Cool Birds I've Seen in Costa Rica

Costa Rica     Leaves and Critters
What a beautiful Lesson's Motmot right off my terrace!
What a beautiful Lesson's Motmot right off my terrace!
Toucans  |   Parrots and Parakeets  |   Hummingbirds  |   Woodpeckers  |   Water Birds  |   Birds of Prey  |   Other Birds


Get ready for a barrage of bird pictures. I'm not normally even that into birds but here, I just can't help it! Such a variety of beautiful and sometimes beautiful sounding tropical birds in Costa Rica. I was fortunate enough to have bird expert and illustrator Robert Dean sit down with me to identify all the birds in my photos. :) Thank you!

Where I stayed in Zancudo, the parrots and parakeets flew all day around the property. Being the rainy season, it was difficult to catch a good sunny colorful photo. Fortunately I had a lot of time on my hands to work on that! LOL

Also, putting papaya out in the morning on the bird platform allowed me to enjoy an amazing variety of birds. It was so exciting when a new one would come along that I hadn't seen yet!

In the Monteverde area there are different species than in the south but it was much harder to spot them in the forest.

Other Costa Rica Wildlife

Wildlife Abounds in Costa Rica!
Cool Insects I've Seen in Costa Rica
Cool Birds I've Seen in Costa Rica
Cool Animals I've Seen in Costa Rica
Cool Plants I've Seen in Costa Rica (COMING SOON)

Toucans

Yep, it's a very cool thing to see these in the wild. Of the 6 species in Costa Rica, I only photographed this one but that satisfied the need for sure. Black (or Chestnut) -Mandibled Toucan is the largest and most common toucan here. The Keel-Billed Toucan is the one that's pictured most on souvenirs and such. There are a lot of Emerald Toucanets here where I'm staying in Monteverde but I haven't gotten a photo of one.
Not the best photo, but cool with two of them together. Also at Arena Alta.
Not the best photo, but cool with two of them together. Also at Arena Alta.
Yellow Throated Toucan
Yellow Throated Toucan
This toucan was technically wild, but he was pretty tame and hung out at the ranger station on the Osa Peninsula.
This toucan was technically wild, but he was pretty tame and hung out at the ranger station on the Osa Peninsula.
This is the best shot I got. This is in Zancudo in Alta Arena.
This is the best shot I got. This is in Zancudo in Alta Arena.

Parrots and Parakeets

Early morning Red Lored Parrots.
Early morning Red Lored Parrots.
Some pretty little Orange Chinned Parakeets in the neighbor's tree.
Some pretty little Orange Chinned Parakeets in the neighbor's tree.
He's looking down at me.
He's looking down at me.
I was blown away by these Scarlet Macaws. I saw them every day in Zancudo.
I was blown away by these Scarlet Macaws. I saw them every day in Zancudo.
It was the rainy season so there were very few sunny days. I was so lucky to get some blue sky for these photos!
It was the rainy season so there were very few sunny days. I was so lucky to get some blue sky for these photos!
A few birds in the almond trees across the street from my house.
A few birds in the almond trees across the street from my house.
The macaws like to hang out in the almond trees and eat the nuts.
The macaws like to hang out in the almond trees and eat the nuts.
One day there were 6 of them in the neighbor's tree. When they fly with their feathers spread, it's a thing of beauty.
One day there were 6 of them in the neighbor's tree. When they fly with their feathers spread, it's a thing of beauty.

Hummingbirds

Yes, I have seen a bunch of these in the wild, too but they are so much easier to photograph on the feeders. ;)
In October of 2019, Cost Rica banned bird feeders, stating that they are unnatural and can harm the birds. A sweep was done, fining people who still had them out and made them take them down. But then as you can see, the feeders were put back in place in some locations after the authorities left. See the Costa Rica Guide's Bird Feeder Ban article.
Hummingbird in center of photo. They hovered around these flowers all evening while we ate dinner at La Chicharronera.
Hummingbird in center of photo. They hovered around these flowers all evening while we ate dinner at La Chicharronera.
Hummingbird Cafe by the entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Purple Throated Mountain Gem
Hummingbird Cafe by the entrance to the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Purple Throated Mountain Gem
Immature Green Crowned Brilliant and a Mountain Gem
Immature Green Crowned Brilliant and a Mountain Gem
Green Crowned Brilliant
Green Crowned Brilliant
Lessor Violetear
Lessor Violetear

Woodpeckers

The little ones were the residents in my yard. One day two of these larger red crested ones came by and there was quite the dispute! The little guys won, by the way, chasing off the larger birds.
These Red Crowned Woodpeckers were around all the time. But they pecked quietly. You really didn't hear them other than their rather loud cry.
These Red Crowned Woodpeckers were around all the time. But they pecked quietly. You really didn't hear them other than their rather loud cry.
Lineated Woodpecker
Lineated Woodpecker

Water Birds

Green Heron and immature Northern Jacanas
Green Heron and immature Northern Jacanas
These water birds would eat up all the little squiggly bugs every the wave went out.
These water birds would eat up all the little squiggly bugs every the wave went out.
It was funny to watch them sort of run from the waves. The larger one is a Whimbrel.
It was funny to watch them sort of run from the waves. The larger one is a Whimbrel.

Birds of Prey

Not nearly as tropical or colorful but still amazing to watch in the wild.
How funny is this shot of a Roadside Hawk? Got him perfectly mid-cry.
How funny is this shot of a Roadside Hawk? Got him perfectly mid-cry.
I got lucky catching this Yellow-Headed Caracara taking off by the beach.
I got lucky catching this Yellow-Headed Caracara taking off by the beach.
Yellow-Headed Caracara
Yellow-Headed Caracara
Tons of turkey vultures everywhere.
Tons of turkey vultures everywhere.

Other Birds

Here you go, here are some other beautiful colorful little birds I have seen around. Can you just imagine the ones that I HAVEN'T seen? Seen, but not photographed is Montezuma's Oropendola. Very cool.
Colorful motmot in the paths behind my lodging.
Colorful motmot in the paths behind my lodging.
I didn't say all my photos were great. LOL This is a very large Crested Guan (turkey).
I didn't say all my photos were great. LOL This is a very large Crested Guan (turkey).
Great Kiskadee
Great Kiskadee
Love this little Blue-Grey Tanager!
Love this little Blue-Grey Tanager!
Cute little blue thangs. Blue-Grey Tanager
Cute little blue thangs. Blue-Grey Tanager
I also love the Scarlet-rumped (Passerini's) Tanagers
I also love the Scarlet-rumped (Passerini's) Tanagers
This is male and female of the same Passerini's Tanagers. I was wondering why they were palling around all the time. I didn't know they were the same bird.
This is male and female of the same Passerini's Tanagers. I was wondering why they were palling around all the time. I didn't know they were the same bird.
Clay-Colored Thrush, the national bird of Costa Rica.
Clay-Colored Thrush, the national bird of Costa Rica.
Just a nice assortment of birds
 :) including a Palm Tanager.
Just a nice assortment of birds :) including a Palm Tanager.
This tanager captured a huge grasshopper! That's it in her beak.
This tanager captured a huge grasshopper! That's it in her beak.
This round little bird was so fast jumping around the tree, this is the best photo I could get. Common Tody Flycatcher
This round little bird was so fast jumping around the tree, this is the best photo I could get. Common Tody Flycatcher
This Palm Tanager visited right before I left.
This Palm Tanager visited right before I left.
Bird disguised as a dead leaf. Ruddy Ground Dove.
Bird disguised as a dead leaf. Ruddy Ground Dove.

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