Villa San Ignacio | Hotel near San Jose and Alajuela | Costa Rica

Birds of Costa Rica: Twitching in the Central Valley

With more than 900 species of birds, Costa Rica is a wonderland for bird watchers. In this lush country teeming with fruit and flowers, you don’t have to visit a reserve or an aviary to spy famous birds. Even walking in cities and along busy roads you’ll want to keep some attention skyward, as opportunities for spotting our feathered locals and in-season migrants are always available.

Villa San Ignacio sits on two acres of native terrain populated by flowering fruit trees – a happy haven for a rich variety of Costa Rica’s famous birds.

The best times for bird watching are in the early morning and late afternoon, the most temperate times of the day, when birds do their busywork. Magnificent colors set tropical birds apart from their northern relatives. Such unmistakable fancy dress means that even first time birders can experience the thrill of discovering a crimson fronted parakeet or blue-crowned motmot in its natural environment.

We have well groomed trails to make your sightseeing easy, and we’re happy to arrange snacks and coffee to go for your group.

Old Souls

Birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs 150 million years ago. The Archaeopteryx (Greek for ancient wing) is the oldest known bird-like dinosaur. It had wings and feathers and could fly, but like its Velociraptor cousin this ancient avian also had small teeth and a long bony tail. The survival of the bird species is credited to the ability to fly – goodbye teeth – meaning in modern times the sweet hummingbird can rightly celebrate her evolutionary victory over theropod kin Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Most of our tropical birds are frugivorous (they feed on fruit) and this makes them excellent ecological stewards. They spread seeds, fostering the natural distribution of plants and trees throughout the region. Because fruit is plentiful, the sweet beaked birds don’t have to exhaust themselves hunting or fighting for sustenance. One of the greatest threats to our most brilliant birds is capture by humans, misguided souls who want to keep these ancient divines as pets.

Birds of the Central Valley

Here are just some of our feathered friends you might encounter when you stay a Villa St. Ignacio

Blue-crowned Motmot
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl
Gray-necked Wood-rail
Great Kiskadee
Laughing Falcon
Long-tailed Manakin
Montezuma Oropendola
Orange Chinned Parakeet
Red-legged Honeycreeper
Rufous-capped Warbler
Steely-vented Hummingbird
Social Flycatcher
Squirrel Cuckoo
White-crowned Parrot
Yellow-throated Euphonia