Experience the Three-wattled Bellbird on Your Trip to Costa Rica

By patrick on

For being such a small country, Costa Rica has a pretty impressive variety of sights, sounds, and activities to offer. One of the main items being showcased on a daily basis is biodiversity and birds are one of the easiest ways to experience it.

Passerini’s Tanagers are a common sight on the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica.

One of the standout bird species that occurs in Costa Rica is the Three-wattled Bellbird.

Yes, the male does indeed have three wattles and sounds sort of like a bell!

Three-wattled bellbird and Hepatic Tanager.

There are four species of Procias genus bellbirds, three of which live in eastern South America. The Three-wattled resides in tropical forests from eastern Honduras south to western Panama. This interesting, pigeon-sized bird breeds in cloud forest and then migrates to lower elevations in search of fruiting trees.

A male Three-wattled Bellbird from a site between San Ramon and La Fortuna.

It therefore requires a good amount of of quality forest habitat (which translates to a variety of mature fruiting trees) at different elevations. This interesting bird has been unfortunately affected by deforestation and this may explain why so few are seen in the forested mountains that overlook the urbanized Central Valley.

Three-wattled Bellbird calling.

The best places in Costa Rica to see the Three-wattled Bellbird are the Monteverde area and other sites in the Tilaran mountains from March to July and at Pacific slope sites such as Ensenada, the Nicoya Pensinula, Carara National Park, etc. during other times of the year.

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