It’s late March and we’re on the tail finish of the excessive season for birding in Costa Rica. April will nonetheless convey a superb variety of birders however, as with earlier years, most birding journeys to Costa Rica occur throughout the first three months of the calendar yr. When you do occur to be visiting Costa Rica in April, you might be in luck as a result of the fourth month is a unbelievable time for birding. It would even be the very best time to convey the binos to this lovely, birdy nation.
April is excessive time for our spring migration and though the warblers and different migrants gained’t be singing like they do up north, this month options giant numbers of swallows, Chimney Swifts, Japanese Kingbirds, Pink-eyed Vireos, raptor migration, and different birds that winter in South America. This spectacular spectacle of migration provides a pleasant cherry on high of a birding cake flavored with a whole bunch of resident hen species.
With that in thoughts, let’s begin latest birding information with some recommendations on the greatest websites for spring migration in Costa Rica.
- Tortuguero– Located on the Caribbean coast, this nationwide park additionally sits smack in the course of a flyway that options tens of millions of birds. Watch the skies for flocks of kingbirds, swifts, swallows, and raptors in addition to different odd birds making their approach north. After I go to, I additionally examine the coastal scrub and gardens within the village for small migrants like warblers, the occasional cuckoo, and numerous different species, and the seaside for shorebirds and occasional pelagic species.
- Cahuita-Manzanillo– This common space can also be wonderful for migration and an exquisite space to combine migrant birds with unbelievable birding in lowland rainforest. The seabirding appears higher at Tortuguero however it’s nonetheless value scoping the ocean round right here too. I’ve seen Brown Noddy, Bridled Tern, and a jaeger or two, and different species are definitely doable.
- Sarapiqui– One other traditional website for lowland rainforest, it can be superb throughout migration. Though there gained’t be any seabirding, you would possibly discover Cerulean Warbler, flocks of Scarlet Tanagers, a river of raptors, and a number of other different species.
- Puntarenas and the Gulf of Nicoya– Puntarenas is an effective place to do some seawatching and search for migrant terns and different species. Mud flats and different websites on the Gulf of Nicoya additionally act as essential stopover websites for shorebirds.
In different birding information, listed here are another objects of curiosity for birding Costa Rica:
Gullmania in Puntarenas– Costa Rica isn’t actually identified for gull watching and with good purpose. Though a superb variety of Laridae are on the official hen record for Costa Rica, most are vagrants, even hen species like Herring Gull and Ring-billed Gull. Our common species solely embrace Laughing Gull, migrant Franklin’s Gulls, and numerous terns.
Given the dearth of birding protection alongside intensive coastlines, inaccessible shrimp ponds, and different gullish websites, I guess extra gulls go to Costa Rica than we understand. Not an enormous quantity by any means however alternative rarities certainly slip by and over our native birding RADAR; we simply don’t have sufficient folks placing within the hours. Nevertheless, we do have sufficient centered birders to give you some actually good finds. Among the best was a Heerman’s Gull at Puntarenas! A primary yr hen found by Daniel and Robert Garrigues, and Daniel Fernandez Duarte is the primary formally documented report for Costa Rica. This species has been on my private birding RADAR for a while, it’s nice to see that one was discovered and that it has additionally stayed lengthy sufficient to be seen by plenty of native birders (my associate and I included).
The Heerman’s will most likely be Costa Rica’s “greatest hen” of 2023 however, even higher, it got here with two comfort prizes; a Herring Gull and Ring-billed Gull in the identical space! For a lot of native birders, all three of those species had been key lifers. As soon as once more, it pays to hen Puntarenas.
Pacific Golden-Plover in Puntarenas- What was I simply saying about Puntarenas? A really uncommon migrant Pacific Golden-Plover was discovered by native information Beto Guido throughout a latest go to. It was with two American Golden-Plovers and though they appear to have flown north, the Pacific has stayed for a number of extra days. As of March twenty sixth, it was nonetheless current. Search for it on the seaside and jetties from the lighthouse to elements of the seaside east of the jetties.
8 quetzals in a day at and close to Poas– Most birders go to the Dota Valley or Monteverde for his or her fill of quetzals however the extremely fancy birds additionally dwell in different places. I don’t all the time see or hear them on Poas however have a fairly good success price. Final week, although, was distinctive with two quetzals heard on Poas and at the least 6 (perhaps extra) heard and seen at a website close to Varablanca.
Speckled Mourner seen!– This odd little hen is likely one of the rarest resident species in Costa Rica. With only a few confirmed sightings, and probably not figuring out what they want for survival in Costa Rica, we actually do not know what number of nonetheless happen within the nation. On a excessive observe, a hen was seen and photographed by a neighborhood birder and biologist at a website throughout the Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund Space (which additionally protects essential rainforest and cloud forest habitats). This essential sighting hints on the high quality habitats protected by the fund and (together with the 2017 Harpy Eagle sighting) offers additional impetus to discover and hen websites round these distant northern volcanoes.
Bellbirds close to San Ramon- Lastly, the bellbirds are again at websites close to San Ramon. Final week, we had wonderful views of a calling male close to the tip of Calle Chaves, the Pagan Poetry Mattress and Breakfast street. It’s 4 wheel drive solely however the journey is perhaps value it. The bellbirds at this and different websites close to there do transfer round however would possibly nonetheless be doable till Could or June.
These are among the newest native birding information objects and with dozens of birding hotspots, I might all the time say extra. Study extra about the place to look at birds in Costa Rica with my 900 plus web page, just lately up to date e book, “How one can See, Discover, and Determine Birds in Costa Rica”. I hope to see you right here!