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Recent Rains, Tragedy, and Rare Birds in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, we are in the midst of the wet season but a recent extreme event brought more rain than we needed. Too much rain. Enough to foster terrible flooding, landslides and additional havoc that have upended the lives of many. The rains started sometime on Wednesday, July 23rd and continued to pummel and drench the ground for the next couple of days. Although most of the country experienced a thorough soaking, the brunt of the wet wave from above blasted the Turrialba area and the adjacent southern Caribbean zone.

At home in the Central Valley, the rain was constant and reminiscent of a hurricane only with much less wind. Not being related to Aquaman, there was no way I was venturing outside. I can only imagine what it must have been like in Turrialba where the rains were much worse; nearly 100 square meters more rain fell in one day than typically falls in a month (and these places aren’t exactly dry to begin with!).

Additional parts of the country affected by this extreme rain event were Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, Boca Tapada (think the road to Laguna del Lagarto), Caño Negro, and other sites in the north. One of the most nightmarish accounts came from the village of Boca San Carlos. Situated at the confluence of the San Carlos and San Juan Rivers, the small settlement became completely inundated. Then, the rivers rose to became one and kept on rising until the massive amount of flowing waters reached the roof of the local school. Folks took refuge on top of their humble homes and killed snakes that tried to reach those same “dry” sanctuaries (several of the serpents were likely the Fer-de-Lance, a deadly viper). A woman who survived the ordeal mentioned an unknown hero who arrived with a small boat to ferry them to safety and thus save their lives. She talks about the life-threatening experience at this link to Costa Rica Hoy (in Spanish).

If there is any good news after the sudden loss of homes, possessions, and missing people (which thankfully appears to very few), it’s that the rains did stop, most people were evacuated to shelters in time and are receiving at least some assistance, and all of the roads were quickly repaired. However, as much as that is excellent, positive news, it would be negligent to not mention that given the current climate crisis (and yes, I would say that boreal forests burning, major droughts, life-threatening heat, etc. make it an absolute crisis), such extreme events like this one, floods in Germany, and elsewhere are likely the new norm. We need massive change everywhere and we need it now because if not, it’s only going to get worse.

On the bird side of things, the birding in Costa Rica is wonderful and exciting as ever. Various bird populations are also affected by climate change but it’s still great birding. Ironically, this year being a wet one will also likely help them, maybe give them a respite from prolonged drier than normal weather that has affected productivity which has thus likely, in turn, affected nesting success. This may explain why raptors, woodcreepers, hummingbirds, oropendolas, and various other species seem to occur in rather lower numbers than ten or more years ago.

That said, you can still have plenty of great, exciting birding. Last week, as I navigated rains and looked for weather forecasts, I had excellent birding while guiding on the Manuel Brenes Road, at Pocosol Research Station, El Copal, and other sites.

Birding on the Manuel Brenes Road

Light rain on the Manuel Brenes Road gave a constant boost to bird activity nearly to the point of there being too many birds to look at (and that’s how we want it!). Every time we stopped the vehicle, we had mixed flocks of tanagers and other species including close looks at uncommon Blue-and-Gold Tanagers, Black-and-Yellow Tanagers, and much more.

While the small birds rushed through the misty rainforest, a few Three-wattled Bellbirds called just out of sight, and we heard such coveted species as Lattice-tailed Trogon, Black-headed Antthrush, and Northern Schiffornis. In a few hours, we had more than 70 species. I wonder what an entire day there may have turned up?

Birding Irazu

In late July, the star bird species of the Noche Buena complex was present. Not just one or two calling males either but 12, maybe even 14 Maroon-chested Ground-Doves. Seeding bamboo? Nope! The small, colorful doves were foraging in fallow potato fields along with Mourning Doves, Rufous-collared Sparrows and a couple other common species. They were extremely timid but we still got good looks at them in flight and perched. Having a male Resplendent Quetzal fly over and land in a nearby tree while watching the doves made the day that much more memorable. Good looks at Wrenthrush and Timberline Wren were also a treat, as was hearing the unrepentant calls of an Unspotted Saw-whet Owl that remained hidden in the cold, dark night.

Maroon-chested Ground-Doves were feeding in this field.

Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrow

I can’t call this bird rare but it’s pretty uncommon and skulky. We were pleased to have good looks at a pair in coffee farms north of Villa San Ignacio. I think it might be easier during the wet season (or less difficult).

Birding El Copal

El Copal has excellent foothill and middle elevation rainforest. It’s off the beaten track and it’s rustic but the people who run the place are really nice and the birding is wonderful. In addition to the constant tanager show (that included Emerald Tanager, Black-and-Yellow Tanager, and Ashy-throated Chlorospingus), we also connected with such stand-outs as Chiriqui Quail-Dove, White-crowned Manakin, Bicolored Hawk, and Barred Hawk.

