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Book-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? What are the best birding sites in Costa Rica? Whether birding in Costa Rica on your own or taking a birding tour, these are some of the first questions that come to mind and why I wrote  “How to See, Find, and Identify Birds in Costa Rica”

To support this blog and order the expanded, second edition, 900 plus page Costa Rica bird finding site guide for $22.99 now, please use this Paypal button:

To learn more about this birding companion for Costa Rica, read on!

This Costa Rica bird finding book is a detailed site guide that shows the reader how to see such fantastic Costa Rica birds as Resplendent Quetzals, Three-wattled Bellbirds, and macaws along with every other bird on the Costa Rica bird list.


It’s easier to see both the critically endangered Great Green Macaw and Scarlet Macaw in Costa Rica than most other countries.

There is information about the best sites for regional endemics, antbirds, antpittas, and other reclusive, rainforest species.Zeledon's Antbird

The svelte Zeledon’s Antbird for example…

This book will also tell you about chances of seeing Harpy Eagle, Gray-headed Piprites, and Great Tinamou (very low for the first, slim but possible for the second and very good for the third).

However, in addition to being a birding site guide for Costa Rica, I also wanted to show birders how they can look for and find unfamiliar birds.

Before my first trip to Costa Rica, I would have loved information like that! 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 antpittas and other birds I had no experience with.

Over many 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, it can still be a challenge to find and identify unfamiliar bird species.

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 go birding.

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 for Best Places in Costa Rica to See Rarities like Bare-necked Umbrellabird and hawk-eagles.

Ornate Hawk Eagle

Which places in Costa Rica 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.

Costa Rica BIrd Checklists

There are checklists to help the reader prepare for a birding trip to Costa Rica.

  • Checklists of common species
  • Rare species easier to find outside of Costa Rica
  • A list of bird species easier to find within Costa Rica

Insider Tips for Identification of Costa Rica Birds

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.

There is also information about the habitats and specialties for each bioregion in Costa Rica.

Suggestions for Birding Itineraries for Costa Rica

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

General Information for Planning a Birding Trip to 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 Birding Tour to Costa Rica?

This book is also written for you! It 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 in Costa Rica 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 $22.99.

There are a couple of ways to buy this e-book, support this blog, and enhance your birding to Costa Rica:

  1. Please click the “Buy Now” button below or
  2. Email me (Pat O’Donnell) at [email protected] 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 [email protected]

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 can be read and interacted with on desktops, mobile phones, and tablets. At the moment, it is not available in Kindle format. Many thanks and wishing you the best for your birding trip to Costa Rica!

65 replies on “Book-Where to Watch Birds in Costa Rica and How to See Them”

I really like this book. The illustrations are enticing for our next visit to new places in Costa Rica. I find the tips on identification very helpful such as those with the various flycatcher groups, a nemesis bunch for me and others (I do believe) as well. Maps are well done, tips on finding particular groups such as skulkers are very helpful for someone like me coming from the temperate US. This book appears to be based on the most current experience of the author and given how roads, property ownership and habitat degradation can change way too quickly the book’s value will really enhance our upcoming visit. Worth every penny in my estimation.

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