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Updates and Expectations for Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama Birding Apps

Birds are calling but they don’t sound like the ones from home. They don’t look like birds back at home either and with good reason. It’s a new day of birding in Costa Rica and almost everything is a lifer! You know you have finally, definitely arrived when a Lesson’s Motmot comes into focus,

when you find yourself admiring the iridescence of a Rufous-tailed Hummingbird.

Another hummingbird zips in and out of view. Did it have a darker tail? A quick check of the digital field guide shows that more than 50 hummingbird species are possible! Scrolling through the options, one species seems to fit but with that brief look, it’s hard to say. While waiting for it to come back, the similar species option shows which hummingbirds look like the Blue-vented Hummingbird.

A quick check of the range map shows that no, it couldn’t have been a plumeleteer but what about a Canivet’s Emerald? It looks like that bird has more red on the bill and lacks of the brown on the rump of the Blue-vented. Nothing to do but wait for the bird to come back.

Waiting is nice when there are Masked Tityras and other tropical birds to look at.

A flash of green and you are back on the mystery hummingbird. It zips around the small pink flowers and yes, brown on the rump…dark tail..Blue-vented Hummingbird!

Lately, we have been using the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app while birding from home. More time indoors has given us a chance to work on several updates to our apps, all of which are designed to enhance the birding experience. These following features will be available soon for all of our field guide apps:

  • Zoom-in to images
    • Enlarge images to get a closer look at field marks.
  • Larger text
    • Text will be bigger and easier to read.
  • More images
    • The more images, the better! We are including more plumages, including some of birds not previously shown on the apps.
  • More sounds
    • Soon, the Costa Rica app will have vocalizations for more than 860 species.
    • Panama will have vocalizations for more than 870.
    • Belize vocalizations for nearly 600 species.
  • Better text with insights for better identification and finding birds.
  • NEW FEATURE! Species not yet recorded for the country but possible will be included to make these apps the most complete digital field guides for Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Whether studying birds in advance or finally watching them in tropical places, we aim to enhance the birding experience.

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