Hundreds of bird species live in the tropical forests of Costa Rica and Panama and more than a few are downright exotic. Toucans call from and move through the canopy of rainforest. Glittering hummingbirds test our camera skills. Parrots, parakeets, and even macaws are seen on a regular basis. However, as amazing as those birds are, another avian family is tough to beat when it comes to looks. The tanagers are a strong contender for being the most beautiful birds in either country, here are a few reasons why:
- Glowing plumage: Ok, they don’t glow in the dark but when the sun hits some species, it sure looks like they could.
- Uncommonly pretty, common birds: The local name for the Golden-hooded Tanageris “Siete Colores” or “Seven Colors”. This and other tanagers are common feeder bird in many parts of Costa Rica and Panama!
- Plenty to look at: Between both countries, more than 30 species can be seen. Although the manakins and cotingas are up there when it comes to appearance, there are more tanagers and they are a lot easier to see.
Whether you go on birding trips to Costa Rica and Panama or just look at the birds in your own backyard, tanagers show why it’s worth it to bring binoculars to these exciting countries.
Want to identify the tanagers seen in the hotel garden and on hikes through the rainforest? Get the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app for your phone or tablet. Try out the lite version for free!