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The second month of the year is one of the more popular times for visiting Costa Rica, especially for birders. The combination of dry season and a warm, sunny escape rightfully appeals. For birders from Europe, the deal gets sweetened by Prothonotary Warbler and other wintering birds from the north. It is good time to wear binos in the land of quetzals although it’s not the only time to visit.

Keep in mind that you can see just as many resident species and perhaps more easily at other times of the year. Hotels stays will also be cheaper and there won’t be any trouble finding rooms or experienced guides. But, it’s February now and these are a few things to expect:

More owl vocalizations

Well, I don’t know, maybe not because owls are so notoriously unreliable. But, I do feel like they call more right now, that was certainly the case when Mary and I heard several calling Mottled, Black-and-White, Crested, Spectacled, and a Tropical Screech Owl near Jaco in less than an hour before down! A sweet set of year birds, many more to come in 2019.

Sunny, windy weather

High pressure systems bring windy, sunny conditions to much of Costa Rica and especially in February. It makes for pleasant scenery but takes a bite out of birding. It can also get out of hand in Guanacaste with high wind speeds. If birding up that way, I would look for birds in sheltered spots and around water sources. Speaking of that…

Maybe an interesting migrant or two?

Admittedly of more interest to local birders than folks from up north, now is when we have a better chance of finding a Cedar Waxwing, Northern Parula, or some other rare visitor to Costa Rica. A good way to find rare warblers and other vagrants in Costa Rica during February is to search for them at any water sources in windy Guanacaste. I wish Mary and I were up there now actually waiting by some windswept remnant bit of water. Well, maybe only if something rare shows but I bet something would.

Lots of other typical, great birding

As usual, we can expect this on any visit to Costa Rica. The birding is fantastic, there is always a lot to see and identify with a birding app for Costa Rica. I hope you have a great trip!

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