva.
Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similes
A fairly common and widespread species.
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
A common and widespread species, not seen at higher altitudes.
Rufous Mourner Rhytipterna holerythra
Up to three at Carara and a single one at La Selva.
Great Crested flycatcher Myiarchus
Two times a single at Carara.
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus
A few at Carara, Rancho and La Selva.
Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus brachytarsus
Two times a single at La Selva.
Dark Pewee Contopus lugubris
A few at the higher altitudes in the valley of San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte.
Ochraceous Pewee Contopus ochraceus
A single one which obtained good views in the valley of San Gerardo.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax
Two at Carara, a single near Rancho and several at La Selva.
Alder/Willow Flycatcher Empidonax alnorum/traillii
One bird at Rancho could not positive be identified and should either one of this two species here.
Yellowish Flycatcher Empidonax flavescens
More than five in the valley of San Gerardo.
Black-capped Flycatcher Empidonax
Typical highland species with around eight birds at San Gerardo valley and Sierra de la Muerte.
Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus
Several sightings of this high-altitude flycatcher near San Gerardo.
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher Terenotriccus erythrurus
A single bird on the Las Palmas trail, Braulio Carrillo.
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher Myiobius
Two times a single at Carara, one in Tapanti NP and another one at La Selva.
White-throated Spadebill Platyrinchus
One was seen near the hummingbird feeders in the forest at Rancho.
Stub-tailed Spadebill Platyrinchus
A single sighting on the Loop trail, Carara.
Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens
A few at Carara and a single one at La Selva.
Yellow-margined Flycatcher Tolmomyias
One in a big mixed flock on the main road at Braulio Carrillo.
Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyclus brevirostris
A few seen daily at Carara.
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum
After some searching we had decent looks on two birds at La Selva.
Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum
A few at Carara, two at Rancho and one at La Selva.
Northern Bentbill Oncostoma cinereigulare
Only one seen at Carara.
Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher Poecilotriccus
A single at Carara.
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant Lophotriccus
One heard and two seen well at Tuis river valley and always heard a few at Rancho.
Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant Myiornis atricapillus
Two birds heard at La Selva. It’s difficult to get some decent views of this canopy flycatcher, we saw one briefly but not well enough to put it on the life list.
Rufous-browed Tyrannulet Phylloscartes
David had some good views but I didn’t of a single bird travelling in a mixed flock at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Torrent Tyrannulet Serpophaga
Every day the same bird at the river near the entrance of Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo and two birds along the Tuis river near Rancho.
Yellow-bellied Eleania Elaenia flavogaster
Two birds near Tuis river near Rancho.
Mountain Eleania Elaenia frantzii frantzii
Three birds around Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo.
Paltry Tyrannulet Zimmerius vilissimus
A few at Carara, two in the valley of San Gerardo, a single at Tuis river valley near Rancho and another one at La Selva.
Slaty-capped Flycatcher Leptopogon
A single bird along the way towards San Gerardo and another one at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Olive-striped Flycatcher Mionectes olivaceus
Two birds along the journey towards San Gerardo, a single at Tapanti NP and another at Rancho.
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes
One bird on the lower trail at Rancho and two birds at La Selva.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica erythrogaster
Only a few seen at Carara.
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx
Seen on several occasions in very small numbers at Rancho and La Selva.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx
Only a few at Carara.
Blue-and-white Swallow Notiochelidon
A few at Carara, more numerous in San Gerardo valley and around 15 at Rancho.
Mangrove Swallow Tachycinetta
Up to five around the bridge over the Grande de Tárcoles River, Carara.
Brown Jay Cyanocorax morio cyanogenys
Five at Carara, always around 15 in early morning at the bird tables at Rancho and another three at La Selva.
American Dipper Cinclus mexicanus ardesiacus
Always the same bird in the river near the entrance of Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo.
Rufous-naped Wren Campylorhynchus
Fairly common at Carara.
Plain Wren Thryothorus modestus zeledoni
One bird along the entrance road towards La Selva.
