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Birding Costa Rica birds to watch for in Costa Rica Costa Rica birding app Introduction preparing for your trip

A Few More Differences Between Tropical Birding in Costa Rica and Temperate Zone Birding Back Home

Birding in the tropical zone is not the same as watching birds in the temperate zone. However, the huge and tantalizing array of interesting birds that will never be seen near a North American or European home comes with a price: a lot of them are just tough to see! Unlike the easy-going spring or early summer birding in the coniferous and broad-leafed forests of the north, you can come on down to Costa Rica, stalk along a trail through rainforest where 300 species have been recorded, and actually see three or four birds over the course of an hour. When that happens, you can’t help but wonder, “Where the hell are the birds?”, especially because you are hearing so many of them.

I’ve blogged about these differences in the past but here are a few more things to keep in mind before heading to Costa Rica for a birding trip:

  • Waterfowl: As in the paucity of ducks and total absence of geese and swans. Unlike the duck-filled marches and lakes of higher latitudes, we have just three species of commonly occurring web-footed quackers. That trio of Anseriformes are the Black-bellied Whistling Duck, the Muscovy Duck, and the Blue-winged Teal. While several other species of northern ducks can and do turn up, they aren’t very common and are the exception. To give an idea of why Costa Rica is not the place to visit for watching waterfowl, us local birders are stoked if such rarities as Green-winged Teal, Northern Pintail, or Northern Shoveler make an appearance. So, don’t worry about looking for ducks when birding Costa Rica (not that many visiting birders do anyways).

    Truly wild Muscovy Ducks shows up here and there when birding Costa Rica.
  • Challenging Mixed Flocks: If you get a joyous Passerine kick when watching chickadee-led flocks of warblers, get ready for larger, more complex, and heart pounding groups of birds that race through the high canopy and dim understory of tropical forests! Dreamy mixed flocks are a typical aspect of birding in tropical habitats but yes, here comes another catch- they don’t come easy! In other words, the understory antwrens, antvireos, flycatchers, and such move through the lower levels of the forest in seriously stealthy mode. They are quiet, take their time, and don’t exactly stand out from the various dull shades of rainforest green. Meanwhile, up there in the 40 meter high canopy, tanagers, woodcreepers, and other species rush through the foliage like a starving, hyperactive horde. It’s common to see only a few birds well, to get looks at pieces of various species as they forage in bromeliads and other vegetated cubby holes, and miss most of the birds in the flock. However, do not despair! Follow those flocks until you can position yourself where they will pass by at eye level or in good light and you might eventually get looks at all of the birds in the flock and find that crazy Sharpbill or rarely seen Gray-headed Piprites.
    Do some stealthy birding and you might see a female Streak-crowned Antvireo.

    Hopefully, your looks at the avian ADHD Tawny-faced Gnatwren will be better than this image.
  • Poor views: See Challenging Mixed Flocks above! Away from mixed flocks, you will run into frustrating moments when birds are hidden by leaves, epiphytes, and other proliferations of vegetative matter. You will hear but not see many a bird. Birds will also be back-lit and thus turned into silhouettes even after you have contorted your neck in ways that resemble novel vogue dancing or yoga positions. Instead of being frustrated, just use that fine Brooklyn Zenish adage of “Forget about it” (in an accent from Far Rockaway or Bensonhurst of course) and re-position yourself on higher ground or another part of the trail to blaze the corneas with properly colored and detailed birds. Once that happens, you can once again exclaim “Forget about it!!”, but this time as a victory cry.

