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Birdzilla Adventures – Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Roughing it is not a requirement for birding in Costa Rica.  In fact, if you like to vacation with other non-birding couples it is a great place to visit.

We rented a home about 1000 ft up on the side of a mountain, with a distant view of the ocean.   It was a beautiful home with great sunsets.  Chestnut-mandibled Toucans were commonly seen and heard.  Parrots, Swallow-tailed Kites and even the occasional frigatebird could be seen flying back and forth across the lower level of the mountain.

The home was near Quepos, on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, and just a few hours drive from San Jose.

In additional to exploring the nearby national parks and enjoying great meals at restaurants with wonderful views, we tried both snorkeling and white-water rafting.   The snorkeling was marginal. The rafting was a hit.

Birding in the area was only fair.  Better knowledge of the bird songs of the area would have been beneficial.

All of the following photos and the video were taken by Sam Crowe with the Canon SX40 HS camera.  The built in lens has a zoom range from 24-840 mm.  Several of the images below were shot hand-held at the full 840 mm zoom, often at distances of over 100 yards.

Costa Rica

A typical sunset from the back porch.

Black and white Hawk Eagle

Black-and-White Hawk-Eagle?

Common Black Hawk

Common Black-Hawk

Firey-billed Aracri

Firey-Billed Aracari

Great Kiskadee

Great Kiskadee

Northern Jacana

Northern Jacana

Red-lored Parrot

Red-lored Parrot

Scarlet-rumped Tanager

Crimson-rumped Tanager – very common

White-crowned Parrot

White-crowned Parrot – This bird was several hundred yards away.

Yellow-headed Caracara

Yellow-headed Caracara

Black Sea Turtle

Black Sea Turtle

Costa Rica rafting

White-water rafting – one of my favorite things!


Orchids are common.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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