Some birds sing pretty songs, others are familiar garden guests, and not a few charm us with bright and beautiful colors. Then there are the hummingbirds; shining, tiny, fairy-like creatures that merit a category of their own.
Most folks from North America are familiar with one or two hummingbird species that visit their gardens, and more species visit feeders in the southwest but when you reach Costa Rica, there are 50 plus species on the list! That’s like having more than 50 hummingbird species to choose from in the state of West Virginia. Although you won’t find all of them in the same place, and a few are a bit too scarce to even wish for a sighting, you can easily see 30 to 40 species of hummingbirds on a trip to Costa Rica.
One of the best things about hummingbirds is their affinity for sugar water and flowering bushes. Such feeders, natural or otherwise, make it much easier to see and photograph hummingbirds in many parts of Costa Rica. Visit feeders in such cloud forest sites as Monteverde, Cinchona, Cocora, and the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and you could see anywhere from 6 to 12 species. including such stunners as Violet Sabrewing, Green-crowned Brilliant, Coppery-headed Emerald, and Purple-throated Mountain-Gem.
Visit the Nature Pavilionand other lowland sites and you can be entertained by the antics of Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, and hermit species.
Watch birds in and near your hotel garden when staying near Manuel Antonio National Park and other sites in the Pacific lowlands and you might get shots of Blue-throated Goldentail, Charming Hummingbird, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Steely-vented Hummingbird, or even Long-billed Starthroat.
In the dry lands of Guanacaste, flowering bushes and trees will have Canivet’s Emerald, Plain-capped Starthroat, and Cinnamon Hummingbird.
There will be hummingbirds just about everywhere you look, just make sure you bring your binoculars, a birding appto identify them, and extra memory cards to document the avian spectacle!