    Rufous-browed Tyrannulet- Forget about it!!
  • Study some vocalizations: If you can learn at least some of the songs and calls for most of Costa Rica’s birds, that would be ideal. However, since learning the songs of 600 plus species a few months before a trip is rather daunting for the majority of flocks (except Felonious Jive because that birding genius already has innate knowledge of all bird calls), you might want to pick out a 100 or so of the most common species and focus on those. That will ready your ears to help detect the uncommon or rare birds if and when they do show up, and will enrich your Costa Rican birding experience. The Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app can help in this and other regards in preparing for your trip.
  • Tough understory things: While the temperate zone has its fair share of understory  birds, believe me when I say that the birds up there are absolute rookies when it comes to staying hidden on or near the forest floor! Tinamous, quail-doves, wood-quails, antpittas, antthrushes, leaftossers, and ground-cuckoos can’t help but laugh with disdain at the  Ovenbird and grouse as they make amateur attempts to avoid being detected. They do, however, give much respect to that master creeper known as the Connecticut Warbler. A post about looking for tinamous will give you some tips on seeing them although your chances will be highest if you hire an experienced local guide.

    The Zeledonia is one of those pro Costa Rican skulkers. This individual was the happy, extremely rare exception!

As you might infer from this post, birding in Costa Rica might not be as easy as watching birds near home BUT it will be very rewarding when you keep seeing new species every day of your trip!

biodiversity Birding Costa Rica caribbean foothills Introduction

Some Highlights from Good, Rainy Birding on the Manuel Brenes Reserve Road

A few days ago, birding friend Susan and I did some morning birding on the road to Manuel Brenes Reserve in the foothills of the Tilaran Mountains. I have yet to make it all the way to the reserve (which is a private reserve for the University of Costa Rica in any case) but the main reason I have never ventured that far is because you can stick to the first 3 or 4 kilometers of the road and have yourself some might fine and fantastic birding. As with any tropical forest site, the birds you come across can vary from one day to the next but spend a few mornings on that road and you are bound to see something good. Crested Eagle has been seen there in the past and such uncommon species as Sharpbill, Tiny Hawk, Purplish-backed Quail Dove, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Rufous-browed Tyrannulet, and Blue and gold Tanager are regular.

The road goes through good foothill forest and although the absence of trails into the forest is a disadvantage, you can still see into the understory in many areas. The road is best done with four wheel drive, or (even better) on foot. The road eventually leads to cultivations of ornamental plants and there aren’t any buildings, stores, or other facilities but that’s why the birding is so good. On Sunday, we had a cloudy, misty, rainy morning in that order but still wonderful birding with the following highlights:

  • Good looks at a male Three-wattled Bellbird: I often hear this crazy cotinga at this site but it usually stays out of view. Thankfully, on Sunday, one male perched right in the open and entertained us with its wacky, loud vocalizations (wacky sounds of a bellbird with a Hepatic Tanager thrown in for kicks) as various tanagers and other mixed flock species moved through the trees.

    That nice male Three-wattled Bellbird.
  • Great mixed flocks: We ran into 3 or 4 mixed flocks, one of which had at least 60 to 70 birds. Bad lighting and a high canopy ensured that we missed getting good looks at most of the species in the flocks but they were still fun to watch and included such goodies as White-throated Shrike Tanager, Blue and gold Tanager, Orange-bellied Trogon, Emerald Tanager, Black and yellow Tanager, and Rufous-browed Tyrannulet.

    Emerald Tanager
  • Black Hawk Eagle: We got pretty nice looks at one molting bird in the pouring rain.

    Although it's quite the mystery shot, this is a Black Hawk Eagle.
  • Crested Guans: Had a few of these and not uncommon while birding in Costa Rica but always good to see.
  • Purplish-backed Quail Dove: A heard only but that’s still nice. Almost always hear this species in this area.
  • Dull-mantled Antbird: A pair heard calling was a nice addition to the morning.
  • Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo: Wait…what?!? Yep, saving the best for last, we heard an RVGC calling four or five times! I have only heard this species call once before in the wild but it makes a pretty diagnostic, slightly rising, dove-like sound. We positioned ourselves to look into the forest and used playback of both the dove-like song and bill clacks but got no response. The bird stopped calling once we used playback though and given the low frequency of its song, I couldn’t tell how far it was. May have been close or could have been a hundred meters into the forest. No antswarms around either, just a calling mega cuckoo. Sounded exactly like Andrew Spencer’s fine recording posted at Xeno Canto:


So, we departed the road in pouring rain around 11 and headed down the highway to find a gas station. In a show of the microclimates common in montane areas, it was bright, dry, and sunny down that way! We then headed back up to the LoveEats cafe for a delicious lunch and watched for soaring raptors and other species visible from the cafe.

