Costa Rica - March 29th - April 12th 2013

Published by Dave Horton (davetwitcher AT

Participants: Dave Horton and Bob Hurst


We flew from Heathrow to San Jose with Iberia via Madrid which worked well after previous bad experiences with Iberia. We used Lawson as a site guide which is fairly accurate although I did find a few minor errors in site descriptions and Garrigues ‘Birds of Costa Rica’ as a field guide. We mostly stayed in mid priced Hotels or lodges where credit cards were widely accepted. We did take a few dollars but mostly changed cash at banks where the exchange rate into Colones was much better than at the few Bureau de change that we encountered. Trial maps for reserves are pretty much non-existent, so it would be an advantage to download these from the net before your trip. A Sat Nav. is essential to help negotiate the city streets and care has to be taken to input the correct destination as there are many similar place names.

Saturday 30th March

We did some introductory birding in the grounds the first morning which did not turn up either of the hoped for Ground Sparrows although we did see the only Greyish Saltator of the trip along with 20 or so common species. We then drove to Poas Volcano National Park which was a big mistake as it was Easter and the place was heaving. We stopped at the Hummingbird feeders at the Restaurant de Volcan which produced good views of Volcano and Magnificent Hummingbirds, Violet Sabrewing, Green-crowned Brilliant, Green Violet ear and Purple-throated Mountain Gem. The Park gave us little apart from our first Black-billed Nightingale Thrush, Mountain Elaenia, Sooty Robin and both Bush Tanagers but not the hoped for Volcano Junco. On our return we added Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher near the restaurant and after navigating the road a few times adding White-collared Swift and Montezuma Oropendula we eventually found the Hummingbird feeders at Cinchona but this was not an obvious place as the town of Cinchona seems to have just one building, which the Cataract Mirador restaurant which is otherwise known as the hummingbird garden. Here we added White-bellied Mountain Gem but otherwise the Hummers were the same as at Poas but we did see our first Silver-throated and Palm Tanagers on the fruit feeders. We then headed to the Sanchi Mirador Hotel near Cartago where we saw two Common Pauraque on the entrance track

Sunday 31st March

Walking around the grounds and adjacent fields and scrub early morning we found our only party of Grey-headed Chachalalca working the treetops and also added amongst other species Plain Wren, Tropical Gnatcatcher, White-crowned Parrot and experienced our first encounter with the Woodcreepers which fortunately gave good views and we were able to identify as Streak-headed. We then headed for Irazu Volcano which has a much greater viewing area and we easily found Volcano Junco and Slaty Flowerpiercer but no Timberline Wren but many of the same species as we had encountered at Poas. It was then on to Tapanti but the heavens opened and we cut our losses and just birded the approach road resulting in both Southern and Northern Rough-winged Swallow, the former being easy to identify despite comments in some reports. We added the first Grassquits and Seedeaters and our only American Kestrel of the trip. We headed on to San Isidro where we had booked a Hotel for a number of nights to avoid continually moving. This meant a little extra driving but did make life easier having a base.

Monday 1st April

Early morning around the hotel grounds was quite productive with good views of our only sighting of Grey-necked Woodrail, our first Brown-capped Vireo, Red-crowned Woodpecker and Red-legged Honeycreeper. It was then on to Talari Mountain Lodge which was described in Lawson as a good place for introductory birding. Indeed it was although the trails were a disappointment and the feeders were not stocked. The birding around the lodges and close to the river was very good for us at this stage of our trip. Many of the common Tanagers and Flycatchers were seen along with Green Honeycreeper, Squirrel Cuckoo, Buff-throated Saltator and Amazon Kingfisher on the river. In the afternoon we visited San Isidro Sewage Pools where the hoped for Southern Lapwing finally gave itself up after hiding behind concrete blocks. A few common duck and wader species were seen including Northern Jacana and our first Mangrove Swallow and Grey-breasted Martins. We managed to get access through the main gate with permission from one of the workers on site. In a nearby orchard Orange chinned Parakeets were finally seen as they manage to hide extremely well in the fruiting trees.

Tuesday 2nd April

We had tried to book the early morning bird tour at Oro Verde over the phone but without luck as the sales people just wanted to sell Fishing or Whale watching trips, so we decided to pay them a visit after we took in Manuel Antonio National Park purely for the mammals and Brown Booby. We saw around 200 Booby’s nesting rather distantly on the island off the point and also added Yellow-headed Caracara, and a roosting Pauraque, both Sloths, three species of monkey including Squirrel Monkey and our first Blue Morpho Butterfly.

We then visited the Parrita river mouth further along the coast where we had good views of a range of Herons including Bare-throated Tiger Heron, common waders and terns. We then called in at Oro Verde and by chance was able to book a tour for the following morning with a Spanish speaking guide.

Wednesday 3rd April

We arrived at Oro Verde for a six a.m. start seeing Swallow-tailed kite over the approach road. We birded the road to start with seeing Olivaceous Piculet and our first Chestnut Mandibled Toucans and Bright-rumped Attila. A Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift did a low pass whilst groups of Vaux’s flew overhead. We then took in some of the gardens adding Thick-billed Euphonia, Yellow Tyrannulet, Bronzy Hermit and Purple-crowned Fairy, before walking a forest trail. This was fairly productive with Long-billed Gnatwren, Immaculate Antbird, White-lined Tanager and Ruddy Quail Dove. Bob spotted a King Vulture overhead which was flying near a Grey-lined Hawk. On the edge of the gardens a female Great Curassow showed well and a Double-toothed Kite caused some identification issues until it turned to look at us. Other species of note were Violoceous Trogon and Masked Tityra.

