15 February - 1 March 2023

by Leonardo Garrigues

Our Best of Costa Rica tour was very successful. We were able to see a nice combination of all the major habitats of Costa Rica in a two-week itinerary and we managed to record 525 bird species. Among the many highlights during the tour, the Three-wattled Bellbird and the Resplendent Quetzal were the favourite birds for most of the group. Other highlights included good views of Great and Slaty-breasted Tinamou, the secretive Spot-bellied Bobwhite, Black-breasted and Spotted Wood Quails, good views at night of Dusky Nightjar and Great Potoo, 41 hummingbird species including the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird and Coppery-headed Emerald, as well stunning views of White-crested and Black-crested Coquette males, the three species of mountaingems (White-bellied, Purple-throated and the endemic Grey-tailed), Magenta-throated Woodstar and White-tailed Emerald. We had several close encounters with Buff-fronted Quail-Dove and also saw the always tricky Chiriqui Quail-Dove. Our nice selection of crakes and rails included Uniform, Yellow-breasted and White-throated Crakes, as well as Rufous-necked, Russet-naped and Mangrove Rails. The best shorebirds of the tour included a rare sighting of American Golden Plover as well as a Wandering Tattler. We also enjoyed a big group of Black Skimmers (100+), nice views of Roseate Spoonbill, the weird looking Boat-billed Heron and Pinnated Bittern. Special raptors included Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Northern Harrier, Bicoloured Hawk, Semiplumbeous Hawk and Collared Forest Falcon, eleven species of owls were recorded including Costa Rican and Central American Pygmy Owls, Striped, Spectacled, Crested, Black-and-White and Mottled Owls. Other highlights of the tour included the near-endemic Baird’s Trogon, the local Keel-billed Motmot, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, the secretive Tawny-throated and Grey-throated Leaftossers, and at a large ant swarm in Arenal we had nice views of Ocellated, Bicoloured and Spotted Antbird. We also had great views of Thicket and Streak-chested Antpittas, the rare Ochraceous Pewee, close views of Turquoise and Snowy Cotinga, six manakin species, 20 wren species, the unique Volcano Junco, the endemic Cabanis’s Ground Sparrow, the highly desired Wrenthrush, the near endemic Nicaraguan Grackle, Nicaraguan Seed Finch and a colourful variety of tanagers like Speckled, Spangle-cheeked and Emerald.

The first morning of the tour we had a brief and very productive birding session around the gardens of the Hotel Bougainvillea. Here we managed to see the diurnal Ferruginous Pygmy Owl as well as a roosting pair of Mottled Owls. Other birds here included Vaux’s Swift, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Red-billed Pigeon, Inca Dove, Lesson’s Motmot, Hoffmann’s Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Crested and Yellow-headed Caracaras, Finsch’s Parakeet, Great Kiskadee, Brown Jay, Rufous-backed Wren, Cabanis’s Wren, Clay-coloured Thrush, White-eared Ground Sparrow, Montezuma Oropendola, Tennessee and Chestnut-capped Warblers, Summer Tanager, Cinnamon-bellied Saltator and Blue-grey Tanager.
Once we left the hotel, we went directly to Ujarrás, an agricultural town, to look for a very special Costa Rican endemic: the Cabanis’s Ground Sparrow. It was quite elusive at first but in the end, we got very good views. Other birds seen at Ujarrás included Roadside and Grey Hawks, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Barred Antshrike, Mistletoe Tyrannulet, Yellow-throated Vireo, Cabanis’s Wren, Lesser Goldfinch, Baltimore Oriole, Mourning Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Buff-throated and Black-headed Saltators, White-lined Tanager and Morelet’s Seedeater. Later, we went to a site where roosting Tropical Screech Owl sometimes can be found but unfortunately the owl wasn’t around. As compensation, we found a Bicoloured Hawk, which is an uncommon species in the country.
We continued our way to the highlands of Talamanca where we visited Casa Dowii for lunch and watched the feeders at the same time. Here,, we managed to see our first Buff-fronted Quail-Doves of the trip as well other birds like Purple-throated Mountaingem, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Mountain Thrush, Common Bush Tanager, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch and Slaty Flowerpiercer.
On the way to our lodge, we birded some sideroads where we had several good species including our first Resplendent Quetzal, along with our third owl species of the day in the form of a rufous morph Costa Rican Pygmy Owl. Certainly, this was a great beginning of the tour with three owl species, the quetzal and the endemic Cabanis’s Ground Sparrow. Other species we encountered during the rest of the afternoon included Scintillant Hummingbird, Ruddy Pigeon, Red-tailed Hawk [costaricensis], Acorn Woodpecker, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Buffy Tuftedcheek, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Yellow-winged Vireo, Flame-throated, Black-throated Green, Black-cheeked and Wilsons Warblers, Collared Whitestart and Spangle-cheeked Tanager.
In the evening before dinner, we managed to see the Dusky Nightjar to end the day nicely.

Our full day in the Talamanca highlands started at the grounds of Paraiso Quetzal. It was a bit cold but with good birding activity. The highlight this morning was the Wrenthrush, of the monotypic family Zeledoniidae, which is endemic to the highlands of Costa Rica and western Panama. Other highlights included the only member of the genus Phainoptila in the Black-and-yellow Phainoptila, and at least six individuals of the cute Golden-browed Chlorophonia. We also enjoyed more sightings of the Resplendent Quetzal (at least 3 individuals), Band-tailed Pigeon, Hairy Woodpecker, Mountain Elaenia, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Sooty, Mountain and Clay-coloured Thrushes, Yellow-bellied Siskin, Sooty-capped Bush Tanager, Large-footed Finch, Slaty Flowerpiercer and Spangled-cheeked Tanager.
Our group was also entertained with the photography session at the hummingbird feeders during the best light of the day. Here, the star is the Fiery-throated Hummingbird while other species include Talamanca and Volcano Hummingbirds and the Lesser Violetear.

After a nice breakfast we headed towards the Savegre Valley where we targeted key species at different stake-outs. One of those was an active territory for the rare Ochraceous Pewee which we managed to see nicely along with the Northern Tufted Flycatcher. This allowed us a unique opportunity to study both species at the same time. Other species we found in the Savegre Valley were Grey-tailed Mountaingem (another Costa Rican endemic), Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Sulphur-winged Parakeet, Torrent Tyrannulet, Brown-capped Vireo, Ochraceous Wren, Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, American Dipper, Yellow-bellied Siskin, and both Flame-coloured and Silver-throated Tanagers.
We spent the afternoon on the oak forest trails with the purpose to locate Silvery-throated Jay, a bird that has become very difficult in the last few years. Despite all our efforts, we didn’t even hear them. Other interesting species we did find included Black Guan, a single individual Spotted Wood Quail, Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, Ruddy Treerunner, Grey-breasted Wood Wren, Black-faced Solitaire and Yellow-thighed Brushfinch.
Our owling session was interrupted by rain and we only managed to see another Dusky Nightjar.

The following day we birded Providencia Road. Though we had seen most of the birds here already, we targeted the few that had eluded us thus far. One of these included the Silvery-throated Jay but unfortunately there was no sign of them at all. Birds we added to our list included Black-capped Flycatcher, Timberline Wren and great views of Black-thighed Grosbeak. Our next birding stop was a visit to the highest altitude section of the trip for the localized Volcano Junco which didn’t put up much of a fight. Descending over 1500 meters in elevation, we found ourselves at a local restaurant with hummingbird feeders. Here we enjoyed views of Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, the near endemic White-tailed Emerald, Green-crowned Brilliant, the always impressive Violet Sabrewing, along with Golden-winged and Chestnut-sided Warblers and Palm Tanager.
Once we arrived in the San Isidro area, we started looking for the electric Turquoise Cotinga. Our stake-out did not disappoint us as we saw three individuals with one of the males seen at close range. Other birds seen in the San Isidro area included Smooth-billed Ani, Squirrel Cuckoo, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Orange-chinned Parakeet, White-crowned Parrot, Rufous-breasted Wren, Tropical Mockingbird, Red-breasted Blackbird, Black-and-white, Tennessee, Mourning and Blackburnian Warblers and Golden-hooded Tanager. To end our birding day, we had nice views of Tropical Screech Owl by our rooms at our lodge.

