Peninsula de Nicoya Travel and Vacation Guide

Birds of Costa Rica

Birds of Costa Rica
Turquoise-browed Motmot

Costa Rica offers birders unrivalled birdwatching. As many as 900 resident and migrant bird species have been counted, that is one-tenth of the world's total. This is all the more amazing if you consider that Costa Rica isn't much bigger than the US state of New Hampshire. Around a quarter of the bird species counted in Costa Rica are migratory birds.

To see a large sampling of Costa Rica's bird life, you should travel to different parts of the country. However, you often just need to walk from a pasture to a wooded lot or a riverside to find a different bird habitat. The best time for spotting birds is during mating and nesting season which is from March to June and continues until August. March and April are also the peak of the dry season and the foliage of trees and shrub has thinned out so it is easier to spot birds.

Great Curassow
Great Curassow

On the Nicoya Peninsula the most interesting spot for bird watchers is the » Palo Verde Reserve by the Tempisque River. The wetland sanctuary is a superlative place to see waterfowl. It's swamps, marshes and rivers are the most important site for migratory birds in Central America.

The bible of bird watchers in Costa Rica is the book "The Birds of Costa Rica" by Richard Garrigues. The book is great for correctly identifying species but it's quite heavy to carry around in the field. For a quick check and for counting species you already spotted you can also download some useful Apps on your smartphone. There is e.g. Aves de Costa Rica of Mauricio Calderon, or the eBird App.

List of Birds in Costa Rica (pdf files)
» AOCR Official List of Birds in Costa Rica 2016
» Birds in Mal Pais, Costa Rica. Recorded 2014 - 2016
» Birds in Palo Verde, Costa Rica