20 July -- 3 August 1996
by Paul Hammerton
Since most trip reports for Costa Rica posted on BIRDCHAT have been from the dry season, I thought some people would be interested in what it is like to bird during the wet season. Three further parts to this trip report will follow, detailing our itinerary and the trails we found most productive. I have also compiled a bird-list with numbers of each species at each location. Anyone who wants a copy by e-mail can get in touch with me privately. Or I will post it to BIRDCHAT if sufficient people are interested. This is the first time I've posted a detailed trip report. I would appreciate any comments as to whether this material is of enough interest to justify posting to all 1,000+ subscribers.
In 13 days in the field, our group of 4 (3 US, 1 Brit) saw/heard approximately 330 species. We minimised travelling time by only staying at 4 different locations and usually only birding in the immediate vicinity of each hotel. The fact that we were in the middle of the rainy season had no effect on our time in the field except at Monteverde when we suffered almost 40 hours of solid rain as the remnants of Hurricane Cesar passed through. Travelling at this time meant that no NA migrants were present, which I found a considerable advantage as it was difficulty enough searching through mixed feeding flocks without them. In addition, we got some very good deals on accomodation.
This was my first experience of tropical birding, except for 3 days in San Blas, Mex. a few years ago. None of us had been to Costa Rica before, though 2 of the group had birded Southern Mexico. I found it completely exhilarating birdwatching, at times almost overwhelming. I saw many more species than I expected, and more importantly saw many species much better than I dared hope.
As a policy decision before the trip, we opted not to use tapes. We took tapes along for identification purposes, but only once tried to lure a bird into the open (unsuccessfully, though we later saw the bird without tape -- a Zeledonia). Undoubtedly this meant we missed some species, but we decided that the fiddle of taking tapes into the forest just wasn't worth it.
We attempted to combine serious bird watching with a relaxing holiday. We were out at dawn every day, but most afternoons were spent hanging out on hotel balconies or around a pool. Not all of us saw all 330+ species listed at the end of this report, as we did not always bird together. Some species seen by others may be omitted from the final list as we never compiled a complete list at the end. In the first few days I found myself very much wanting to see every species possible, but as the trip wore on I found that enjoying the general spectacle of all around me became more important than putting a name to every single bird species seen. Though I suspect that if I travel to Costa Rica again I will be keen to see species I "missed" this trip. From past experience of foreign bird trips I think I can absorb 10-15 new species a day, but no more. This was true of this trip too, but by staying in the same locations for several days I was able to minimise the sensory overload by getting to know the commoner species well, then focusing on the scarcer birds.
One very pleasant surprise was the number of animals seen: Agouti, Howler Monkey, Capuchin Monkey, Three-toed Sloth, Collared Anteater, Coati, Jaguarundi, 2 species of white bat roosting in vegetation. Also a myriad of lizards, snakes, crocodiles and two species of the brightly coloured Poison Arrow frogs-- one species bright orange, the other vivid "neon" green.
All lodging and car hire were pre-booked through Horizontes, an agency based in San Jose, & everything ran like clockwork. The total money spent in a fortnight was less than the cost of the plane tickets from Tucson and this was staying in very nice hotels & eating in the hotel. We rented a Dodge Caravan to ensure sufficient room. A high clearance vehicle would have speeded the journey to Monteverde, but was not necessary.
We primarily used Stiles & Skutch, Birds of Costa Rica, but a copy of Birds of Panama also proved useful. For site directions we used hand-drawn maps kindly provided by Gary Rosenberg, who is currently planning a site guide to the country. We also used a site guide by Keith Taylor for site directions. A checklist by Taylor (from ABA sales) gives relative abundance of species at commonly visited sites, though some of our observations were strikingly different from his (possibly due to seasonal differences). What would be nice to see is a general natural history field guide for Costa Rica including mammals, the commoner lizards & snakes, common butterflies. With the number of "eco-tourists" visiting Costa Rica, I think any publisher should have a decent number of guaranteed sales.
Navigation was reasonably easy, except for getting lost once in rush-hour San Jose. We did not employ any private bird guides, except at La Selva where there is no alternative.
Day One: San Jose -- Tapanti N.P. -- Cerro de Muerte
Tapanti takes approx. 90 minutes from San Jose. We arrived at about 7 am and walked the Oropendola trail, a loop dropping down to the river. Best location was the open area close to the river. Several mixed flocks of Euphonias & Tanagers. Best birds for me were a pair of Red-faced Barbets. Later we walked the road higher up the valley, beyond the sign banning unauthorised vehicles. This gave a completely different set of birds, including brief views of a Tapaculo. We also heard Black-faced Ant-Thrush singing very close, without ever catching sight of it. At the entrance station to the park, a flowering tree had several hummingbirds including a female Green-Crowned Brilliant. Green-fronted Lancebill has nested around here, though we did not see it. Entrance to the National Parks is now a standard 6 USD. It seems OK to enter the parks at dawn and pay when leaving.