No Lovely Cotinga for us on that day but a few lucky birders did see a blue and purple male at the Arenal Observatory Lodge a few days ago.

Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle

One of the least common raptors in Costa Rica, this species is usually seen by lucky birders who scan the skies at Braulio Carrillo, Selva Bananito, or other choice lowland foothill rainforest sites. Much to the local birding community surprise and glee, one or two were found and photographed at a site in the upper parts of the Central Valley! Discovered a couple days ago, and seen by several people today, (August 2), we can only hope for it to take a liking to that area and stay for a while.

I am pretty sure this rare species has never been seen in these parts before and I suspect that it came up there because it wasn’t finding enough food in the place it came from. It’s impossible to say where that may have been but I dare say that the lack of food is likely related to destruction of habitat for pineapple fields and/or fewer of the medium to large birds that this species preys on. There might be enough pigeons and guans for it to feed on in the highlands above Sarchi, though. I sure hope so as it would be wonderful to have a reliable Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle within easy striking distance from hotels in the Central Valley!

Until next time, as usual, good birding, I hope you see that Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle!

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Saltators- The Pseudo Cardinals of Costa Rica

Northern Cardinals don’t live in Costa Rica and maybe it’s better that way. I admit that I am biased by memories and early birding impressions of snowy backyards where the fancy, crested bird was accompanied by chirping House Sparrows. It was a bird of cold places with steel gray skies that thawed into floral scented Springs and warm temperate woodland Junes.

“Northern cardinal” by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Midwest Region is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In my mind, the Northern Cardinal belongs in brushy woodlands and places where Red-winged Blackbirds sing from reedy ditches and skeins of geese fly their way north. While the crested “Redbird” does play a role in many such situations, as strong as my first cardinal impressions may be, they only tell a small, subjective part of its story. Cardinals don’t just live in the annual frozen landscapes of the north. In southern Mexico, they also share ecological space with many tropical birds. Visit pyramids in the Yucatan and you might find yourself listening to a soundscape where a cardinal’s cheerful whistles are accompanied by the haunting calls of a Collared Forest-Falcon and the screeching of Brown Jays.

With that in mind, if a cardinal sang in some parts of Costa Rica, maybe it wouldn’t be all that out of place. It might even feel more at home upon hearing the warbled songs of Blue Grosbeaks; a common species in many parts of the Central Valley and northwestern Costa Rica. Most mornings, I hear one of those over-sized beautiful buntings warble its way into the start of a new day. Shortly after, other birds make themselves auditorily known and although there aren’t any “what-cheering” cardinals around, I do hear a bird that sort of takes its place. That species is the Grayish Saltator, a bird that, along with the other saltators of Costa Rica, is sort of like a pseudo-cardinal.

Saltators aren’t red and they don’t have crests but were nevertheless previously suspected to be cardinal relatives. Those suspicions were firmly put to rest when molecular studies revealed that they shared a more recent common ancestor with tanagers (and not the Cardinalid ones). Even so, they still remind me of cardinals because saltators are similar in size and shape, share some behaviors, and have a few vocalizations reminiscent of the whistled sounds that cardinals make. Several saltators occur in South America, these are the five saltator species that live in Costa Rica:

Grayish Saltator

A common bird of edge habitats in the Central Valley and elsewhere, around my place, this is the pseudo-cardinal. It has a variable, whistled rising song and frequents brushy habitats with the type of structure cardinals might. Watch for this bird in hotel gardens, especially in the Central Valley.

Buff-throated Saltator

Given the huge range of this species, its a contender for being one of the most successful of all Neotropical birds. In Costa Rica, since its more a bird of humid tropical habitats and forest edge, I rarely see one near my place. Once in a while, one or two show up in the riparian zone out back, maybe just moving through. Go birding in the humid foothills and lowlands and you will probably hear their somewhat thrush-like warbling song and see several.

Black-headed Saltator

Closer to a jay in size, this hefty bird would be a monster of a cardinal. Despite the large proportions, this is a rather shy species that somehow manages to skulk in dense second growth. Historically restricted to the Caribbean slope, likely because of deforestation and climate change, Black-headed Saltators now also occur in many parts of the Central Valley. They have a harsh, loud and choppy song.

Streaked Saltator

This primarily South American species reaches its northern distribution on the southern Pacific slope of Costa Rica. Like the Grayish Saltator, it mostly occurs in gardens and edge habitats and more or less replaces the Grayish. It’s especially common in the Valle del General. Listen for its distinctive slow whistled song and don’t be surprised if you also run into one or two in the Central Valley; a few occur here and there.