No Solitary Eagle or other rarity but we did pick up Gray Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, and saw pretty birds like Green Honeycreeper, Crimson-collared Tanager, and others near the cafe.

After driving back up hill, we once again found the rain and headed on back to the Central Valley.

A link to the eBird checklist from that memorable morning : http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S14975216

biodiversity Birding Costa Rica Costa Rica birding app preparing for your trip

Press Release for the Second Version of the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide App

Birding Field Guides releases Second Version of Birdwatching app for Costa Rica

For Immediate Release: August 20, 2013

The first birding app for Costa Rica is a digital field guide replete with photos, sounds, text, and range maps for more than 500 bird species.

San Jose, Costa Rica – The second version of the Costa Rica Birds-Field Guide app became available in the iTunes Store in July, 2013. This is the second version of the only app and digital field guide completely focused on bird species of Costa Rica.

Since the 1990s, Costa Rica has been an important destination for ecotourists, especially those who enjoy birdwatching. As birding has increased in popularity as a hobby, increasing numbers of birders have made their way to Costa Rica. This small Central American country appeals to birdwatchers and ecotourists on account of its stable, democratic government, and protected areas that host hundreds of bird species, including such exotic stunners as toucans, macaws, parrots, the fantastic Resplendent Quetzal, and over 50 species of hummingbirds.

This second version of the Costa Rica Birds-Field Guide app has been updated with information and images for more than 520 species of birds that occur in Costa Rica and vocalizations for more than 320 species. Other new features include a full checklist of Costa Rican birds that can be edited and emailed, and improved search options. The new “Which Bird is it?” function lets app users take pictures and make recordings of birds that are then automatically sent to the people at Birding Field Guides for identification.

Michael Mullin, head of programming for Birding Field Guides, expects that the new features and additional species will make it easier for tourists and residents of Costa Rica to identify and learn about the many birds that are seen and heard while visiting this biodiverse country.

He said, “The updates in this second version were designed to provide the visitor to Costa Rica with more information about the country’s bird species as well as make it easier to identify and learn about them. We plan to continue updating the app with images, information, and vocalizations of additional species before the end of 2013”.

The app is currently available for version 4.3 or higher iPod Touch and iPhone devices.

About Birding Field Guides

Birding Field Guides was started in 2012 and develops birding and nature-related apps and products for digital devices. For more information, please visit http://birdingfieldguides.com.

To learn more about this product, please contact

Patrick O’Donnell, Media Relations

Casa 30e, Condominio Colonial

Santa Barbara, Costa Rica

Office: (506) 8318-3329



biodiversity Birding Costa Rica Butterflies and moths of Costa Rica Introduction Pacific slope

Nice August Birding (and Butterflies) on the Bijagual Road

Carara National Park is such a fantastic area for birds. Beautiful old growth rainforest harbors healthy populations of various antbirds, wrens, a fantastic bunch of flycatchers, manakins, trogons, and so on, etc, and lots more. If the park has any drawbacks (other than the fracking hot weather), those would be the opening time of 7 or 8 AM, and no trails that head up into the never birded. hilly areas of the park.

However, despite the dearth of trails that head up into them thar hills, some of that habitat is still accessible on the road that leads to Bijagual. This is the dirt road that goes past the entrance to Villa Lapas, accesses the trailhead to the Bijagual waterfall, and goes by the entrance to the Pura Vida gardens. In addition to those sites, it also passes through habitats ranging from second growth to humid ravines, and the edge of humid rainforest. In other words, it’s a darn birdy byway and that’s why my birding friend Susan and I went there shortly after dawn on Sunday morning. You see, I have had this notion that it might be a good starting point for a Big Day so I have wanted to do some trial runs. Although this isn’t the best time of the year for vocalizations, any morning in such birdy habitat is going to be a good one so we mosied on down the Caldera highway, went over the crocodile bridge, and didn’t stop until we got to the entrance to the Bijagual waterfall.

