This January, 14 people joined the first BVAS Costa Rica Bird Tour. Armed with note pads, Bird lists, binoculars, scope, sun screen and a great guide, we spent 10 days visiting critical birding “hot spots” in Costa Rica. Overall, we managed to spot over 280 bird species, including resident, migratory and endemic species. That’s almost 1/3 of the birds of Costa Rica.
Our local birding guide Leo Garrigues led us to a number of National Parks (24% of Costa Rica is protected forest), community development programs focused on conservation, and what some in the group called the best “Bird Bars” (feeding platforms) ever. He also made sure we got to taste some of the best food Costa Rica has to offer.
Some of the birding highlights of the trip included: Resplendent Quetzal, Jabiru Stork feeding her young in a nest, Golden Hooded Tanager, Shining Honey Creeper, Red Capped Manakin, Blue Crowned Motmot, Squirrel Cuckoo and Scarlet Macaw just to name a few.
We also had some great non birdy activities including making our own tortillas, finding the red eyed tree frog and the blue jeans frog, watching coati’s climb trees, orchid spotting, etc.
A big thanks goes to Costa Rica Sun Tours for helping to put this together, and to Leo Garrigues for not only finding the birds but being able to use his special whistle to call them. His ability to see, hear and call birds was unbelievable. And a special thanks to Henry, our most amazing driver who never let traffic, road repair or anything stop the great smile on his face and occasionally found a special bird for us.