In the afternoon we walked a disused track signposted to Guapil beach, which led down to a group of Mangroves adjacent to a beach which I had researched from the excellent Costa Rican birdingcraft blog run by Pat O’Donnell. Although we didn’t see all the species mentioned we did add Mangrove Black Hawk, Panama Flycatcher, Mangrove Cuckoo and a number of waders including our only Collared Plovers.

Thursday 4th April

An early start meant we arrived at Los Pariso de Quetzal at KM70 around 8 a.m. where we booked a tour for $8 per person which lasted around two hours taking in a trail through open forest to an area where Quetzal’s were nesting. After a short wait we had excellent views of a male carrying food. We also saw Wilson’s Warbler, Mountain Thrush, Peg-billed Finch, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Black-billed Nightingale Thrush, Large-footed and Yellow-thighed Finch, Black-cheeked Wrabler, some fly over Barred Parakeets and Black and Yellow Silky Flycatcher along with the more common Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher. I took the opportunity to photograph some of the Hummingbirds back at the centre where Magnificent, Fiery throated and Volcano Hummers were frequenting the feeders.

We then drove along the San Gerado de Dota road as far as La Savegre Lodge where we stopped to check out the Hummingbird Feeders.

We saw Slaty Finch on the verge as soon as we turned onto the road and soon found our first Scintilliant Hummingbird. We added Tufted, Yellowish and Black-capped Flycatcher and Collared Redstart heading down the road. At the lodge the rain started to come down yet the feeders were very active and we had brilliant views of White-throated Mountain Gem and the more regular hummers such as Violet Sabrewing. On the fruit feeders we added Flame-coloured Tanager and Bob picked out a Red-tailed Hawk perched up high in the gathering gloom. Just beyond the lodge we had brilliant views of Spangle-cheeked Tanager, Black-faced Solitaire, Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrush and glimpsed a Grey-breasted Wood Wren. We bumped into some Americans on a birding tour who put us onto an Emerald Toucanets nest in a small paddock beside the road. After a short wait the male flew into the nesting Tree giving brief but good views. Whilst waiting we saw Flame-throated and Black throated Green Warblers and more Wilson’s Warblers and Collared Redstarts. With the rain now falling quite heavily we headed back seeing a Black Guan crossing the road just before the left the forested area.

Friday 5th April

We took today pretty easily as we had a long trip an early start in the morning. We visited the home of Alexander Skutch at Los Cusingos. The directions in Lawson are not 100% accurate and the site is located up the left hand rather than right hand fork. We had excellent views of Fiery-billed Aracari on route along with a group of 8 Chestnut-mandibled Toucans. Indigo Bunting was seen on the entrance track and Green Hermit and Green Honeycreeper and Eastern Wood Pewee around the gardens.

We walked the loop trail down to the Petrogliths and had superb views of Bi-coloured Antbird, Kentucky Warbler and Orange-billed Sparrow. We took a side trail which didn’t appear to lead to anywhere specific but we did see Red-capped Manakin, Plain Xenops and had brief views of Rufous Mourner before retracing our steps to the main path. An evening stroll around the gardens of the hotel turned up the usual species along with a Tropical Mockingbird.

Saturday 6th April

We were heading for Carara National Park around 4.30 a.m. seeing a Common Opossum crossing the road before reaching Domincal. Generally mammals on the roads were few and far between as born out by the lack of road kills. Once on the coast road we saw two different Barn Owls and as dawn broke a range of common species such as Ringed Kingfisher and Grey Hawk. First stop was the Marriot Hotel in Jaco which provided Least Grebe on the Golf course ponds and also Southern Lapwing and Black-bellied Whistling Duck.

We arrived at Carara at seven and waited for the reserve to open. After some negotiation we took a guide for three hours for $25 dollars. This proved to be the correct decision as he took us along the river trail but also diverted off on some minor tracks which we would not have walked had we been on our own. This resulted in us seeing Boa Constrictor, Northern Ghost Bat and some of the bird species mentioned below. Highlights included Long-tailed Hermit, Yellow-naped Parrot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Black-hooded Antshrike, Blue Black Grosbeak, Dot-winged Antwren, Pale-winged Woodpecker, Royal Flycatcher, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Slate-headed Tody Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Orange-crowned Manakin, Riverside Wren, White-shouldered Tanager, Scarlet Macaw, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Barred Antshrike, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher and Chestnut-backed Antbird, along with Boat-billed Heron on the Lagoon.

We then headed to Cerro Lodge via the Crocodile Bridge where about 20 Crocs were loafing in the mud beneath the bridge. Cerro Lodge proved to be a great choice and the owner was more than happy to sort out a mangrove tour for the morning and even negotiated a lower price on our behalf. Cinnamon Hummingbird and Rufous and White Wren were easily seen around the Lodge. We then took in some of the mangroves at Tarcoles and walked to the river mouth, which is much closer than Lawson indicates. We saw our first Wood Storks, and Turquoise-browed Motmots an American Pygmy Kingfisher and more Panama Flycatchers. On the beach there was a lone Olivaceous Cormorant and a few distant Royal Terns flew passed off shore. A couple of noisy White-throated Magpie Jays were around Tarcoles town and a quick stop at Villa Lapas for some refreshment enabled us to add Green Kingfisher on the river and a Northern Waterthrush.

