Do birds fascinate you? Do you listen to their sounds more than you would MTV’s top 20? Then the birds of Costa Rica will definitely be worth watching. The country prides itself on one-tenth of the world’s total number of bird species. This means that the birds of Costa Rica are approximately 850 species. Of these, only about 630 are residents. The others are those who fly into the country for the winter.
Birds that are unheard of or have become extinct in other places have found their habitat in Costa Rica’s protected reserves. Thus, it is surprising to know that with all the unique birds of Costa Rica, their national bird is the somewhat plain clay-colored robin. The sound of this bird is said to be synchronized with the rainy season as folklore believes it is “calling the rains”.
The birds may be sociable and in abundance, but seeing a great number of species depends on the season, location, and pure luck. You may think that the forest is the best place to look for them, but its messed up setting may not allow you to see them well.
A large clearing in the forest may be a better place. And of course, tour companies are experts in birds of Costa Rica so they can take you to places that specialize in bird-watching programs. Some of these include watching the birds of Costa Rica upon the treetops.
Birds of Costa Rica include 50 raptor species. These are the birds that hunt down live prey. An example is a laughing falcon (known locally as guaco for its “wah-co” sounds) which hunts for lizards and snakes. Not among these raptor types but a particularly interesting sight to watch are the toucans, or commonly called “flying bananas”.
These are some of the flashiest birds of Costa Rica and in all of Central America. They are famous for picking fruits off with their long beaks, throwing them into the air, and catching them at the back of their throats.
The most exotically named birds are the hummingbirds. The beat of their wings (up to 100 beats per second) emit a hum. The wings move so fast that the naked eye cannot detect the movements. They are mostly seen hovering over flowers extracting nectar.
The birds of are interestingly diverse. Where else can you find a bird that lives in a hole in the ground? Costa Rica will show you the different varieties of Motmots that inhabit the underground. And yes, if you must ask, the birds of Costa Rica indeed include vultures. While you might chance upon them feeding on a roadside carcass, they are not actually there to spook you.