From Tapanti we drove non-stop back to the Trans-Am Hwy and south to km post 80, sign posted to Trogon Lodge, then a 4km drive down a precipitous road to the lodge. Total journey time 3.5 hours.
Trogon Lodge consists of a group of cabins and dining room, set in gardens, with trout pools, a rocky mountain stream and surrounded by forest.
Hummingbird feeders attracted Volcano H'bird, Grey-tailed Brilliant. The gardens had Slaty Flowerpiercer -- doing its job-- and abundant Rufous-collared Sparrow (reminding me at first more of the Western Paleartic Buntings than a Zonotrichia)
Day Two Trails around Trogon Lodge
Dissuaded by the steep road back to the Trans-American Hwy, we opted to bird on foot around the Lodge (approx 7-8,000 ft elevation) rather than try for the true high altitude birds. Collared Redstart, Flame-throated Black-cheeked Warblers were all common, usually in mixed flocks with Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Tufted Flycatcher & Black-cheeked Flycatcher. Surprisingly we heard no Quetzals or Trogons. Birds of the day were a Black Guan (with menacing red eye) and a Buffy Tuftedcheek, the only one we saw on the trip, and a bird not done justice in the field guide. As on most days when we were not travelling, we birded from 5.30 to noon, and then for a couple of hours at the end of the afternoon.
Day Three Cerro de Muerte-- Carara
An early start was thwarted by our loaded van being unable to get up the road. How much of this was due to an under-powered engine, and how much due to altitude I don't know. With 3 people walking, I managed to drive the van out, though it was the most terrifying driving I've ever had to do. The only way seemed to be to keep the momentum up, which meant taking hair-pin bends on rocky surfaces at break-neck speed. The other three eventually managed to hitch a ride, though only after climbing the steepest 1,000ft or so of road.
For anyone planning a trip including Trogon Lodge, it is a beautiful place to stay, but seriously consider your transport. I would never go there in a mini-van again, though I would be relatively happy in a well-powered car.
At about 90km on the Trans-Am Hwy, just before a roadside cafe, a dirt road leaves on the right leading to an array of aerials. This is above the treeline and with mist swirling it almost reminded me of the Scottish Highlands. Timberline Wren, Volcano Junco and Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher were easy to find. We also heard Zeledonia. Small hummingbirds, presumably more Volcano, zipped by without giving decent views of a male.
Returning north we stopped at 70km and walked into Finca de Serrano (8,500ft), a private reserve which had been recommended as good for Quetzals. We probably heard Quetzals calling, but apart from numbers of Fiery-throated Hummingbirds, things were relatively quiet. Seeing the fire on the throat of the hummingbirds was not easy, though worth the effort when the light fell just right. To enter the preserve requires a guide, and from our experience probably isn't worthwhile (time-wise rather than cost-wise). That might be different though if you visit early in the morning, or come across a decent mixed flock. Oddest sight was a Hairy Woodpecker with a chocolate brown breast-- the local race, well illustrated in Winkler's guide to woodpeckers.
At 66km a road leads off the highway to the West, with a green wooden locked gate. The key for this can be obtained at a store at 63km. This had been highly recommended to us, but by the time we arrived there it was past noon and the heavens opened. It did look excellent habitat though. Returning the key, we were just about to hit the road when a large fairly long-tailed bird flew across the adjacent cow-field and alighted in a tree. First thought was a Jay of some type, but in fact it was a female Quetzal. After about 5 minutes of her showing herself off, the male appeared, flying only 6 feet above our heads, then perching on a barbed-wire fence. The fact that it was still raining somehow seemed to add to the moment.
The drive back through San Jose to Carara on the Pacific coast was hindered by getting completely lost in rush-hour San Jose. Foolishly we were relying on a hand-drawn map to guide us through and mixed up our Calles and Avenues. Get hold of a street map beforehand, and navigation isn't too bad.
With these delays we didn't arrive at Carara till 7pm.
Villa Lapas -- a comfortable resort hotel alongside R. Tarcolito, approx. 2km from the HQ of Carara NP, but surrounded by good habitat.
