Costa Rica Escape Trip Report, January 2023


11- 19 JANUARY 2023

By Sarah Preston

A rapt bunch of birders watched this male Resplendent Quetzal eat its avocado breakfast.


This Costa Rica Escape 2023 trip was an incredible trip, which allowed us to see the best of the country in just a week. Costa Rica is perhaps the easiest country to bird in the tropical Americas, and most of the Neotropical families are well represented. With great roads, comfortable tourist and service facilities, and modern infrastructure, the country, and this trip in particular, is the best choice for those who come to the tropics for the first time.

Our adventure started in San José, the capital of Costa Rica, and we managed to explore different habitats and ecosystems, ranging from the cloudforest mountains of Savegre in central Costa Rica to the Caribbean foothills.  Of the 931 species of birds that occur in Costa Rica we managed to record more than a quarter in a week only! We saw 270 species as well as an additional 18 species that were heard only.

Our trip list included sightings of  amazing species such as Resplendent Quetzal, Violet Sabrewing, Black and Crested Guans, Yellow-throated and Keel-billed Toucans, Spectacled and Crested Owls, Flame-throated and Black-cheeked Warblers, Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Prong-billed and Red-headed Barbets, American Dipper, Black-breasted Wood Quail, and Golden-Browed Chlorophonia. In addition, we managed to see one of two country endemics that occur on the mainland, Coppery-headed Emerald, and we saw 28 birds that are shared only by Costa Rica and Panama. A nice selection of North American migratory warblers was also found, such as Chestnut-sided, Tennessee, Black-and-white, Golden-winged, Black-throated Green, Townsend’s, and Wilson’s Warblers, 7 species of owls, and 26 species of hummingbirds.

It was a memorable trip, with most participants visiting the tropics for the first time. This fun group of clients was able to experience the excellent food, amazing wildlife, and friendly people that make Costa Rica a popular vacation destination. We hope that you can join us on our Costa Rica Escape 2024 tour!

Detailed Report

Day 1, 11th January 2023. Hotel Bougainvillea

Half the group had arrived at Hotel Bougainvillea by the afternoon, so after lunch we birded the lush gardens behind the hotel. A resident Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was perched in out in the open and one Mottled Owl was seen roosting in a large stand of bamboo. Several Lesson’s Motmots were seen, and a pair of Red-billed Pigeons were observed in courtship and copulation. Two White-fronted Amazons and a flock of Finsch’s Parakeets flew overhead. That evening a Common Pauraque called loudly in the parking lot and could be heard from inside our rooms.

Lesson’s Motmots were actively hunting in the Hotel Bougainvillea garden.

Day 2, 12th January 2023. Irazu Volcano National Park to Savegre Lodge

The group spent the first hour of our first full day birding the gardens behind Hotel Bougainvillea before breakfast. The Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl was again perched in full view and two Mottled Owls were roosting in the bamboo. We tried for White-eared Ground-Sparrow and Chestnut-capped Warbler, which were heard calling and the warbler gave brief views, but neither species cooperated well. Several species perched in the large, leafless tree in the center of the garden: a Masked Tityra, six Brown Jays, and a Tennessee Warbler. A couple Rufous-naped Wrens, a Cabanis’s Wren, and a Rufous-collared Sparrow were observed singing. Just before breakfast a male Montezuma Oropendola flew in and displayed. The female flew in, and they copulated.

After breakfast we drove up into the highlands to Irazu Volcano National Park. At the crater, there were Volcano Juncos in the parking lot. The entire group watched a male Volcano Hummingbird display several times – singing and flying high into the air and coming back to perch. We had our first looks at Slaty Flowerpiercer, Sooty Thrush, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, and Sooty-capped Bush Tanager. When stopped for lunch on the way down the mountain, a Short-tailed Hawk was observed soaring over the valley below.

On the way to Savegre Lodge, we stopped at Miriam’s Quetzals Restaurant where there are feeders in the back and a view of the Savegre Valley. Several species of hummingbirds were coming to the feeder and flowers: Talamanca, Fiery-throated, and Volcano Hummingbirds, Lesser Violetear, and Grey-tailed Mountaingem. The fruit feeder hosted Yellow-thighed Brush-finch, Mountain Thrush, Large-footed Finch, Flame-colored Tanagers, and Acorn Woodpeckers. One of the restaurant staff alerted us to the presence of a male Golden-browed Chlorophonia feeding on crabapples in the side garden and we watched it at length. First looks were had of Ruddy Treerunner and Yellow-winged Vireo, both seen briefly. A male and female pair of Yellow-bellied Siskins were seen perching high behind the feeders.

The Volcano Junco’s piercing yellow eyes made it look angry.

We arrived at Savegre Lodge just before dusk and noticed a woman photographing something in a tree at the entrance. When we found out it was an immature male Resplendent Quetzal, we pulled over and everyone eagerly bailed out of the vehicle to see it. Number one species acquired!