Looking down at the canopy on a misty morning.

I see this area as having promise for a Big Day because it looks down into the canopy of forest on both sides and offers an equally good view of distant forested hills. The idea is that we can scope the treetops for various canopy birds while also knocking off species as they call from the forest below. Our Sunday results weren’t as promising as I had hoped but I think it will still be worth it to see how it performs during the dry season when more birds are singing in that area. Nevertheless, we still had a great morning of birding while checking out sites further up the road.

Once you get past the Pura Vida gardens, the landscape becomes much more deforested and doesn’t look nearly as humid as the forests in Carara.

Yellow-faced Grassquita were fairly common up there.

Back in the humid areas, we had some nice activity, including such species as Slaty-tailed and Gartered Trogons, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, tityras, woodcreepers, Black-hooded Antshrike, Dusky Antbird, and a good number of other expected species.

Male Slaty-tailed Trogon.
My first fall Olive-sided Flycatcher.
The distinct and beautiful song of the Rufous and white Wren was a common sound on the road.

Our best spot, though, was a tree with small, dull red fruits. It looked ideal for cotingas so we parked ourselves near that avian hotspot and watched birds come and go for an hour and a half. Four or so Black-mandibled Toucans were sort of dominating the tree but it also ended up being a manakin magnet.

Black-mandibled Toucans are a common sight on the Bijagual Road.

As Ochre-bellied Flycatchers zipped back and forth and feasted on fruits in the dim recesses of the tree, we also got looks at a couple of male and female Red-capped Manakins, one or two Long-tailed Manakins, a few Blue-crowned Manakins, and at least one male White-ruffed Manakin. Oddly enough, we didn’t see any Orange-collared Manakins coming to the tree (but did see a few along the road for a sweet five manakin species day).

Can you see the Ochre-bellied Flycatcher?

When we weren’t watching the birds coming to the fruiting tree, we were being simply amazed by the hundreds of insects that were taking advantage of an adjacent flowering tree. This tree was just filled with buzzing bees, various other insects, and at least 15 species of butterflies and moths (probably more).

Uraniid moths were the most common species and dotted the tree with emerald and shining bluish-green on velvet black.

A couple of Uraniid moths fighting over nectar.
A better look at a Uraniid moth.
This was a typical, colorful view in that magical tree.
There were several of these black and red beauties in the tree.
There were a few of these.
Several Heliconid species butterflies were in attendance.
I had never seen this one before! Don't know what it's name is though.
This was just one of the other cool looking bugs in that amazing tree.

I hope to get out this weekend. Don’t know where but just about everywhere is good when birding in Costa Rica!

Birding Costa Rica birds to watch for in Costa Rica caribbean foothills Hummingbirds Introduction

Where Can I See a Snowcap when Birding Costa Rica?

Most birders on their way to Costa Rica have a list of the species they want to see the most. These are the birds that we yearn to see, that we dream about, and that capitalize the “S” in satisfaction. Ok, so maybe that’s a bit too much but anyone who likes to keep a bird list and who has traveled to watch birds knows what I’m talking about. Although the birding purists may solemnly state that every bird is equal, I, um, beg to differ and counter that equating a Resplendent Quetzal or a Bare-necked Umbrellabird with a House Wren or (egads!) a House Sparrow is is simply bonkers. You see, that would kind of be like saying that Elvis Presley was equal to your average, bowling alley karaoke fanatic.

Bare-necked Umbrellabird- one of the Elvis Presleys of the avian world.
The House Wren has got a pleasant voice but it doesn't get Elvis status.

