Costa Rica is a birders paradise and home to a diverse avian population. A likely result thanks to its incredible abundant biodiversity, year-round temperatures, and protected reserves and parks. Many naturalists and birders flock here to bear witness to 900 species of birds. Here is a quick guide to the birds of this beautiful country.
Toucans are recognisable by their large colourful bills and colourful feathers. They are social creatures and often forage in groups of 6 – 10. Costa Rica is home to six toucan species found in most habitats throughout the country. In cloud forests, you will find the emerald toucan and the yellow-eared toucan. The two Aracaris (fiery and collared) are known to sleep in trees all year long. There is the black mandible, and probably the most recognisable, rainbow-billed or keel-billed toucan.
There are over 330 species of hummingbirds in the Americas, and 50 of them are found in Costa Rica. The two hummingbirds that are endemic to Costa Rica are the mangrove hummingbird and the coppery-headed emerald. Hummingbirds are known to be solitary creatures and can often be found hovering over flowers or flickering between foliage.
The charismatic macaws are known for their brilliant colours and largely monogamous nature. There are 17 species of macaws that are found in Central and South America. Two of these species are endemic to Costa Rica. The scarlet macaw are found on the Pacific Coast, while the great green macaw are often found in the Caribbean.
Of the 10 species of trogons found in Costa Rica, the most famous is the elegant resplendent quetzal. Spotting a quetzal can be difficult due to their elusive and shy nature. They are commonly found in cloud forests or during breeding season, mid-February to June. The male resplendent quetzals are more vibrantly emerald compared to female counterparts. They are most recognisable by their elongated tails.
Motmots are colourful birds known for their unique racket shaped tails. There are nine species of motmots found throughout the world, and six are found in Costa Rica. The most common are the turquoise browed and the blue crowned. The hardest of the species to spot are the tiny tody motmot and the ever-elusive keel-billed motmot.
Whether you are a birder or a nature lover, Costa Rica offers an abundant opportunities to spot wildlife, set in one of the most beautiful natural landscapes. Get in touch with our friendly team to make your dream Costa Rica itinerary into a reality!