Day 3, 13th January 2023. Savegre Lodge to Los Quetzales National Park

We left before dawn to go a few miles down the road to join the vigil for the male Resplendent Quetzal that had been frequenting an avocado tree at dawn. The spectacular bird arrived as if on cue, fed from the avocado tree, and sat still for a long time for excellent scope views. After digesting for at least an hour, it went briefly to the tree again then flew down into the valley and disappeared. Everyone enjoyed seeing its tail stream behind it while it flew. After our breakfast, we took a two-mile walk up the hillside behind the hotel. The variety of species there was impressive! We had close looks at Collared Whitestart and Grey-breasted Wood-Wrens singing, several cooperative Flame-throated Warblers, great looks at two Black-faced Solitaire and Yellowish Flycatcher and encountered a mixed migrant warbler flock that included Wilson’s, Black-throated Green, and Townsend’s Warblers. At least ten White-collared Swifts soared overhead. We enjoyed scope views of Sulphur-winged Parakeets and Barred Becard. We had brief views of an Olive-streaked Flycatcher feeding on berries with a Mountain Elainea and a Philadelphia Vireo until a Spot-crowned Woodcreeper stole our attention. Once back down near the rooms we observed a Scintillant Hummingbird, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatchers, and Slaty Flowerpiercer feeding.

Resplendent Quetzal, the first of two of this most-wanted species seen on the trip.

After lunch we drove to Villa Mills, which is above 9,000 feet elevation. At the beginning of the trail, a keen tour participant found an endemic Black-cheeked Warbler and there turned out to be three of them. A Timberline Wren was singing but didn’t come out. We did get views of several Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, which were also singing. We saw the hilarious looking Buffy Tuftedcheek and got better views of Ruddy Treerunner.

We moved on from there a short distance down the mountain to a gravel road within Los Quetzales National Park. We found a perched Talamanca Hummingbird and a Grey-tailed Mountaingem preparing to roost for the night, offering fantastic looks. Just at dusk, the Dusky Nightjar began calling. It flew up to a branch right above the road and perched for several minutes, offering phenomenal  views, until a car flushed it. As it flew, the buffy corners of the tail could be seen. After this, we tried for the endemic Bare-shanked Screech-Owl, which was quite cooperative, and everyone got amazing looks of the owl perched in the open.

Day 4, 14th January 2023. Parque Nacional Los Quetzals and San Gerardo de Dota Sendero Catarata

We took our customary morning walk, this time along Río Savegre, and saw several Torrent Tyrranulets, including a pair possibly setting up nesting territory. The small black, gray, and white flycatchers were fun to watch moving around the rocks on the river, occasionally flying up for an insect. A Stripe-tailed Hummingbird was feeding on flowers alongside the road allowing for good looks at its namesake and a silent Belted Kingfisher rocketed down the river. We got our first looks at Common Bush Tanager and compared them to nearby Sooty-capped Bush Tanager. On the way back, we admired a flock of Long-tailed Silky-Flycatchers.

After breakfast, we visited Parque Nacional Los Quetzals and encountered a mixed flock of species previously seen that included Barred Becard. Timberline Wren was seen at last, three individuals together. We watched a pair of Black-capped Flycatchers actively foraging and had scope views of Mistletoe Tyrannulet and of a pair of Black-and-yellow Phainoptila. A Wrenthrush was calling and did get very near the group, but didn’t come out, only its movement was seen. We had a fantastically close look at a male Volcano Hummingbird (heliotrope-throated subspecies). A Ruddy Pigeon called “mashed potatoes” in the distance, but never came close. 

We stopped for lunch and hummingbird photos at Paraíso Quetzal Lodge. There we had ridiculously close encounters with Volcano, Fiery-throated, Talamanca Hummingbirds, Lesser Violetear, and Grey-tailed Mountaingem. A male Volcano Hummingbird was displaying nearby. We had a second look at Golden-browed Chlorophonia when a pair perched in a treetop eye-level to the platform.

In the late afternoon, we hiked the San Gerardo de Dota Sendero Catarata (Waterfall Trail). It was exciting to see two pairs of American Dippers foraging underwater for insects in the river as well as Dark Pewee, endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama, and two Tufted Flycatchers hawking insects. We had brief encounters with Ochraceous Wren, Red-faced Spinetail, Black-thighed Grosbeak, and Spotted Barbtail and a long look at a singing Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush at dusk and spotted another one as we exited the trail.

Collared Aracari were common, but attractive, guests at several fruit feeders we visited.

Day 5, 15th January 2023.Rio San José and Comandancia de Sarapiquí Road

We took one last pre-breakfast walk around Savegre before heading to La Quinta Sarapiquí Lodge where we would stay the next three nights. We got our first view of Slate-throated Whitestart, albeit brief. The highlight of the walk was the discovery of a Lesser Violetear nest with two young, especially when a parent came and fed them.

Since the weather wasn’t favorable the day before, we returned to Parque Nacional Los Quetzals. A White-fronted Tyrannulet was seen several times moving about. The main target, missed yesterday, was the Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, endemic to the Costa Rican and western Panamanian highlands, which we ended up seeing in full view for several minutes to our amazement.

Viewing this endemic Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl was a truly unforgettable experience.

