Where to See Beautiful Birds in Costa Rica

By patrick on

Now matter where you live, it doesn’t take long to discover that several beautiful birds live in a nearby nature reserve, and quite a few actually visit the feeder and trees right in your own backyard. All it takes isĀ  the time to look for and watch birds with a pair of binoculars and you start to realize that there are a lot more beautiful birds out there than you expected to see.

The Blue-gray Tanager is common in Costa Rica and always nice to see.

It’s the same case for Costa Rica except that you end up seeing dozens more beautiful and exotic birds just about everywhere you look. While the dense lowland rainforests host the highest number of bird species in Costa Rica, you might be surprised at the number of birds that also make their home in hotel gardens, dry forest, and other places.

Watching lots of birds in the garden at the El Gavilan hotel.

Species vary by region but in the Central Valley and San Jose area, take a morning walk in a hotel garden and you have a pretty good chance of finding such wintering species as Baltimore Orioles, Yellow Warblers, and Tennessee Warblers, and colorful residents like the Blue-gray Tanager, spectacular Blue-crowned Motmot, Grayish Saltator, plenty of Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds, and the handsome Red-billed Pigeon.

Lots of Baltimore Orioles winter in Costa Rica.

Blue-crowned Motmots are garden birds in many parts of Costa Rica.

Red-billed Pigeons are pretty common in Costa Rica.

Do the same walk in Guanacaste and you might see beautiful Streak-backed Orioles, the fancy Turquoise-browed Motmot, and the spiffy little White-lored Gnatcatcher.

A Streak-backed Oriole peers from its nest in Guanacaste.

Go birding early in the morning in dry habitats of Costa Rica and you have a very good chance of seeing absolutely stunning Turquoise-browed Motmots.

In areas with humid rainforest, you might even get toucans near the hotel along with stunning species like the Gartered Trogon, Golden-hooded Tanager, and White-necked Jacobin.

A beautiful Gartered Trogon from the Manzanillo area.

Golden-hooded Tanagers are one of the more common tanager species in humid lowland areas of Costa Rica.

High elevations will treat you to a different set of species including Wilson’s and Black-throated Green Warblers, the gaudy Flame-colored Tanager, and Green Violetear among other hummingbird species.

A beautiful male Flame-colored Tanager.

Green Violetears are one of the most common highland hummingbirds in Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica, there are colorful birds everywhere you look. Enhance your trip to Costa Rica by watching them and use the Costa Rica Birds field guide app to identify them, listen to their songs, and keep notes on the birds you see. Not sure what you are seeing or hearing? Use the Which Bird function to record their calls and take pictures of those birds. When they get emailed to us, we will get back to you with the answers.

You can also download the lite version for free.

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