Day Four & Five Carara
There are two trails in the park. One a gated track running parallel to the R. Tarcoles, and one loop trail from the HQ buildings. The gated track was excellent, with an overwhelming number of species, including perched Scarlet Macaws, three species of trogon, Am. Pygmy Kingfisher, woodpeckers & superb views of Chestnut-backed Antbirds almost walking over our feet. Also Howler & Capucin monkeys, including babies of each & one Coati. Lots of large lizards including Basilisks (dinosaur-like creatures with a large fin down their spine). Each morning we only managed to walk in about 1.5 km due to the abundance of things to see. Officially the trail opens at 8am, but the warden did not seem to mind entering this trail earlier and paying at the HQ on return.
The loop trail at the HQ building was much harder birding--very dark dense forest. Only bird we saw well was Crested Guan.
Beyond the village of Tarcoles, on a dirt road towards the mouth of the R. Tarcoles there is a series of pools and mangroves. Here we saw Mangrove H'bird and a crocodile.
At the mouth of the river is Tarcol Lodge (run by the same people as Rancho Naturalista), catering particularly to birders. Not as comfortable as Villa Lapas, but an American bird guide Tony is available to guide guests. I suspect he had us marked down as birdwatching-losers as he quizzed us on all the species we hadn't seen. The lodge verandah provides a good place to see shorebirds & Yellow-headed Caracara as the sun goes down.
Behind Villa Lapas a steep road goes up towards a waterfall. An early morning walk on our last day was productive with great views of a White Hawk eating a snake or lizard. Also a group of Fiery-billed Aracaris, the most stunning of all the Toucans we saw. The previous afternoon we had done the same walk, seeing fewer birds, but a large Boa Constrictor -- which we saw by following the agitated scolding of Rufous-naped Wrens.
Birding from the deck of Villa Lapas with beer in hand was an excellent way of spending the afternoon.
Day Six Carara -- Monteverde
Journey to Monteverde took about 3.5 hours, most of that on the last 40km of rocky road up to Monteverde. There is no need for 4WD, though increased clearance would have speeded the journey considerably. Long stretches we negotiated at walking pace to avoid ripping off vital parts of the underbody.
Hotel Fonda Vela -- the closest hotel to the entrance to the reserve and surrounded by woods and pastures. Definitely recommended as a place to stay. The only downside is that it is some walk at night to find somewhere to eat other than the hotel. The draw-back to eating in the hotel is musical "entertainment" by a truly scary cello player.
Arriving at the hotel, we could hear Three-wattled Bellbirds calling, an odd "BONK", sounding like an ultra-cheap car horn.
Had we known the weather that was to come, we would have immediately tried the Baha Tigre trail about 1/2 mile downhill from the hotel. This was strongly recommended to us from several sources-- different species to the cloud forest preserve & easier to see. However, looking forward to 2 full days birding around Monteverde we opted for a drink and early dinner.
Days Seven--Nine Monteverde
At first light we started walking up the dirt road from the hotel to the reserve (about 1 mile). A female Quetzal was feeding at the stables next to the hotel, and we saw another closer to the reserve. During our time in Monteverde, we saw females 4 times in this area, and one of our group saw one male. During the breeding season they are found higher up in the reserve itself--but from our experience it would be hard to come to Monteverde at this time of year and miss seeing Quetzal. The birding was excellent along this road-- highlights included one Azure-hooded Jay, a Chiriqui Quail-Dove walking across in front of us, a group of 6 Black Guan at eye-level to us and a Blue-crowned Motmot.
The first morning we were booked on a general Natural History guided walk. A keen birder who regularly visits Monteverde advised us to blow that off as we'd see more birds on our own. That may be true, but the walk was excellent, I gained a much better insight into the habitat than I would have got otherwise. Though it was not billed as a Bird Walk, and the other 4 people were not into birds, the guide Gary Diller was very sharp on bird calls and we saw Eye-ringed Flatbill, White-throated Spadebill & Plain Antvireo. Also he was able to whistle a Zeledonia into the open. If you were looking to hire a bird guide privately, he would be an excellent choice.
The visitor centre to the reserve serves excellent Gallo Pinto (beans and rice) which is an ideal late breakfast/early lunch.
Also at the entrance to the reserve, the Hummingbird Gallery has 10 feeders hanging up with 6 species of hummingbirds in attendance, including the endemic Copper-headed Emerald and the enormous Violet Sabrewing. With a decent camera, some great photos would have been possible.
By this stage it was starting to rain -- I opted to hike up one of the other reserve trails hoping the shower was short-lived, while the others returned to the hotel. However the rain just got more solid & I saw virtually no birds. Only bird of interest I saw was a small black finch feeding on the ground amongst bamboo at the Hummingbird Gallery. At the time I put it down as a Blue-black Grassquit without ever trying to excavate my binos from the depths of my waterproofs. In retrospect the habitat was wrong, though B-b Grassquits were around a km back along the road in more open pasture, so this bird may have been a Blue Seedeater. (Anyone have any insights into what may be seen around the Hummingbird Gallery?)