We made a stop after lunch to bird Calle Israel along Rio San José. We eventually got fantastic views of the main target, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, which flushed at first, but then two were viewed well from the vehicle. A Spotted Sandpiper, a juvenile Little Blue Heron, a Northern Waterthrush and Buff-rumped Warblers were also feeding along the river. We had first looks at Collared Aracari feeding in a fruiting tree. An Amazon Kingfisher that flew down the river was viewed by some as it perched briefly. Scope views of White-crowned Parrots were also had.

A few new species were added on the drive. A small pond along the road yielded some waders on the way to Sarapiquí: Great-Blue Heron, Northern Jacana, and Great Egret. Cattle Egrets and Groove-billed Ani were seen as we drove by fields and scrub habitat.

Our last stop of the day was Comandancia de Sarapiquí Road, an open area with a few very large trees. The big draw here was the Great Green and Scarlet Macaws and both species were seen in flight. One Scarlet Macaw perched high, but in the open. A pair of Bat Falcons were also perched high, at the top of a tree. A soaring Short-tailed Hawk gave distant views. A pair of Slaty Spinetails were observed nest building. Common Tody-Flycatcher came in close for a great photographic opportunity. Two Black-striped Sparrows were calling and occasionally came into view. Several other flycatcher species were observed: Grey-capped Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Great Kiskadee, Northern Tropical Pewee, and Mistletoe Tyrannulet. Many Montezuma and three Chestnut-headed Oropendolas flew overhead. Variable Seedeaters were mimicking a variety of other birds’ songs and flocking with a Morelet’s Seedeater.

It was awe-inspiring to see wild Scarlet Macaws.

Day 6, 16th January 2023. La Quinta Sarapiquí Lodge, Cope’s Place and La Quinta

Excited to bird a new location, we took our usual walk before breakfast around La Quinta Sarapiquí Lodge and immediately encountered a new species, a cooperative Stripe-breasted Wren. Near the Caiman lake, we found a couple Orange-billed Sparrows, a Northern Waterthrush, a Buff-rumped Warbler, and a Green Kingfisher. In the woods, a Slate-colored Grosbeak called from high in the trees. We had brief looks at a female Blue-black Grosbeak and would later also get glimpses of the male. The two feeders on the property hosted a variety of species including Clay-colored Thrush, Green and Red-legged Honeycreeper, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Grey-headed Chachalaca, Red-throated Ant Tanager,and Palm,  Scarlet-rumped, and Golden-Hooded Tanagers.

After breakfast, we headed to Cope’s Place. On the way we paused for great looks at a Grey Hawk on a pole. As soon as we arrived, we were treated to a perched Band-tailed Barbthroat. We spent an hour at Cope’s feeders watching and photographing Long-billed and Striped-throated Hermits, Shining, Green, and Red-legged Honeycreepers, a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, a Green-breasted Mango, many White-necked Jacobins, and Chestnut-headed and Montezuma Oropendolas. We got our first close looks at Pale-vented Pigeons and Orange-chinned Parakeets, previously fly overs, and saw our first Keel-billed Toucan, which came to the bananas. A Russet-naped Wood-Rail came out and ate the rice. We also enjoyed talking with Cope and looking at his amazing photographs and artwork.

We took a walk in Cope’s farm with one of the guides who showed us a colony of Honduran White Bats roosting under a huge leaf. Early in the walk we had brief looks at a pair of Cinnamon Woodpecker and good looks at two Scarlet-rumpled Caciques. We were amazingly fortunate to see and photograph two Crested Owls perched together and an immature Spectacled Owl. We also viewed two Green Ibis. On the way out, we marveled over a huge Bullet Ant on a log.

We counted ourselves lucky to see this pair of Crested Owls right out in the open.

After lunch and a break, we had planned to drive to an open area close to La Quinta. We stopped for five Southern Lapwings in a field and also saw a pair of Lineated Woodpeckers there. We never got to the intended location because next we stopped for a probable Motmot and ended up finding 46 species at the “Crazy Corner” and never did get a motmot. Highlights included three species of Antshrike, all seen very well: Great (singing male), Fasciated (male and female), and Barred Antshrike (male and female). We had spectacular views of Squirrel Cuckoo, Black-crowned Tityra,a singing Rufous-tailed Jacamar, and Canebrake Wren. We watched a Long-tailed Tyrant sally for insects. Three Giant Cowbirds flew over and one perched briefly.

In the evening we went searching for nocturnal creatures and found a Common Rain Frog, a Slender Anole, a Cane Toad, a Long-nosed Proboscis Bat, and several Spectacled Caiman.

Day 7, 17th January 2023. La Selva Biological Station

A big day with 92 species recorded!

We birded around La Quinta before breakfast and picked up Purple-crowned Fairy and Black-cowled Orioles, new for the trip.