Rufous-and-white Wren Thryothorus rufalbus
One seen nicely on the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
Stripe-breasted Wren Thryothorus thoracicus
Seen frequently along the Caribbean slope at Rancho and La Selva.
Bay Wren Thryothorus nigricapillus
Also a Caribbean slope bird with around five seen daily at La Selva.
Riverside Wren Thryothorus semibadius
Up to eight were seen on the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
Black-throated Wren Thryothorus atrogularis
Three birds at La Selva.
Black-bellied Wren Thryothorus
Three birds on the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
House Wren Troglodytes aedon
A single sighting at Rancho.
Ochraceous Wren Troglodytes ochraceus ochraceus
This highland wren was seen along La Quebrada trail with three birds, San Gerardo and another two at Tapanti NP.
Timberline Wren Thryorchilus browni
Another highland wren of the higher elevations and three were seen around the paramo along Sierra de la Muerte.
White-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina
More heard than seen but good sightings of different birds at Rancho and La Selva.
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina
This wood-wren replaces the above one at higher elevations. Up to five were seen in the valley of San Gerardo.
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
Two noisy birds were seen along the entrance road towards La Selva.
Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi
A common and widespread species with up to 15 seen daily, lower numbers in the highlands.
Pale-vented Thrush Turdus obsoletus
Five birds at La Selva.
Mountain Robin Turdus plebejus plebejus
Up to 30 daily in the highlands near San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte.
Sooty Robin Turdus nigrescens
Up to 20 daily in the highlands near San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte.
Black-faced Solitaire Myadestes melanops
A very nice bird of mountain forests with a very loud and beautiful song was seen with up to five birds in the valley of San Gerardo and another single at Tapanti NP.
Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina
One at Carara and a single and two birds at La Selva.
Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus
One at Rancho and two birds on the Botarrama trail, Braulio Carrillo.
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush Catharus
Four birds on La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo.
Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus
Seen daily with up to four birds in the valley of San Gerardo.
Tropical Gnatcatcher Polioptola plumbea
A male at Carara and two times a single at Rancho.
Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphococaenus
Two birds at Carara.
Tawny-faced Gnatwren Microbates cinereiventris
A single one on the Botarrama trail, Braulio Carrillo.
Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher Ptilogonys
Up to five birds were seen at the higher part of San Gerardo valley.
Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatcher Phainoptila
More a skulker than the previous one with a male and a female on different days along Sierra de la Muerte.
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
A single one was spotted at the beginning of La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo.
Green Shrike-Vireo Vireolanius
This forest canopy dweller was seen at La Selva. With the help of a tape we had finally good looks of a single bird through the scope.
Yellow-winged Vireo Vireo carmioli
This highland vireo was seen daily with up to five in the valley of San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte.
Yellow-throated Vireo Vireo flavifrons
Up to five daily at Carara, a single at Rancho, La Selva and Braulio Carrillo.
Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus
Around five at Carara and a few at Tapanti NP and Rancho.
Lesser Greenlet Hylophilus decurtatus
A few at Carara, one at Tapanti NP, a few at Rancho, a single at la Selva and five at Braulio Carrillo.
Bananaquit Coereba flaveola mexicana
Up to five in the area around Rancho and two birds at Braulio Carrillo.
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta
Seen regularly at different locations.
Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea
Up to two males on different days at Carara.
Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorus
A single one on the Vigilancia trail, Carara.
Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera
A single at Tapanti NP, a few birds around Rancho and another single at La Selva.
Blue-winged Warbler Vermivora pinus
A male at Tuis river valley and another one at Rancho.
Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina
Seen in good numbers at Carara and in lower numbers in the mountains and around Rancho and La Selva.
Flame-throated Warbler Parula gutturalis
This high-elevation warbler was seen in good numbers at San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte with a maximum of 30 birds a day.
Tropical Parula Parula pitiayumi speciosa
Two females at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
Only seen in good numbers at Carara.
Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
Only seen on the higher elevations with up to 20 daily at San Gerardo and a few at Tapanti NP.
Blackburnian Warbler Dendroica fusca
Five at Tapanti NP and a few at Rancho.
