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biodiversity Birding Costa Rica

My Costa Rica Birding Resolution for 2013

Here comes another new year along with the tradition/obligation to try and improve oneself by thinking about the things you would like to change. However, if you are already totally satisfied with whom you are, you can just resolve to do more of the things you like to do. It seems like both of those resolution strategies make sense so I propose picking out at least one thing that you would like to drop or be better at, followed by choosing one or more things that you would like to do more often.

 Would such a mixing of resolutions cancel each out or would such a Yin-Yang strategy make you feel more balanced as a person? Well, as for myself, instead of conundrumming myself with such questions, I think I will just do a lot more birding. Speaking of birding, here are some resolutions that I may or may not try and fulfill:

  • Do more birding: Ok, so that should be easy enough but I have to find solutions to earning money while not birding (since I have a family to support) and time spent on family duties. Since I can’t clone myself, I hope to bring the family on more trips where I can watch birds.

birding Costa Rica

More time spent birding means seeing more cool looking species like the Streak-chested Antpitta.

  • See an Ochraceous Pewee: I heard a few in 2012 but just could not find the time to head back up to the mountains and actually see this oddly uncommon Contopus. I am going to take care of this O. Pewee business in 2013, though, by going to where I have heard them and hanging out until they show up. It could be hours but I’m sure I will see some other eye-opening diversity at the same time.

birding Costa Rica

Where the O. Pewee dwells.

  • Make a more concerted effort at a Big Year: Enough of this casual Big Year stuff. Just the sound of that makes it seem as if I lounge around some “deck” in loafers while casually cupping an ear in one hand and taking a sip from a Martini in the other. While it would be hilarious to do just that while saying in my best Mister Howell voice, “Lovee, I’ve just picked up Spot-fronted Swift for the year. Just smashing.”, that’s just not how I roll. I’m more along the lines of jumping onto a horse, yelling “Hoka Hey!” and chasing down the vagrant birds that happen to stray within the Costa Rican border.

birding Costa Rica

Seeing beautiful Magnificent Hummingbirds shouldn’t be a problem.

  • See more vagrants: Speaking of vagrant species, according to eBird and the AOCR Bird Alarm Facebook page, some crazy birds have recently been seen in Costa Rica! Clapper Rail at Chomes! Aplomado Falcon in Tarcoles! Rusty Sparrow just ten minutes from my house! I need to go and see them!


  • Bird the Buenos Aires savannahs: To try for such specialties as Ocellated Crake, White-tailed Nightjar, Wedge-tailed Grass Finch, and others of course. All of those have been recently seen there!


  • Record more bird species: I already have a fair-sized library of Costa Rican bird sounds but I plan on augmenting it and making much of that available in a birding related product.


  • Ignore a Masked Duck when I see it: I would have stated that I planned on not looking for Masked Duck but since I already made that resolution 2 months ago, I’ll just have to ignore that nefarious nemesis of a “pato”!


  • Get the highest Big Day total ever: Ok, I said it and we tried it last year but I’m telling you, this year, I have got a much better plan! The weather would still have to cooperate but I’m already getting prepared for it.

And here are a few wishes for the New Year!:

  • See a Harpy Eagle in Costa Rica: I will also settle for a Crested!

 birding Costa Rica

The Ornate Hawk Eagle is much easier to see than a Harpy Eagle in Costa Rica. Speaking from personal experience, a Harpy is kind of like a massive, mutant Ornate Hawk-Eagle on avian steroids.

  • Meet more birdwatchers from Costa Rica and elsewhere: I love meeting birders. If you see a guy with a kind of weird bino harness, say hello, it might be me!


  • Get the chance to bird Hitoy Cerere: I haven’t been there since 2001, it was the best Caribbean lowland birding I have experienced in Costa Rica, it’s the type of place where anything can show up, and another visit is long overdue!


  • Find time to help organize a Costa Rican Birding Festival: If we can start now, maybe we can set up an even better birding festival than last year.

 birding Costa Rica

Collared Trogon was one of the many species seen at the 2012 festival.

 Hope to see you while birding in Costa Rica in 2013!

5 replies on “My Costa Rica Birding Resolution for 2013”

Hi Patrick – I wanted to let you know how very much I have enjoyed your site. My wife and I are coming to bird Costa Rica in late Jan-Feb and I really appreciate all of the great information you provided. Unfortunately we are booked up with lodges/tours so we won’t have a chance to get you to help us this time around. If Costa Rica is half of what it appears we will be back and when we do I very much hope we can arrange to bird with you. I can tell from your writing that you are keenly interested in sharing your love of birds (and your expertise) and I know we would benefit greatly with you as a guide.

Thanks so very much and good luck with your big year in 2013! – Chris

Hey Pat,

I really enjoy your blog. I just finished reading from the first post to the last. I was referred to you by Gerald Duhon, a Texas birding buddy.
How does your availability look for guiding in the latter part of July. I am planning a trip with a Danish friend. I wrote you an email a couple of days ago, but it might not have gotten through.
Keep up the good work and let me know privately if we have a chance of getting together.

@Chris- Thanks and hope you have a good trip. Hopefully, we will run into each other out in the field.

yes, you have an awesome blog! Going to Costa Rica in March 2013 and I really have no idea what to expect. My cousin has been to Cosat Rica many times..gave me a book on birds to see in Costa Rica…but couldn’t come up with a list really. So many birds. But this site has helped tremendously! We will be staying around the Poas volcano, wasn’t go on the tour. But I am now! Any particular birds I should watch out for! What about the Motmot or Azure jay in March? Again, thanks!

@Gail- Too many to really mention watching for but the field guide will give you a good idea. You have a god chance at seeing Blue-crowned Motmot near Poas. Azure-hooded Jay is tough but often seen in the cloud forest reserves in the Monteverde area.

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