In a brief respite from the rain, back at the hotel we finally had good views of a male Three-wattled Bellbird, calling from a bare branch. It's three worm-like black wattles clearly in view dangling from its bill. 3 or 4 other birds could be heard in the same vicinity.
Torrential rain then continued for the next 30 hours, making any birding the next day impossible. Only new bird for the trip was a very wet Mountain Elaenia seen from our room. (We subsequently found that the storm was part of Hurricane Cesar-of which more later.)
On our final morning in Monteverde, the weather was a bit clearer and since we had another pre-paid entry to the preserve we returned there for 3-4 hours. Progress was hampered by some large downed trees blocking the trail. We came across one decent mixed flock and saw one Orange-bellied Trogon. Highlight was seeing a Sloth hanging by two feet from a branch, looking just like a clump of mouldering vegetation. It was raining again at this point and the water was streaming off the Sloth.
This meant leaving Monteverde later than we had planned (12.30) and the drive to Carara took much longer than we expected (almost 7 hours). Birding was very good along the dirt road back to the highway. We had several short stops, seeing several species not found anywhere else on our itinerary-- Stripe-headed Sparrow, Lesser Ground-Cuckoo, Spotted-bellied Bobwhite and Turquoise-browed Motmot. Also our first Keel-billed Toucans seen as we were admiring a Motmot perched on a wire above the road. The 15km of road closest to the Trans-Am Highway is definitely worth regular stops, though we were getting short of time.
Once on the highway we thought the worst of the journey was over. However, large sections south of Alajuela through the mountains are in an awful state of repair, and with large numbers of lorries, long sections were driven at little more than walking pace. The smaller roads from Alajuela right to Puerto Viejo were much better, though each time I relaxed my driving concentration I seemed to round a corner to find an axle-breaking pot-hole.
With hindsight, we should have set off much earlier from Monteverde and broken the journey more, but we were loathe to leave Monteverde having had so little opportunity to bird the cloud forest.
Days 10-12 Selva Verde & La Selva (Puerto Viejo)
Selva Verde Lodge -- situated alongside the Rio Sarapiqui about 5km upstream of Puerto Viejo. The lodge consists of groups of rooms in wooden cabins raised on stilts, linked by walkways and surrounded by luxuriant vegetation. Buffet meals were included in the price-- without a doubt the best meals on the trip. Also the birds about the hotel were the best of all the places we stayed. Over the 3 days spent there, each walk around the paths seemed to provide a new bird.
The biological station at La Selva (about 5 km from Selva Lodge) has recently changed it's policy on visits. As before, you must go with one of their guides, but they no longer offer full-day visits with lunch included. Thus we opted for two morning visits, which I think worked out better than one full day. These visits must be reserved ahead of time. The birding expertise of the guides is supposedly variable -- we had been told that "Paco" was one of the best, and put in a request when we made reservations. We were told that it worked on a rota system so it was up to chance, but in fact we had Paco both days. He was a superb guide, great at finding birds, lots of information about plants & animals. (Also judged by some members of our group to be the most handsome man in Costa Rica). Highlights of our two trips are hard to summarise concisely. For birds it was probably White-necked Puffbird, White-fronted Nunbird, 2 species of Motmot, a pair of Jacamar and very close views of a perched Slaty-backed Forest Falcon. The mammals proved even more exciting than the birds. We were lead just off the trail to a banana leaf partially folded along the stalk. Looking up from below the leaf, 3 or 4 tiny Honduran White Bats were tucked into the tent they had constructed. Close to the HQ we saw a Three-toed Sloth actually moving and looking around. Each movement looked painful, like a Tai Chi master at work. Also several Agoutis -- large rodents which look more like small pigs. Trips leave at 8am, but there is very good birding along the entrance road.
The highlight of the birding around the hotel was 3 Sunbitterns on the river-- a bird I've always been desparate to see, but hadn't dared hope for on this trip. At one point 3 birds were working the rocks 10 yards away, then one flew directly away, flashing its wing pattern in perfect sunlight. A Grey-necked Wood-Rail with chick regularly walked the paths, hummers included Green-breasted Mango and Long-tailed Hermit. From our balcony we saw 3 species of Toucan, parrots, parakeets perched in trees close by, as well as King Vulture circling high overhead.
The quality of the birding close to the hotel and a desire to relax a bit more meant that we decided not to go to the area known as "Virgen del Socorro" about 45 mins drive away. Details of this site are given in Taylor & it had been strongly recommended to us as a place to bird.
One morning we hired a boat in Puerto Viejo (50 USD for 2 hours). Not great for birds, but we had excellent views of a Fasciated Tiger-Heron, also Amazon Kingfisher, a Sloth with baby, crocodiles and many large Basilisks and Iguanas.
