The high season for birding in Costa Rica is here. If you are already in country or scheduled to be here soon, these suggestions and tips may help:
Support the Cinchona Cafe Colibri, Freddo Fresas, and other local bird friendly places
I hope you get a chance to visit the Cafe Colibri (aka Mirador Catarata San Fernando), it’s a beautiful birding oasis accompanied by tasty home-cooked cuisine. Black Guan has been showing lately along with both barbets and other birds, even the occasional visit from Buff-fronted Quail-Dove (!). If you do visit, please leave a nice donation in addition to ordering something from the menu and if you are looking for souvenirs, buy them at this spot. The owners have been supporting birds and birding for years, they deserve all the support we can give.
And there are a few good close birds too...
The same goes for other birder friendly locales, one of which is Freddo Fresas. During a recent conversation with the owners, I found that instead of rebuilding a house destroyed by the 2009 earthquake, they decided to reforest that same piece of land to expand and improve the biological corridor in the Poas area. Despite requiring a lot of work to make that happen, the site is free and open to the public, it’s the garden across the street from the restaurant.
Recent updates to the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app
More updates have been made to the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app in the form of more information, more images, and recent taxonomic changes. This digital field guide with more than 900 species is a great way to study for a trip to Costa Rica and can be personalized for your trip by marking target birds, taking notes, and more.
Recent addition to the Costa Rica list, the Choco Screech-Owl is also now on the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app.
Rush hour in the Central Valley
The Central Valley means anywhere from Grecia to San Jose and Cartago. If you can, avoid driving there between 6 and 9 a.m. and then again between 3 and 6 p.m.
While talking about driving, if you can, try to avoid driving at night. It’s not overly bad and depends on where you go but it’s no fun sharing narrow roads with other vehicles, bicycles and so on especially with poor visibility.
Be very careful with unattended vehicles
Just a reminder that goes for anywhere one travels. Don’t leave bags and optics in an unattended vehicle, especially at the Tarcoles Crocodile Bridge and even in national parks. Never ever leave that passport or money in the car and if you do have to leave something in the car, just make sure you keep the vehicle in sight or that someone is there to watch it.
Enjoy the birds!
Most of all, enjoy the birds! There’s lots to see even if you walk the same trail twice and always more to see no matter how much you look. That’s how the birding goes in the tropics and while you will see more with a qualified guide. If you want to have more than enough information about finding and identifying birds in Costa Rica, you can also support this blog by purchasing my 700 page e-book, How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica.