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The Following Reports are available from Costa Rica :
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Heatherlea: Tour of Costa Rica

  • We visit Costa Rica's biologically rich areas to give you the best birding and wildlife. A thrilling experience, ideal for the first time visitor or your first long-distance birding holiday. Our hotels and lodges offer high quality, comfortable accommodation, and excellent local guides ensure a relaxed, informal holiday which is also great fun. 

Costa Rica 6-22 March 2004

  • We soon made our way up to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a privately owned reserve dedicated to wildlife preservation.  A fruiting tree near the entrance came alive with Black-faced Solitaires, at one time there were 3 on the ground a mere 10 ft. away posing for pictures.  The Black-faced Solitaire is usually a difficult species to obtain good views of!....Steven Easley reports for Birdfinders

Selva Bananito and Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica October 25 - November 3 , 2008

  • Selva Bananito is a privately owned reserve on Costa Rica’s Atlantic versant, 15 km inland from the Caribbean. About 300 species of birds have been recorded in and around the reserve....Jim Mattsson reports.

Costa Rica August 2008

  • In summary, I thoroughly recommend Costa Rica as an eco-holiday destination. We all enjoyed the First Choice Grand Tour very much and would recommend it as a way of seeing what Costa Rica has to offer. Although the numbers of bird species seen in the first week was not as high as I was expecting, the second week with Carlos as guide improved things tremendously...John Yates reports

Costa Rica Jan 25th - Feb 13th 2008

  • How to see/find 500 species in 20 days without hiring a bird guide and not knowing any bird sounds. My sons Erlen and Aleksander and myself made it a reality winter of 2008. But then we also worked hard – very hard. We birded from dawn to dusk almost every day...Jan Landsverk reports.

Costa Rica, 8 March - 25 March 2007

  • This trip covers a 17-day trip to Costa Rica taken by Joris Elst, Wim Heylen and Christel Van Asselberghs. Our main aim was to see as many of the country endemics and near-endemics as possible.
Turquoise-browed motmot

Costa Rica August 2005

  • I awoke early to strange tropical sounds outside the cabin. Leaving the rest of the family to sleep I slipped on some clothes and went out intro the surprisingly cool morning. The gardens of the Vista del Valle Plantation Inn were lush, tropical and beautiful, even in the half light. Before long I started to see some of the birds responsible for the unfamiliar sounds...Geoff Upton reports

Little Hermit

Costa Rica - June 2005

  • While we were still on the grounds of the resort, we saw a chestnut-mandibled toucan, golden-hooded tanagers, a green kingfisher, rufous-naped wrens, rufous-tailed hummingbirds,a yellow-throated euphonia, common tody flycatchers, and a Hoffman's woodpecker....Bill and Judy Adams report.

16 days in Costa Rica 28th March -12th April 2005

  • The birding was very good with trip highlights of 2 Umbrellabirds, 4 Three Wattled Bellbirds, 33 species of hummingbird, 22 species of tanager and 2 Great Currasows...Stuart White reports

Costa Rica 3-19 March 2005

  • Strolls in the Hotel Brilla Sol grounds, both before and after breakfast, provided the first birds of our trip. These included cinnamon and rufous tailed hummingbirds, blue and white swallows and brown jay....Martyn Anderson and Liz Naughton report

Budget Birding in Costa Rica 19 January- 19 March 2005

  • This report details a two months birding trip to Costa Rica and will focus on the possibilities of birding in Costa Rica while traveling with public transport and sleeping in budget hotels. It will show you that even on a budget it is possible to visit many national parks, and see a lot of beautiful birds.....Udo Rijlaarsdam reports

Naturaliste trip to Costa Rica 3-13 December 2004

  • Itinerary, hotels, tips and wildlife lists....Georges Olioso reports

Travel hints for Costa Rica Jan 2005

  • Yet another trip report "whingeing" about the lack of signs in Costa Rica moves me to write these directions for crossing San Jose + notes on Nation park access...local expert Dennis Rogers reports

Costa Rica 11-18 March 2004

  • We were up at dawn and we had a look around the garden. We saw a number of birds, including Hoffman's Woodpecker, Yellow-green Vireo, the first of many Blue-gray Tanagers and Clay-colored Robins, the odd Wren and Dove and about another half dozen species...Bob Biggs reports.

