Costa Rica accounts for 894 birds species, more than the United States and Canada combined. Its strategic location, climate, and geological origin are the key to its wide biodiversity.
This small but diverse country is well known for being a biological connecting bridge between North and South America. Species that migrate from north to south find perfect conditions in the tropics. The temperature is very stable throughout the year, and most of the territory is an evergreen forest with an abundance of food available for all kind of animals, which is probably why Costa Rica has 4% of the total species estimated worldwide.
No wonder Costa Rica is the preferred country for exotic and extremely rare birds, not available anywhere else on the planet. So, what kinds of birds are there in Costa Rica?
We can describe the bird species with major designations, such as:
1. Endemic birds:
These are unique species that only inhabit this region such as: Coppery-headed Emerald, Mangrove Hummingbird, Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, Cocos Cuckoo, Cocos Flycatcher, or Cocos Finch.
2. “Resident” birds:
More than 800 species of birds live in the territory all year round. They do not migrate, as they are part of an ecosystem. Check out the official list of resident birds found in Costa Rica
3. Endangered birds:
Sadly, there are 14 species of birds on the verge of extinction in Costa Rica. Some of them are: the majestic Quetzal, Scarlet Macaws, delightful Toucans, and the almost extinct Great Green Macaw.
4. Migratory birds:
As Costa Rica is a natural connecting bridge between the north and the south, some migratory birds visit the area to escape the cold weather, and stay in the tropics for a few months before going back for breeding season. Some of these fellow globetrotters are: the American Wigeon, Cattle Egret, Red-billed Tropicbird, and the Blue-footed Booby.
To learn more about the birds of Costa Rica, we’re providing you with a complete guide of birds of Costa Rica where you can find the English Common Name, Scientific Name, and their Status (Resident, Endemic, Migrant, Breeding Residents, etc.).
Spotting birds is easier in the mornings or right before sunset. This is when they are most active, due to the comfortable temperatures.
If you are ready to start your bird-watching journey in Costa Rica, read these tips and best destinations we’d love to share with you:
- Be silent. This is the key to spot the Quetzal, since they are extremely timid.
- Bring a rain jacket. Even though the seasons in Costa Rica are very steady, expect rain at any time of the year, especially in the cloud forest.
- Hire an experienced guide. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are at bird watching, an experienced local birding guide will know more about vocalization and where to find the kind of bird you are excited to see.
- Stay on the marked trails. You may feel tempted to explore by yourself, but don’t! 25% of Costa Rica is protected land, which means extensive and dense national parks. You don’t want to get lost!
- Bring insect repellent, especially for right before sunset. You will thank us for this tip!
Check out the best destinations for bird watching in Costa Rica.
We hope to see you out there in the wild this upcoming birding season in Costa Rica!