Chestnut-sided Warbler Dendroica pensylvanica
Low numbers on the Pacific slope, not seen in the mountains and fairly common on the Caribbean slope.
Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
Common with up to 25 daily at Carara.
Louisiana Waterthrush Seiurus motacilla
Two single sightings at La Selva.
Kentucky Warbler Oporornis formosus
This rather skulky warbler is found always close or near the ground.
Up to three males were seen at Carara and two times a single at Rancho.
Mourning Warbler Oporornis philadelphia
Two observations of a single male at Carara and La Selva.
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat Geothlypis
Two males in low scrub at La Selva.
Wilson’s Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
Pretty common on higher elevations with up to 20 daily at San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte and only a few daily at Rancho.
American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla
A male at Carara, two males at Rancho and two males and a female at La Selva.
Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
Two birds at Tapanti NP and up to six around Rancho.
Collared Redstart Myioborus torquatus
This resident warbler of high mountains was seen in good numbers at San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte with up to 30 a day.
Three-striped Warbler Basileuterus
Two single sightings at San Gerardo and Rancho.
Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus
Only seen at Rancho with two and three birds on different days.
Black-cheeked Warbler Basileuterus melanogenys
Seen around 15 birds along La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo.
Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
Good sightings of two times a single one at Rancho.
Buff-rumped Warbler Basileuterus fulvicauda
A single at Tuis river valley, near Rancho an up to two at La Selva with another single at Braulio Carrillo.
Wrenthrush (Zeledonia) Zeledonia
David and I saw three different birds very well and heard another two along the little stream along La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo.
It did took some time to had good looks.
Chestnut-headed Oropendola Psarocolius wagleri
More than 20 daily at Rancho and low numbers at Selva Verde and La Selva.
Montezuma Oropendola Psarocolius
Fairly common at Rancho and around La Selva.
Scarlet-rumped Cacique Cacicus
Six birds at Rancho, ten at La Selva and a few at Braulio Carrillo.
Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus
Only a few at La Selva.
Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus aeneus
Our only sighting was of a single on the journey towards Carara.
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus
Fairly common at most places.
Orchard Oriole Icterus spurious spurius
A male was seen at Carara.
Black-cowled Oriole Icterus prosthemelas
A male at Carara and 2 males at La Selva.
Yellow-tailed Oriole Icterus mesomelas
Only one seen by Carl and Dirk along the entrance road towards La Selva.
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
A common and widespread species, seen almost daily.
Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna
Up to three birds in the pastures near the bridge over the Grande de Tárcoles River, Carara.
Golden-browed Chlorophonia Chlorophonia
This magnificent bird was seen extremely well with one male and two females feeding on berries at the entrance of La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo.
Tawny-capped Euphonia Euphonia
Up to five birds at Tuis river valley and Rancho and another two at Braulio Carrillo.
Yellow-crowned Euphonia Euphonia
Two males at Vigilancia trail, Carara and another male at Selva Verde.
Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia
Around ten birds at Vigilancia trail, Carara and two more at Braulio Carrillo.
Olive-backed Euphonia Euphonia gouldi
Fairly common at Selva Verde and lower numbers at La Selva and Braulio Carrillo.
Emerald Tanager Tangara florida florida
Four birds at Tuis river valley near Rancho and another two at Braulio Carrillo.
Speckled Tanager Tangara guttata
Four birds at Tuis river Valley, two at Rancho and a few at Braulio Carrillo.
Silver-throated Tanager Tangara icterocephala
Two birds on the lower part of Sierra de la Muerte, five at La Quebrada trail, San Gerardo. Up to 15 at Tuis river valley and Rancho and a few at La Selva.
Golden-hooded Tanager Tangara
Seen daily with around ten at Carara (T. l. franciscae) and Rancho (T. l. centralis) and up to five at La Selva (T. l. centralis).
Plain-coloured Tanager Tangara inornata
Seen on two days at La Selva with a maximum of five.
Bay-headed Tanager Tangara gyrola
Fairly common except in the highlands.