This morning we invested the first part of the morning looking for one of the finest hummingbird species of the country: the White-crested Coquette. Our effort paid off with fantastic views of a male at close range. Other hummingbird species we found visiting the flowers at this site included Garden Emerald, a female Crowned Woodnymph, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and Scintillant Hummingbird. Non-hummingbird species here included Grey-headed Chachalacas, White-crowned Parrot, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Black Phoebe, Yellow-green Vireo, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Lesser Goldfinch, Yellow-crowned Elaenia and Streaked Saltator.
Our next stop was at Los Cusingos Reserve which is the former home of the legendary naturalist Dr. Alexander Skutch who made very important contributions to the ornithology and botany of the Neotropics. Dr. Skutch was also one of the authors of the first ‘Field Guide of the Birds of Costa Rica’. Birds of note at Los Cusingos included a male Crowned Woodnymph, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Chiriqui Foliage-gleaner, Rufous Piha, Velvety and Red-capped Manakins, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Lesser Greenlet, Spot-crowned Euphonia, Red-crowned Ant Tanager and Green Honeycreeper. After leaving Los Cusingos we made several stops along the way to Villa Lapas adding targets such as Fiery-billed Aracari and Isthmian Wren. Forest patches over the final hills and then along the coast we did a bit of list padding which included Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Groove-billed Ani, Laughing Gull, Anhinga, Brown Pelican, Swainson’s Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Scarlet Macaw, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Piratic Flycatcher, Mangrove and Southern Rough-winged Swallows, Blue-black Grassquit, Morelet’s Seedeater and Speckled and Bay-headed Tanagers.
One highlight for the members of the group was a Wandering Tattler that is not a common shorebird in Costa Rica with very localized territories along rocky shorelines.
Once at Villa Lapas, a Spectacled Owl was calling nearby and after some complications we managed to see it high up in a giant tree. We also added our first Pauraque.

Our next day, we did some early morning birding at Villa Lapas before visiting Carara National Park. Our early AM session produced some interesting species such as Purple-crowned Fairy, Black-headed Trogon, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Yellow-throated Toucan, Hoffmann’s and Pale-billed Woodpeckers, Greenish Elaenia, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Bright-rumped Attila, Brown Jay and Orange-billed Sparrow.
The main dish for the morning was the visit to Carara National Park, a place that has never disappointed me during all my visits over the years, with today being no exception. Species recorded here included Long-billed Hermit, Short-billed Pigeon, Baird’s Trogon, White-whiskered Puffbird, Scarlet Macaw, Cocoa, Black-striped and Streak-headed Woodcreepers, Plain Xenops, Dot-winged and Slaty Antwrens, Barred and Black-hooded Antshrikes, Dusky and Chestnut-backed Antbirds, Streak-chested Antpitta (a major highlight), Northern Bentbill, Golden-crowned Spadebill, Velvety and Orange-collared Manakins, Riverside Wren, Trilling Gnatwren, Northern Waterthrush, Tropical Parula and Bay-headed Tanager.
After a nice lunch at the hotel and a siesta during the hottest time of the day, we did a pleasant boat ride on the Tarcoles River. This area has an interesting combination of mangrove birds along with riverine and coastal birds. The selection of birds we recorded here included Muscovy Duck, Lesser Nighthawk, Mangrove Hummingbird (Costa Rican endemic and major highlight), Double-striped Thick-Knee, Black-necked Stilt, Hudsonian Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Royal Tern, Wood Stork, Magnificent Frigatebird, American White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Boat-billed Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Tricoloured Heron, Brown Pelican, Osprey, Plumbeous Kite, Common Black Hawk, Grey, Short-tailed and Zone-tailed Hawks, Amazon, American Pygmy, Green and Ringed Kingfishers, Bat and Peregrine Falcons, Yellow-naped Amazon, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Panama Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Mangrove Vireo, Mangrove Swallow, Prothonotary and Mangrove Warblers and Morelet’s Seedeater.
At the end of this diverse day, we managed to record 142 species, probably the day with most birds of the trip.

Our last day in the area we did a combination of Villa Lapas trails and a different trail in Carara, targeting the species we were still hoping to find. We were rewarded with a pair of Northern Royal Flycatcher as well as three Golden-naped Woodpeckers together. We also enjoyed an active lek of Orange-collared Manakin males displaying right in front of us which was quite a show.
Other birds during our morning included the Band-tailed Barbthroat, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Blue-vented Hummingbird, the subspecies of Grey-chested Dove [rufinuca], Double-toothed Kite, Slaty-tailed and Gartered Trogons, Lesson’s Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Collared Forest Falcon, Northern Mealy Amazon, Tawny-winged, Wedge-billed and Northern Barred Woodcreepers, Black-faced Antthrush, a nice male Long-tailed Manakin, Sulphur-rumped Myiobius, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Riverside Wren, Wood Thrush, Kentucky Warbler, Buff-rumped Warbler, American Redstart, and Grey-headed and White-shouldered Tanagers.
On the way to Monteverde we spent time looking for dry forest species as well as some mangrove species in patches near the coast. New trip birds in these areas included Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Canivet’s Emerald, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Lesser Ground Cuckoo, a day roosting Pacific Screech Owl, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Nutting’s and Great-crested Flycatchers, White-throated Magpie-Jay, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Stripe-headed Sparrow, and both Shiny and Bronzed Cowbirds.
After this very productive day we arrived at our lodge in Monteverde to enjoy a nice dinner and go over our daily bird list.

Today started with a short birding session around the grounds of our hotel where we saw Red-billed Pigeon, Keel-billed Toucan, White-fronted Amazon, Cabanis’s Wren, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Yellow-throated Euphonia, White-eared Ground Sparrow, Ovenbird, Chestnut-capped Warbler and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. After breakfast we went to Santa Elena Reserve where we spent the rest of the morning. We had good birding activity during our morning and managed to see tricky species like Grey-throated Leaftosser, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo and Sooty-faced Finch. Other birds in this cloud forest haven included Prong-billed Barbet, Blue-throated Toucanet, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Brown-hooded Parrot, Brown-billed Scythebill, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Spotted Barbtail, Ruddy Treerunner, Red-faced Spinetail, Slaty Antwren, White-throated Spadebill, Yellowish and Golden-bellied Flycatchers, Black-faced Solitaire, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, Black-eared Warbler and Slate-throated Whitestart.
In the afternoon we visited Monteverde Reserve and the adjacent Hummingbird Gallery feeders. A nice selection of birds was found here included stunning views of Black-breasted Wood Quail, Lesser Violetear, Green-crowned Brilliant, Purple-throated Mountaingem, Magenta-throated Woodstar, Violet Sabrewing, the endemic Coppery-headed Emerald, Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, super close views of Buff-fronted Quail-Dove, the orange-bellied subspecies of Collared Trogon [underwoodi], nice views of Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Spotted Woodcreeper, Plain Antvireo, Brown-capped Vireo, Ochraceous Wren and Golden-winged and Golden-crowned Warblers.