We spent the rest of the morning at La Selva Biological Station. The variety of birds just at the headquarters was amazing and included several Short-billed Pigeons, nesting Olive-backed Euphonia and Crested Guans, a soaring Double-toothed Kite, a female White-ruffed Manakin, and a male White-collared Manakin. Once in the jungle, woodpeckers were a highlight with a nest-building Chestnut-colored Woodpecker and Pale-billed Woodpeckers feeding young. Some in the group enjoyed their lifer look at a Kentucky Warbler while others worked to identify a Streak-headed Woodcreeper. The morning included notable mammal sightings: a troop of Golden-mantled Howler Monkeys and two Brown-throated Three-toed Sloths. Just before a pre-lunch snack of fresh watermelon and pineapple, we added Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher and Cinnamon Becard to our list of birds seen well.

Watching woodpecker nesting activities, including Chestnut-colored Woodpeckers, was a treat.

After lunch and a break, we returned to La Selva Biological Station until dusk. Upon arrival, we had brief views of a Bay-headed Tanager and a male Snowy Cotinga and a Scarlet-thighed Dacnis were perched in the open for excellent scope views. Then several Yellow-throated and Keel-billed Toucans and a group of Red-lored Amazons flew in. From the bridge, we viewed our first White-ringed Flycatcher,a Rufous Mourner,and a Slaty-tailed Trogon giving fantastic views perched in the open, eye-level to the bridge. Just after crossing the bridge, the only Blue-chested Hummingbird of the trip was seen foraging in a large flowering tree. The same area also hosted Social, Grey-capped,and Boat-billed Flycatchers.While walking the trail, a male Great Tinamou and three chicks walked across the trail in front of us. At dusk, a pair of Middle American Screech-Owls were calling, and one was cooperative, allowing for excellent views.

Day 8, 18th January 2023. La Selva to San Jose

We had a goal to break 100 species for our last birding day and we did it!

We started early to begin birding the road near the main entrance to La Selva before dawn. While it was still dark, we saw several Common Pauraque foraging for insects in the streetlight and heard a Little Tinamou calling. At dawn, we observed a Short-tailed Nighthawk flying around. 

After dawn, we observed many birds from a spot just outside the main entrance including a close, perched Semiplumbeous Hawk, an Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, a Southern Rough-winged Swallow, many Collared Aracaris and Yellow-throated Toucans, a Keel-billed Toucan, a Brown-hooded and several Red-lored Amazons, and a flock of Orange-chinned Parakeets.  At one point, we heard a Slaty-breasted Tinamou that sounded like a mini train and very close by, so we investigated, but it was like a ghost. Our foray into the forest wasn’t for naught, though, because we saw several Wedge-billed Woodcreepers and a Cocoa Woodcreeper at that time. The trail led us to an open area where we added two new species: a Bronzy Hermit and a pair of Olive-crowned Yellowthroats. 

It was time to return to the lodge for breakfast, but two spontaneous birding stops were a necessity. First, we stopped for seven Scarlet Macaws in a single tree by the road. Then just before the lodge, we saw a Broad-billed Motmot on a wire and got two noisy Bright-rumped Attilas as a bonus.

After breakfast we bid goodbye to La Quinta and headed to San Jose, but not before watching a Strawberry Poison-dart Frog sing right outside our rooms.

Nightingale Wren, a shy, plain bird that put on a show.

We made several birding stops at different elevations, the most productive of those was Virgin del Socorro and we hated to leave. On the drive down into the valley we spotted a Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush and a Lesser Greenlet was the first bird we spied at the bottom. We saw many flycatcher species and added these new ones to our list: Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, and Eye-ringed Flatbill. Warblers were actively feeding, and we added Tropical Parula, Blackburnian and Golden-crowned Warblers to our list and got a second look at Golden-winged Warbler and Slated-throated Whitestart here. A large flock of vultures soaring over the valley included all three species: King, Black, and Turkey Vulture. One keen-eyed participant got a long look at a Chestnut-backed Antbird, which played hide and seek with the rest of the group. More cooperative birds included an Olivaceous Woodcreeper, three Black-thighed Grosbeaks, a Collared Trogon perched in the open, and a Nightingale Wren that showed itself and put on quite the concert within a few feet of the entire group.

On the way up to the Cinchona Feeders we stopped for a much better view of a pair of Bat Falcons than before and a brief look at a large group of White-nosed Coati being fed by gullible tourists.

The Cinchona Feeders were an obligatory stop for both the waterfall overlook view and the amazing birds. We picked up our three main targets for this location almost immediately: Red-headed and Prong-billed Barbets, and two Blue-throated Toucanets. We also got first looks at Green Hermit and Green-Crowned Brilliant, a second sighting of Crimson-collared Tanager, our sole sighting of Black-headed Saltator, and our only rare bird of the trip, Yellow-winged Tanager, which has somewhat recently expanded its range southward into Costa Rica.

A beautiful pair of Blue-throated Toucanets were the stars of the Cinchona Feeders.

We stopped at La Paz Waterfall Gardens for both birds and lunch. One of two major targets was obtained while eating, the Sooty-faced Finch, an individual known to beg rice from diners and a species otherwise very difficult to see. The group was practically bum rushed by a flock of eight of the other target, Black-breasted Wood-Quail, when they noisily crossed the set of stairs where we were standing. Several new-for-the-trip hummingbirds were viewed at the many feeders: Green Thorntail, White-bellied and Purple-throated Mountaingems, Black-bellied Hummingbird,and Coppery-headed Emerald. On the way out, a participant that was lagging behind the group snagged the only Tawny-capped Euphonia and last new species of the trip.

