Costa Rica is a birdwatcher's paradise! There are abundant opportunities to see interesting
birds around every bend in the road. The best way to see them is to rent a four-wheel
drive vehicle and head out into the countryside. Let's go!





 The habitat of the Scarlet Macaw in the Osa Peninsula in southwestern Costa Rica
is lowland rain forest. Freshwater streams such as the one at right, photographed at Cabo Matapalo, Bosque del Cabo Rain Forest Lodge, cascade directly into the ocean. In the trees above, Scarlet Macaws roosted.

 Athough they are a bit nervous when they spot humans, Scarlets are frequently seen in the area and announce their presence with raucous calls that echo in the dense forest. The nearby Corcovado National Park offers some protection to this endangered species but privately held land reserves in the Cabo Matapalo area, such as Bosque del Cabo, are also vital as they provide buffer zones near the park where the birds can feed. Birds know nothing of official park boundries. These two macaws were photographed near the town square of the town of Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula, and these magnificent macaws are also easily seen on the Bosque del Cabo Lodge grounds.

This Swainson's Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) was spotted on the dusty coastal road between Dominical and Uvita. The Pan Am Highway will soon replace the dusty road.  

 This lovely pair of Blue-Headed Pionus was photographed having a bit of palm-fruit breakfast on the grounds of a small hotel near Cahuita on the southeast coast of Costa Rica. Parrots were very plentiful in this area which is near the Panamanian border. In the early morning, one can observe hundreds of Amazon Parrots flying overhead to feeding areas in the south. There are a lot of species in this area which do not occur in other areas of Costa Rica.

 One of the most beautiful birds in the world is also one of the most elusive: the Resplendant Quetzal. This bird lives only in high altitude cloud forests in Central America. Bird watchers from around the world attempt to make a sighting of this rare species. This gorgeous male made his fleeting appearance at 6:30 AM in the mountains above San Gerardo de Dota in Central Costa Rica. A local expert, Senor Chacon, quite graciously took a small group to observe the feeding trees of this species and we were amply rewarded!

 Senor Chacon owns a lodge nearby where
one can see numbers of local hummingbirds that flock to his feeders. Five species of hummingbirds were easily observed from the lodge's restaurant. Other species spotted in the area included Hoffman's Conure, Emerald Toucanette, and AcornWoodpecker. (See the June '98 issue of National Geographic Magazine for an excellent article on the
Resplendant Quetzal!)

 Even at the coast there are birds to see! These egrets on the beach at Playa Cuajiniquil near the Santa Rosa National Park in northwestern Costa Rica were oblivious to our presence. Chattering Touit Parakeets and Orange-Fronted Conures took a siesta in the trees nearby .

This is only a small glimpse of the incredible bird life of Costa Rica. With approximately 840 species of birds recorded in this small country, it is truly a world class bird-watching destination.
Photographic Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica (Paperback)
by Susan C. L. Fogden (Author), Michael Fogden (Photographer), Patricia Fogden (Photographer)

Organization of Tropical Studies, Costa Rica

  Intro Table Page
Main Page

 Bird-Watching in Jamaica

 Bird-watching in
Papua New Guinea
 Bird-watching in Australia

site map  

 intro table page

 current price list




choosing a bird




  species we raise

 weaning times

 species' profiles

2007 baby prices 

 hand-feeding now

Main Page

(prices and availability)


All photographs are by Gail J. Worth and are copyrighted. They may not be reproduced by any method without written permission.

You may stop the music if you wish