Our last morning in the Monteverde area we visited the Santuario Ecologico, a drier mid-elevation montane forest. We found our main target of the morning in the form of a pair of Chiriqui Quail-Dove walking along the trail. Other notable species here included Black Guan, Keel-billed Toucan, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Ruddy Woodcreeper, nice views adult and young male Long-tailed Manakins, Philadelphia and Yellow-throated Vireos, Rufous-and-white Wren, Yellow-crowned Euphonia, Ovenbird and Red-crowned Ant Tanager.
Our next birding location was the Finca Ecologica San Luis where there had been reports of Three-wattled Bellbird from the days before. This was our best chance to find the Bellbird, but despite our time in the area, we didn’t even hear a single individual. We did manage to see Grey-headed Chachalaca, nice views of a male Red-headed Barbet, Blue-throated Toucanet, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Golden-browed Chlorophonia and Crimson-collared Tanager.
After lunch we birded a combination of dry forest with mangrove edges as well as the saltpans of Cocorocas. Highlights of this afternoon were good views by all members of the group of two very elusive rails in Rufous-necked Wood Rail and Mangrove Rail. We also got the rarest sight of the tour in a single individual American Golden Plover, a species which is a passing migrant in Costa Rica with few yearly records. Other notable species during our afternoon session included nice views of Mangrove Cuckoo, Grey, Semipalmated and Wilson’s Plovers, Marbled Godwit, Short-billed Dowitcher, Lesser Yellowlegs, Black Skimmer, Laughing and Franklin’s Gulls, Cabot’s and Gull-billed Terns, Belted Kingfisher, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Northern Scrub Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard, Mangrove Vireo, Olive Sparrow and Mangrove Warbler.
After that we continued north to our hotel, where we had a very nice dinner.

This morning we focused on finding the last dry forest species we were still lacking. Highlights included Spot-bellied Bobwhite and Elegant Trogon while a close encounter with a Coyote was also memorable. Other birds seen this morning included Green-breasted Mango, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Common Ground Dove, Double-striped Thick-knee, White-fronted and Yellow-naped Amazons, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Banded Wren, Scrub Euphonia and Grey-crowned Yellowthroat.
Late morning, we crossed the continental divide of the country and reached the Caribbean Slope where many new species were waiting for us. A few stops in the foothills of Bijagua area produced Crested Guan, White-necked Jacobin, Green Hermit, Broad-billed Motmot, Collared Aracari, Striped-breasted Wren, Carmiol’s Tanager, Shining Honeycreeper and Scarlet-thighed Dacnis. Further along, we added Pale-vented Pigeon, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Spot-breasted and Canebrake Wrens, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat and the localized Nicaraguan Seed Finch. We continued to Los Chiles near the Nicaraguan border for our scheduled afternoon boat ride in the Medio Queso wetlands. Our boat ride here was very productive with a few great surprises as well. The most important target of the area is the extremely localized near endemic Nicaraguan Grackle. We managed great views of several individuals including displaying males. The main surprise was a male Masked Duck, a very uncommon and difficult species to see in Costa Rica. Another mega was Yellow-breasted Crake which performed marvellously for the group. Other notables included Common and Purple Gallinules, Pied-billed Grebe, several Pinnated Bittern, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, White-tailed Kite, Northern Harrier, Black-collared Hawk, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Orchard Oriole, Red-winged Blackbird and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater.
On the way to our Hotel in Caño Negro we managed to see several Pauraque, two Great Potoos and a Striped Owl.

The next day we took a boat ride in Caño Negro focusing on finding new birds for the trip. Along the river we noted Russet-naped Wood Rail, Solitary Sandpiper, Wood Stork, Boat-billed Heron, Pied Puffbird, Olivaceous Piculet, Dusky and Bare-crowned Antbird, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow Tyrannulet, Snowy Cotinga, Black-throated, Spot-breasted and Bay Wrens and Grey-headed Tanager.
After yet another productive boat ride, we left the area of Caño Negro to visit the Sarapiqui region and the famed La Selva Biological Station. On the way we made several birding stops where we had several additions such as Gray-rumped Swift, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Blue-chested Hummingbird, King Vulture, Great Green and Scarlet Macaws, Black-striped Woodcreeper, White-ringed Flycatcher, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Giant Cowbird, Bay-breasted Warbler, Shinning Honeycreeper and Thick-billed Seed Finch. Once at La Selva we settled in our rooms and worked on another big day list. An owling session followed that produced Vermiculated Screech Owl and Crested Owl while Black-and-white Owl vocalized quite close but we were unable to locate it.

La Selva Biological Station is considered to be the best Caribbean lowland forest birding available in the country. It is known for having a great density and diversity of species. Our full day here we were able to see quality species that included Great and Slaty-breasted Tinamou (both species seen by everyone), Band-tailed Barbthroat, King Vulture, Double-toothed Kite, Central American Pygmy Owl, Slaty-tailed and Black-throated Trogons, Broad-billed and Rufous Motmots, White-necked Puffbird, Rufous-winged, Cinnamon and Chestnut-colored Woodpeckers, Red-lored Amazon, Great Green Macaw, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Slaty Spinetail, Black-crowned and Fasciated Antshrikes, Spotted Antbird, Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant, Eye-ringed Flatbill, Long-tailed Tyrant, Rufous Mourner, several sightings of Snowy Cotinga, White-collared Manakin, White-breasted Wood Wren, Black-cowled Oriole, Worm-eating and Kentucky Warblers, Red-throated Ant Tanager and Plain-colored Tanager. At dusk we tried for Short-tailed Nighthawk and had nice views flying overhead.

Birding during the first part of the following morning in La Selva produced nice views of a swimming Sungrebe in the Puerto Viejo River. Other species seen during our morning session were Grey Hawk, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Northern Mealy Amazon, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, another Snowy Cotinga, Trilling Gnatwren and White-vented Euphonia.
Once we left La Selva we birded the lower slopes of Poás Volcano. Highlights here included Brown Violetear, Green Thorntail, Green-crowned Brilliant, White-bellied Mountaingem, Coppery-headed Emerald, Swallow-tailed Kite, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Zeledon’s Antbird, Olive-streaked Flycatcher and Tawny-capped Euphonia.
The last birding session of the day was at Bogarin Trails which proved to be quite successful with all of our major targets seen, as well as a few surprises. Our main target, the Uniform Crake, came to the open and everyone got nice views and the same happened with our White-throated Crake. A nice roosting Black-and-white Owl was part of the menu as well as the Grey-headed Dove (first time for me in the area), both Rufous and Keel-billed Motmots, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Tropical Mockingbird, Yellow-billed Cacique and a pair of uncommon migrant warblers in a male Hooded Warbler and a Magnolia Warbler. We also had great views of Brown-throated (Three-toed) Sloth. After our visit in Bogarin Trails, we continued to our nice hotel nestled on the slopes of towering Arenal Volcano.

A full day at the Arenal Volcano gave us plenty of time to explore its forest trails and gardens. Finally! Our first encounters with Great Curassow followed by the fancy male Black-crested Coquette that was coming to the verbena flowers in the garden. Other species this day included Crested Guan, White-necked Jacobin, Purple-crowned Fairy, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, nice views of a perched Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Semiplumbeous Hawk, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Western Woodhaunter, Spotted Barbtail, Russet Antshrike, Streak-crowned Antvireo, great views of Ocellated Antbird as well Bicoloured, Spotted and Dull-mantled Antbirds, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, White-ruffed Manakin, Sulphur-rumped Myiobius, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Black-throated, Stripe-breasted and Song Wrens, Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush, Pale-vented Thrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Golden-winged and Buff-rumped Warblers, Tropical Parula, Tooth-billed and Carmiol’s Tanagers, White-throated Shrike-Tanager, and Crimson-collared, Bay-headed and Emerald Tanagers.
A nice diner with celebratory drinks was a brilliant way to end our great birding day.