I then did a late afternoon walk around the loop trail back at Carara which proved very productive and would have been better had I stayed passed the closing time of 4pm but I was not aware that this was possible. I saw Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Baird’s Trogon, Dusky Antbird, and on the stream where the birds were coming in to drink I added a Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher and a number of the more common Tanagers. Back at Cerro Lodge, a stunning male Blue Grosbeak was seen among the Seedeaters along the access track and Brown Jay and some showy Scarlet Macaws were around the gardens. That evening we were called when the expected Black and White Owl arrived in the trees near reception where it performed superbly for around 15mins.

Sunday 7th April

An early coffee and snack were provided before we headed for the mangroves. This did not prove to be very productive and only a wide range of Herons and waders were seen along with American Purple Gallinule, Plumbeous Kite, Rufous-browed Peppershrike and a Crab-eating Racoon. Back at Cerro lodge for a full breakfast, a Black-headed Trogon and Orange-fronted Parakeets showed well. A walk up the track did not turn up any new species so we set off for the Gaucimo road where we found 4 Double-striped Thick-Knees and some Stripe-headed Sparrows. We then headed for Monteverde adding just Olive Sparrow and Painted Bunting along the road up to Santa Eleana.

Monday 8th April

We were up early and started birding around the entrance track and car park area at the Monteverde Reserve. We saw Stripe-tailed and Steely vented Hummingbirds amongst others at the Hummingbird Garden. After a while we added a Slate-throated Redstart and Golden-browed Chlorophonia in the car park before a Resplendent Quetzal called and showed itself fairly well. Emerald Toucanets were quite active as were a pair of Prong-billed Barbets. Mountain Elaenia showed briefly and Golden bellied Flycatchers performed superbly almost landing on our heads.

After breakfast we headed into the reserve which proved somewhat disappointing. None of the guides could guarantee Bellbird so we guided ourselves and saw very little. Highlights were Three-striped Warbler, Black Guan, Slaty-backed Nightingale Thrush, Banded Wren, Ruddy Pigeon, Townsend’s Warbler plus more Emerald Toucanets and Yellow-Green Vireos. Despite brilliant views over extensive cloud forest no raptors had taken to the air in good conditions. We headed for Bosque La Paz the expected afternoon rain started to fall. On arrival we saw at least 10 Black Guan around the feeders and added Chestnut-capped Brush Finch and Magenta-throated Woodstar. That evening during dinner our attention was drawn to the numerous moths attracted to the lights and a White-nosed Coatamundi took advantage, catching as many as it could. The star of the show was an Atlas moth which settled on a carriage lamp by the entrance to the restaurant.

Tuesday 9th April

We took an early morning guided walk which cost $30 dollars each and headed around the forest trails picking up Spotted Barbtail, Tropical Parula, Red-faced Spinetail, White-throated Spadebill, Lineated Foilage Gleaner, Dark and Eastern Pewees, Brown-billed Scythebill, White-winged Tanager, Slaty Wren, Grey-breasted Wood Wren and Prong billed and Red headed Barbet, plus more Three-striped Warblers, Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrush, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper and Emerald Toucanets.

After breakfast we walked a different trail without the guide and saw very little. We headed for the entrance to check the stream to the left as the guide said this was a good area for American Dipper and Torrent Flycatcher. We saw both species without any problem. We scoped a Greater Black Hawk’s nest and eventually saw an adult fly passed and circle around the valley before landing on the nest. A garden close to the lounge area had a fruiting tree which held Scarlet-thighed Dancis and a range of Tanagers including Silver throated.

As the rain appeared to have settled in for the afternoon we headed for our final lodging at the Hotel Gavilan near La Selva. On route we picked up our only Red-winged Blackbirds and saw another Chestnut-mandibled Toucan. We stopped off at La Selva and booked an expensive two hour early morning bird walk around the reserve.

At Hotel Gavilan we immediately asked about the Spectacled Owls and were taken to see a roosting bird in a regular site. We relaxed for the remainder of the day watching the feeder and surrounding trees and saw many Passerini’s Tanagers, Black striped Sparrow, Blackburnian Warbler, Black-cheeked Woodpecker and plenty of Eastern Kingbirds which were migrating through in large groups.

Wednesday 10th April

We started early at La Selva Biological Station and picked up a range of species around the restaurant area including Long-tailed Tyrant, Collared Aracari, Crested Guan, Great Curassow, Cinnamon Becard, White-collared Manakin, White-necked Jacobin and Blue-chested Hummingbird. We walked a forest trail adding Gray-chested Dove, Short-billed Pigeon, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Masked Titrya, White-breasted Wood Wren, Buff-rumped Warbler and Green Ibis. We then did some birding around the restaurant area seeing Paltry Tyrannulet, Piratic Flycatcher, Long-billed Hermit and Southern Rough-winged Swallow. Following the guides advice we headed to an area along a public road to the right of the entrance to La Selva where we saw numerous Seedeaters and eventually our main target Great Green Macaw.

We headed away from the reserve but stopped when our attention was drawn to a pale bird perched up beside the road which proved to be a Snowy Cotinga. The guide had put us on to a site for Fascinated Tiger Heron at Chilamate but we were disappointed to find only Bare-throated Tiger Heron on the River along with a Louisiana Waterthrush. The next site for Great Potoo however, was spot on and we enjoyed great views of a perched bird along with a Hercules Beetle that tried to look aggressive.

