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Field Guides Tour Report
Costa Rica 2018
Mar 10, 2018 to Mar 25, 2018
Jay VanderGaast & Vernon Campos

This snazzy White-throated Magpie-Jay was one of the birds we found in our last few days of the tour. We located a few along Guacimo Road, then found a really cooperative individual on our last day. Photo by participant Joelle Finlay.

It's a testament to how many great birds we saw on this tour that when it came time to vote for our three favorite birds of the tour, there was no clear consensus as to what was the top bird of the trip. Out of 36 votes, 27 different bird species were chosen, and only one species received two first-place votes, that being the stunning male White-crested Coquette we saw so well at Tolomuco Lodge one morning. The wonderful Lesser Ground-Cuckoo was the only species chosen by three different people, all as their second favorite, making for a tie at the top between the cuckoo and the coquette. Perennial favorite Resplendent Quetzal and the brilliant Golden-browed Chlorophonia came tied for 3rd, but for perhaps the first time ever, no one species dominated the vote.

We kicked things off with a travel day, but not without some excellent birding stops along the way, including Virgen del Socorro, where two birds named for cutting instruments were the stars, as we saw both White-tipped Sicklebill and Brown-billed Scythebill in close proximity. Up the road at Cinchona, Prong-billed Barbets and Northern Emerald-Toucanets stole the show. We then began a three night stay in the Caribbean lowlands, where highlights included awesome views of the endangered Great Green Macaw, plus Great Tinamou, Great Curassow, and great Crested Owls on a day roost. Rain on our travel day to Rancho Naturalista hampered our birding efforts a bit, but we still came away with a fantastic King Vulture, a very cooperative Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and both Great Potoo and Spectacled Owl. At Rancho, in addition to wonderful food and hospitality, we enjoyed the local Tawny-chested Flycatcher, the exquisite Snowcap, a cheeky Chiriqui Quail-Dove at the feeders, and a fantastic pair of Sunbitterns tending to their nest. We finished our time on the Caribbean slope with a visit to Tapanti National Park. A nocturnal outing near Orosi before we got to the park gave us smashing looks at Bare-shanked Screech-Owl and a pair of Striped Owls, while the park offered up Barred Becard, Black-bellied Hummingbird, and a beautiful pair of Elegant Euphonias, among many others.

We began our visit to the Pacific slope high up in the Talamanca Mountains, where we based ourselves in the scenic Savegre Valley. Here we delighted in a superb selection of highland specialties which included the aforementioned quetzal and chlorophonias, plus Spotted Wood-Quail, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher, Flame-throated Warbler, Collared Redstart, and so much more, while nearby, along the highest part of the InterAmerican highway, we added Timberline Wren, Volcano Junco, and the unique Wrenthrush. Visiting Bosque del Tolomuco on our way down to the coast gave us that amazing coquette mentioned above, plus Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, White-tailed Emerald, Red-headed Barbet and Speckled Tanager. Not a bad haul for such a short visit! Moving right along, our time at Carara was packed with great birds, including southwestern specials like Baird's Trogon, Golden-naped Woodpecker, and Riverside Wren, and more widespread but still cool species like Streak-chested Antpitta and Black-faced Antthrush. A morning in the dry forest along the Guacimo road offered up White-throated Magpie-Jay, Double-striped Thick-knee, and the exquisite Turquoise-browed Motmot. And we finished up at Monteverde, where Black-breasted Wood-Quail, Long-tailed Manakin, and an amazing Three-wattled Bellbird rounded out our lists.

Many thanks to all of you for joining Vernon and me on this tour. You were a great, fun group, and it was truly enjoyable to travel with you all, and I'll look forward to doing so again soon.


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Any time you actually SEE a tinamou is a great occasion, so we were really excited to get such a view of this Great Tinamou. Photo by participant Tracey Bauder.