Costa Rica August 11-22, 2003

  • Most of my birding was done alone between dawn and noon. My wife joined me on a few occasions and I took two guided trips, one in Santa Elena and one in the villa of Samara. Totals for the trip were very satisfying with 142 total species seen by me. This included 109 additions to my life list!....Chris Starling reports.

Costa Rica, Cotingas & Quail-Doves (Tinamous & Wood-Quail too) March - April 2003

  • The birds listed above, with the exception of Cotingas, had always been difficult birds for me, especially Wood-Quail. This trip was very successful in that I saw all my target Cotingas, one of my favorite bird families, as well as 4 species of Quail-Dove, 3 Tinamous, and 2 Wood-Quails...Dave Klauber reports

DIY Birding in Costa Rica 2003 February 14th - March 7th 2003

  • Waking up just before dawn here was a magical experience which perhaps can only happen once to a birdwatcher... we identified our first bird in a new continent - appropriately Costa Rica's national bird, Clay-coloured Robin. We then spent a long time identifying Great Kiskadee...our third bird was one of our target species, a stunning male Snowy Cotinga, in the trees in the thermal resort...Chris Cameron  + Julie Dawson report.

Costa Rica 23nd December 2002 to 13th January 2003

  • Costa Rica was great - I saw 409 species, of which 297 were lifers.  However, it was the quality rather than the quantity that made it so good. Highlights included Yellow-billed Cotinga, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, Great Curassow, Northern Royal Flycatcher, Great Green and Scarlet Macaws and many others....Clare Moger reports.

Lots more pre 2003 reports or

Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica




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Some Useful bird books for Costa Rica :
Do you have a good book for this region that we haven't featured? let us know


Birds of Costa Rica (Helm Field Guides) (Paperback)
Richard Garrigues: Buy from or

  • The new Costa Rica bird guide - perfect for the field! The principle objective of this book is to help you correctly identify birds in Costa Rica. Each family of birds is introduced by a brief description that should help the novice birder determine to which group a bird belongs. Nearly every species is illustrated by one or more images

Travel & Site Guide to Birds of Costa Rica With Side Trips to Panama
Buy from or

  • This is not a birding field guide, but a helpful guide to quite a few Costa Rica birding sites. Very good descriptions of sites included (including some information not available elsewhere) but many other places were not covered. The author's assessments are useful.

Site Guides: Costa Rica - A Guide to the Best Birding Locations (Paperback)
Denis Rogers:
Buy from

  • The book includes information on many key birding sites, each with directions and basic species lists, general travel information and suggested itineraries. Download specimen chapter for Carara National Park

Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica
Gary Stiles: Buy from or

  • This is a superior field guide to a country with one of the richest assortments of bird life anywhere. Written and illustrated by top experts, this book has it all: 52 excellent color plates, detailed species accounts, brief write-ups of 70 birding localities

Helm Identification Guides: Birds of the West Indies
Herbert Raffaele: Buy from or

  • This identification guide covers all the birds known to occur in the West Indies, a total of 563 species. Species texts cover all aspects of identification and include the full range of local names for the bird. Accompanying each speices text is a distribution map showing the bird's range within the West Indies. Every species is illustrated in the 86 colour plates, and many island "forms" (where relevant) are also depicted. The "locality checklist" included provides an at-a-glance, island-by-island guide to the distribution and status of all species. This is the BEST book available for the West Indies

Recommended travel books for Costa Rica:

Costa Rica (Bradt Travel Guides) Available direct from Bradt travel guides
Larissa Banting: Buy from or

  • Bradt travel guides cover wildlife better than any other guide book and Costa Rica does wildlife better than most other countries. This is a good combination. An excellent book for the travelling naturalist with details of most, if not all, of the national parks.
Lonely Planet - Costa Rica
Rachowiecki: Buy from or
  • An excellent feature of the book is that Mr Rachowiecki has divided the country up into areas that can quickly and efficiently be examined for such facilities as accommodation, food, national parks, wildlife and many other groups. And the book begins with a "Facts about Costa Rica" section with draws attention to revelant information about the country's culture, weather, health and other important facts a first-time explorer really needs to know.

Costa Rica: the Rough Guide
Jean McNeil: Buy from or
  • An esential guide for the Eco-Tourist. The book includes detailed maps of the national parks, with details of how best to visit them. For some of the Parks, there is even information on how to hire a local wildlife guide! There is comprehensive coverage of Costa Rica's abundant wildlife including some of the key species to be expected. This guide presents essential information about how to get around without spending a fortune.

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