On our last day of the tour, we encountered rain in the morning. We didn’t give up however and managed great views of Thicket Antpitta before breakfast. As we missed the Bellbird in Monteverde area, we had our last chance to give it a try on the way to the airport. Despite the rain of the morning, we arrived at the potential site for the Bellbird where it wasn’t raining but was indeed very foggy making our quest a bit more challenging. After a while we detected a gonging male and with a bit of patience and strategy, we managed to get fairly close views albeit through a bit of fog making it an authentic “Cloud Forest” experience.
We tried hard for the Sunbittern but it didn’t want to appear on this tour. Our search for Sunbittern did produce Lesson’s Motmot, Ochre-bellied and Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, Black Phoebe, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Common Bush Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, Chestnut-capped and Wilsons Warblers, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Yellow-faced Grassquit.
After our farewell lunch we continued to the airport where our tour ended.

Special thanks to our driver Luis for all his driving and birding expertise throughout the tour, and many thanks to all the enthusiastic members of this group.
Pura vida!



1st: Three-wattled Bellbird

2nd: Resplendent Quetzal

3rd: White-crested Coquette

4th: Ocellated Antbird

5th: Thicket Antpitta

6th: Ornate Hawk-Eagle

7th: Wrenthrush

8th: Turquoise Cotinga

9th: Masked Duck

10th: Crested Owl






 Great Tinamou  Tinamus major  

Slaty-breasted Tinamou ◊  Crypturellus boucardi  Seen by everyone at La Selva. 

Black-bellied Whistling Duck  Dendrocygna autumnalis

Muscovy Duck  Cairina moschata

Blue-winged Teal  Spatula discors

Masked Duck  Nomonyx dominicus  A rare sight for the trip, one male seen at Medio Queso.

Grey-headed Chachalaca ◊  Ortalis cinereiceps

Crested Guan  Penelope purpurascens

Black Guan ◊  Chamaepetes unicolor  Near endemic, best views at Santa Elena Reserve.

Great Curassow ◊  Crax rubra

Spot-bellied Bobwhite ◊ (Crested B)  Colinus leucopogon 

Marbled Wood Quail  Odontophorus gujanensis  Hear only at Villa Lapas.

Black-breasted Wood Quail ◊  Odontophorus leucolaemus  Near endemic, excellent views of a big group (10+) at Monteverde Reserve.

Spotted Wood Quail ◊  Odontophorus guttatus  A single bird was seen at the Oak forest at Savegre.

Lesser Nighthawk  Chordeiles acutipennis

Short-tailed Nighthawk  Lurocalis semitorquatus

Pauraque (Common P)  Nyctidromus albicollis

Dusky Nightjar ◊  Antrostomus saturatus  Near endemic, seen at Paraiso Quetzal and Savegre Valley.

Great Potoo  Nyctibius grandis

White-collared Swift  Streptoprocne zonaris

Grey-rumped Swift  Chaetura cinereiventris

Vaux’s Swift  Chaetura vauxi

Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift  Panyptila cayennensis

White-necked Jacobin  Florisuga mellivora

Bronzy Hermit  Glaucis aeneus

Band-tailed Barbthroat  Threnetes ruckeri

Stripe-throated Hermit  Phaethornis striigularis

Green Hermit  Phaethornis guy

Long-billed Hermit (Western long-tailed H)  Phaethornis longirostris

Brown Violetear  Colibri delphinae

Lesser Violetear  Colibri cyanotus

Purple-crowned Fairy  Heliothryx barroti

Green-breasted Mango  Anthracothorax prevostii

Green Thorntail  Discosura conversii

Black-crested Coquette ◊  Lophornis helenae

White-crested Coquette ◊  Lophornis adorabilis  Near endemic, one of the best birds of the tour.

Green-crowned Brilliant  Heliodoxa jacula

Talamanca Hummingbird ◊  Eugenes spectabilis  Near endemic, common in the Talamanca highlands.

Fiery-throated Hummingbird ◊  Panterpe insignis

White-bellied Mountaingem ◊  Lampornis hemileucus  Near endemic, a nice surprise at Virgen del Socorro.

Purple-throated Mountaingem ◊  Lampornis calolaemus  Near endemic, best views at Monteverde.

Grey-tailed Mountaingem ◊  Lampornis cinereicauda  Endemic for Costa Rica (if you follow the IOC taxonomy), several sights at Savegre Valley.

Magenta-throated Woodstar ◊  Philodice bryantae  Near endemic, nice views coming to Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird  Archilochus colubris

Volcano Hummingbird  Selasphorus flammula  Near endemic, nice views of the subspecies torridus, that occurs exclusively at the Talamanca Mountain Range in Costa Rica and Western Panama.

Scintillant Hummingbird ◊  Selasphorus scintilla  Near endemic, seen at different localities, even at San Isidro area that is a lower elevation than their normal range.

Canivet’s Emerald  Cynanthus canivetii  One bird seen at Caldera.

Garden Emerald ◊  Chlorostilbon assimilis  Near endemic, seen at San Isidro.

Violet-headed Hummingbird  Klais guimeti

Violet Sabrewing ◊  Campylopterus hemileucurus

Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer ◊ (Red-footed P)  Chalybura urochrysia

Crowned Woodnymph  Thalurania colombica

Coppery-headed Emerald ◊  Microchera cupreiceps

White-tailed Emerald ◊  Microchera chionura  One bird seen at Mirador del Valle.

Stripe-tailed Hummingbird ◊  Eupherusa eximia 

Scaly-breasted Hummingbird  Phaeochroa cuvierii

Blue-vented Hummingbird  Saucerottia hoffmanni  Near endemic (CR-Nicaragua), seen several times in the drier sections of the tour, and our last day of the tour at San Ramon.

Snowy-bellied Hummingbird ◊  Saucerottia edward  Near endemic, Mirador del Valle.

Cinnamon Hummingbird  Amazilia rutila

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird  Amazilia tzacatl

Mangrove Hummingbird ◊  Amazilia boucardi  Endemic, seen during our boat ride in the Tarcoles mangroves.

Blue-chested Hummingbird ◊  Polyerata amabilis

Blue-throated Sapphire ◊  Chlorestes eliciae

Smooth-billed Ani  Crotophaga ani

Groove-billed Ani  Crotophaga sulcirostris

Lesser Ground Cuckoo ◊  Morococcyx erythropygus

Squirrel Cuckoo  Piaya cayana

Mangrove Cuckoo  Coccyzus minor

Rock Dove (introduced)  Columba livia

Band-tailed Pigeon  Patagioenas fasciata

Pale-vented Pigeon  Patagioenas cayennensis

Red-billed Pigeon  Patagioenas flavirostris

Ruddy Pigeon  Patagioenas subvinacea

Short-billed Pigeon  Patagioenas nigrirostris

Inca Dove  Columbina inca

Common Ground Dove  Columbina passerina

Ruddy Ground Dove  Columbina talpacoti

White-tipped Dove  Leptotila verreauxi

Grey-headed Dove ◊  Leptotila plumbeiceps

Grey-chested Dove ◊  Leptotila cassinii

Buff-fronted Quail-Dove ◊  Zentrygon costaricensis  Near endemic, stunning views at Monteverde.

Chiriqui Quail-Dove ◊  Zentrygon chiriquensis  Near endemic, a tricky one that we managed to see at Santuario Ecologico Monteverde.