We headed on to Virgen de Soccoro which was somewhat disappointing. Despite good weather for soaring raptors we only saw Swallow-tailed Kite. The trail by the bridge was not walkable and we only saw a Red-faced Spinetail, Tropical Parula, Silver-throated and Crimson-collared Tanagers. Back at the road beside La Selva in the evening I saw a Bat Falcon and more views of Chestnut-mandibled Toucan and numerous White-crowned Parrots and Montezuma Oropendulas.

Thursday 11th April

We were up early hoping to see the Fascinated Tiger Heron and Sun Bittern at Chilamate but once again only saw Bare-throated Tiger Heron. We did add Black-cowled Oriole and bumped into a birder staying at the nearby lodge whom we were able to put onto our Spectacled Owl site. Back at the La Selva we found a Sun Grebe performing well on the river at the end of the public road beside the reserve where a Spectacled Cayman was also on show. Back for breakfast at Gavilan Hotel where a Stripe-throated Hermit performed around the flowering shrubs and a Seedeater was spotted on a nest. We then walked the trails around Gavilan Lodge where a fruiting tree revealed Olive-backed Euphonia and Red-throated Tanager. Nearby a Bay Wren performed along with the expected House Wrens.

The Forest trail gave us a pair of Fascinated Ant Shrike who were building a nest over the path, White-collared Manakin our only Wood Thrush, Keel-billed Toucan and Rose-breasted Grosbeak along with an unexpected Bare-throated Tiger Heron.

A brief visit back to Chilamate in the afternoon added Grey-crowned Yellowthroat and Olive-throated Parakeet and a pair of Violaceous Trogon.

Friday 12th April

A really early start saw us heading for El Tapir for dawn. Despite the alarm failing to go off, we got away, all be it a little late, arriving soon after first light. We soon saw a male Snowcap and a Green Thorntail and Violet-headed Hummingbird in the porter weed bushes in the garden. We then went and checked out the Brauillo National Park just down the road and returned for six a.m. just as the local guardian was opening up. He showed us around the garden but we only saw Black-crested Coquette and no a sign of another Snowcap. I walked the forest trail hoping to see Sun Bittern on the river along the trail but did not connect.

I did however, see Buff-rumped Warbler, Rufous Phia, Black/Yellow and Tawny crowned Tanagers, Dot-winged Antwren, Buff-throated and Lineated Foliage Gleaners, Rufous Mourner, Bay Wren, White-shouldered Tanager and Green Honeycreeper.

Back at the garden, whilst enjoying a cup of coffee brewed by our host, we saw a perched Double-toothed Kite and some fly over Brown-hooded Parrots. Our final walk around the trails at Brauillo gave us Black-headed Nightingale Thrush, Canada Warbler, a group of 20 or so Olive Tanagers, Streak-crowned Antvireo and an elusive Oscillated Antbird. Back at the Car Park a Collared Ant eater was performing well in the trees.

