Bird Watching in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a favorite destination for many naturalists from all over the world, and its bird population is one of the main attractions. Over 850 species have been identified, far more than have been seen in North America, Europe or Australia!


As a bridge between two continents, Costa Rica is home to animal forms both familiar and exotic. More than 750 species of bird inhabit Costa Rica, as many as in all of the United States. These range from common jays and orioles to large-beaked toucans and macaws, and the exquisite and elusive long-tailed quetzals of the trogon family. The national list includes 50 species of hummingbird, 45 tanagers and 72 flycatchers.

In this wonderful country it is easy to move around from one habitat to the next. Visitors can go from rain forest, to mangrove swamps, beaches, cloud forests, or rivers. The best part is that many of the different environments are usually a very short distance apart.

The country’s exemplary system of national parks and protected areas are the perfect places for bird watching, but practically anywhere you look in Costa Rica, you can spot varied avian species.

However, those interested in bird watching will the able to see the beautiful quetzal, in the cloud forest of Monteverde, the Santos region and the central volcanic mountain range. The equally spectacular scarlet macaw, can be found on the Osa Peninsula or in the area around the Carara Biological Reserve.

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