White-winged Dove  Zenaida asiatica

Sungrebe  Heliornis fulica

Uniform Crake  Amaurolimnas concolor

Rufous-necked Wood Rail  Aramides axillaris

Russet-naped Wood Rail  Aramides albiventris

Mangrove Rail ◊  Rallus longirostris

Common Gallinule  Gallinula galeata

Purple Gallinule (American P G)  Porphyrio martinica

Yellow-breasted Crake ◊  Laterallus flaviventer

White-throated Crake  Laterallus albigularis

Least Grebe  Tachybaptus dominicus

Pied-billed Grebe  Podilymbus podiceps

Double-striped Thick-knee  Burhinus bistriatus

Black-necked Stilt  Himantopus mexicanus

Southern Lapwing  Vanellus chilensis

American Golden Plover  Pluvialis dominica  A rare sight for the trip at Cocorocas.

Grey Plover (Black-bellied P)  Pluvialis squatarola

Semipalmated Plover  Charadrius semipalmatus

Wilson’s Plover  Charadrius wilsonia

Northern Jacana  Jacana spinosa

Hudsonian Whimbrel  Numenius hudsonicus

Ruddy Turnstone  Arenaria interpres

Least Sandpiper  Calidris minutilla

Semipalmated Sandpiper  Calidris pusilla

Western Sandpiper  Calidris mauri

Short-billed Dowitcher  Limnodromus griseus

Spotted Sandpiper  Actitis macularius

Solitary Sandpiper  Tringa solitaria

Wandering Tattler  Tringa incana

Lesser Yellowlegs  Tringa flavipes

Willet  Tringa semipalmata

Black Skimmer  Rynchops niger

Laughing Gull  Leucophaeus atricilla

Franklin’s Gull  Leucophaeus pipixcan

Royal Tern  Thalasseus maximus

Cabot’s Tern  Thalasseus acuflavidus

Wood Stork  Mycteria americana

Magnificent Frigatebird  Fregata magnificens

Anhinga  Anhinga anhinga

Neotropic Cormorant  Nannopterum brasilianum

Green Ibis  Mesembrinibis cayennensis

American White Ibis  Eudocimus albus

Roseate Spoonbill  Platalea ajaja

Bare-throated Tiger Heron ◊  Tigrisoma mexicanum

Boat-billed Heron  Cochlearius cochlearius

Pinnated Bittern ◊  Botaurus pinnatus

Yellow-crowned Night Heron  Nyctanassa violacea

Green Heron  Butorides virescens

Western Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis

Great Blue Heron  Ardea herodias

Great Egret  Ardea alba

Tricolored Heron (Louisiana H)  Egretta tricolor

Little Blue Heron  Egretta caerulea

Snowy Egret  Egretta thula

Brown Pelican  Pelecanus occidentalis

King Vulture  Sarcoramphus papa

Black Vulture  Coragyps atratus

Turkey Vulture  Cathartes aura

Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture  Cathartes burrovianus

Osprey  Pandion haliaetus

White-tailed Kite  Elanus leucurus

Swallow-tailed Kite  Elanoides forficatus

Ornate Hawk-Eagle  Spizaetus ornatus  One bird seen sitting on a tree at Arenal Observatory Lodge.

Double-toothed Kite  Harpagus bidentatus

Northern Harrier  Circus hudsonius

Bicolored Hawk  Accipiter bicolor

Plumbeous Kite  Ictinia plumbea

Black-collared Hawk  Busarellus nigricollis

Common Black Hawk  Buteogallus anthracinus

Roadside Hawk  Rupornis magnirostris

Semiplumbeous Hawk ◊  Leucopternis semiplumbeus

Grey Hawk  Buteo plagiatus

Broad-winged Hawk  Buteo platypterus

Short-tailed Hawk  Buteo brachyurus

Swainson’s Hawk  Buteo swainsoni

Zone-tailed Hawk  Buteo albonotatus

Red-tailed Hawk  Buteo jamaicensis

Costa Rican Pygmy Owl ◊  Glaucidium costaricanum  Near-endemic, seen at Cerro de La Muerte.

Central American Pygmy Owl ◊  Glaucidium griseiceps

Ferruginous Pygmy Owl  Glaucidium brasilianum

Striped Owl ◊  Asio clamator

Tropical Screech Owl  Megascops choliba

Pacific Screech Owl ◊  Megascops cooperi

Vermiculated Screech Owl ◊  Megascops vermiculatus  Near endemic, seen at La Selva.

Spectacled Owl  Pulsatrix perspicillata

Crested Owl  Lophostrix cristata

Mottled Owl  Strix virgata

Black-and-white Owl  Strix nigrolineata

Resplendent Quetzal ◊  Pharomachrus mocinno  Seen on different occasions at Cerro de La Muerte.

Slaty-tailed Trogon  Trogon massena

Black-headed Trogon  Trogon melanocephalus

Baird’s Trogon ◊  Trogon bairdii  Near endemic, seen at Carara.

Gartered Trogon (Northern Violaceous T)  Trogon caligatus

Black-throated Trogon  Trogon rufus

Elegant Trogon ◊  Trogon elegans

Collared Trogon  Trogon collaris

Amazon Kingfisher  Chloroceryle amazona

American Pygmy Kingfisher  Chloroceryle aenea

Green Kingfisher  Chloroceryle americana

Green-and-rufous Kingfisher  Chloroceryle inda  Leader only, at Caño Negro.

Ringed Kingfisher  Megaceryle torquata

Belted Kingfisher  Megaceryle alcyon

Lesson’s Motmot  Momotus lessonii

Rufous Motmot  Baryphthengus martii

Keel-billed Motmot ◊  Electron carinatum

Broad-billed Motmot  Electron platyrhynchum

Turquoise-browed Motmot ◊  Eumomota superciliosa

Rufous-tailed Jacamar  Galbula ruficauda

White-necked Puffbird  Notharchus hyperrhynchus

Pied Puffbird  Notharchus tectus

White-whiskered Puffbird  Malacoptila panamensis

Red-headed Barbet  Eubucco bourcierii

Prong-billed Barbet ◊  Semnornis frantzii  Near endemic, nice views at Santa Elena and Monteverde Reserves.

Blue-throated Toucanet ◊  Aulacorhynchus caeruleogularis  Near endemic, best views at Finca Ecologica San Luis, Monteverde.

Collared Aracari  Pteroglossus torquatus

Fiery-billed Aracari ◊  Pteroglossus frantzii  Near endemic, seen near San Isidro area.

Keel-billed Toucan  Ramphastos sulfuratus

Yellow-throated Toucan (Chestnut-mandibled T)  Ramphastos ambiguus

Olivaceous Piculet  Picumnus olivaceus

Acorn Woodpecker  Melanerpes formicivorus

Golden-naped Woodpecker ◊  Melanerpes chrysauchen  Near endemic, seen at Carara area.

Black-cheeked Woodpecker  Melanerpes pucherani

Red-crowned Woodpecker  Melanerpes rubricapillus

Hoffmann’s Woodpecker  Melanerpes hoffmannii

Smoky-brown Woodpecker  Leuconotopicus fumigatus

Hairy Woodpecker  Leuconotopicus villosus

Rufous-winged Woodpecker ◊  Piculus simplex

Golden-olive Woodpecker  Colaptes rubiginosus

Cinnamon Woodpecker  Celeus loricatus

Chestnut-colored Woodpecker  Celeus castaneus

Lineated Woodpecker  Dryocopus lineatus

Pale-billed Woodpecker  Campephilus guatemalensis

Crested Caracara (Northern C C)  Caracara [plancus] cheriway

Yellow-headed Caracara  Milvago chimachima

Laughing Falcon  Herpetotheres cachinnans

Collared Forest Falcon  Micrastur semitorquatus

Bat Falcon  Falco rufigularis

Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus

Orange-chinned Parakeet (Tovi P)  Brotogeris jugularis

Brown-hooded Parrot  Pyrilia haematotis

White-crowned Parrot  Pionus senilis

White-fronted Amazon (W-f Parrot)  Amazona albifrons

Red-lored Amazon (R-l Parrot)  Amazona autumnalis

Yellow-naped Amazon ◊ (Y-n Parrot)  Amazona auropalliata

Northern Mealy Amazon ◊ (N M Parrot)  Amazona guatemalae

Sulphur-winged Parakeet ◊  Pyrrhura hoffmanni  Near endemic, good views at Savegre.