Splangle-cheeked Tanager Tanagra dowii
One bird on the lower parts of Sierra de la Muerte and another single gave good views at Tuis river valley, near Rancho.
Green Honeycreeper Chlorophanes spiza
Two different males at Rancho, a male at La Selva, a female at Selva Verde and once again a male at Braulio Carrillo.
Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes
Seen daily with a maximum of three at Carara.
Shining Honeycreeper Cyanerpes lucidus
Only one male in the gardens of Villa Lapas, Carara.
Blue Dacnis Dacnis cayana ultramarina
Two times a male at Carara, two males at Tuis river valley, near Rancho and another single male at La Selva.
Blue-and-gold Tanager Bangsia arcaei caeruleigularis
One was seen well in a big mixed species flock at Braulio Carrillo.
Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
Fairly common and seen daily.
Palm Tanager Thraupis palmarum
Only seen along the Caribbean slope with a few at Rancho and up to eight at La Selva.
Passerini’s Tanager Ramphocelus
Two birds at Tapanti NP, more than ten at Tuis river valley and Rancho and fairly common around Selva Verde and La Selva.
Crimson-collared Tanager Ramphocelus
One bird was seen by Carl and Dirk at the lower parts of Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra rubra
Seen regularly in small numbers throughout.
Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava testacea
A male was seen in the valley of San Gerardo.
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana
One male at Carara.
Flame-colored Tanager Piranga bidentata
Seen daily a male and two females in the orchards at the entrance of Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo.
Olive Tanager Chlorothraupis carmioli
Two birds at Tuis river near Rancho and around ten birds at Braulio Carrillo.
Red-throated Ant-Tanager Habia fuscicauda
Easily detected by their loud calls and we saw at least five or six birds at Rancho and a few at La Selva.
White-throated Shrike-Tanager Lanio leucothorax
Two very nice males seen well at Braulio Carrillo.
White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus
Up to two males and one female at Rancho and another five at Braulio Carrillo.
White-shouldered Tanager Tachyphonus
Up to six at Carara (T. l. nitidissimus) and about ten at Braulio Carrillo (T. l. axillaries).
Tawny-crested Tanager Tachyphonus delattrii
Three nice males at Braulio Carrillo.
Gray-headed Tanager Eucometis penicillata
Seen only in Carara with 15 birds.
Dusky-faced Tanager Mitrospingus cassinii
Seen daily around five birds at La Selva.
Black-and-yellow Tanager Chrysothlypis
Five males at Tuis river valley near Rancho and around ten including different females at Braulio Carrillo.
Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus
Seen daily in the highlands with up to ten at San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte and more than 30 at Tapanti NP and only a few at Rancho.
Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus
Pretty common in the highlands with up to 50 at San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte.
Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus
Only one seen by myself in a mixed flock at Tuis river valley near Rancho.
Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps
Up to four daily at Tuis river valley and Rancho.
Buff-throated Saltator Saltator maximus
Seen in small numbers throughout except on the highest elevations.
Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
A single one seen on our first morning in the garden of Bougainvillea hotel was our only sighting of this trip.
Black-faced Grosbeak Caryothraustes
A single one at Tuis river valley near Rancho, about seven at La Selva and another 15 at Braulio Carrillo.
Black-thighed Grosbeak Pheucticus
A very nice observation of a single at the beginning of the trail at the end of the camping near Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus
Always a few hanging around the orchards at Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo and singles seen at Tapanti NP, Tuis river valley and Rancho.
Blue-black Grosbeak Cyanocompsa cyanoides
A male responded well to tape at the Vigilancia trail, Carara and a female was seen at Braulio Carrillo.
Yellow-faced Grassquit Tiaris olivacea
Fairly common in the valley of San Gerardo and about five at Rancho.
White-collared Seedeater Sporophila
Only one male was seen by David at Tuis river near Rancho.
Variable Seedeater Sporophila
We saw both races of this seedeater; around six at Carara (Pacific race) and on three days around Rancho (Caribbean race) with a maximum of 10 birds.