Day 13 Braulio Carillo
The National Park at Braulio Carillo is approximately 45 minutes drive from Selva Verde Lodge. Recently there have been numbers of reports of robberies here -- explained as being due to the fast road connection to San Jose. The advice we received was to park at the visitor centre & walk the two trails from there, but not to park elsewhere. In fact these trails proved the hardest birding of the trip. After 100 yards of good trail surface the path alternated between slippery rocks & mud knee-deep. There were no clearings in the forest & the few birds seen were usually silhouetted against the sky. The best approach seemed to be to sit at the picnic table at the car park & wait for flocks to appear in view. Birds seen here but not elsewhere were Black-and-Yellow, Blue-and-Gold, Emerald & Spangled Tanager, and Russet Ant-Shrike.
Two people stayed to bird the trails further, while two of us went to the Aerial Tramway -- an attraction only recently opened to the public. On primary forest adjacent to the National Park a cable car has been built through the forest, approximately a mile in each direction. The outward direction just above the forest floor, returning through the canopy. Originally used just for scientific study, it has been open to the public for less than a year (I think). Each car has room for 5 people and a guide, and travels at about walking pace but with stops each time a new car is filled. The ride itself is not really good for birds, though obviously you may strike it lucky. We were very lucky with other fauna -- 3 different vipers, a large white bat hanging below a fern (unsure of actual species, the guide called it a Ghost Bat, and said it was the first one he'd seen there) and one of the high points of the whole trip -- a Collared(?) Anteater climbing a tree only 10 feet away from the car. Pure luck to be in the right place at the right time. Even without the animals, the opportunity to see orchids flowering in the forest canopy was unmissable.
Other than the tramway ride there is a guided walk but this suffered in comparison to the other walks we had been on in Monteverde and La Selva. It was obviously aimed at people on tours out of San Jose experiencing forest for the first time. The organisation was rather shambolic with groups randomly being assigned to car on the tramway-- however that may improve with time. We were there at 10am and I suspect things are very different in the early morning. If I were visiting this area again, I would probably give up on the National Park trails, bird the road into the aerial tramway very early and take the first tram ride. My gut feeling is that you could see lots of the Braulio Carillo speciality birds along this road with no worries about security and much easier than in the park itself. I think the tramway opens at 6am but I'm not sure. Around the tramway terminus are several hummingbird feeders attracting amongst others Green Hermit & Red-footed Plumeleteer. We also saw what we think was an immature male Slaty-tailed Trogon, though we must have been brain-dead at the time since our memory didn't quite match up with the field guide description, though the call does match. According to one of the guides, Yellow-eared Toucanet are sometimes seen from the tram & a male Snowcap had been around.
Finally the drive from Braulio to San Jose took about 45 minutes, and since it was the day of one of Costa Rica's major religious holidays we drove through the city with no problems. Within sight of our hotel, we suffered a puncture. Out of all the places it could happen this was probably the best, particularly since the jack wouldn't work properly and we had to ring the rental car company. Full marks for "Prega" rental cars we came to our rescue within 10 minutes.
Once back in San Jose, we found how lucky we had been in hitting Hurricane Cesar in Monteverde. This was Costa Rica's worst storm, with numbers of fatalities. Bridges to Trogon Lodge were washed out, just south of the Antenna Road the Trans-Am highway was washed out and may not be restored for months. In addition Carara was cut off for several days.
COSTA RICA July-August, 1996 SPECIES LIST
This list does not follow the order of Stiles & Skutch exactly,
but was taken from a checklist available on-line at
which also contains latin names.
Species listed without location were seen in numbers at many places. Species listed without number were either common N. American species for which I did not record numbers, or refer to species seen by other members of our group, but not by me.
A few species marked (??) were birds which I was fairly sure, but not 100% certain of their ID.
Species recorded as seen at Selva were seen either at Selva Verde Lodge, La Selva biological station or on the river.