Olive-throated Parakeet  Eupsittula nana

Orange-fronted Parakeet  Eupsittula canicularis

Great Green Macaw ◊  Ara ambiguus  Good views at Sarapiqui region, and La Selva Biological Station.

Scarlet Macaw  Ara macao  Seen regularly in Carara and Tarcoles area.

Finsch’s Parakeet ◊  Psittacara finschi

Tawny-throated Leaftosser ◊  Sclerurus mexicanus 

Grey-throated Leaftosser  Sclerurus albigularis

Olivaceous Woodcreeper  Sittasomus griseicapillus

Ruddy Woodcreeper  Dendrocincla homochroa

Tawny-winged Woodcreeper  Dendrocincla anabatina

Plain-brown Woodcreeper  Dendrocincla fuliginosa

Wedge-billed Woodcreeper  Glyphorynchus spirurus

Northern Barred Woodcreeper  Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae

Cocoa Woodcreeper  Xiphorhynchus susurrans

Black-striped Woodcreeper  Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus

Spotted Woodcreeper  Xiphorhynchus erythropygius

Brown-billed Scythebill  Campylorhamphus pusillus

Streak-headed Woodcreeper  Lepidocolaptes souleyetii

Spot-crowned Woodcreeper  Lepidocolaptes affinis

Plain Xenops  Xenops minutus

Buffy Tuftedcheek ◊  Pseudocolaptes lawrencii

Lineated Foliage-gleaner  Syndactyla subalaris

Streak-breasted Treehunter ◊  Thripadectes rufobrunneus  Near endemic, good views at Monteverde and Cerro de La Muerte.

Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner  Automolus ochrolaemus

Chiriqui Foliage-gleaner ◊  Automolus exsertus  Near endemic, one bird was seen at Los Cusingos Reserve.

Western Woodhaunter  Automolus virgatus

Spotted Barbtail  Premnoplex brunnescens

Ruddy Treerunner ◊  Margarornis rubiginosus

Red-faced Spinetail  Cranioleuca erythrops

Slaty Spinetail  Synallaxis brachyura

Pale-breasted Spinetail  Synallaxis albescens

Russet Antshrike  Thamnistes anabatinus

Dot-winged Antwren  Microrhopias quixensis

Slaty Antwren  Myrmotherula schisticolor

Plain Antvireo  Dysithamnus mentalis

Streak-crowned Antvireo ◊  Dysithamnus striaticeps

Barred Antshrike  Thamnophilus doliatus

Black-hooded Antshrike ◊  Thamnophilus bridgesi  Near endemic, regular bird at Carara NP.

Black-crowned Antshrike ◊ (Western Slaty A)  Thamnophilus atrinucha

Fasciated Antshrike  Cymbilaimus lineatus 

Ocellated Antbird ◊  Phaenostictus mcleannani  Great views of 5 birds attending an army ants swarm at Arenal.

Bicolored Antbird  Gymnopithys bicolor

Dusky Antbird  Cercomacroides tyrannina

Spotted Antbird  Hylophylax naevioides

Chestnut-backed Antbird  Poliocrania exsul

Dull-mantled Antbird ◊  Sipia laemosticta

Bare-crowned Antbird ◊  Gymnocichla nudiceps

Zeledon’s Antbird ◊  Hafferia zeledoni

Black-faced Antthrush  Formicarius analis

Streak-chested Antpitta ◊ (Spectacled A)  Hylopezus perspicillatus

Thicket Antpitta ◊  Hylopezus dives

Silvery-fronted Tapaculo ◊  Scytalopus argentifrons  Near endemic, good views in Monteverde area.

Greenish Elaenia  Myiopagis viridicata

Yellow-bellied Elaenia  Elaenia flavogaster

Mountain Elaenia  Elaenia frantzii

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet  Camptostoma imberbe

Southern Beardless Tyrannulet  Camptostoma obsoletum

Torrent Tyrannulet  Serpophaga cinerea

Yellow Tyrannulet  Capsiempis flaveola

Mistletoe Tyrannulet (Paltry T)  Zimmerius parvus

Olive-streaked Flycatcher  Mionectes olivaceus  Near endemic, seen at Virgen del Socorro Road.

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher  Mionectes oleagineus

Slaty-capped Flycatcher  Leptopogon superciliaris

Northern Scrub Flycatcher  Sublegatus arenarum

Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant  Myiornis atricapillus

Northern Bentbill  Oncostoma cinereigulare

Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant  Lophotriccus pileatus  Heard only, at Monteverde and Arenal.

Slaty-headed Tody-Flycatcher  Poecilotriccus sylvia

Common Tody-Flycatcher  Todirostrum cinereum

Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher  Todirostrum nigriceps

Eye-ringed Flatbill  Rhynchocyclus brevirostris

Yellow-olive Flatbill (Y-o Flycatcher)  Tolmomyias sulphurescens

Yellow-margined Flatbill (Y-m flycatcher)  Tolmomyias flavotectus  Heard only at La Selva.

White-throated Spadebill  Platyrinchus mystaceus

Golden-crowned Spadebill  Platyrinchus coronatus

Black Phoebe  Sayornis nigricans

Northern Tufted Flycatcher  Mitrephanes phaeocercus

Ochraceous Pewee ◊  Contopus ochraceus  Near endemic, good views at Savegre Valley, next to a Northern Tufted Flycatcher for comparison. Uncommon species.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher  Empidonax flaviventris

Yellowish Flycatcher  Empidonax flavescens

Black-capped Flycatcher ◊  Empidonax atriceps  Near endemic, seen at Talamanca Highlands.

Long-tailed Tyrant  Colonia colonus

Piratic Flycatcher  Legatus leucophaius

Social Flycatcher  Myiozetetes similis

Grey-capped Flycatcher  Myiozetetes granadensis

Great Kiskadee  Pitangus sulphuratus

White-ringed Flycatcher  Conopias albovittatus

Golden-bellied Flycatcher ◊  Myiodynastes hemichrysus

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher  Myiodynastes luteiventris

Streaked Flycatcher  Myiodynastes maculatus

Boat-billed Flycatcher  Megarynchus pitangua

Tropical Kingbird  Tyrannus melancholicus

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  Tyrannus forficatus

Fork-tailed Flycatcher  Tyrannus savana

Rufous Mourner  Rhytipterna holerythra

Dusky-capped Flycatcher  Myiarchus tuberculifer

Panama Flycatcher ◊  Myiarchus panamensis  Good views at Tarcoles mangroves.

Nutting’s Flycatcher  Myiarchus nuttingi

Great Crested Flycatcher  Myiarchus crinitus

Brown-crested Flycatcher  Myiarchus tyrannulus

Bright-rumped Attila ◊  Attila spadiceus

Rufous Piha  Lipaugus unirufus

Three-wattled Bellbird ◊  Procnias tricarunculatus  The bird of the trip!

Turquoise Cotinga ◊  Cotinga ridgwayi  Near endemic, three individuals at San Isidro, one of them fairly close!