Day 9, 19th January 2023. Departure

Our international flights left from Juan Santamaría International Airport.

This Semiplumbeous Hawk perched nearby, undetected until the birds gave it away.

Bird List – Following IOC (12.2)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen.

The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following
BirdLife International: CE = Critically Endangered, EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable, NT
= Near Threatened.

Common NameScientific Name 
Tinamous (Tinamidae) 
Great TinamouTinamus major 
Little Tinamou (H)Crypturellus soui 
Slaty-breasted Tinamou – VU (H)Crypturellus boucardi 
Chachalacas, Curassows, Guans (Cracidae) 
Grey-headed ChachalacaOrtalis cinereiceps 
Crested GuanPenelope purpurascens 
Black GuanChamaepetes unicolor 
New World Quail (Odontophoridae) 
Black-breasted Wood QuailOdontophorus leucolaemus 
Spotted Wood Quail (H)Odontophorus guttatus 
Nightjars (Caprimulgidae) 
Short-tailed NighthawkLurocalis semitorquatus 
PauraqueNyctidromus albicollis 
Dusky NightjarAntrostomus saturatus 
Swifts (Apodidae) 
White-collared SwiftStreptoprocne zonaris 
Grey-rumped SwiftChaetura cinereiventris 
Vaux’s SwiftChaetura vauxi 
Lesser Swallow-tailed SwiftPanyptila cayennensis 
Hummingbirds (Trochilidae) 
White-necked JacobinFlorisuga mellivora 
Bronzy HermitGlaucis aeneus 
Band-tailed BarbthroatThrenetes ruckeri 
Stripe-throated HermitPhaethornis striigularis 
Green HermitPhaethornis guy 
Long-billed HermitPhaethornis longirostris 
Lesser VioletearColibri cyanotus 
Purple-crowned FairyHeliothryx barroti 
Green-breasted MangoAnthracothorax prevostii 
Green ThorntailDiscosura conversii 
Green-crowned BrilliantHeliodoxa jacula 
Talamanca HummingbirdEugenes spectabilis 
Fiery-throated HummingbirdPanterpe insignis 
White-bellied MountaingemLampornis hemileucus 
Purple-throated MountaingemLampornis calolaemus 
Grey-tailed Mountaingem (Endemic)Lampornis cinereicauda 
Ruby-throated HummingbirdArchilochus colubris 
Volcano HummingbirdSelasphorus flammula 
Scintillant HummingbirdSelasphorus scintilla 
Violet SabrewingCampylopterus hemileucurus 
Bronze-tailed PlumeleteerChalybura urochrysia 
Coppery-headed Emerald (Endemic)Microchera cupreiceps 
Stripe-tailed HummingbirdEupherusa eximia 
Black-bellied HummingbirdEupherusa nigriventris 
Rufous-tailed HummingbirdAmazilia tzacatl 
Blue-chested HummingbirdPolyerata amabilis 
Cuckoos (Cuculidae) 
Groove-billed AniCrotophaga sulcirostris 
Squirrel CuckooPiaya cayana 
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae) 
Rock Dove (Introduced)Columba livia 
Scaled PigeonPatagioenas speciosa 
Band-tailed PigeonPatagioenas fasciata 
Pale-vented PigeonPatagioenas cayennensis 
Red-billed PigeonPatagioenas flavirostris 
Ruddy Pigeon (H)Patagioenas subvinacea 
Short-billed PigeonPatagioenas nigrirostris 
Inca DoveColumbina inca 
Ruddy Ground DoveColumbina talpacoti 
Blue Ground Dove (H)Claravis pretiosa 
White-tipped DoveLeptotila verreauxi 
Grey-chested DoveLeptotila cassinii 
White-winged DoveZenaida asiatica 
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae) 
Russet-naped Wood RailAramides albiventris 
Plovers (Charadriidae) 
Southern LapwingVanellus chilensis 
Jacanas (Jacanidae) 
Northern JacanaJacana spinosa 
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae) 
Spotted SandpiperActitis macularius 
Anhingas, Darters (Anhingidae) 
AnhingaAnhinga anhinga 
Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae) 
Green IbisMesembrinibis cayennensis 
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae) 
Fasciated Tiger HeronTigrisoma fasciatum 
Green HeronButorides virescens 
Western Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis 
Great Blue HeronArdea herodias 
Great EgretArdea alba 
Little Blue HeronEgretta caerulea 
New World Vultures (Cathartidae) 
King VultureSarcoramphus papa 
Black VultureCoragyps atratus 
Turkey VultureCathartes aura 
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae) 
Double-toothed KiteHarpagus bidentatus 
Roadside Hawk (H)Rupornis magnirostris 
Semiplumbeous HawkLeucopternis semiplumbeus 
Grey HawkButeo plagiatus 
Broad-winged HawkButeo platypterus 
Short-tailed HawkButeo brachyurus 
Red-tailed HawkButeo jamaicensis 
Owls (Strigidae) 
Costa Rican Pygmy OwlGlaucidium costaricanum 
Ferruginous Pygmy OwlGlaucidium brasilianum 
Bare-shanked Screech OwlMegascops clarkii 
Vermiculated Screech OwlMegascops vermiculatus 
Spectacled OwlPulsatrix perspicillata 
Crested OwlLophostrix cristata 
Mottled OwlStrix virgata 
Trogons (Trogonidae) 
Resplendent QuetzalPharomachrus mocinno 
Slaty-tailed TrogonTrogon massena 
Collared TrogonTrogon collaris 
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae) 