So, if you happen to be wondering what the heck mind blasting birds, the King of Rock and Roll, and karaoke have to do with Snowcaps, not to fret, I’m getting to that. You see, the Snowcap is rather like a pint-sized (maybe pin-sized) rep. for those extravagant birds that consistently make it onto lists of Costa Rica most wanted bird species. They might not come in the weird and wild shape of an umbrellabird or have glowing feathers that change color as the bird moves along with an over-long tail like a quetzal, but they make up for it with three main characteristics:

  1. The snow cap: Just like the name says, a male Snowcap has a snow white cap. But it’s really more than that. The white is so darn gleaming that one often sees this glowing white spot zipping around like some extra-dimensional creaturette rather than the bird itself. In fact, it just might be the closest thing to a real live Tinkerbell (except it’s a bird, can’t do magic, etc.).

    When I auto-ajusted the colors, the computer opted for a super white cap. The bird actually looks just like this in certain lighting.
  2. The purple body: Wait, is it purple? Mauve? Burgunday? Just what the heck is that color! Whatever it is, it’s a rare hue for anything avian and makes the male look like some extraordinary sculpture. How can it be that color? Why is it that color? Whether the female sees something that evades our vision abilities or not, it makes the male Snowcap one heck of a cool bird to watch!
    Note the bronze and white tail with blackish subterminal band.

    This is one hummingbird that can even be identified in blur mode.
  3. It’s a hummingbird: Hummingbirds are cool by default. Some of them look quite a bit like ornate feathered insects, they buzz around like teeny helicopters, and fight with other glittering hummingbirds over flowers patches. With such characteristics, I don’t know how anyone could not like hummingbirds.
A classic male Snowcap.

Now that should give a fair idea of why the foothill dynamo known as the Snowcap is a must for many people on birding trips to Costa Rica. Unfortunately, though, there aren’t many accessible places to see them. Unlike hummingbirds that occur in middle elevation sites with many a feeder, the Snowcap is a dainty denizen of the Caribbean foothill zone. It won’t go higher than 800 meters and rarely makes it down to anywhere lower than 300 meters. Basically, this rich, limited habitat is right at the base of the mountains and perhaps due to its proximity to the flat lowlands, has been tragically razed in far too many places.

If you drive down past Cinchona and Virgen del Socorro, you reach the foothill zone but what used to fantastic, wet rainforest has been converted to weedy cattle pastures. Go down most roads on the Caribbean slope and you will see the same, Snowcap-less pattern. Luckily, there are a few exceptions and these are the easiest, most accessible places to see this fantastic little bird in Costa Rica (and I dare say, elsewhere in its range):

  • El Tapir: Located smack in the middle of excellent foothill forest at just the right elevation, this is by far, the easiest. most accessible spot for seeing the Snowcap. Go there and you have a good chance of seeing a few males, a few females, and maybe an immature or two. Not only is this site in the right place and is surrounded by a lot of habitat, it also has a garden overflowing with Porterweed (a bush loved by the Snowcap and many other hummingbird species), and is easily accessible along the main highway between San Jose and Limon. There’s no sign, though, so watch for the first little clearing with a couple of small buildings on the right (east side of the road) about 2 kilometers past Quebrada Gonzalez. The caretaker charges $5. Snowcaps also occur at Quebrada Gonzalez but they are harder to see as they feed on flowers way up there in the canopy.
Porterweed at El Tapir.
El Tapir in the rain.
  • Rancho Naturalista: This classic Costa Rican birding lodge is a reliable spot for the Snowcap. The guides will know which Porterweed bushes the birds have been visiting so you should see them here if you visit.
A female Snowcap.
  • El Copal: This community owned, basic eco-lodge is located between Rancho and Tapanti. The showers may be cold but the birding is excellent and Snowcaps are usually present at their (can you guess) Porterweed bushes!
You might see a purple spotted immature male Snowcap.
  • The road to Rio Celeste in Tenorio National Park: This is a fairly new road, it passes near excellent foothill forest, and I recently heard abut Snowcaps being seen there. If you don’t see any Porterweed, watch for a tiny hummingbird with white in the tail at any small flowers.

That’s about it! I’m sure there are some other sites for the Snowcap in Costa Rica but the four places listed above are the most accessible.