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) – In places where they aren't bothered by humans, these birds can be remarkably tame, as we saw at both La Selva and Carara, where they strolled unconcernedly along near the trails in full view.
LITTLE TINAMOU (Crypturellus soui) – Heard at La Selva and Carara. [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – A few of these handsome ducks were seen at various wetland areas on both slopes.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – You've all probably seen the farmyard versions of these ducks, but it really is something else to see them flying around in the wild, isn't it? We had at least 10 birds flying across the Tarcoles river during our boat trip, then a few more along the Quebrada Bonita trail at Carara.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – A few each at the pond at Las Concavas (a few of you slept through these), and the sewage ponds at San Isidro. [b]
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – Numerous on the Caribbean slope, especially at Rancho's feeders. Much less common on the Pacific side, and that lone bird at the Cocorocas salt pans was originally had us wondering whether it was this species or Plain Chachalaca, as the site is out of range for both species. When it flew, though, the rufous primaries left no doubt that it was this chachalaca.
CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens) – Just a couple at La Selva, where they are usually common and easy to see. We then ran into them daily at Rancho, including a view of a couple from the balcony, then also had a pair of them on the grounds of the Villa Lapas one morning.
BLACK GUAN (Chamaepetes unicolor) – A pair of "Black Ones" were at the quetzal viewing spot in the Savegre valley, then a lone bird was seen at the Santa Elena Reserve.
GREAT CURASSOW (Crax rubra) – Like the Crested Guan, this was also scarcer than usual at La Selva, and a male near the cafeteria was our only sighting for the trip, albeit an excellent one.
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
CRESTED BOBWHITE (SPOT-BELLIED) (Colinus cristatus dickeyi) – Calling in the heat of the day along the Guacimo Road, but too smart to come out into the sun. [*]
BLACK-BREASTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus leucolaemus) – One of our main target species around Monteverde, and we nailed it at Santa Elena, with both groups independently encountering small coveys at close range along the trail. The next day, we found another cooperative pair at the Ecological Sanctuary, allowing Tyrell to catch up on these birds after missing the Santa Elena outing.
SPOTTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus guttatus) – Vernon's sharp ears picked out the sound of a covey of 6+ birds scratching around in a gully along the track as we descended from the oak forest above Savegre Lodge, and we all had fine views of them as foraged among the dead leaves on the forest floor.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus) – A couple of birds in some roadside ponds en route to Villa Lapas were the only ones for the tour.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – None along the Tarcoles River during our boat trip, surprisingly, and we would have missed this normally common coastal bird altogether if we hadn't spotted a lone bird in a flooded area north of the river as we sped past in the bus one morning.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – Quite numerous along the Pacific coast.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – A widespread species, though we only saw them during our boat trip.

This lovely little White-crested Coquette was one of the favorite birds of the trip. Photo by participant Chris Kilpatrick.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – A few birds along the Pacific coast, including one that looked a bit odd sitting on a roadside power line.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – A few birds along the Pacific coast, but seeing only two during the boat trip was a kind of surprising, as they are usually pretty common there.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
FASCIATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma fasciatum) – Great views of an adult along a fast-flowing stream on our way to Braulio Carrillo NP. Similar to, but smaller than, the next species, and prefers clear, rushing streams whereas Bare-throated tends to favor more sluggish, slow-moving rivers and marshy areas.
BARE-THROATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma mexicanum) – One was seen two mornings in a row in a marshy field near La Selva, then we saw this species daily near the Pacific coast, where a pair were tending a nest in the large leafless tree above the restaurant at Villa Lapas. [N]
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – A lone bird by a roadside pond in the Caribbean lowlands, then a few more during our boat trip. [b]
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Small numbers in the lowlands on both slopes.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – A few were seen in coastal regions along the Pacific.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – A few in the lowlands on both slopes, including a number of white-plumaged juveniles.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – A small number of these elegant herons were along the Pacific coast.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Numerous and seen nearly every day.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – A lone bird at the Pueblo Nuevo Marsh was hard to pick out as it blended in so well with its surroundings. Others along the Pacific coast were much easier to see.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – Fair numbers, mainly adults, around the mouth of the Rio Tarcoles.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – Just a couple of these strange, nocturnal herons were found on a day roost along the canal during our boat trip.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – Good numbers along the Rio Tarcoles during our boat trip.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – A flock of about 10 birds was seen flying over the Rio Tarcoles just after we disembarked from the boat trip, with our only other bird seen alongside the Wood Stork at the flooded field north of the bridge.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Though we missed this on our first afternoon's walk around the Bougainvillea, we made up with heaps of them every day afterward.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Seen daily in good numbers, but most impressive were the hundreds of migrants seen kettling and soaring northward one morning near La Selva.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – During a lunch stop near Braulio Carrillo, I suggested everyone bring their binoculars along as you never know when a King Vulture will fly over. We then stepped off the bus and promptly spotted one, not flying over, but perched on a distant ridge line, where we were able to get good scope views. When we exited the restaurant after lunch, it, or another King, was soaring overhead with a bunch of other vultures and hawks, giving us even better looks! One more was spotted from the bus as we drove past Carara NP one morning.

