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Birding Costa Rica birding lodges

The Bosque del Rio Tigre Christmas Count

The Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge has become known for being one of the better birding lodges in Costa Rica (and many say it is the best). It has received such accolades from guests who are on birding trips to Costa Rica for a number of reasons, among them such factoids as:

  • Bosque del Rio Tigre is located in one of the wildest, most biologically intense areas of the country- the forests of the Osa Peninsula. The forests of the Osa are thought to be older than other rainforests in southern Costa Rica because higher numbers of plant and animal species occur there compared to other forests on Costa Rica’s southern Pacific Slope. A higher degree of endemism and rainfall in the Osa also supports the idea that this biological wonderland acted as a sanctuary or natural refuge for organisms adapted to wetter habitats when the overall climate of the region was drier. What this means for the visiting birder is days with 100 or more bird species, large mixed flocks, and lots of animals of the non-bird variety.
  • The lowland rain forests of Costa Rica’s “big toe” are the heart of a small endemic bird area that reaches its northern limits at Carara National Park and its southern limits near David in westernmost Panama. Birding in the soul of this endemic bird area at places like Bosque del Rio Tigre means views of one of Costa Rica’s few endemic bird species, the Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, and a better chance than many other places for seeing target birds like the White-crested Coquette, endangered species such as Yellow-billed Cotinga and Mangrove Hummingbird, Baird’s Trogon, Turquoise Cotinga, Black-hooded Antshrike, Golden-naped Woodpecker, Beryl-crowned Hummingbird, and Fiery-billed Aracari.
  • Forests at Bosque del Rio Tigre are connected to that crown jewel of Costa Rican national parks known as Corcovado. Scarlet Macaws, large raptors, Great Currasows, and everything else associated with an intact lowland rainforest ecosystem are possible. Although you can’t expect to see a Harpy Eagle, the Osa is one the only places in Costa Rica where you still have a chance at glimpsing one.
  • The owners (Liz and Abraham Gallo) know where the birds are. They take guests to stake-outs of sexy species like White-tipped Sicklebill, Uniform Crake (who doesn’t want to see a crake in a uniform?), Yellow-billed Cotinga, and White-crested Coquette. The normally invisible Little Tinamou is also frequently seen as they come to the back of the kitchen area.
  • Speaking of the kitchen, the food is truly wonderful and has gotten just as much applause as the birding.

Bosque del Rio Tigre is certainly a top notch area for birding in Costa Rica but the real purpose of this post is to spread the word about their upcoming Christmas Count. A few have been held around the lodge in the past but Liz and Abraham are trying to make this an annual event to help promote conservation in and collect bird data for the Osa. This should come as no surprise as they have been involved with local conservation efforts since they opened and have become working hard at gathering data about and spurring efforts to study and conserve the Yellow-billed Cotinga.

And here is why I am announcing this on my blog: Participants are needed for the count!

It will take place on the 17th of December and counters can spend two nights at Costa Rica’s best birding lodge for discount prices. I’m not sure of the exact price but to find out and also learn more about the count, email the owners of Bosque del Rio Tigre. Family duties make it tough for me to get down to the Osa, but I sure hope to be on one of the 2010 counting teams!

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