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It’s the end of the year, a solstice just happened and a major holiday season is at its festive height. Celebrate with family, toast with friends, but most of all, go birding. Treat yourself to birds this holiday season and what better place to do so than the tropical birding paradise known as Costa Rica. For folks in North America, it’s closer than you think and there are literally hundreds of birds to see. Some ideas to bird your way from 2018 into 2019:

Try a short birding holiday– Costa Rica is an easy choice for a birding trip of a week or even just a few days of birding. Plan it right and three to four days of birding trips out of San Jose can yield 300 species including such birds as Resplendent Quetzal, various tanagers, the endemic Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrow, motmots, and so much more. Stay a week or more and there are more options and more birds.

Take an excellent tour run operated by local experts– This is the best way to see hundreds of bird species including key birds like Sungrebe, Great Green Macaw, puffbirds, trogons, owls, and the list goes on. Although the tours take place after the holidays, you can always give yourself a birding gift today by signing up for one of the exciting Lifer Tours scheduled for January, February, or March. Contact me to learn about these and other birding tours operated by local experts.

Photograph quetzals and other highland species– A lot of people come to Costa Rica for wildlife photography and with good reason. It’s easy to reach sites with quetzals and many other mountain species including photogenic birds like Yellow-thighed Finch, silky-flycatchers, and lots more. More than one key site for highland birds and lots of hummingbirds are a drive of two to three hours at most from the airport.

Focus on endemics– With more than 900 species on the list, there are literally hundreds of birds to see in Costa Rica. However, of those many birds, the best ones to focus on are the species that you aren’t going to see elsewhere. Head to the mountains for endemics as well as Carara National Park, the Osa Peninsula, and sites around Dominical.

Get excellent birding apparel and support endangered birds in Africa-Last but far from least, buy Wunderbird birding apparel before the end of the year and you can also support vulture conservation in Africa. Wunderbird shirts and hoodies are some of the only quality apparel designed for birding and make excellent gifts. These comfortable, unique shirts enhance the birding experience and since 15% of all proceeds until the end of 2018 will be donated to support saving vultures in east Africa, there’s no better time than now to buy a hoodie, the Kestrel shirt or the long sleeved Peregrine shirt.

I hope to see you in Costa Rica for birding!

 

 

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