Book about Where to Watch Birds in Costa Rica and How to See Them

“How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica” is a combination site guide/birding companion meant for birders of all skills.

Where to watch birds in Costa Rica? Whether birding on your own in Costa Rica or taking a birding tour, this is one of the first questions that comes to mind and is one that I hope to have answered in “How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica” (To order this expanded site guide, please go to the bottom of this post. To learn more about this birding companion for Costa Rica, read on!).

This 700 plus page ebook was written to provide answers to some of the more pertinent questions about birding in Costa Rica such as the best sites for seeing such fantastic Costa Rica birds as Resplendent Quetzals (!), Three-wattled Bellbirds (!), and macaws (oh yes!).


It’s easier to see Great Green Macaws and Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica than most other places.

Most birders also want to know about the best sites for regional endemics, antbirds, antpittas, and other reclusive , rainforest species.Zeledon's Antbird

The svelte Zeledon’s Antbird for example…

Some might also like to know about their chances of seeing Harpy Eagle, Gray-headed Piprites, and Great Tinamou (slim for the first two, very good for the third).

However, I also wrote it to provide more information than just a site guide because the best bird finding information doesn’t just say where to go. It also talks about how to look for and find unfamiliar birds.

I know that I would have liked such information before my first trip to Costa Rica. That trip in 1992 was a real eye-opener because I assumed the birding would be like looking for warblers and owls in the woods of western New York. I had no idea how naturally uncommon many of the birds were, how different their behavior would be, nor how difficult it was to see them. I had no idea where the best spots were and wondered why I wasn’t seeing any antpittas and other birds I had no experience with.

Over several years of birding in Costa Rica and elsewhere in the Neotropics, I eventually learned answers to these and other questions and am happy to share that information at this blog and in this book. Based on my own experience, I figured such information could be useful to any visiting birder because even if you know where to look, and know your chances at seeing 900 plus Costa Rica birds, it can still be a challenge to find and identify them.

Unlike temperate zone birding, most bird species in tropical rainforest are naturally rare. They occur in low density populations, require certain microhabitats, and can be susceptible to seemingly small changes in their environment. These and other aspects of tropical birding mean that your chances of finding more species improve if you know how to look for various tropical birds in addition to knowing where to look.

In essence, “How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica” is an ebook that is a combination site guide and birding companion with more than 700 pages of insider information. It includes:

Tips for finding birds in Costa Rica

Birds like tinamous, quail-doves, cotingas, manakins, and many other neotropical species.

Learn how to find and where to look for tinamous.


How can you see a Buff-fronted Quail-Dove?

Information about the best places in the country for rare species like Bare-necked Umbrellabird and hawk-eagles.

Ornate Hawk Eagle

Which places are best for seeing Ornate Hawk-Eagle?

Learn about sites for the endangered and endemic Mangrove Hummingbird and how not to confuse it with the Scaly-breasted Hummingbird.


There are checklists of common species, rare species easier to find outside of Costa Rica, and a list of bird species easier to find within Costa Rica.

Insider tips for identification

Identification tips and rubrics for birds like woodcreepers, raptors, hummingbirds, flycatchers, and other challenging groups.

A near comprehensive site guide for birding in Costa Rica

Most parts of the country are covered including descriptions of “birdy” hotels in the Central Valley, classic sites, new sites, ideas for pelagic trips and more.

Suggestions for itineraries

Several suggested itineraries are included that range from day trips to birding trips of three weeks or more.

General information for planning the trip and during birding time in Costa Rica

How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica is designed and written to help birders of all skills and interest prepare for any birding trip to Costa Rica. For this reason, it will be of use for:

  • Birders just getting started.
  • Birders looking for rare target species.
  • Bird photographers.
  • Tour guides and agencies planning itineraries.

Taking a tour?

  • This book is meant to get you ready for a more satisfying birding experience in Costa Rica by:
    • Providing information about various habitats and sites.
    • Providing information for better bird identification (because even with the best guide, you will still identify more if you know more about the birds waiting to be seen).
    • Giving you a good idea of what to expect from an insider perspective.

Birding on your own?

  • This book will help you pick out the best sites for a personalized trip by:
    • Providing sample itineraries.
    • Showing where to go and what to expect.
    • Explaining how to look for unfamiliar birds like tinamous, puffbird and toucans, along with tips for identifying them.

No matter how you bird Costa Rica, the information in this book is designed to help the reader see and identify more species. Much of the information in this 700 plus page book can also be applied to birding in other Neotropical countries.

For the most complete information about birding in Costa Rica in one book, get How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica today for $19.99.

There are a couple of ways to support this blog and buy this e-book:

  1. Please click the “Buy Now” button below or
  2. Email me (Pat O’Donnell) at and I will send an invoice.

Important!- After purchasing the book, you will receive an email from TransferBigFiles or WeTransfer, usually within 24 hours. This email will have the link for downloading the book. It expires five days after the book is sent.

NOTICE FOR GMAIL EMAIL USERS: For email addresses that use gmail, it seems that the message with download link for the book is often blocked or sent to a spam or other non-Inbox folder gmail address. To avoid this, please use a non-gmail email to receive the download or email me directly at

I usually send the book right away, but if I am away birding, it might take a few days. This book is delivered in PDF format, and is also available in Kindle format. Many thanks and wishing you the best for your birding trip to Costa Rica!

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