Costa Rica Is a Birders’ Tropical Paradise
Costa Rica has a reputation for being a birding tropical paradise, and guess what? It’s true! Even in the Central Valley, a short drive from the airport, you can find tropical gardens and a wealth of natural beauty. Look in the right places, and you can even see toucans and parrots. But, seeing birds and experiencing stunning tropical beauty comes with a catch; it’s all about the habitat. The scenery in Costa Rica is always spectacular but don’t expect a whole lot of tropical nature in a housing development or on crowded streets
7 Birds Commonly Spotted at Villa San Ignacio
The best of life occurs in natural places, and that’s why Hotel Villa San Ignacio is a magnet for birds. Since we are talking about Costa Rica, such birds are tropical, and many of them are eye-catching beauties, even the common ones.
Despite the size of a hefty sparrow, the chattering sounds of this small parakeet travels quite a distance. If you look in the highest branches of trees, you might see a few of these beauties. There might also be a flock up there, but since their green plumage and size helps disguise them as leaves, don’t be surprised if you are looking at a tree and some of “the foliage” suddenly takes flight.
What’s a motmot?
These big, stunning birds are common in many areas, including our gardens. Watch for these intriguing birds while eating breakfast outside. They can also be seen on our trails and typically perch quite still in shaded spots. Listen for their “double hoot” calls.
Our most common woodpecker species, this stunning bird, can visit fruit feeders. Its staccato calls are part of our local garden scene. It’s not camera shy either!
The other main woodpecker commonly seen at Villa San Ignacio is this big bird, the Lineated Woodpecker. These striking woodpeckers, about the same size as pigeons, travel in pairs as they hitch up trees, call from dead snags, and fly through the garden. Listen for their steady “laughing” vocalization.
Not all toucans have “toucan” in their name. Some smaller species are known as aracaris; Villa San Ignacio has this species, the Fiery-billed Aracari, frequenting hotel grounds. Found in Costa Rica and adjacent western Panama, this small toucan usually occurs in small groups and often feeds at fruiting trees.
One of several hummingbird species that frequents Villa San Ignacio is the exquisite bird as it feeds from low flowering bushes near the reception. This hummingbird has a minimal range; it only occurs in parts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Who doesn’t like a bold bird with a pink face? This striking bird is usually seen in pairs and typically in treetops. Since they also nest in cavities, they gravitate to holes made by woodpeckers.
A common garden bird, pondering over the different blue shades shown by this species, makes for a great, peaceful start to any day.
Believe it or not, these aren’t the only birds found in the gardens and on the grounds of Villa San Ignacio. Many more will be coming out; keep an eye on our blog to learn more about the exciting birdlife at Villa San Ignacio. Or better yet, visit us and see for yourself this tropical birding paradise!
For more information/questions: Write to customerservice[a]villasanignacio.com
Blog by Patrick O’Donnell.
Patrick started birding at the age of 7 in Niagara Falls, NY. A biologist by trade, he has worked on bird-related projects in a number of places and has guided birders in Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica. Patrick has lived in Costa Rica since 2007 and when not birding, writes about birds, travel and tourism, and other topics.