Amazon KingfisherChloroceryle amazona 
Green KingfisherChloroceryle americana 
Belted KingfisherMegaceryle alcyon 
Motmots (Momotidae) 
Lesson’s MotmotMomotus lessonii 
Broad-billed MotmotElectron platyrhynchum 
Jacamars (Galbulidae) 
Rufous-tailed JacamarGalbula ruficauda 
New World Barbets (Capitonidae) 
Red-headed BarbetEubucco bourcierii 
Toucan Barbets (Semnornithidae) 
Prong-billed BarbetSemnornis frantzii 
Toucans (Ramphastidae) 
Blue-throated ToucanetAulacorhynchus caeruleogularis 
Collared AracariPteroglossus torquatus 
Keel-billed ToucanRamphastos sulfuratus 
Yellow-throated ToucanRamphastos ambiguus 
Woodpeckers (Picidae) 
Acorn WoodpeckerMelanerpes formicivorus 
Black-cheeked WoodpeckerMelanerpes pucherani 
Hoffmann’s WoodpeckerMelanerpes hoffmannii 
Cinnamon WoodpeckerCeleus loricatus 
Chestnut-colored WoodpeckerCeleus castaneus 
Lineated WoodpeckerDryocopus lineatus 
Pale-billed WoodpeckerCampephilus guatemalensis 
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae) 
Crested CaracaraCaracara plancus 
Collared Forest Falcon (H)Micrastur semitorquatus 
Bat FalconFalco rufigularis 
African & New World Parrots (Psittacidae) 
Orange-chinned ParakeetBrotogeris jugularis 
Brown-hooded ParrotPyrilia haematotis 
White-crowned ParrotPionus senilis 
White-fronted AmazonAmazona albifrons 
Red-lored AmazonAmazona autumnalis 
Sulphur-winged ParakeetPyrrhura hoffmanni 
Olive-throated ParakeetEupsittula nana 
Great Green Macaw – CRAra ambiguus 
Scarlet MacawAra macao 
Finsch’s ParakeetPsittacara finschi 
Ovenbirds (Furnariidae) 
Olivaceous WoodcreeperSittasomus griseicapillus 
Wedge-billed WoodcreeperGlyphorynchus spirurus 
Cocoa WoodcreeperXiphorhynchus susurrans 
Streak-headed WoodcreeperLepidocolaptes souleyetii 
Spot-crowned WoodcreeperLepidocolaptes affinis 
Buffy TuftedcheekPseudocolaptes lawrencii 
Spotted BarbtailPremnoplex brunnescens 
Ruddy TreerunnerMargarornis rubiginosus 
Red-faced SpinetailCranioleuca erythrops 
Slaty SpinetailSynallaxis brachyura 
Antbirds (Thamnophilidae) 
Barred AntshrikeThamnophilus doliatus 
Black-crowned Antshrike (H)Thamnophilus atrinucha 
Fasciated AntshrikeCymbilaimus lineatus 
Great AntshrikeTaraba major 
Spotted Antbird (H)Hylophylax naevioides 
Chestnut-backed AntbirdPoliocrania exsul 
Tyrant Flycatchers, Calyptura (Tyrannidae) 
White-fronted TyrannuletPhyllomyias zeledoni 
Mountain ElaeniaElaenia frantzii 
Torrent TyrannuletSerpophaga cinerea 
Mistletoe TyrannuletZimmerius parvus 
Olive-striped FlycatcherMionectes olivaceus 
Ochre-bellied FlycatcherMionectes oleagineus 
Slaty-capped FlycatcherLeptopogon superciliaris 
Scale-crested Pygmy TyrantLophotriccus pileatus 
Common Tody-FlycatcherTodirostrum cinereum 
Black-headed Tody-FlycatcherTodirostrum nigriceps 
Eye-ringed FlatbillRhynchocyclus brevirostris 
Black PhoebeSayornis nigricans 
Northern Tufted FlycatcherMitrephanes phaeocercus 
Dark PeweeContopus lugubris 
Ochraceous Pewee (H)Contopus ochraceus 
Tropical PeweeContopus cinereus 
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (H)Empidonax flaviventris 
Yellowish FlycatcherEmpidonax flavescens 
Black-capped FlycatcherEmpidonax atriceps 
Long-tailed TyrantColonia colonus 
Piratic FlycatcherLegatus leucophaius 
Social FlycatcherMyiozetetes similis 
Grey-capped FlycatcherMyiozetetes granadensis 
Great KiskadeePitangus sulphuratus 
White-ringed FlycatcherConopias albovittatus 
Boat-billed FlycatcherMegarynchus pitangua 
Tropical KingbirdTyrannus melancholicus 
Rufous MournerRhytipterna holerythra 
Great Crested Flycatcher (H)Myiarchus crinitus 
Bright-rumped AttilaAttila spadiceus 
Cotingas (Cotingidae) 
Snowy CotingaCarpodectes nitidus 
Manakins (Pipridae) 
White-ruffed ManakinCorapipo altera 
White-collared ManakinManacus candei 
Red-capped ManakinCeratopipra mentalis 
Tityras, Becards, Sharpbill (Tityridae) 
Black-crowned TityraTityra inquisitor 
Masked TityraTityra semifasciata 
Barred BecardPachyramphus versicolor 
Cinnamon BecardPachyramphus cinnamomeus 
Vireos, Greenlets, Shrike-babblers (Vireonidae) 
Rufous-browed Peppershrike (H)Cyclarhis gujanensis 
Lesser GreenletPachysylvia decurtata 
Philadelphia VireoVireo philadelphicus 
Yellow-winged VireoVireo carmioli 
Crows, Jays (Corvidae) 
Brown JayPsilorhinus morio 
Silky-flycatchers (Ptiliogonatidae) 
Black-and-yellow PhainoptilaPhainoptila melanoxantha 
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcherPtiliogonys caudatus 
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae) 
Mangrove SwallowTachycineta albilinea 
Blue-and-white SwallowPygochelidon cyanoleuca 
Northern Rough-winged SwallowStelgidopteryx serripennis 
Southern Rough-winged SwallowStelgidopteryx ruficollis 
Grey-breasted MartinProgne chalybea 