Snowy Cotinga ◊  Carpodectes nitidus  Several sights, first at Caño Negro, also at La Selva.

Long-tailed Manakin ◊  Chiroxiphia linearis  Good views of males, specially at Santuario Ecologico.

White-ruffed Manakin  Corapipo altera

Velvety Manakin ◊  Lepidothrix velutina

White-collared Manakin  Manacus candei

Orange-collared Manakin ◊  Manacus aurantiacus  Near endemic, great views at Carara NP.

Red-capped Manakin  Ceratopipra mentalis  Nice male at Los Cusingos Reserve.

Northern Royal Flycatcher  Onychorhynchus mexicanus 

Sulphur-rumped Myiobius (S-r Flycatcher)  Myiobius sulphureipygius

Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher  Terenotriccus erythrurus

Black-crowned Tityra  Tityra inquisitor

Masked Tityra  Tityra semifasciata

Barred Becard  Pachyramphus versicolor  Heard only at Monteverde and Talamanca highlands.

Cinnamon Becard  Pachyramphus cinnamomeus

Rose-throated Becard  Pachyramphus aglaiae

Rufous-browed Peppershrike  Cyclarhis gujanensis

Tawny-crowned Greenlet  Tunchiornis ochraceiceps

Lesser Greenlet  Pachysylvia decurtata

Yellow-green Vireo  Vireo flavoviridis

Philadelphia Vireo  Vireo philadelphicus

Brown-capped Vireo  Vireo leucophrys

Yellow-throated Vireo  Vireo flavifrons

Yellow-winged Vireo ◊  Vireo carmioli

Mangrove Vireo  Vireo pallens

Brown Jay  Psilorhinus morio

White-throated Magpie-Jay  Calocitta formosa

Black-and-yellow Phainoptila ◊  Phainoptila melanoxantha  Near endemic, nice views at Paraiso Quetzal.

Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher ◊  Ptiliogonys caudatus  Near endemic, good views in the Talamanca highlands.

Mangrove Swallow  Tachycineta albilinea

Blue-and-white Swallow  Pygochelidon cyanoleuca

Northern Rough-winged Swallow  Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Southern Rough-winged Swallow  Stelgidopteryx ruficollis

Grey-breasted Martin  Progne chalybea

Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica

American Cliff Swallow  Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Rufous-backed Wren  Campylorhynchus capistratus

Black-throated Wren ◊  Pheugopedius atrogularis

Spot-breasted Wren ◊  Pheugopedius maculipectus  Good views at Caño Negro.

Rufous-breasted Wren  Pheugopedius rutilus

Banded Wren  Thryophilus pleurostictus

Rufous-and-white Wren  Thryophilus rufalbus

Cabanis’s Wren ◊  Cantorchilus modestus

Canebrake Wren ◊  Cantorchilus zeledoni

Isthmian Wren ◊  Cantorchilus elutus  Near endemic.

Riverside Wren ◊  Cantorchilus semibadius  Near endemic, seen well at Carara NP.

Bay Wren  Cantorchilus nigricapillus

Stripe-breasted Wren  Cantorchilus thoracicus

House Wren  Troglodytes aedon

Ochraceous Wren ◊  Troglodytes ochraceus

Timberline Wren ◊  Thryorchilus browni

White-breasted Wood Wren  Henicorhina leucosticta

Grey-breasted Wood Wren  Henicorhina leucophrys

Northern Nightingale-Wren (Nightingale W)  Microcerculus philomela

Southern Nightingale-Wren  Microcerculus marginatus  Heard only.

Song Wren  Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus  Seen at Arenal Observatory Lodge.

Trilling Gnatwren  Ramphocaenus melanurus

Tawny-faced Gnatwren  Microbates cinereiventris

White-browed Gnatcatcher  Polioptila bilineata

White-lored Gnatcatcher  Polioptila albiloris

Tropical Mockingbird  Mimus gilvus

Black-faced Solitaire ◊  Myadestes melanops  Near endemic, best views at Monteverde.

Wood Thrush  Hylocichla mustelina

Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush  Catharus aurantiirostris

Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush ◊  Catharus mexicanus

Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush  Catharus fuscater

Swainson’s Thrush  Catharus ustulatus

Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush ◊  Catharus gracilirostris  Near endemic, common at Paraiso Quetzal.

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush ◊  Catharus frantzii

Sooty Thrush ◊ (S Robin)  Turdus nigrescens  Near endemic.

Mountain Thrush ◊ (M Robin)  Turdus plebejus

Pale-vented Thrush (P-v Robin)  Turdus obsoletus

Clay-colored Thrush (C-c Robin)  Turdus grayi

American Dipper  Cinclus mexicanus

House Sparrow (introduced)  Passer domesticus

Lesser Goldfinch  Spinus psaltria

Yellow-bellied Siskin  Spinus xanthogastrus

Golden-browed Chlorophonia ◊  Chlorophonia callophrys  Near endemic, several individuals feeding on bushes in the gardens of Paraiso Quetzal.

Scrub Euphonia  Euphonia affinis

Yellow-crowned Euphonia  Euphonia luteicapilla

White-vented Euphonia  Euphonia minuta

Yellow-throated Euphonia  Euphonia hirundinacea

Spot-crowned Euphonia ◊  Euphonia imitans  Near endemic, seen at Los Cusingos Reserve.

Olive-backed Euphonia  Euphonia gouldi

Tawny-capped Euphonia ◊  Euphonia anneae  Restricted-range species, good views at Arenal.

Sooty-capped Bush Tanager ◊  Chlorospingus pileatus  Near endemic, common at Talamanca Highlands.

Common Bush Tanager  Chlorospingus flavopectus

Stripe-headed Sparrow  Peucaea ruficauda

Olive Sparrow  Arremonops rufivirgatus

Black-striped Sparrow  Arremonops conirostris

Orange-billed Sparrow  Arremon aurantiirostris

Chestnut-capped Brushfinch  Arremon brunneinucha

Sooty-faced Finch ◊  Arremon crassirostris  Near endemic, good views at Santa Elena Reserve.

Volcano Junco ◊  Junco vulcani  Near endemic, seen nicely at the Paramo habitat.

Rufous-collared Sparrow  Zonotrichia capensis

Large-footed Finch ◊  Pezopetes capitalis  Near endemic, regular in the grounds of Paraiso Quetzal.

White-eared Ground Sparrow ◊  Melozone leucotis  Seen at Monteverde area and Hotel Bougainvillea.

Cabanis’s Ground Sparrow ◊  Melozone cabanisi  Endemic, finally we got good views at Ujarrás.

White-naped Brushfinch (Yellow-throated B F)  Atlapetes albinucha

Yellow-thighed Brushfinch ◊  Atlapetes tibialis  Near endemic, Talamanca highlands.

Wrenthrush ◊ (Zeledonia)  Zeledonia coronata  Good views at Paraiso Quetzal, a monotypic family.

Red-breasted Blackbird  Leistes militaris

Yellow-billed Cacique  Amblycercus holosericeus

Chestnut-headed Oropendola  Psarocolius wagleri

Montezuma Oropendola  Psarocolius montezuma

Scarlet-rumped Cacique  Cacicus microrhynchus

Streak-backed Oriole  Icterus pustulatus

Baltimore Oriole  Icterus galbula

Black-cowled Oriole  Icterus prosthemelas

Orchard Oriole  Icterus spurius

Red-winged Blackbird  Agelaius phoeniceus

Giant Cowbird  Molothrus oryzivorus

Shiny Cowbird  Molothrus bonariensis

Bronzed Cowbird  Molothrus aeneus

Melodious Blackbird  Dives dives

Nicaraguan Grackle ◊  Quiscalus nicaraguensis  Near endemic, a very special Grackle species that just occur in southern Nicaragua and Cano Negro-Upala area in northern Costa Rica.