Birding Costa Rica Costa Rica birding app Introduction preparing for your trip

New and Improved Birding App for Costa Rica Now Available

Earlier this year, the first birding app for Costa Rica was released and since I played a principal role in its development, I am going to talk about the new, updated second version. Version one of the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app featured images, range maps, and information for more than 400 species, vocalizations for nearly 300 of those birds, and an easy means of searching for those species among other features. Since then, we have worked out a few minor bugs and in addition to the features already present on the app, added the following features:

  • More species for a total of 528: We realize that this doesn’t include all of the birds on the Costa Rica list but we have attempted to include more of the species that are commonly seen, regional endemics, and quite a few uncommon birds. We figured it was better to make this app available now to help people learn about and identify birds in Costa Rica sooner rather than wait for images of Thicket Antpitta, Nightingale Wren, Tawny-faced Quail, and other tough birds to see and photograph (although we hope to put those and others on the app eventually). Some of the new birds we did include in this recent major update were species such as
Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant

Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant vocalization

Mangrove Vireo

Mangrove Vireo vocalization

Pinnated Bittern


Olive-crowned Yellowthroat

Olive-crowned Yellowthroat song

  • Vocalizations for more than 320 species: This includes more sounds for commonly heard species such as all of the trogons, various wrens, antbirds, parrots, and many other species. We will eventually be adding sounds for all species on the app in subsequent updates.

A few more samples of vocalizations: Scrub Greenlet, Slate-colored Seedeater, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Collared Forest-Falcon

  • Image with text: Upon touching the text icon, a small thumb image of the species is shown so you can see the bird while reading about its field marks, habitat, description, and see what notes you have taken on the bird.
  • Search by group or family: Although you can display the species on the app by group (tinamous, antbirds (typical), cotingas, etc.), if you would rather see the families listed in taxonomic order, we included that feature too. The search filter can also be used to quickly search for groups listed in alphabetic or taxonomic order and this can bring you to the hoped for species in a matter of seconds.
  • Checklist: We added the latest full checklist of birds that have been identified in Costa Rica. Birds can be marked off as seen, heard, male, female, and immature and this list can be emailed once your device goes online.
  • Which Bird is It?: Not sure what that strange greenish bird is or if the sound you heard was a Rufous-tailed Jacamar or a Lanceolated Monklet? This feature lets you use your device to take a picture of a bird as well as record its sound. Those images and sounds are then automatically emailed to us once your device goes online. We will respond with the correct identification (as long as the picture or sound was made in Costa Rica).

Whether birding Costa Rica or just visiting Costa Rica to experience this beautiful country, this Costa Rica birding app can act as a study guide before a trip, and will help in identifying many of Costa Rica’s avian sights and sounds.

If you already bought the first version of this app, update to the new and improved second version for free!

bird photography Birding Costa Rica birds to watch for in Costa Rica Costa Rica birding app Hummingbirds Introduction preparing for your trip

How Many Hummingbird Species Can you see in Costa Rica in Just One Day?- a Plan of Attack

Costa Rica is a great place for seeing a bunch of hummingbirds. As with most places frequented by those fairy-like, feathered dynamos, a high percentage of species are fairly easy to see as long as you know where feeders and the right types of flowering plants can be found. The range of habitats accessible in a pretty small area also makes it possible to see several species in one day. By “several”, I don’t mean 5 or 6 but something along the lines of 15 to 20. Although I haven’t tried this yet, I bet you could even see even more during a day of birding in Costa Rica. Although the numbers are still going to be less than such a sugar-high endeavor in hummingbird crazy Ecuador or Colombia, it would still be fun to try.

With the focus on hummingbirds, here is one possible route for some serious hummingbird madness in Costa Rica:

Start out at the El Tapir. This defunct butterfly and hummingbird garden pulls in 7 to 8 species on a regular basis and is the most accessible spot in the country for the eye numbing Snowcap.

