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Profile of perched male Resplendent Quetzal in a cloud forest off Costa Rica, showing full length of cover feathers
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Fiery-throated Hummingbird - Panterpe insignis medium-sized hummingbird breeds only in the mountains of Costa Rica and Panama.
A red scarlet macaw (Ara macao) in flight.

Catch a glimpse of the quetzal and Costa Rica's many birds

NatureCosta Rica

Central America is a natural corridor through which birds travel from one hemisphere to the other. This, combined with its nature reserves, explains why Costa Rica is home to a variety of birds, a diversity that includes over 800 different species. One of these species is the quetzal, which is so beautiful that pre-Colombian civilizations considered it divine.

You can look for quetzals in Monteverde forest, Los Quetzales park, and the Santos region. They're easier to spot in April and May during their mating season. Admiring their long, iridescent feathers and the way the light plays off their green tones is a rare and beautiful natural spectacle. Hummingbirds and macaws, two other iconic Costa Rican birds, also have eye-catching colorful plumage. A nature guide can help you find tangaras, hummingbirds, and woodpeckers.

As for Carara National Park, it is renowned for its easily-observed red macaws. Birds also favor the country's wetlands, like swamps, lagoons, and mangroves. Cano Negro nature reserve, for example, is world-renowned for providing a haven for migratory birds. Cormorants, ibises, storks, jacanas, and spoonbills all flock here. The Maquenque reserve, which borders the San Carlos river, is another option for birdwatching.

To increase your chances of seeing the birds, ask your local Evaneos agency to connect you with an expert guide who can accompany you during prime birdwatching hours as well as provide you with binoculars. Your guide will also share the best tips and tricks for spotting these beautiful specimens. You can enjoy birdwatching in Costa Rica all year long.

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