Great Tinamou Carara [H]
Highland Tinamou Tapanti (1)
Little Tinamou Carara [H]
Brown Pelican Carara
Neotropic Cormorant Carara
Anhinga Selva (1)
Fasciated Tiger-Heron Selva (1)
Great Blue Heron Carara
Great Egret Carara
Little Blue Heron Carara
Tricolored Heron Carara
Reddish Egret Carara
Cattle Egret Carara
Green Heron Carara
White Ibis Carara
Roseate Spoonbill Carara
Wood Stork Carara
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Carara
Muscovy Duck Selva (1)
King Vulture Selva (3+)
American Swallow-tailed Kite Monteverde (2)
White-tailed Kite San Jose (1)
Plumbeous Kite Selva (?? 1)
Semiplumbeous Hawk Selva (3)
White Hawk Carara (1)
Mangrove Black-Hawk Carara (2)
Short-tailed Hawk Selva (?? 1)
Zone-tailed Hawk Carara (1)
Red-tailed Hawk Cerro (1)
Crested Caracara Selva (3)
Yellow-headed Caracara Selva (1--3)
Laughing Falcon Carara (H)
Barred Forest-Falcon Carara (2)
Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon Selva (1)
Collared Forest-Falcon Carara (H)
Bat Falcon Selva (1)
Gray-headed Chachalaca Selva (6)
Black Guan Cerro (2), Monteverde (6)
Crested Guan Carara (1), Selva (2)
Black-breasted Wood-Quail Monteverde [H]
Crested Bobwhite Road to Monteverde (3)
Gray-necked Wood-Rail Selva (2)
Sunbittern Selva (3)
Wilson's Plover Carara
Semipalmated Plover Carara
Northern Jacana Selva (2)
Greater Yellowlegs Carara
Spotted Sandpiper Carara
Semipalmated Sandpiper Carara (?)
Western Sandpiper Carara
Least Sandpiper Carara
Rock Dove San Jose
Pale-vented Pigeon Carara (1)
Scaled Pigeon Selva
Red-billed Pigeon Selva (3)
Band-tailed Pigeon Cerro (6), Monteverde (#s)
Ruddy Pigeon Tapanti (2), Cerro (2)
Short-billed Pigeon Carara (?), Selva (1)
Blue Ground-Dove Carara (2+H)
Gray-chested Dove Carara (2)
Chiriqui Quail-Dove Monteverde (1)
Ruddy Quail-Dove Carara (1), Selva (2)
Crimson-fronted Parakeet Tapanti (12)
Olive-throated Parakeet Selva (? 2)
Orange-fronted Parakeet Road to Monteverde (12+)
Great Green Macaw Selva (17)
Scarlet Macaw Carara (#s)
Orange-chinned Parakeet Selva (#s)
Brown-hooded Parrot Monteverde (6)
White-crowned Parrot Carara (2)
White-fronted Parrot Selva (1+)
Red-lored Parrot Selva (2+)
Mealy Parrot Carara (2), Selva (#s)
Yellow-naped Parrot Carara (6+)
Lesser Ground-Cuckoo Road to Monteverde (2)
Pacific Screech-Owl Carara (H)
Lesser Nighthawk Carara (#s)
Pauraque Carara (2)
White-collared Swift Carara (6), Monteverde (#s)
Chaetura Swift sp Carara
Gray-rumped Swift Selva (6)
Green Hermit Tapanti (1), Braulio (1)
Long-tailed Hermit Selva (1)
Little Hermit Carara(1)
Violet Sabrewing Monteverde (6)
White-necked Jacobin Carara (5)
Green Violet-ear Monteverde (1)
Green-breasted Mango Selva (2)
Violet-headed Hummingbird Selva (#s)
Black-crested Coquette Selva (1)
Violet-crowned Woodnymph Selva (2)
Fiery-throated Hummingbird Cerro (20)
Blue-throated Goldentail Carara (2)
Blue-chested Hummingbird Selva (1)
Mangrove Hummingbird Carara (1)
Steely-vented Hummingbird Carara (1)
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird Carara (#s), Selva (#s)
Cinnamon Hummingbird Road to Monteverde (1)
Stripe-tailed Hummingbird Monteverde (4)
Black-bellied Hummingbird Tapanti (3)
Coppery-headed Emerald Monteverde (4+)
Snowcap Selva (1)
Bronze-tailed(Red-footed)Plumeleteer Braulio (1)
White-bellied Mountain-gem Tapanti (2)
Purple-throated Mountain-gem Tapanti (2), Monteverde
White-throated(Grey-tailed) M-gem Cerro (2)
Green-crowned Brilliant Tapanti (1), Monteverde (2+)
Magnificent Hummingbird Cerro (6+)
Purple-crowned Fairy Tapanti (2), Carara (1)
Long-billed Starthroat Selva (1)
Volcano Hummingbird Cerro (10)
Black-headed Trogon Carara (2)
Baird's Trogon Carara (2)
Violaceous Trogon Carara (3), Selva (3)
Orange-bellied Trogon Monteverde (1)
Slaty-tailed Trogon Braulio (? 1)
Resplendent Quetzal Cerro (2), Monteverde (4)
Blue-crowned Motmot Monteverde (1+)
Rufous Motmot Carara (1)
Broad-billed Motmot Carara (2)
Turquoise-browed Motmot Road to Monteverde (2)
Ringed Kingfisher Carara (2)
Amazon Kingfisher Selva (3)
Green Kingfisher Carara (2+), Selva (2)
American Pygmy Kingfisher Carara (1)
White-necked Puffbird Selva (1)
White-fronted Nunbird Selva (1)
Rufous-tailed Jacamar Selva (2)
Red-headed Barbet Tapanti (2), Monteverde (1)
Prong-billed Barbet Monteverde (4)
Emerald Toucanet Cerro (2), Monteverde (3)
Collared Aracari Selva (#s)
Fiery-billed Aracari Carara (4)
Keel-billed Toucan Road to Monteverde (2), Selva (#s)
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan Carara, Selva(#s)
Acorn Woodpecker Cerro (2)
Golden-naped Woodpecker Carara (1)
Black-cheeked Woodpecker Selva (2), Braulio (2)
Red-crowned Woodpecker Carara (1+?)
