One other 12 months of birding in Costa Rica has come to an finish, one other one begins. What’s going to the brand new 12 months convey? I guess some tanager flocks will likely be within the playing cards; birding in Costa Rica tends to ship. There needs to be a superb variety of hummingbirds and quetzals are ready within the mountains. It’s 2023 already and I’ve already began this 12 months of birding. No quetzal journeys but however a superb begin nonetheless. First birds got here within the type of migrants and resident species that dwell in an oasis of valuable inexperienced house close to dwelling.
An Ovenbird chipping from espresso bushes, a Mourning Warbler within the dense grass. A male American Redstart flashed its Halloween finery and different birds flitted into view. A flash of blue and pink, male Painted Bunting! Sluggish motion within the foliage of a lime tree, there’s a Yellow-throated Vireo doing its deliberate factor. A squadron of Brown Jays flaps overhead and a White-tailed Kite hovers into view. I’ll take these first birds of the 12 months, I have a good time them and sit up for extra. With these birds, I have already got some highlights for 2023. 2022 gave me a fair proportion of fantastic birds and birding experiences. Regardless of a good diploma of effort, I additionally had some surprising misses. These stored me beneath the 700 species threshhold however I gained’t complain about 691 species. I speak about my “finest” 12 months birds at my weblog.
These have been a few of the different many highlights of this previous birding 12 months.
48 Hummingbird Species
In Costa Rica, seeing 48 hummingbird species means seeing almost all the common ones. The one resident I missed was the Backyard Emerald. Based mostly on unwritten, invisible birding legal guidelines, this implies I’ll in all probability run into one tomorrow. However critically, my hummingbird whole is a reminder that in case you go birding sufficient in Costa Rica, you’ve got a good likelihood of seeing all anticipated hummingbirds.
I additionally noticed a excessive proportion of the raptor species attainable in Costa Rica. No, there weren’t any sightings of extremely mega Crested Eagle or lacking Solitary Eagle, or king Harpy Eagle on my half however I did join with many of the relaxation. Hawk-eagles flapping butterfly wings excessive above rainforest, a Tiny Hawk at a well-liked feeding spot, cool Crane Hawks and Bicolored Hawk, and Hook-billed Kites and extra. Lacking was Nice Black-Hawk, lacking on account of not spending sufficient time trying in the correct locations and the species having undergone severe decline in Costa Rica over the previous 20 years.
I additionally did not see a Pearl Kite, perhaps one in all my largest misses of the 12 months. The small shrike-kestrel measurement and demeanor of this lovely little raptor make it critically unobtrusive. I regarded in a few of the proper locations however failed to attach. Which additionally means I’ll see one quickly.
The cotingas are particular, bizarre, and fantastic birds. In Costa Rica, a few of them are additionally uncommon and exhausting to search out. I don’t normally see all of them in a 12 months however in 2022, luck and being in the correct locations labored to offer me the next cotinga sweep:
- Rufous Piha– Go birding in the correct lowland rainforest hotspots and also you’ll hear the loud wolf whistles of this chicken, in all probability see it too. I normally hear and see it in Carara, I’ll have additionally heard it at one other one or two spots.
- Three-wattled Bellbird– One other vociferous chicken a lot simpler to listen to than see. The problem to seeing it within the excessive season earlier than March is that the majority birds usually are not at Monteverde, most are in different, much less accessible areas. Fortunately, in one of the unforgettable birding experiences of my life, at Curi-Cancha, I shared fantastic scoped seems to be of a male bellbird with previous and new mates and birding mentors from Buffalo, NY.
- Turquoise Cotinga– Males at a patch of rainforest within the metropolis of Perez Zeledon additionally seen with of us from Buffalo have been the one ones I noticed in 2022.
- Pretty Cotinga– As soon as once more, the persevering with male at Rancho Naturalista was shared with the identical group from Buffalo. We had numerous glorious birds on that journey!
- Snowy Cotinga– Not seen that usually however go birding in the correct locations and you’ll in all probability join. I noticed this cool chicken close to Limon, Sarapiqui, and at Cano Negro.
- Yellow-billed Cotinga– I had glorious seems to be of this surreal, endangered species at Cerro Lodge, and Rincon de Osa.
- Naked-necked Umbrellabird– Any view of this endangered species is a significant occasion. Admiring a feminine at Centro Manu with my associate was an ideal strategy to finish of a 12 months of birding in Costa Rica.
- Purple-throated Fruitcrow– Just like the Snowy Cotinga, in case you go birding in the correct locations and know search for them, it’s best to see fruitcrows. They appear to be doing particularly effectively in forests close to and south of Limon.
Updating “Methods to See, Discover, and Establish Birds in Costa Rica”
An edited model of my chicken discovering book for Costa Rica was lengthy overdue. It took some time to replace it however I’m glad I did; since 2015, some locations have closed and lot extra locations have opened. This second model contains many of the new locations for birding in Costa Rica together with updates for all the older, basic locales.
Updating the Costa Rica Birds Area Information app
I’m additionally glad to have helped replace the Costa Rica Birds Area Information app with extra photographs, new birds (a few birds are nonetheless added to the Costa Rica chicken record yearly!), and extra data. To make the app as thorough as attainable, greater than 60 extra species that might happen are additionally included on this birding app for Costa Rica.
As all the time, the most important spotlight is having the possibility to share so many birds in Costa Rica with my associate and lots of different folks. I hope you make it right here to expertise the unbelievable avian lifetime of this birdy nation. There’s loads of improbable birding occurring round right here!