This Chiriqui Quail-Dove was coming to the feeders at Rancho Naturalista. Photo by participant Ken Harris.

Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – One flying over the valley along the Silent Mountain Road seemed a little out of place, but the ones at the mouth of the Rio Tarcoles looked like they were right where they belonged. [b]
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
PEARL KITE (Gampsonyx swainsonii) – A roadside stop at some ponds near Parrita netted us excellent scope views of this recent colonist devouring a recent catch, which may have been a Yellow Warbler, though it wasn't easy to tell.
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – Primarily seen during bus rides in areas of open pastureland, with scattered sightings on several days.
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – Not only did we get the usual great looks as they flew overhead, but we also had some incredible views of them from above as they soared gracefully below our overlook above the valley at Virgen del Socorro. [a]
DOUBLE-TOOTHED KITE (Harpagus bidentatus) – This small kite often follows troops of capuchin monkeys, using them to flush prey just like a Cattle Egret uses cattle to do the same. Though we never saw this behavior, we did have good looks at this bird on 3 days, with scope views of perched birds both at La Selva and Carara.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – A couple of pairs of these Austral migrants were seen well as they circled over the mangroves during our boat tour. [a]
BICOLORED HAWK (Accipiter bicolor) – A pair of these scarce hawks have been regulars at Rancho for several years now, though we failed to see them on their usual early morning perch this trip. Vernon's group did get good views of a perched bird near the forest hummingbird feeders, while a visit to the nest the next day only gave us scope views of either the top of the head or the end of the tail, depending on when you stepped up to the scope. [N]
COMMON BLACK HAWK (MANGROVE) (Buteogallus anthracinus subtilis) – These Pacific coast birds were once treated as a full species, but are now lumped with Common Black-Hawk, a good move, I think. As the old name of Mangrove Black-Hawk suggests, these birds were common in the mangroves along the Rio Tarcoles.
WHITE HAWK (Pseudastur albicollis) – Our only sighting wasn't ideal, as it was brief and distant across the valley at Virgen del Socorro. It was definitive, though, as there's not much to mistake this handsome hawk for, even with that kind of view.
SEMIPLUMBEOUS HAWK (Leucopternis semiplumbeus) – On this tour route, restricted to the La Selva area, where, being a bird of the forest interior, it can be tricky to find. But we ended up getting fantastic scope views of one in the subcanopy over our heads along the STR trail on our first morning there.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – A few scattered records, beginning with a perched juvenile just outside the lunch restaurant near Braulio as the King Vulture and other raptors circled overhead. We also had some good looks at a couple of adults in the Pacific lowlands.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – Lots of these were seen on the Caribbean slope, including fairly large numbers migrating with a big flock of Turkey Vultures over La Selva. [b]
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – Generally a fairly common hawk, but we only saw two, one light morph bird, one dark morph, in the big kettle of raptors that included the King Vulture over the restaurant near Braulio.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – We never really ran into the big numbers of migrants we sometimes encounter on this tour, but we still had a few mixed in with the Turkey Vultures at La Selva, and had good scope views of a perched bird along the road to Pueblo Nuevo marsh. [b]
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus) – We'd advised the group to check Turkey Vultures carefully as we set out to bird along Guacimo Road, and Charlie proved he was listening by picking out our one and only Zone-tailed Hawk that showed beautifully as it flew directly over us.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – The bird we saw along the Silent Mountain Road may well have been a boreal migrant, but the several birds encountered in the highlands (i.e. Savegre Valley and elsewhere) showed the extensive rufous below that is characteristic of the resident race costaricensis, which is found only in the mountains of CR and Panama.

Lesson's Motmot was seen very well at Rancho Naturalista, as well as Monteverde and our hotel at Villa Lapas. Photo by participant Joelle Finley.