Species Lists

Great Tinamou Heard La Selva
Little Tinamou Heard Los Cusingos
Black bellied Whistling Duck 20+ San Isidro sewage ponds, a few at Jaco
Muscovy Duck 1 few over Cerro Lodge
Blue-winged Teal 6 at San Isidro sewage ponds
Northern Shoveler 2 pairs on the Paritta river
Grey-headed Chacalaca 6 at Sanchiri Lodge
Crested Guan 1 in trees around La Selva reception and restaurant area.
Black Guan c.8 at Bosque de Paz–feeders, Monteverde
Great Curassow 1 female at Oro Verde and 2 at La Selva
Least Grebe At least 3 on pools at Marriot Hotel Jaco
Brown Booby c.100 at Manuel Antonio breeding on island off point.
Brown Pelican A few flew past point at Manuel Antonio and c.50 at Tarcoles
Neotropic Cormorant 1 on beach at Tarcoles
Anhinga 1 on pool near Quepos
Magnificent Frigatebird Common on Pacific coast e.g. Manuel Antonio
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron 1 on the Paritta river and 2 at Chilamate and 1 at Hotel Gavilan
Great Blue Heron A few seen around river mouths
Great White Egret Frequent
Snowy Egret Frequent
Little Blue Heron A few along rivers
Tri-coloured Heron A few along rivers and around the river mouths
Reddish Egret One seen on the Paritta River
Cattle Egret Common
Green Heron A few along the rivers
Boat-billed Heron 1 at Carara on the lagoon and one on the Mangrove bird tour Tarcoles
White Ibis A few at the Paritta River and numerous at Tarcoles
Green Ibis 1 at La Selva
Roseate Spoonbill A few at the Paritta River and numerous at Tarcoles
Wood Stork 4 at Tarcoles in mangroves near river mouth and on boat tour.
Black Vulture Common
Turkey Vulture Common
King Vulture 1 Oro Verde along ridge and 2 at Chilamate
Osprey 1 at Talari and a few on the pacific coast
Swallow tailed Kite c.10 at Oro Verde and a few elsewhere e.g. Virgen del Socorro
Double-toothed Kite 1 Oro Verde and 1 at El Tapir
Plumbeous Kite 6+ Tarcoles
Common Black Hawk I in Mangroves near Domincal and 2 on Mangrove boat tour Tarcoles
Great Black Hawk 1 on nest at Bosque la Paz
Roadside Hawk Frequently encountered
Broad-winged Hawk A few seen
Grey Hawk 1 at Manual Antonio and a few beside roads
Grey-lined Hawk 1 at Oro Verde and an immature at Domincal
Red-tailed Hawk 1 at San Gerardo from Savegre Lodge
Crested Caracara A few seen on pacific coast and around La Selva
Yellow-headed Caracara 1 at Manuel Antonio and a few on roads on pacific coast
American Kestrel 1 on the approach road to Tapanti
Bat Falcon 1 beside La Selva
Grey-necked Wood-Rail 1 beside stream in grounds of Hotel del Sur San Isidro
American Purple Gallinule 1 on Mangrove boat tour and 1 on the Tarcoles river from bridge
Sun Grebe 1 at La Selva on the river at end of road beside the reserve
Double-striped Thick-Knee 3 on Guacimo road near Carara
Southern Lapwing 1 at San Isidro sewage pond and 1 at Jaco
Grey Plover A few on the Paritta River and on the mangrove boat tour Tarcoles
Collared Plover A few on the beach near Domincal
Wilson’s Plover A few on the beach at Domincal
Semipalmated Plover A few on the Paritta River and on the mangrove boat tour Tarcoles
Black-necked Stilt Frequent at river mouths
Northern Jacana A few at San Isidro sewage ponds
Spotted Sandpiper Frequent on rivers
Greater Yellowlegs 2 on the Paritta river
Lesser Yellowlegs 3 at San Isidro sewage works
Willet A few around river mouths
Whimbrel A few on the Paritta River and on the mangrove boat tour Tarcoles
Marbled Godwit 1 on the Parrita river
Ruddy Turnstone 1 on mangrove boat tour Tarcoles
Least Sandpiper A few on beach at Domincal and on the mangrove boat tour Tarcoles Laughing Gull Surprisingly few, only c.6 seen by beach at Puntarenas.
Royal Tern c.10 on beach at Paritta river mouth with Sandwich Terns.
Sandwich Tern c.30 on beach at Paritta river mouth
Feral Pigeon SanIsidro
Pale-vented Pigeon A few around Hotel Gavilan
Red-billed Pigeon Common
Band-tailed Pigeon 2 at Irazu Volcano
Short-billed Pigeon 2 Selva Verde, a few around Hotel Gavilan
Ruddy Pigeon 1 at Monteverde
White-winged Dove Common
Inca Dove Common
Common Ground Dove First seen at Tarcoles then frequent in dry forest
Ruddy Ground Dove Common
White-tipped Dove Common
Grey-chested Dove 1 at La Selva and 1 on forest trail at Hotel Gavilan
Ruddy Quail Dove 1 at Oro Verde
Crimson-fronted Parakeet a few in the Selva Verde/La Selva area Carara
Olive-throated Parakeet 5 La Selva Carara, Hotel Gavilan
Orange-fronted Parakeet Carara, 12+ Monteverde, Hotel Gavilan
Scarlet Macaw Frequent over Carara and around Cerro Lodge
Great Green Macaw 2 adjacent to La Selva reserve
Barred Parakeet 2 at km70
Orange-chinned Parakeet First seen at San Isidro sewage works
Brown-hooded Parrot 2 over Barulio
White-crowned Parrot The most frequent parrot encountered
Red-lored Parrot A few beside a stream on the way up to Monteverde
Mealy Parrot A feeding group beside the road leading up to Monteverde
Yellow-naped Parrot First seen at Carara and then from Cerro Lodge
Squirrel Cuckoo 1 at Talari
Mangrove Cuckoo 1 in mangroves near Domincal
Striped Cuckoo Heard at Carara
Groove-billed Ani Frequent
Barn Owl 2 by road near Domincal
Spectacled Owl 2 at Hotel Gavilan
Costa Rican Pygmy Owl Heard at km70
Pacific Screech Owl Heard at Hotel Bougainvillea
Black-and-white Owl 1 showing extremely well after dark at Cerro Lodge
Great Potoo 1 near radio mast between Las Virgen and San Miguel
Common Pauraque 2 on track Sanchiri Lodge, 1 Hotel Gavilan, 1 roosting M. Antonio
Black Swift 2 over Bosque la Paz, and a few elsewhere
White-collared Swift c.20 at Chinchona, then a few elsewhere
Vaux’s Swift A few seen at many sites
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift 1 low over Oro Verde
Bronzy Hermit A few noted at Oro Verde
Long-tailed Hermit Widespread, small numbers at many sites
Green Hermit 1 at Los Cusingos and a few at Monteverde
Stripe-throated Hermit 1 at Hotel Gavilan
Violet Sabrewing Seen at Chinchona, Monteverde, Poas and Bosque la Paz