Male Snowcap

While the female isn’t going to cause any birding related seizures, the male just might when the sun lights up his amazing burgundy plumage offset by a brilliant white crown. In addition to the Snowcap (1), this site would also have a good chance of turning up the following species:

2. Black-crested Coquette
3. Green Thorntail
4. Brown Violetear
5. Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer
6. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
7. Violet-headed Hummingbird
8. Violet-crowned Woodnymph
9. Long-billed Hermit
10. Green Hermit

We would probably also get a flyby (11.) Stripe-throated Hermit before heading over to the Sarapiqui area to check Heliconia patches and flowering bushes for:

12. Blue-chested Hummingbird
13. Bronzy Hermit
14. Band-tailed Barbthroat

That would be our main chance for those species although the hermits could also be had at Carara.

After getting those three key targets, we make a stop at the Nature Pavilion for another chance at the plumeleteer, woodnymph, hermits, and

15. White Necked Jacobin- guaranteed at this site.

It would also give us a good shot at

(16.) Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, a vocal species we would just as likely pick up by ear.
We might also get (17.)Green-breasted Mango.

Continuing uphill, we would make a stop at Virgen del Socorro if we still needed the coquette, Brown Violetear, and Violet-headed Hummingbird. If not, we would probably skip that to stop at the Cafe Colibri in Cinchona. The stocked feeders there should be good for:

18. Coppery-headed Emerald
19. Violet Sabrewing
20. Green-crowned Brilliant
21. Green Violetear
22. White-bellied Mountain-gem

We would also have another chance at Brown Violetear and Green Thorntail.

Further up the road, we would make stops for:

23. Black-bellied Hummingbird
24. Magenta-throated Woodstar

It would probably also be a good idea to pay the steep entrance fee to the La Paz Waterfall Gardens to ensure Black-bellied Hummingbird and in case the feeders and flowering bushes are harboring some rarity.

The next main stop on this day of the hummingbird would be the feeders at the Restaurant Volcan. They should add:

25. Volcano Hummingbird
26. Magnificent Hummingbird
27. Purple-throated Mountain-gem
28. Stripe-tailed Hummingbird

Then, we make a short drive to higher elevations on Poas for

(29.) Fiery-throated Hummingbird.
Hopefully, the Fiery-throated Hummingbird will show us how it got its name.

Somewhere along that route, we will hopefully get lucky with a Green-fronted Lancebill before reaching Poas. Then, we head over to the feeders at the Freddo Fresas restaurant to see if we can turn up a Scintillant Hummingbird for species number 30.

With a good chance at having 30 in the bag, we would head down the Pacific slope and check flowering trees in coffee farms for:

31. Steely-vented Hummingbird
32. Long-billed Starthroat

We might also get lucky with Canivet’s Emerald although we would have a chance for that bird making number 33 at our next main stop, the Guacimo Road, or some other dry forest site near Carara. That same area should also give us:

34. Cinnamon Hummingbird
35. Plain-capped Starthroat

We would also have another chance at Green-breasted Mango and Scaly-breasted Hummingbird around there before hitting the mangroves to try for one of the toughest birds of the day, (36.) Mangrove Hummingbird. Although this Costa Rican endemic lives in the mangroves near Tarcoles and Bajamar, it’s pretty uncommon.

If we still need Bronzy Hermit and Band-tailed Barbthroat, we could try the Heliconias along the Laguna Meandrica trail in Carara National Park. Other than those species, our other main targets would be:

37. Charming Hummingbird- only likely if there are enough trees and bushes with flowers. If it's around, we would have a fair chance of getting it by voice.
38. Blue-throated Goldentail- good chance of at least hearing this one in Carara.

We should pick up (39.) Purple-crowned Fairy at any of the humid lowland and foothill sites,

A Purple-crowned Fairy dive bombing a ginger.

but to hit 40, we would need some luck in getting the Mangrove Hummingbird and Canivet’s Emerald plus at least one of such rarities as White-crested Coquette or White-tipped Sicklebill. However, if we do this day during the winter, I just realized that I had left out one more species that is just about guaranteed, Ruby-throated Hummingbird. With that in mind, I guess 40 is possible if enough flowering plants are scouted out!