Hoffmann's Woodpecker Carara (?), Monteverde(1)
Hairy Woodpecker Cerro (2)
Smoky-brown Woodpecker Selva (1)
Lineated Woodpecker Carara (1)
Pale-billed Woodpecker Carara (1), Selva (1)
Red-faced Spinetail Tapanti (1), Monteverde (3)
Spotted Barbtail Monteverde (4)
Ruddy Treerunner Tapanti (3), Cerro (8)
Buffy Tuftedcheek Cerro (1)
Lineated Foliage-gleaner Monteverde (1)
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Selva
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Monteverde (1)
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper Carara (1), Monteverde (2)
Buff-throated Woodcreeper Carara (1), Monteverde (2)
Spotted Woodcreeper Monteverde (2)
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Carara (2), Selva (1)
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper Cerro (8)
Barred Antshrike Carara (2)
Black-hooded Antshrike Carara (3)
Russet Antshrike Braulio (1)
Plain Antvireo Monteverde (1)
Dusky Antbird Carara (2)
Chestnut-backed Antbird Carara (3), Selva (1)
Black-faced Antthrush Selva (1)
Black-headed Antthrush Tapanti (H)
Silvery-fronted Tapaculo Tapanti (1), Monteverde (H)
Paltry Tyrannulet Selva (3)
Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet Carara (2)
Scrub Flycatcher Selva (1)
Yellow-bellied Elaenia Carara (2), Selva (3)
Mountain Elaenia Monteverde (4)
Torrent Tyrannulet Cerro (1)
Olive-striped Flycatcher Tapanti (1)
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Carara (1), Selva (4)
Northern Bentbill Carara (1)
Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher Carara (1)
Common Tody-Flycatcher Carara (8), Selva (6)
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher Selva (1)
Eye-ringed Flatbill Monteverde (3)
Yellow-olive Flycatcher Carara
Yellow-margined Flycatcher Selva
White-throated Spadebill Monteverde (1)
Tufted Flycatcher Tapanti (2), Cerro (8)
Tropical Pewee Selva (2)
Yellowish Flycatcher Tapanti (2), Monteverde (4)
Black-capped Flycatcher Cerro (6)
Black Phoebe Tapanti (4), Cerro (2)
Long-tailed Tyrant Selva (5)
Bright-rumped Attila Tapanti (1), Selva (2)
Speckled Mourner Selva
Rufous Mourner Selva (2)
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Carara (2)
Great Kiskadee Carara (#s), Selva (#s)
Boat-billed Flycatcher Selva (2)
Social Flycatcher Carara (#s), Selva (#s)
Gray-capped Flycatcher Carara (1), Selva (#s)
White-ringed Flycatcher Selva (2)
Golden-bellied Flycatcher Monteverde (4)
Streaked Flycatcher Carara (#s)
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher Monteverde (?? 1)
Cinnamon Becard Selva (2)
White-winged Becard Carara (1), Selva (1)
Rose-throated Becard Carara (4)
Masked Tityra Carara (2), Monteverde (1)
Black-crowned Tityra Selva (2)
Rufous Piha Tapanti (2)
Purple-throated Fruitcrow Selva
Three-wattled Bellbird Monteverde (6)
Thrushlike Manakin Selva
White-collared Manakin Selva (4)
White-ruffed Manakin Monteverde (2)
Long-tailed Manakin Carara (1)
Gray-breasted Martin Carara
Mangrove Swallow Selva (#s)
Southern Rough-winged Swallow Carara, Selva (10+)
Brown Jay Carara (4)
Azure-hooded Jay Monteverde (1)
Band-backed Wren Selva (3)
Rufous-naped Wren Carara (#s)
Black-throated Wren Selva (1)
Bay Wren Selva (6)
Riverside Wren Carara (2)
Stripe-breasted Wren Selva (1)
Rufous-breasted Wren Carara (2)
Rufous-and-white Wren Carara (2)
Plain Wren Monteverde (1)
Canebrake Wren Selva (2)
House Wren Carara (2), Monteverde (#s)
Ochraceous Wren Tapanti (2), Cerro (4), Monteverde (#s)
Timberline Wren Cerro (6)
White-breasted Wood-Wren Monteverde (2)