White-necked Jacobin 2 La Selva and 1 at Chilamate
Green Violetear A few at Chinchona, frequent at Poas Restaurant de Volcan
Violet-headed Hummingbird 1 at El Tapir
Black-crested Coquette 1 at La Selva and 1 at El Tapir
Green Thorntail 2 at El Tapir
Fiery-throated Hummingbird Frequent at feeders at km70
Blue chested Hummingbird La Selva where frequent around bushes near the restaurant
Steely-vented Hummingbird Monteverde
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Common e.g. Hotel Bougainvillea
Cinnamon Hummingbird Common at Cerro Lodge
Stripe-tailed Hummingbird 2+ Monteverde
Snowcap 1 male at El Tapir
White-bellied Mountain-Gem 2 at Chinchona
White-throated Mountain Gem 4 at Savegre Lodge San Gerardo
Purple-throated Mountain-Gem Seen at Bosque de Paz, Monteverde, Poas and Chinchona
Green-crowned Brilliant Seen at Bosque de Paz, Monteverde, Poas and Chinchona
Magnificent Hummingbird Seen at Bosque de Paz, Monteverde, Poas. Km70 and Chinchona
Purple-crowned Fairy Oro Verde
Magenta-throated Woodstar 1 at Bosque la Paz
Scintillant Hummingbird Frequent in San Gerardo and 1 at Bosque la Paz
Volcano Hummingbird 2 at Poas Restaurant de Volcan and common at Irazu
Black-headed Trogon 1 Cerro Lodge
Baird’s Trogon 1 Carara figure of 8 trail
Violaceous Trogon 2 at Chilamate and 1 at Oro Verde
Black-throated Trogon 1 at La Selva
Resplendent Quetzal 1 Km70, and 1 at Monteverde from Car Park early morning
Blue-crowned Motmot 2 at Hotel Bougainvillea, and frequently encountered
Broad-billed Motmot 1 at La Selva
Turquoise-browed Motmot Frequent in dry forest, first seen at Carara
Ringed Kingfisher Frequent
Amazon Kingfisher 1 at Talari, 2 at Tarcoles
Green Kingfisher 1 Selva Verde, c5 Tarcoles
American Pygmy Kingfisher 1 Tarcoles in mangroves and 4 on Mangrove boat tour
Rufous-tailed Jacamar 1 Carara, 1 La Selva
Red-headed Barbet 1 at Bosque de Paz
Prong-billed Barbet 2 Bosque de Paz, 2 Monteverde over Car Park early morning
Emerald Toucanet 1 at nest site in San Gerardo, 4+ Monteverde, 2 Bosque la Paz
Collared Aracari 2 at La Selva
Fiery-billed Aracari 1 by road to Los Cusingos
Keel-billed Toucan 1 Hotel Gavilan
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan 1 at Oro Verde, 8 by road to Los Cusingos, 1 at Hotel Gavilan
Olivaceous Piculet 1 at Oro Verde
Acorn Woodpecker Common
Black-cheeked Woodpecker 2 at Gavilan Lodge, 1 at Chilamate
Hoffmann's Woodpecker Common, first seen at Hotel Bougainvillea, photographed at Cerro
Red-crowned Woodpecker Common at Talari, Oro Verde, Manuel Antonio
Hairy Woodpecker Heard at Km70
Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker 1 at La Selva
Pale-billed Woodpecker 1 Carara, 2 Hotel Gavilan
Red-faced Spinetail 1 at Bosque la Paz and 1 at Virgen de Socorro
Spotted Barbtail 1 at Bosque la Paz
Lineated Foilage Gleaner 1 at Bosque la Paz and 1 at El Tapir
Buff-throated Foliage-Gleaner 1 Carara and 1 at El Tapir
Plain Xenops 1 at Los Cusingos
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper 1 Carara, and 1 Monteverde
Cocoa Woodcreeper 1 Carara river trail by first stream
Spotted Woodcreeper 1 at Monteverde
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Frequent, first seen at Sanchiri
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper 1 at Km 70, 1 at Bosque la Paz, 1 at San Gerardo
Brown-billed Scythebill 1 at Bosque la Paz
Fasciated Antshrike A pair nest building at Hotel Gavilan
Barred Antshrike 2 at Carara
Black-hooded Antshrike 1 at Carara
Streak-crowned Antvireo 1 at Barulio
Slaty Antwren 1 at Bosque la Paz
Dot-winged Antwren 2 Carara
Dusky Antbird 1 female at Carara on figure of eight trail
Chestnut-backed Antbird 1 at Carara
Immaculate Antbird 1 at Oro Verde
Bicolored Antbird 1 at Los Cusingos
Ocellated Antbird 1 at Barulio
Southern Beardless Tyrannulet Oro Verde
Yellow Tyrannulet Talari
Yellow-bellied Elaenia La Selva
Mountain Elaenia 5 Irazu
Torrent Tyrannulet 2 on river adjacent to entrance to Bosque la Paz
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher 1 at Talari
Paltry Tyrannulet 1 La Selva, 1 Hotel Gavilan
Common Tody-Flycatcher Common with small numbers in several locations
Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher 2 Carara
Eye-ringed Flatbill I at Los Cusingos
Yellow-olive Flycatcher 1 at Carara
White-throated Spadebill 1 lured at Bosque de Paz
Royal Flycatcher 2 Carara nesting by stream to right of river trail
Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher 2 at Carara
Sulphur rumped Flycatcher 1 at Carara at drinking spot on figure of eight trail
Tufted Flycatcher 1 San Gerardo
Dark Pewee 1 at Bosque la Paz
Eastern Wood Pewee Common
Willow Flycatcher 1 in grounds of Hotel Sur San Isidro
Yellowish Flycatcher Frequent e.g. Monteverde
Black-capped Flycatcher 1 Km70 and 1 San Gerardo
Black Phoebe Frequent, first seen on access road to Tapanti
Long-tailed Tyrant 1 male at La Selva
Bright-rumped Attila 1 La Selva and 1 at Oro Verde
Rufous Mourner 1 Barulio Carrillo, 1 Selve Verde
Dusky-capped Flycatcher 1 La Selva, 2 Carara
Panama Flycatcher 2+ Tarcoles, and 1 at mangroves near Domincal
Great Crested Flycatcher Common
Great Kiskadee Common throughout
Boat-billed Flycatcher 1+ Selva Verde,
Social Flycatcher Common
Golden-bellied Flycatcher 1 Monteverde
Streaked Flycatcher 1 La Selva, 2+ Tarcoles
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher 2 Selva Verde,
Piratic Flycatcher 1 La Selva and 1 at Sanchiri Lodge
Tropical Kingbird Common throughout
Eastern Kingbird Common on passage around Hotel Gavilan
Rufous Piha 1 El Tapir loop trail
Cinnamon Becard 1 La Selva and 1 at Chilamate
Rose throated Becard 1 at Carara and a pair nest building on the Guacimo road
Masked Titrya 1 at Oro Verde
Black-crowned Tityra 1 at La Selva
Snowy Cotinga 1 at forest edge just outside La Selva
White-collared Manakin 2+ La Selva, also 3 on Hotel Gavilan – Forest Trial
Orange-collared Manakin 3+ Carara
Red-capped Manakin 1 at Los Cusingos