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica 
Wrens (Troglodytidae) 
Rufous-backed WrenCampylorhynchus capistratus 
Black-throated WrenPheugopedius atrogularis 
Cabanis’s WrenCantorchilus modestus 
Canebrake WrenCantorchilus zeledoni 
Bay WrenCantorchilus nigricapillus 
Stripe-breasted WrenCantorchilus thoracicus 
House WrenTroglodytes aedon 
Ochraceous WrenTroglodytes ochraceus 
Timberline WrenThryorchilus browni 
White-breasted Wood WrenHenicorhina leucosticta 
Grey-breasted Wood WrenHenicorhina leucophrys 
Northern Nightingale-WrenMicrocerculus philomela 
Mockingbirds, Thrashers (Mimidae) 
Tropical MockingbirdMimus gilvus 
Thrushes (Turdidae) 
Black-faced SolitaireMyadestes melanops 
Wood ThrushHylocichla mustelina 
Slaty-backed Nightingale-ThrushCatharus fuscater 
Swainson’s Thrush (H)Catharus ustulatus 
Black-billed Nightingale-ThrushCatharus gracilirostris 
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-ThrushCatharus frantzii 
Sooty ThrushTurdus nigrescens 
Mountain ThrushTurdus plebejus 
Clay-colored ThrushTurdus grayi 
Dippers (Cinclidae) 
American DipperCinclus mexicanus 
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae) 
House Sparrow (Introduced)Passer domesticus 
Finches, Euphonias (Fringillidae) 
Yellow-bellied SiskinSpinus xanthogastrus 
Golden-browed ChlorophoniaChlorophonia callophrys 
Yellow-crowned EuphoniaEuphonia luteicapilla 
Yellow-throated EuphoniaEuphonia hirundinacea 
Olive-backed EuphoniaEuphonia gouldi 
Tawny-capped EuphoniaEuphonia anneae 
New World Sparrows (Passerellidae) 
Sooty-capped Bush TanagerChlorospingus pileatus 
Common Bush TanagerChlorospingus flavopectus 
Black-striped SparrowArremonops conirostris 
Orange-billed SparrowArremon aurantiirostris 
Chestnut-capped BrushfinchArremon brunneinucha 
Sooty-faced FinchArremon crassirostris 
Volcano JuncoJunco vulcani 
Rufous-collared SparrowZonotrichia capensis 
Large-footed FinchPezopetes capitalis 
White-eared Ground Sparrow (H)Melozone leucotis 
Yellow-thighed BrushfinchAtlapetes tibialis 
Wrenthrush (Zeledoniidae) 
Wrenthrush (H)Zeledonia coronata 
Oropendolas, New World Orioles, Blackbirds (Icteridae) 
Eastern MeadowlarkSturnella magna 
Chestnut-headed OropendolaPsarocolius wagleri 
Montezuma OropendolaPsarocolius montezuma 
Scarlet-rumped CaciqueCacicus microrhynchus 
Baltimore OrioleIcterus galbula 
Black-cowled OrioleIcterus prosthemelas 
Red-winged BlackbirdAgelaius phoeniceus 
Giant CowbirdMolothrus oryzivorus 
Melodious BlackbirdDives dives 
Great-tailed GrackleQuiscalus mexicanus 
New World Warblers (Parulidae) 
Northern WaterthrushParkesia noveboracensis 
Golden-winged WarblerVermivora chrysoptera 
Black-and-white WarblerMniotilta varia 
Flame-throated WarblerOreothlypis gutturalis 
Tennessee WarblerLeiothlypis peregrina 
Mourning WarblerGeothlypis philadelphia 
Kentucky WarblerGeothlypis formosa 
Olive-crowned YellowthroatGeothlypis semiflava 
Tropical ParulaSetophaga pitiayumi 
Blackburnian WarblerSetophaga fusca 
American Yellow WarblerSetophaga aestiva 
Chestnut-sided WarblerSetophaga pensylvanica 
Townsend’s WarblerSetophaga townsendi 
Black-throated Green WarblerSetophaga virens 
Buff-rumped WarblerMyiothlypis fulvicauda 
Chestnut-capped WarblerBasileuterus delattrii 
Black-cheeked WarblerBasileuterus melanogenys 
Golden-crowned WarblerBasileuterus culicivorus 
Wilson’s WarblerCardellina pusilla 
Slate-throated WhitestartMyioborus miniatus 
Collared WhitestartMyioborus torquatus 
Cardinals & Allies (Cardinalidae) 
Flame-colored TanagerPiranga bidentata 
Summer TanagerPiranga rubra 
Red-throated Ant TanagerHabia fuscicauda 
Black-thighed GrosbeakPheucticus tibialis 
Rose-breasted GrosbeakPheucticus ludovicianus 
Black-faced Grosbeak (H)Caryothraustes poliogaster 
Blue-black GrosbeakCyanoloxia cyanoides 
Tanagers & Allies (Thraupidae) 
Green HoneycreeperChlorophanes spiza 
Red-legged HoneycreeperCyanerpes cyaneus 
Shining HoneycreeperCyanerpes lucidus 
Scarlet-thighed DacnisDacnis venusta 
Cinnamon-bellied SaltatorSaltator grandis 
Buff-throated SaltatorSaltator maximus 
Black-headed SaltatorSaltator atriceps 
Slate-colored Grosbeak (H)Saltator grossus 
BananaquitCoereba flaveola 
Yellow-faced GrassquitTiaris olivaceus 
Crimson-collared TanagerRamphocelus sanguinolentus 
Scarlet-rumped TanagerRamphocelus passerinii 
Morelet’s SeedeaterSporophila morelleti 
Variable SeedeaterSporophila corvina 
Slaty FlowerpiercerDiglossa plumbea 
Blue-grey TanagerThraupis episcopus 
Yellow-winged TanagerThraupis abbas 
Palm TanagerThraupis palmarum 
Golden-hooded TanagerStilpnia larvata 
Bay-headed TanagerTangara gyrola 
Silver-throated TanagerTangara icterocephala 
Total Seen270 
Total Heard18 
Total Recorded288 