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Tapanti (2), Monteverde (6)
American Dipper Tapanti (1), Cerro (1)
Tropical Gnatcatcher Selva
Black-faced Solitaire Monteverde (4)
Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush Cerro (15)
Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush Tapanti (3), Monteverde (2)
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush Cerro (6)
Black-headed Nightingale-Thrush Braulio
Sooty Robin Cerro (6)
Mountain Robin Tapanti (1), Cerro (2), Monteverde
Pale-vented Robin Braulio (1)
White-throated Robin Monteverde (1+)
Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher Tapanti (6), Cerro (6)
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher Cerro (4)
Yellow-winged Vireo Cerro (5)
Yellow-green Vireo Carara (3+)
Lesser Greenlet Carara (2), Selva (1)
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Monteverde (1)
Flame-throated Warbler Cerro (10)
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat Selva [H]
Slate-throated Redstart Tapanti (2), Monteverde (2)
Collared Redstart Tapanti (1), Cerro (10), Monteverde (1)
Rufous-capped Warbler Carara (6)
Black-cheeked Warbler Cerro (9)
Three-striped Warbler Tapanti (2), Monteverde (10)
Buff-rumped Warbler Selva (8)
Wrenthrush Cerro (2H), Monteverde (1)
Bananaquit Tapanti (2), Monteverde (1), Selva
Emerald Tanager Braulio (8)
Silver-throated Tanager Tapanti (2), Monteverde (2)
Speckled Tanager Braulio (1)
Bay-headed Tanager Tapanti (?? 4), Braulio (4+)
Golden-masked Tanager Carara (2)
Spangle-cheeked Tanager Tapanti (#s), Monteverde (#s)
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis Tapanti (1), Monteverde (1), Selva(2)
Blue Dacnis Selva (2)
Green Honeycreeper Selva (1), Braulio (1)
Shining Honeycreeper Selva (4)
Red-legged Honeycreeper Carara (1), Monteverde (1)
Golden-browed Chlorophonia Monteverde (4)
Yellow-crowned Euphonia Carara (8), La Selva (6)
Yellow-throated Euphonia Carara (6)
Blue-hooded Euphonia Tapanti (1+)
Olive-backed Euphonia Selva (4)
White-vented Euphonia Selva
Tawny-capped Euphonia Tapanti (12)
Blue-gray Tanager Carara (#s), Selva (#s)
Palm Tanager Carara (1+)
Blue-and-gold Tanager Braulio
Olive Tanager Monteverde (1), Selva (1)
Tawny-crested Tanager Tapanti (1), Braulio (1-2)
White-lined Tanager Selva (2)
Red-throated Ant-Tanager Selva (4)
Hepatic Tanager Monteverde (2)
Flame-colored Tanager Cerro (1)
Crimson-collared Tanager Tapanti (1), Selva (#s)
Scarlet-rumped Tanager Tapanti (1), Carara (1), Selva (#s)
Dusky-faced Tanager Selva (4)
Common Bush-Tanager Tapanti (#s), Monteverde (#s)
Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager Cerro (#s)
Black-and-yellow Tanager Braulio (5)
Buff-throated Saltator Carara (6), Selva (#s)
Black-headed Saltator Tapanti (6)
Black-faced Grosbeak Selva (6)
Blue-black Grosbeak Carara (1)
Blue Grosbeak Road to Monteverde (1)
Yellow-thighed Finch Cerro (6), Monteverde (4)
Large-footed Finch Cerro (4)
Yellow-throated Brush-Finch Tapanti, Monteverde(4)
Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch Monteverde (2)
Orange-billed Sparrow Carara (3), Selva (4)
Black-striped Sparrow Selva
White-eared Ground-Sparrow Monteverde (2)
Blue-black Grassquit Carara (5), Monteverde, Selva (#s)
Variable Seedeater Carara (2), Selva
Thick-billed Seed-Finch Cerro
Yellow-faced Grassquit Tapanti (3) Cerro (2)
Slaty Flowerpiercer Cerro (2)
Stripe-headed Sparrow Road to Monteverde (8)
Rufous-collared Sparrow Cerro (#s), San Jose
Volcano Junco Cerro (6)
Black-cowled Oriole Selva (6)
Scarlet-rumped Cacique Selva (5)
Montezuma Oropendola Selva (#s)