Yellow-throated Vireo 1 at Carara
Brown-capped Vireo 1 in grounds of Hotel de Sur San Isidro
Philadelphia Vireo relatively common, a few seen at most localities
Red-eyed Vireo 1 at Hotel Bougainvillea, a few elsewhere
Yellow-green Vireo 1 in dry forest on way down from Monteverde
Rufous-browed Peppershrike A few in mangroves at Tarcoles from Boat tout, 1 at Bosque la Paz
White-throated Magpie-Jay 2 Tarcoles
Brown Jay First seen at Cerro lodge then frequent e.g. Bosque la Paz, Monteverde
Grey-breasted Martin Common, first noted at San Isidro sewage ponds
Mangrove Swallow Common on Pacific coast, first noted at San Isidro sewage ponds
Blue-and-white Swallow common, e.g. Hotel Bougainvillea, Sanchiri Lodge
Northern Rough-w Swallow Only noted on the approach road to Tapanti
Southern Rough-w Swallow A on the approach road to Tapanti, also at Talari and La Selva
Sand Martin Noted at Talari
Cliff Swallow Frequent on migration over Hotel Del Sur San Isidro
Barn Swallow Common
Black-throated Wren La Selva
Bay Wren La Selva, Hotel Gavilan
Riverside Wren 3 Carara
Rufous-breasted Wren Talari
Rufous-and-white Wren 4 Cerro lodge Carara
Banded Wren Guacimo Road
Plain Wren Carara, Hotel Bougainvillea
House Wren Common
White-breasted Wood-Wren 1 at La Selva
Grey-breasted Wood-Wren 1 at San Gerado de Dota, seen well at Bosque la Paz
American Dipper 2 on stream beside entrance to Bosque la Paz
Long-billed Gnatwren 1 Oro Verde
Tropical Gnatcatcher La Selva, Carara
Black-faced Solitaire 1 San Gerardo
Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush 3 Poas Volcano, 1 Irazu, 3 Km70
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush 2 at Montverde
Ruddy-capped Nightingale Thrush 2 Bosque la Paz
Black-headed Nightingale Thrush 1 at Baruilla Carillo
Swainson’s Thrush Common
Wood Thrush 2 on foresdt trails at Hotel Gavilan
Sooty Thrush 2+ Poas Volcano, 10+ San Gerardo, 5+ Irazu
Mountain Thrush Common at Km70
Clay-coloured Thrush Abundant
Tropical Mockingbird 1 beside Hotel del Sur San Isidro
Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher 2 Poas Volcano by restaurant Volcan, 2 San Gerardo
Black-and-Yellow Silky-Flycatcher 2 at Km70
Golden-winged Warbler 1 at Sanchiri Lodge
Tennessee Warbler Common
Flame-throated Warbler 2 at San Gerardo, and 2 at Bosque la Paz
Tropical Parula 2 at Bosque la Paz and seen well at Virgen del Socorro
Yellow Warbler Common – Mangrove race seen well at Tarcoles on Boat trip
Chestnut-sided Warbler Common
Black-throated Green Warbler 1 San Gerardo
Townsend’s Warbler 1 at Monteverde
Blackburnian Warbler 1 at Hotel Gavilan
American Redstart 1 in mangroves near Domincal
Northern Waterthrush A few in the Tarcoles area and near Domincal
Louisiana Waterthrush 1 at Chilamate
Kentucky Warbler 1 male in forest at Las Cusingos
Grey-crowned Yellowthroat 1 Chilamate
Wilson’s Warbler A few seen such as at Km70
Canada Warbler 1 at Barulio
Slate-throated Redstart 2 Monteverde
Collared Redstart 2 San Gerardo
Rufous-capped Warbler Carara
Three-striped Warbler 5+ Bosque La Paz, 5+ Monteverde
Black-cheeked Warbler 1 at Km70
Buff-rumped Warbler 1 Selva Verde, 2 at El Tapir, 2 at Hotel Gavilan.
Bananaquit Common
Common Bush-Tanager Common
Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager Poas Volcano, Irazu
Black and Yellow Tanager Barulio Carrillo
Grey-headed Tanager 1 at Talari
Olive Tanager 10+ Barulio Carrillo
White-shouldered Tanager Carara
Tawny-crested Tanager 2 at El Tapir
White-lined Tanager Oro Verde
Red-throated Ant-Tanager 3+ Gavilan Lodge
Summer Tanager Common e.g. Hotel Bougainvillea
Scarlet Tanager Seen at Talari and a few other locations
Flame-coloured Tanager 3 S Lodge San Gerardo
White-winged Tanager 2 at Bosque la Paz
Crimson-collared Tanager Talari
Passerini's Tanager Common at La Selva and Gavilan Lodge
Cherrie's Tanager Common on Pacific side of country
Blue-grey Tanager Common
Palm Tanager Widespread in small numbers
Golden-hooded Tanager Gavilan Lodge
Spangle-cheeked Tanager 2 San Gerardo
Bay-headed Tanager First seen at Talari
Silver-throated Tanager 1 at Chinchona, 2 Virgen del Socorro
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis 1 Biosque la Paz
Green Honeycreeper Talari, Los Cusingos, El Tapir
Red-legged Honeycreeper 2 Talari, Hotel Gavilan
Blue-black Grassquit 2 Tapanti access track
Variable Seedeater Common at La Selva, Barulio Carrillo
White-collared Seedeater First seen at Tapanti access road then frequent
Yellow-faced Grassquit Common
Slaty Finch 1 at start of San Gerardo road
Peg-billed Finch A few at Km70
Slaty Flowerpiercer 4+ Irazu, a few at Km70
Yellow-thighed Finch Km 70
Large-footed Finch San Gerardo
Orange-billed Sparrow 2 Los Cusingos
Chestnut-capped Brush Finch 2 Bosque de Paz,
Olive Sparrow 1 in Dry forest below Monteverde
Black-striped Sparrow 2 Hotel Gavilan
Stripe-headed Sparrow c10 in fields off Guacimo Road
Volcano Junco c 4 Irazu
Rufous-collared Sparrow Common
Greyish Saltator 3 at Hotel Bougainvillea
Black-headed Saltator La Selva
Buff-throated Saltator Frequent
Black-faced Grosbeak 2 at Hotel Gavilan
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1 male at Hotel Gavilan
Blue-black Grosbeak 2 Carara
Blue Grosbeak 1 near Cerro Lodge
Indigo Bunting I at entrance to Los Cusingos
Painted Bunting 1 Guacimo Road
Red-winged Blackbird Common on Caribbean slope
Eastern Meadowlark A few seen on fence posts beside roads
Melodious Blackbird 3 at Hotel Bougainvillea, a few elsewhere
Great-tailed Grackle Common e.g. Hotel Bougainvillea
Bronzed Cowbird Common
Baltimore Oriole Widespread with birds at most localities
Black-cowled Oriole 1 Chilamate, 1 Hotel Gavilan
Montezuma Oropendola First seen nesting near Chinchona, common in La Selva area.
Yellow-crowned Euphonia Sanchiri Lodge
Thick-billed Euphonia Oro Verde
Olive-backed Euphonia 2 at Hotel Gavilan
Golden-browed Chlorphonia Monteverde, Bosque de Paz
House Sparrow San Isidro Sewage works and a few other locations in towns