Insect List

Common NameScientific Name 
Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae) 
White PeacockAnartia jarophae 
Blue MorphoMorpho menelaus 
Gossamer-winged Butterflies (Lycaenidae) 
Togarna HairstreakArawacus togarna 
Ants (Formicidae) 
Bullet AntParaponera clavata 
Total Seen4 

Mammal List

Common NameScientific Name 
Three-toed Sloths (Bradypodidae) 
Brown-throated Three-toed SlothBradypus variegatus 
New World Monkeys (Atelidea) 
Central American Spider Monkey ENAteles geoffroyi 
Golden-mantled Howler MonkeyAlouatta palliata palliata 
Squirrels (Sciuridae) 
Red-tailed SquirrelSciurus granatensis 
Variegated SquirrelSciurus variegatoides 
Bats (Chiroptera) 
Orange Nectar BatLonchophylla robusta 
Honduran White Bat NTEctophylla alba 
Long-nosed Proboscis BatRhynchonycteris naso 
  Armadillos (Dasypodidae) 
Nine-banded ArmadilloDasypus novemcinctus 
Raccoons (Procyonidae) 
White-nosed CoatiNasua narica 
Rodents (Cricetidae) 
Rat sp.  
Total Seen11 

Reptiles and Amphibians List

Common NameScientific Name 
Geckos (Gekkonidae) 
Common House GeckoHemidactylus sp. 
Iguanas (Iguanidae) 
Green IguanaIguana iguana 
Anoles (Polychrotidae) 
Pug-nosed AnoleAnolis capito 
Slender AnoleAnolis fuscoauratus 
Alligators (Alligatoridae) 
Spectacled CaimenCaiman crocodilus chiapasius 
Turtles (Geoemydidae) 
Black River TurtleRhinoclemmys funerea 
Poison Dart Frogs (Dendrobatidae) 
Strawberry Poison-dart FrogOophaga pumilio 
Fleshbelly Frogs (Craugastoridae) 
Common Rain FrogCraugastor fitzingeri 
True Toads (Bufonidae) 
Cane ToadRhinella marina 
Leaf Litter ToadRhaebo haematiticus 
Total Seen10 


This is a sample trip report. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

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