Costa Rica has long had a reputation for being a birder’s paradise, a place where beginning and experienced birders alike can enjoy neotropical birding at its very finest. The reputation is certainly well deserved – life abounds here! Over 900 species of birds have been recorded within its borders, boasting one of the highest diversities per square mile of any country in the world!
Our 9-day exploration of this bird-rich nation begins by driving through the Poas Volcano en route to Sarapiqui. We will be our highest elevation of the trip at this point around 7000-8000 Feet. This is one of the best places in Costa Rica to find a number of species, including Sooty Thrush, Black-billed Nightingale Thrush, Magenta-throated Woodstar, Fiery Throated Hummingbird, Talamanca Hummingbird, Black-capped Flycatcher, Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher, Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl and many more. Next, we visit the magnificent Arenal Volcano area. Here we will bird several private reserves on and near the volcano searching for birds such as White-throated Magpie Jay, Long-tailed Tyrant, Rufous, Keel-billed, and Broad-billed Motmots, Shining Honeycreeper, Stripe-breasted Wren, Sharpbill, Ornate Hawk-eagle, Ocellated Antbird, Tawny-capped Euphonia, in addition many other birds. We then continue to the Ensenada area at the Northern end of the Gulf of Nicoya. This deciduous dry forest hosts a wealth of new birds including Crested Bobwhite, Cavinet’s Emerald, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Black-headed Trogon, Scrub Euphonia, White-lored Gnatwren, Pacific Pygmy-Owl, and many more. We will also take a boat ride to the bay of Nicoya and Abangaritos Mangroves. Here we hope to see such specialties as Magnificent Frigatebird, Mangrove (Yellow) Warbler, the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird, Mangrove Vireo, Surfbird, Elegant and Sandwich Terns, Ruddy Turnstone, and many more.