Central American Agouti Carara, La Selva, Bosque la Paz
Black Howler Monkey Manuel Antonio, La Selva, Tarcoles
Spider Monkey Carara, Baruilo
Squirrel Monkey Manuel Antonio
White faced Capuchin Monkey Manuel Antonio
Collared Peccary La Selva
Two-toed Sloth Manuel Antonio
Three-toed Sloth Manuel Antonio
Red-tailed Squirrel Bosque La Paz
Variegated Squirrel Hotel Bougainvillea, Oro Verde
White Tent making Bat Under Palm trees at La Selva
Long-nosed Bat Manuel Antonio
Northern Ghost Bat Carara
White-nosed Coati Monteverde, Bosque la Paz
Common Opossum Crossing road at night near Domincal
Collared Ant-eater Baruilo
Crab–eating Racoon Tarcoles Mangroves


Blue Morpho Manuel Antonio
Skipper Sp. Los Cusingos
King Swallowtail Los Cusingos
Gold rimmed Swallowtail
Orange-spotted Tiger Clearwing
Iphidamus Cattleheart
Great Owl Hotel Gavilan
Small Postman
Orange barred Sulphur
Barred Sulphur
Blue and White Longwing
Zebra Longwing
Gulf Fritillary
Florida White


Atlas Moth Bosque La Paz


American Crocodile Common at Carara
Spectacled Cayman 1 at La Selva
Blue Jeans Dart Frog
Brilliant Forest Frog
Tree Frog Sp.
Common Road Guarder 1 at El Tapir
Boa Constrictor 1 at Carara
Black River Turtle La Selva
Helmeted Lizard Carara
Jesus Christ Lizard Carara
House Gecko Cerro Lodge
Green Iquana Common – first seen at San Isidro Sewage Works
Black Ctenosaur Common
Emerald Basilik 1 at Bosque La Paz


Mangrove Crab Common in Mangroves
Hermit Crab Common on sandy beaches
Painted Ghost Crab Seen crossing road at Domincal