Slate-colored Grosbeak

Despite the name, this is actually a fancy saltator and cool canopy bird of lowland and foothill rainforest. In Costa Rica, it lives in such forests on the Caribbean slope (although one or two sometimes wander all the way across the mountains to Carara!). Unlike the other saltators, this bird sings over and over from up in the canopy and has an orange bill a lot like that of a cardinal. It also has a chip call that sounds more like a cardinal than anything but even so, it’s still a saltator. Listen for its frequently given song and watch for it at fruiting trees and with mixed flocks.

Will you see saltators when visiting Costa Rica? I would think so. All of them are fairly common, most visit fruit feeders, and they aren’t as shy and skulky as antbirds. As with so many other birds, one of the best ways to find them is by knowing their songs. Try learning the songs of saltators with the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app. When I study bird vocalizations, it’s a big help for me to listen to a bird while looking at its picture. Since this birding app for Costa Rica has images for 927 species and vocalizations for 863 species on the Costa Rica bird list, plus 68 additional birds that could eventually occur, there’s more than enough to listen to and look at!

While studying songs of Costa Rica birds, you might also want to mark your target birds. Start studying now because cool pseudo-cardinal saltators and hundreds of other birds are waiting to be seen in Costa Rica. I hope to see you here.

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Benefits of Slow Birding in Costa Rica

Birding is “just” watching birds, plain and simple. As long as you are paying attention to birds, watching or listening to birds to enjoy, appreciate, identify, or study them, that’s birding. Slow birding is, as one might imagine, taking your time with birds, doing the birding thing more like a patient puffbird or heron than a fast and furious Big Day Merlin.

The Merlin might be the antithesis of slow birding.

These are some of the benefits of slow birding in Costa Rica, of practicing stillness, patience, and the general way of the Sloth as you watch the birds:

Careful Patience Pays Off in the Rainforest

Take a brisk hike through rainforest and you will see a lot of plants. Some other things, leafcutters, but mostly plants. Slow it down, even stand in place for a while and birds are eventually revealed. The same goes for other animals, insects, and countless other denizens of the tropical forest.

Be patient like a waiting heron and you will see more because everything is in hiding, including the birds. A bird can’t take any chances when they live in a place where highly camouflaged predators lurk in the leaves, where so many other animals are always looking for an easy meal. They hear you coming down the trail and may retreat or keep still until you walk on by. Wait around, though, and they might get used to you, realize that you aren’t really a threat. That’s when the birds start to become active again, begin to call and forage because although staying hidden keeps a bird alive, so does eating. Be patient and wait for birds to forage, for a tinamou to step onto the trail for tanagers to move through your field of view.

The slow birding day only gets better when a Speckled Tanager pops into mind blowing view.

Slow and Attentive Birding is Highly Productive Birding

Birding on the slow and easy doesn’t mean mindlessly standing around and looking at your phone or casually strolling down a trail as you check your photos. Productive slow birding is moving slow so you can be attentive to your surroundings. Standing still and moving slow gives you the time needed to scan every bush, check every branch, and listen for every peep.

This is especially useful in tropical forest because so many birds hide in plain sight. A suspicious rock might actually be a tinamou. There could be trogons and other frugivores lurking near fruits in the canopy. Puffbirds and other sit and wait predators might be watching you from a forest perch. Have a birding passenger pay attention while driving on the road to Poas and they might even see a quetzal silhouetted in the mist (as happened a few weeks ago!).

Slow Birding is also Easy-Going Birding

Be attentive and you will see more but if you would rather hang out back at the lodge and have a coffee or cold beer while watching chachalacas and aracaris, that’s slow birding too. If that means relaxing while casually watching the birds that fly into view, there’s nothing wrong with that. This type of birding can come with the benefits of savoring local cuisine, quality coffee, and views of toucans and trogons.

Slow Birding in Costa Rica Works With the Tropical Birding Dynamic

The dynamic nature of birding in Costa Rica always makes for exciting birding. Watch the edge of the forest over the course of a morning and new birds keep popping into view. Go back the next day and more birds show up. Walk a trail and it can go from being frustratingly still to a forest suddenly moving with tanagers, woodcreepers, and other species.

These are just a few examples of the tropical forest dynamic; a situation where most birds occur in low density populations, where many birds move in mixed flocks, and where various species concentrate at fruiting trees. When you go slow with the birding from one spot, species after species may appear as they move through your field of view. Move slow and attentive and you might have a better chance of finding that mega mixed flock or an antswarm. Take it slow and easy and you also see more than birds because of course, there’s always more than birds to birding.

