Guided by Jose Illanes. This was a set departure tour.
We had a great time of it on this tour of some of the best known birding sites in Costa Rica. While touring this special area, we racked up more than 400 species of birds, and over 380 of these were seen by the group. The clear winner of the bird of the tour competition was (perhaps unsurprisingly), the amazing Resplendent Quetzal, which we saw on multiple occasions after a shaky start looking for it.
There were so many other highlights that a simple, short list will not suffice, and so here were the other worthy mentions that trailed behind the quetzal in the stakes of best bird of the tour: American Pygmy-Kingfisher, Violet Sabrewing, Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, White-whiskered Puffbird, Pearl Kite, Roseate Spoonbill, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Silvery-throated Jay, Long-tailed Manakin, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, and Turquoise-browed Motmot. During this classic tour of the country, we had dipped into some magnificent birding areas, such as the Central Valley close to San Jose, Braulio Carrillo National Park in the foothills of the Caribbean slope, La Selva Biological Station in the lowlands on that side of the mountains, the Oak-dominated cloudforests of the Savegre Valley, and the stunted vegetation of Cerro de la Muerte, yet higher still. We also visited the foothills and lowlands on the Pacific side of the mountains too, and ended with a visit to the famous cloudforests of Monteverde. That led us to observe not only the above highlighted species, but others like Turquoise and Snowy Cotingas, a series of gorgeous trogons and hummingbirds (e.g. Talamanca and Fiery-throated Hummingbirds (below), Coppery-headed Emerald, Black-crested Coquette, and Purple-throated Mountain-Gem), Keel-billed and Yellow-throated Toucans, Great Green and Scarlet Macaws, Great Curassow, Long-tailed and Black-and-yellow Silky-Flycatchers, Flame-throated Warbler, Collared Redstart, and Orange-collared Manakin, among a long list of super looking tropical birds! This tour was also exceptional for nocturnal birds, with Ferruginous and Costa Rican Pygmy-Owls, Black-and-white and Spectacled Owls, and Middle American and Pacific Screech-Owls, Lesser Nighthawk and Great Potoo all being seen in broad daylight! This tour is a longtime favorite of both Tropical Birding guides and clients alike, and it is easy to see why! It is both fun to guide, with plentiful exciting birds seen daily, and fun to be a tour participant, some experiencing the amazing riches of the tropics for the first time.
Full TROPICAL BIRDING Costa Rica The Introtour Trip Report Feb. 2019 (Low Resolution version) (PDF format; 7.2 MB size file).
Full TROPICAL BIRDING Costa Rica The Introtour Trip Report Feb. 2019 (High Resolution version) (PDF format; 15.4 MB size file).