Costa Rica Birdwatching in Montezuma / Malpais

Costa Rica has over 700 species of birds. Some migrate seasonally. A few live only in Costa Rica (endemic species) and several arrive by accident – lost or blown in by storms.

Even though forests are being cut and a few species are nearly extinct, the total number of species in Costa Rica is actually INCREASING, because new species are spreading from the north and south. Previously, the entire area was made up of impenetrable jungle, but now the clearing has made it possible for many species to spread. The arrival of new species may put heavy competitive pressure on native birds, and within 100 years, many native species may be lost.

In the Malpais/Montezuma area, we supposedly have over 300 species of birds, but I’ve only been able to document a small percentage of those. I hope that other photographers will help to fill out this section of the website.

If you’re interested in birdwatching, then you’ll be interested to know that the best season to see many species is in the dry season, when supposedly many species migrate to the area to eat bugs that are easier to find when there’s less foliage. Even the famous “bellbird” takes up residence here in remote jungle valleys of the area during the dry season, and disappears when the first rains start to fall.

We’ve noticed that the best time to see birds is in the morning, around 7-8 a.m., which we call “the birdy hour”. Also, if you’re lucky enough to find a swarm of army ants, you’ll probably see a dozen or more bird species perched around, looking to swoop down and prey on bugs that the ants stir up.

If you find an injured bird, perhaps one that hit a window, just leave it alone and keep cats away from it for a while. Usually they will recover within an hour or two and fly off. If the bird still seems hurt, then contact Rainsong Wildlife Sanctuary in Cabuya and they will take it and try to nurse it back to health for release.

Hold your mouse over the photos below to see the species, (if I’ve been able to identify it!)

Baltimore Oriole in Montezuma Banded wren in Montezuma Barethroated Tiger Heron - seen at Las Manchas, Montezuma
Black Grossbeak - common along the roads Black Headed Trogon in Montezuma Black Vulture
Blue Crowned Mot Mot, near Paquera Blue Grossbeak in Montezuma Blue Seedeater - near Manzanillo
Brown Crested Flycatcher Brown Pelican Collared Aracari
Great Kiskadee Great Tailed Grackle - female Grey Necked Wood Rail
Hoffman's Woodpecker Laughing Falcon Laughing Gull
Lineated Woodpecker Long-tailed Manakin Magnificent Frigatebird
Mystery Bird Orange-fronted Parakeets Plain Chachalaca
Red-legged Honeycreeper Red-lored Parrot Rufous Capped Warbler
Rufous-naped Wren Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Squirrel Cuckoo
Streaked Flycatcher Tropical Screetch Owl Tropical Screetch Owl Baby
Turkey Vulture Turquoise Browed Mot-mot White-fronted Parrot
White Ibis White-lored Gnatcatcher White-necked Puffbird
White-throated Magpie Jay White tipped Dove White winged Dove
Yellow-throated Euphonia Yellow-throated Vireo Caracara
Green Kingfisher - male Green Kingfisher - female An injured dove that his our window, but later recovered and flew away
Great Stuff

Clandestina Restaurant

  My new favorite restaurant, Clandestina is not to be missed by food lovers staying anywhere near to Montezuma. Established in March 2015, Clandestina is the new kid on the block. The Oregon/Tico collaboration is a winner among locals and travelers alike, with artisan craft beers, made onsite by Butterfly Brewing Co. and delicious, exciting […]

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