Trip report: Costa Rica: Birding with a Camera® (Mar-Apr 2019) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Fito Downs. This was a set departure tour.

Birdwatching in Costa Rica is always delightful, especially if you have a chance to take pictures of the wonderful birds around. We had an outstanding trip with a perfect combination of great lodges, delicious food and terrific birds. All these factors combined made Costa Rica a very special place to visit again and again. We had unusually hot weather conditions throughout the entire trip, making the bird activity a bit slow some days. However, we did amazingly well in finding our target species and we had many chances to photograph them. We started out in San Jose before driving over the rainforest foothills near the magical and active Turrialba Volcano. From there we continued towards the towering oak forests in the Talamanca Mountains, home to the Resplendent Quetzal. After these mountains we were amazed by the transitional forest at Los Cusingos Reserve and the last leg of the tour we returned to the rainforest, this time to the southern Pacific slope near the Panama border. Some of the highlights during our trip included phenomenal views of the famous Sunbittern seen at two different locations near Rancho Naturalista. When we visited El Copal we enjoyed prolonged views of the rare Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle soaring right above us. Later, during our time at the Talamanca Mountains, we had a great time with the hummingbird feeders with the stunning Fiery-throated Hummingbird being the local star. Above all we cannot forget our time at the Resplendent Quetzal nest with both parents feeding the young. Birding at Los Cusingos provided our first manakins, and during our visit to Esquinas Rainforest we encountered many target species including the endangered Yellow-billed Cotinga, the country endemic Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, and two rare and local hummingbirds, Veraguan Mango and Sapphire-throated Hummingbird. Costa Rica always surprised us with terrific birding and amazing opportunities for wildlife photography. PURA VIDA!

Read the full TROPICAL BIRDING Costa Rica: Birding with a Camera® Trip Report (PDF format; 4 MB size file).