To learn more about some of the tricks to seeing more birds in Costa Rica, check out How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica. Prepare for your birding trip to Costa Rica by making target lists and listening to sounds of more than 800 species on the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app. Some day, I hope to see you here!

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4 Months Birding in Costa Rica, 540 Species

In the times of our pandemic, official and personal restrictions have placed a certain degree of boundaries on birding. The view through the window has become a prime channel for bird observation. Backyard birds have been watched far more than at other times, not necessarily because we don’t want to watch the neighborhood woodpeckers, finches or caroling thrushes but because they end up being the only birds we have access to.

It’s nice to have access to this bird.

At least that’s how it’s been for myself and I suspect much the same for many other birders.

In other times, we would have spent more time further afield, travelled to more places, perhaps birded much more with other people. Such a higher frequency of birding options generally results in a higher year list and indeed, in a non-pandemic 2021, I would have probably identified more bird species by this point. However, thanks to occasional guiding in strategic sites, and going birding in Costa Rica when I can, so far, I find my year list surprisingly higher than I had imagined.

After a couple of recent trips to Tortuguero, I am at the edge of 550 species for 2021, here are a few observations about my ongoing year list:

Some Rare and Challenging Species

A fair number of rare and tough species for Costa Rica have found their way onto the list including ducks like Northern Pintail and Cinnamon Teal, Sungrebe, Reddish Egret, Mangrove Cuckoo, White-chinned Swift, Ochraceous Pewee, Tody Motmot, Grasshopper Sparrow, and others. The rarest birds have probably been Ruff and Violet-green Swallow, favorite sightings are many and include from shore Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers and such migrants as Cooper’s Hawk, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Scarlet Tanager.

Still Missing Quite a Few Common Species

It’s interesting to note that I have yet to hear or see Long-tailed Tyrant, Rufous Motmot, Golden-naped Woodpecker, Royal Flycatcher, and various other bird species hard to miss during visits to Carara National Park and the Caribbean lowlands. With that in mind, I guess the absence of those species from my year list makes sense as I have yet to visit Carara in 2021 and haven’t done much birding in places where these birds are common.

Costa Rica is a True Hotspot for Birding and Biodiversity

A bird list of nearly 550 species from a very limited number of trips (and missing several common species) is a reminder of the incredible birding possible in this small country. In Costa Rica, you don’t need to go far to see a lot and many sites with quality habitat are easily accessible. Know where to go in birding in Costa Rica, stay focused, and you can see literally hundreds of species.

A Fair Chance at Breaking 700

Given the species on my year list and it not even being the end of April, if I can still go birding at the same rate, I should break 700 by the end of the year. Not if strict restrictions suddenly take place and keep me at home for 90% of the time but if I can at least manage key trips to the right places, 700 is in reach. If I can keep up the rate of new birds, I might not even need to visit Durika for Ocellated Crake.

No matter where I end up going birding, or what sort of restrictions take place, I will still be doing a lot more from home. That’s alright, there are birds to see out back but to be honest, after today, I do wonder how many will still be seen. This morning, on the other side of the wall, a crew of guys with saws were diligently cutting back vegetation from the wall. We suppose that’s what the purpose was, to cut back from the wall, perhaps to fulfill some regulation. The terrible part of it was cutting a couple of fairly large trees along with smaller trees that would have played important, precious roles in reforesting an area in desperate need of green space.

Those same trees would have also played some role in carbon sequestration at a time when we damn well need as many trees as possible, need to let trees grow big and old and magnificent. The larger trees were used by many migrant and resident species, the flowering vines on them were constantly visited by butterflies, Blue-vented Hummingbirds, Tennessee Warblers, orioles, even wintering Painted Buntings. I even saw Cerulean Warblers on a few occasions, I saw Golden-winged Warblers there as well. It was where the Merlin perched on a few special mornings, it was where an Olive-sided Flycatcher sallied for insects just last week.

It wasn’t a huge amount of habitat but given the number of birds I saw there (every single morning) and the scant bit of reforestation taking place, I dare say that even that bit of habitat was important. I apologize for going somewhat off topic at the end of this post but when they cut those trees down, knowing what used them, what lived there, it was like losing a vital patch of locally woven life that interconnects the Amazon, Andes, and places to the north. It was seeing important and rare potential, decades, maybe a couple centuries of carbon sequestration being needlessly eliminated. And for what? Too close to the wall. Those trees, you know, they might cause trouble.

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Why Get a Field Guide for Costa Rica Now?

