A birding trip to lands far from home always involves a certain degree of preparation. If you are headed to a nature reserve a few hours from home or in another state, preparations might not involve anything more than studying some of the birds you hope to see, figuring out where to stay, and walking out the door.
However, when you have a ticket to Costa Rica, Panama, and other tropical countries, there’s a bit more planning to do. Once you sign up for a tour or figure out where you are going to go and how to get there, you still need to figure out how you are going to see all of those birds. Since there are literally hundreds of possibilities, learning how to identify them before the trip becomes a daunting challenge. That can be partially resolved by going on guided tours but even with a guide, a birding trip is always better if you study before the day of departure. The following are some tips on how our birding field guide apps can help you get ready for a trip to Panama or Costa Rica:
- See images of the birds you hope to see: Want to know what kinds of birds live in Costa Rica and Panama? Just start going through the birds on the apps to see well over 500 species.
- Learn birds by family: Want to learn about the hummingbirds that you might see? Use the “group” filter on the apps to pick out the hummingbirds and you can browse through most of the species that reside in the country. Admire the glittering colors, use range maps to see where they live, and check out the field marks to learn how to identify them.
- See birds filtered by region: Use the search filter to pick out a region you wil be visiting to see the birds that live there. Pick “highlands” and you can see which species share the cloud forests with quetzals and Emerald Toucanets.
- Listen to vocalizations: Listen to sounds made by well over 300 species to learn some of the birds you will encounter or to just get excited about the trip! Check out night birds like Common Potoo and Spectacled Owl, or the beautiful whistles made by the Great Tinamou.
- Browse species with range maps visible: Touch “Range” to see range maps while browsing through birds listed by species, group, or family. This is an easy way to see where each species occurs and if they are a resident or migrant.
When you get to Panama or Costa Rica, don’t forget to take pictures and make recordings with your device and send them to us for identification and to share on this blog. Haven’t seen our birding apps? Download the lite versions for free.