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
More than five at Carara and seen daily more than 20 at Selva Verde and La Selva.
Peg-billed Finch Acanthidops bairdii
A very nice male of this nomadic species at the higher parts of Tapanti NP.
Slaty Flowerpiercer Diglossa plumbea
Faitly common in the high mountains of San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte.
Large-footed Finch Pezopetes capitalis
This skulker was seen well with a maximum of ten a day at San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte.
Yellow-thighed Finch Pselliophorus
Seen daily in the mountains at San Gerardo and Sierra de la Muerte, with a maximum of ten a day.
Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch Buarremon brunneinucha
Only one was seen by David at the trail near the camping close to Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo.
Orange-billed Sparrow Arremon aurantiirostris
Seen very regularly in small numbers throughout, except in the mountains. At Rancho (A. a. rufidorsalis) one bird flew against a window but did luckily recovered well.
Black-striped Sparrow Arremonops conirostris
Two times the same bird in the garden of Rancho Naturalista.
Volcano Junco Junco vulcani
This high elevation junco was seen with ten birds around the paramo at Sierra de la Muerte.
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia
Quite common at Carara and at San Gerardo valley.
Yellow-bellied Siskin Carduelis xanthogastra
A female was seen by Carl and Dirk at the highest part of San Gerardo valley.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
We only saw this species twice along journeys. Never more than a few.
Northern Tamandua Tamandua mexicana
One gave very close views at Las Palmas trail, Braulio Carrillo.
Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth Bradypes
One seen at full speed in a secropia tree at Selva Verde.
Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth Choloepus
One resting in a tree in the little park at the town square, Orotina.
Mantled Howler Monkey Alouatta palliata
Seen at Carara, La Selva and Braulio Carrillo.
White-faced Capuchin Monkey Cebus capuchinus
Seen at the Vigilancia trail, Carara and a few at Tapanti NP.
Variegated Squirrel Sciurus variegatoides
A few at the Vigilancia trail, Carara and scattered sightings throughout.
One at the bird tables at Rancho Naturalista.
Central American Agouti Dasyprocta punctata
A single at Vigilancia trail, Carara and up to four at La Selva.
Southern River Otter Lutra longicaudis
Two running out of the forest and went for a swim in the river bordering Villa Lapaz, Carara.
White-nosed Coati Nasua narica
Seen several times on the Vigilancia trail with up to ten and another five around the HQ at Carara and a single one at La Selva.
Collared Peccary Tayassu tajacu
Seen different times with up to 12 along the Vigilancia trail, Carara and two times at La Selva with each time around six animals.
Red Brocket Deer Mazama americana
A single one at the muddy edge of Tárcoles River, Carara.
Grison Galictis vittata
One seen in the secundary forest at Selva Verde.
American Crocodile Crocodyles acutes
At least 20 under the the bridge over the Grande de Tárcoles River, Carara. This place holds the most important crocodile population of Costa Rica and allows also the best sightings.
A few more seen at different places as Selva Verde and La Selva.
Green Iguana Iguana iguana
We saw these huge iguana’s sometimes high in trees or just on the forest floor at different locations.
Striped Basilisk Basiliscus vittatus
Seen several times at Carara.
At least three of this nicely marked bats were roosting under palm leaves in the garden of Villa Lapas, Carara.
Eyelash Viper Bothriechis schegelii
This rather small but poisonous viper was seen extremely well at Rancho Naturalista.
A 40 cm thin brown snake at Rancho could not be identified.
Orange-bellied leaf litter Snake Rhadinaea
A 40 cm long and very thin, not poisonous snake was seen at La Selva.
Evening Keeled Black Snake
This was a rather big snake, as thick as an arm, not poisonous and well over 2 meters long. This was seen on a trail at La Selva.
Red Poison Arrow Frog
One of this little and very poisonous jewels was seen in a bromelia at La Selva.
Leaf litter frog species
Another little brown frog at La Selva. This genus holds 14 species.
Glass frog species
Another small frog at La Selva. These frogs owe their common name to the transparant skin on their belly.