With the world on hold, now might not seem to be the ideal time to plan a birding trip. It might not appear to be the best moment to buy a field guide, look into tours, and figure out which birds a birder wants to see the most.

The Ornate Hawk-Eagle is high on the target list of many a birder.

Although it’s arguably silly to plan a tour for a given date without knowing when the destination will be open, now is actually perfect to think about traveling for birding, buying field guides, and dreaming of target species. Here’s why:

Destinations Will Eventually Open

Any type of limbo can present serious challenges to seeing the end of the tunnel because in the absence of a definite time frame, it’s that much harder to envision when something will happen. We think of the future and it seems to be blocked by black velvet paintings of uncertainty, by what ifs and unforeseen problems. When that happens, we need to sit back, have a tequila or eat a donut or whatever you need to do to ground yourself and push the mental curtains of uncertainty aside to be able to look at things through realistic, hopeful eyes. In the case of world travel, it’s more than likely that countries will eventually open back up and when they do, they will be more than eager for visitors. It will be a fantastic time to travel and it will eventually happen. Nothing better to do that be ready for it!

It Pays to be Prepared for a Birding Trip

Speaking of being ready for a trip, birding trips require a special degree of preparation. Yeah, you could jump on a plane to Australia or Fiji at a moment’s notice but you wouldn’t be any bit of ready for the birding. You would have no idea what to look for, what to identify, where to go, nor where to stay. It would sort of be like some happy go lucky nightmare situation. Whether visiting Polynesia, France, or Costa Rica, it’s far better to be over prepared than wondering what you are looking at and lamenting about birds and cool places missed during and after the trip. The more time you have to study, the less stressful and more fulfilling the trip will be. With that in mind, start studying for Costa Rica now to have the best and most satisfying trip possible.

You don’t want to miss seeing an Emerald Tanager.

Get a field guide in advance and you can take as much time as you want to learn about the lifers you will eventually see. Learn about different families of birds, learn how to identify everything from woodcreepers to hummingbirds, pick the birds you want to see the most. In the case of a digital field guide, you can mark target species, study birds by region, by family, make notes, and listen to their songs while looking at images of the birds you hope to see.

Part of the Fun is Getting Ready for the Trip

Not to mention, a big part of going somewhere isn’t just being there for the experience. It’s also getting ready for the trip, looking into places, trying to get an idea, a picture of what to expect. It doesn’t just make for better preparation, thinking about that trip also gives you something to look forward to, life goals to meet, and most of all, birds waiting to be seen. Check out field guides, decide which ones to get and buy them. Once you have that book in hand, that digital field guide on your phone, you are already on your way to Costa Rica.

Time On Our Hands

If anything, during a pandemic, many a birder has more time on his or her hands. It’s a perfect time to look into and study for future trips. Use these days, these months, to get ready for birding far afield.

Supporting Tours is Support for Conservation

I should also mention that looking into tours now and maybe even signing up for one translates to support for conservation. Most birding tours actively support local conservation efforts either directly and/or indirectly. The sooner you can safely reserve or sign up for lodging or a birding tour, the sooner you will be making a difference for people who often act as the front line of protection for tropical forests.

Conservation for endangered species like the Great Green Macaw.

Think Positive!

Most days, the news isn’t exactly on the bright side of the spectrum but that doesn’t change the fact that many vaccines are being worked on, many people are doing their best to make it through this pandemic and safely open as soon as possible, and that this will eventually pass. Stay safe, support conservation and start planning for that trip, the birds will be waiting.

Want to think about birding in Costa Rica? You can’t go wrong with How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica, a 700 plus page e-book with information on where to go birding, what the birding is like in Costa Rica, and how to identify many of the species waiting to be seen.

Fancy birds like the Violet-headed Hummingbird.

As far as field guides go, the book I recommend is the handy and excellent Field Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica by Garrigues and Dean. The size of the book is right as are the excellent illustrations, information and range maps.

Since no modern birding trip would be complete without a digital field guide, I also recommend the Costa Rica Birds Field Guide app. Yes, I do work on it and because we want birders to have a trip of a lifetime, we have made a steady set of improvements since its inception. A birder can now customize their app with target lists, notes on birds, good range maps, and much more. Since the latest update includes information and range maps for every bird on the Costa Rica list, multiple images for 919 species, and sounds for 829 of them, this birding app is just as excellent for reference and planning for a trip as it is in the field (even I use it pretty much every day!).

Start planning a trip to Costa Rica today, birds like this Fiery-throated Hummingbird will be waiting.

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High Season Tips and Suggestions for Birding in Costa Rica, 2020

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.

Night driving

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.