Great-tailed Grackle  Quiscalus mexicanus

Ovenbird  Seiurus aurocapilla

Worm-eating Warbler  Helmitheros vermivorum

Louisiana Waterthrush  Parkesia motacilla

Northern Waterthrush  Parkesia noveboracensis

Golden-winged Warbler  Vermivora chrysoptera

Black-and-white Warbler  Mniotilta varia

Prothonotary Warbler  Protonotaria citrea

Flame-throated Warbler  Oreothlypis gutturalis

Tennessee Warbler  Leiothlypis peregrina

Grey-crowned Yellowthroat  Geothlypis poliocephala

Mourning Warbler  Geothlypis philadelphia

Kentucky Warbler  Geothlypis formosa

Olive-crowned Yellowthroat  Geothlypis semiflava

Hooded Warbler  Setophaga citrina

American Redstart  Setophaga ruticilla

Tropical Parula  Setophaga pitiayumi

Magnolia Warbler  Setophaga magnolia

Bay-breasted Warbler  Setophaga castanea

Blackburnian Warbler  Setophaga fusca

American Yellow Warbler  Setophaga aestiva

Mangrove Warbler  Setophaga petechia

Chestnut-sided Warbler  Setophaga pensylvanica

Black-throated Green Warbler  Setophaga virens

Buff-rumped Warbler  Myiothlypis fulvicauda

Chestnut-capped Warbler  Basileuterus delattrii

Black-cheeked Warbler ◊  Basileuterus melanogenys

Golden-crowned Warbler  Basileuterus culicivorus

Black-eared Warbler  Basileuterus melanotis  Near endemic, common in Monteverde.

Wilson’s Warbler  Cardellina pusilla

Slate-throated Whitestart (S-t Redstart)  Myioborus miniatus

Collared Whitestart  Myioborus torquatus

Flame-colored Tanager (Stripe-backed T)  Piranga bidentata

Tooth-billed Tanager (Highland Hepatic T)  Piranga lutea

Summer Tanager  Piranga rubra

Red-crowned Ant Tanager  Habia rubica

Red-throated Ant Tanager  Habia fuscicauda

Carmiol’s Tanager ◊  Chlorothraupis carmioli

Black-thighed Grosbeak ◊  Pheucticus tibialis  Near endemic, good views at Providencia Road.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak  Pheucticus ludovicianus

Black-faced Grosbeak  Caryothraustes poliogaster

Blue-black Grosbeak  Cyanoloxia cyanoides

Green Honeycreeper  Chlorophanes spiza

Red-legged Honeycreeper  Cyanerpes cyaneus

Shining Honeycreeper ◊  Cyanerpes lucidus

Scarlet-thighed Dacnis  Dacnis venusta

Blue Dacnis  Dacnis cayana

Cinnamon-bellied Saltator  Saltator grandis

Streaked Saltator  Saltator striatipectus

Buff-throated Saltator  Saltator maximus

Black-headed Saltator  Saltator atriceps

Bananaquit  Coereba flaveola

Yellow-faced Grassquit  Tiaris olivaceus

Blue-black Grassquit  Volatinia jacarina

Grey-headed Tanager  Eucometis penicillata

White-shouldered Tanager  Loriotus luctuosus

Tawny-crested Tanager  Tachyphonus delatrii

White-lined Tanager  Tachyphonus rufus

White-throated Shrike-Tanager ◊  Lanio leucothorax  Restricted-range species, close and prolonged views at Arenal.

Crimson-collared Tanager ◊  Ramphocelus sanguinolentus  Good views at Finca Ecologica San Luis, also at La Selva.

Scarlet-rumped Tanager ◊ (Passerini’s T)  Ramphocelus [passerinii] passerinii

Scarlet-rumped Tanager ◊ (Cherrie’s T)  Ramphocelus [passerinii] costaricensis

Morelet’s Seedeater ◊  Sporophila morelleti

Variable Seedeater  Sporophila corvina

Thick-billed Seed Finch  Sporophila funerea

Nicaraguan Seed Finch ◊  Sporophila nuttingi  Restricted-range species, seen at close distance at Caño Negro.

Ruddy-breasted Seedeater  Sporophila minuta

Slaty Flowerpiercer  Diglossa plumbea  Near endemic, common in the highlands.

Speckled Tanager  Ixothraupis guttata

Blue-grey Tanager  Thraupis episcopus

Palm Tanager  Thraupis palmarum

Golden-hooded Tanager  Stilpnia larvata

Spangle-cheeked Tanager ◊  Tangara dowii  Near endemic, seen at Paraiso Quetzal.

Bay-headed Tanager  Tangara gyrola

Emerald Tanager  Tangara florida

Silver-throated Tanager  Tangara icterocephala

Plain-colored Tanager ◊  Tangara inornata



Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth  Choloepus hoffmanni  Seen at La Selva.

Brown-throated Sloth  Bradypus variegatus

Coyote  Canis latrans

White-nosed Coati  Nasua narica

White-tailed Deer  Odocoileus virginianus

Northern Ghost Bat  Diclidurus albus  One individual seen at Carara NP.

Greater Sac-winged Bat  Saccopteryx bilineata

Panamanian White-faced Capuchin  Cebus imitator

Mantled Howler Monkey (M H Monkey)  Alouatta palliata

Black-handed Spider Monkey (Black-handed S M)  Ateles geoffroyi  Seen at Caño Negro.

Dice’s Cottontail (Mountain R)  Sylvilagus dicei  Two individuals were seen at night, in Savegre Valley.

Central American Tapeti  Sylvilagus gabbi  Seen at La Selva, at night.

Central American Agouti  Dasyprocta punctata

Mexican Hairy Dwarf Porcupine  Coendou mexicanus  A young individual was seen at Santuario Ecologico, Monteverde.

Red-tailed Squirrel (Tropical Red S)  Sciurus granatensis

Variegated Squirrel  Sciurus variegatoides

Dusky Rice Rat  Melanomys caliginosus



Nicaraguan Slider  Trachemys grayi  Seen at Caño Negro.

Black River Turtle  Rhinoclemmys funerea  Seen in the Puerto Viejo River, from La Selva hanging bridge.

Common Basilisk  Basiliscus vitatus  The brown species of Basilisk that we saw in the Caribbean slope.

Green Basilisk  Basiliscus plumifroms  Seen at Caño Negro.

Brown Basilisk  Basiliscus basiliscus  Seen at Villa Lapas.

Bighead Anole  Anolis capito  Seen at La Selva.

Green Spiny Lizard  Scelaporus malachiticus  Seen at Savegre Valley.

Spine-tailed Iguana  Ctenosaura similis  Seen at Villa Lapas and dry forest regions.

Green Iguana  Iguana iguana 

Middle American (Whiptail) Ameiva  Holcosus festivus  Seen at Carara NP, foraging on the ground.

Palm Pit Viper  Seen at Santa Elena Reserve.

Spectacled Caiman  Caiman crocodilus  Very common at Caño Negro area.

American Crocodile  Crocodylus acutus  Seen at Tarcoles River.

Hourglass Treefrog  Dendropsophus ebreccatus  Seen at Arenal Observatory Lodge.

Red-eyed Tree Frog  Agalychnis callidryas  Seen at Arenal Observatory Lodge.

Cane Toad  Rhinella marina  Seen at different locations.

Green and Black Poison Frog  Dendrobates auratus  Seen at Carara National Park and Bogarin Trails.

Strawberry Poison-dart Frog  Oophaga pumilio  Nice views at La Selva of this tiny creature.