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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)

Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
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
Willet                                 Carara
Spotted Sandpiper                      Carara
Whimbrel                               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)
Inca Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove
Blue Ground-Dove                       Carara (2+H)
White-tipped Dove
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+)

Squirrel Cuckoo
Lesser Ground-Cuckoo                   Road to Monteverde (2)
Groove-billed Ani

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)
Tropical Kingbird
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)
Blue-and-white Swallow
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)
Clay-colored Robin
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)
Great-tailed Grackle
Black-cowled Oriole                    Selva (6)
Scarlet-rumped Cacique                 Selva (5)
Montezuma Oropendola                   Selva (#s)

Paul Hammerton,
Norwich, UK

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