Eurypygidae (Sunbittern)
SUNBITTERN (Eurypyga helias) – The long-reliable pair below Rancho came through again this trip, as we had incredible looks at them gathering nesting material along the stream than flying up to their well-concealed nest overhanging the water. At least one egg was just visible in the nest (they lay 1-2 eggs usually). These spectacular birds are in their very own family, considered to be most closely related to the Kagu of New Caledonia! Ken's pick as #1 bird of the trip. [N]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) – Several were heard at Pueblo Nuevo Marsh, but all were too far away to do anything with. [*]
RUSSET-NAPED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides albiventris) – With the split of Gray-necked Wood-Rail into two similar species, Costa Rica has gained a species, as both forms occur in the country (and at least one site I know of has both kinds!). We had incredible close views of a very habituated one at Cope's feeders.
GRAY-COWLED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – The other half of the split of Gray-necked WOod-Rail, this one was seen on two occasions. First, we had great looks at a pair near the Hotel Bougainvillea on our first morning's optional walk. Then Tracey spotted a pair on another optional early morning walk on the grounds of the Fonda Vela hotel at Monteverde.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – A few birds in the marsh at Pueblo Nuevo.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – A pair with a young chick were standing in the shade near the road as we searched for Guanacaste specialties along Guacimo road, and a couple more were found where we heard the bobwhites calling. [N]
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – A couple were at the San Isidro sewage ponds, and several more along the Rio Tarcoles.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – A few in non-breeding plumage in the salt pans at Cocorocas. [b]
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – A fairly recent colonist in Costa Rica, but now well-established and widespread. We saw at least 8 at the San Isidro sewage ponds, then a single bird in a field en route to Monteverde.
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – Vernon and our boatman knew just where to find one and we pulled onto a sandbank along the river and in short order were enjoying fine views of one in lovely plumage. The only thing I didn't care for were the large crocodiles lurking nearby, evidently expecting us to toss them a chicken.
WILSON'S PLOVER (Charadrius wilsonia) – A pair of these large-billed plovers were among the many other shorebirds on the salt pans at Cocorocas.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – As high tide was approaching, more and more birds were amassing at the roost at Cocorocas, and eventually, a few of these migrants joined the throngs. [b]
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa) – Regularly seen in marshy habitats on both slopes, and at at least a handful of white-bellied juveniles were around.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – A handful during the boat trip, then big numbers at Cocorocas. [b]
MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa) – I estimated at least 50 of these at Cocorocas, which I think is the largest concentration of godwits I've ever seen in the country. [b]
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – A handful were seen by some at Cocorocas, the rest of us were probably being distracted by orioles. [b]

One of the quintessential birds of Costa Rica is the Resplendent Quetzal. We couldn't have hoped for a better view, even though we did have to fight the crowd in Savegre. Photo by participant Chris Kilpatrick.

LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – One on the sand bank alongside the Collared Plover, then more at Cocorocas. [b]
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri) – A few birds at Cocorocas. Along with Least Sandpiper, this is one of the commonest wintering peeps in Costa Rica. [b]
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus) – It was nice to see half a dozen or more of these at Cocorocas. [b]
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – Though this sandpiper isn't restricted to coastal habitats like many of the others, all of ours were seen along the Pacific coast. [b]
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) – A flock of 16 were along the Rio Tarcoles, and a much larger group were at Cocorocas. [b]
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – The default gull here, and usually the only one around in numbers at this time of year. A bunch of these were at Cocorocas. [b]
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Not a tern I'm used to seeing in large numbers here, so the 20 or so on the flats at Cocorocas surprised me a little.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – We picked out a couple of these massive terns by their size and their blood red bills. [b]
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Usually one of the most numerous terns along the Pacific coast, and there were a bunch of these at Cocorocas.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – Along with Royal, one of the most common terns here, and good numbers started arriving at the Cocorocas roost just before we headed out.
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – I hadn't seen skimmers in CR (or anywhere, really) in years, so it was great to see so many of these incredible birds (100+) at Cocorocas. At this time of year, the birds here are migrants from the northern breeding populations. In summer (Austral winter), South American breeders winter in the same area, so CR gets both Boreal and Austral migrants of this species. [b]
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – A few birds around various towns and cities only. [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Regularly seen perched on roadside power lines in the Caribbean lowlands, and a few were seen doing the same along the Pacific coast between Dominical and Parrita.
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris) – The most widespread and often seen large pigeon through much of the country, though usually scarce in the lowlands.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – A flock of about 40 of these highland pigeons went by overhead at Tapanti, and we saw a few more small groups the following day in the Savegre valley.
RUDDY PIGEON (Patagioenas subvinacea) – Very similar to the next species, and best separated by voice. We saw and heard this one at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, then again in the Savegre Valley.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) – Usually at lower elevations than Ruddy, though they do overlap now at a few sites. We had this one only in the lowlands at La Selva and Carara.
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – Very common in the dry northwest, with a few birds around the Hotel Bougainvillea where they've recently expanded their range.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Quite numerous in the dry northwest.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – The most widespread of the ground-doves, and common at lower to middle elevations on both slopes.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – Much less numerous and conspicuous than the other ground-doves, and can be hard to find. We got lucky with this one, as a lovely male at La Selva returned over and over again to the same stretch of trail to collect nesting material, giving us awesome looks in the process. [*]
RUDDY QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon montana) – A female or young bird strolled out onto the trail ahead of my group along the Quebrada Bonita trail at Carara.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – A pretty common and easy to see terrestrial dove, regularly found in scrubby, rather open habitat. Probably best seen below the feeders at Rancho.
GRAY-CHESTED DOVE (Leptotila cassinii) – One briefly joined the White-tipped Doves below Rancho's feeders one afternoon, though only a couple of people got to see it. We fared better at Carara, with several decent looks at the local race, rufinucha, which is restricted to the Pacific lowlands of CR and western Panama, and has been considered a separate species.

One of the most endearing birds we saw was this Collared Redstart. Photo by participant Tracey Bauder.

CHIRIQUI QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon chiriquensis) – It was a real surprise to learn that one of these was visiting the feeders at Rancho, as I'd only seen it once or twice on the property during my 6 years as the resident guide there. We couldn't have asked for better views, either, as the bird was pretty tame and fed out in full view a couple of times. We usually are working hard for this species at the Ecological Sanctuary on our last morning, but of course since we didn't need them there this trip, we found them quite easily there, too!
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – This bird used to be restricted to the dry northwest, but they've expanded greatly in recent years, and now are a common roadside sight in the central valley, and some areas of the Caribbean slope as well. [N]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SMOOTH-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga ani) – Restricted to the south Pacific slope in CR, and our only ones were a couple along the road in the Dominical area, near the small contact zone where the two species could possibly be found together. Apparently only spread north into Costa Rica in the late 1930's.
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – The common ani along most of the tour route, save the drive from San Isidro to Dominical and up along the coast to Parrita.
STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) – Inconspicuous when they're not singing, and their usually not too vocal at this time of year, so it was great to hear, and then find one, along the Rio Tarcoles, just after the boat trip had gotten underway.
LESSER GROUND-CUCKOO (Morococcyx erythropygus) – As with the Striped Cuckoo, when these birds aren't calling they can be next to impossible to find. Luckily, a couple were calling along Guacimo Road, and we managed to lure one in close enough to get awesome looks at it, Cleopatra eyes and all!
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – Pretty common at low to middle elevations on both slopes, and we saw them several times at several sites.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (Tyto alba) – An active nest in the trunk of a palm tree in the center of the town of Paraiso allowed us the chance for great scope views of an adult and at least one large chick (apparently there are two in the nest). While we watched, a grackle seemed to discover the nest, and spent a long time hopping back and forth across the entrance to the hollow, squawking loudly in displeasure. [N]
Strigidae (Owls)
PACIFIC SCREECH-OWL (Megascops cooperi) – Our final new bird for the trip, and one we thought we were going to miss. But a report of a bird on a day roost from a friend of ours led us to make a final attempt for this owl on our way back to San Jose, and after a fair bit of searching, we finally found its well-concealed spot and had a great study of it, bringing our owl totals to a nice round 10 species seen!
TROPICAL SCREECH-OWL (Megascops choliba) – A reported pair on a day roost in Paraiso near the Barn Owl nest had us scanning the densest parts of various trees, only to find the birds sitting right out in the open, though it seems most of the locals hadn't noticed them before we arrived, as we attracted a good crowd, many of whom wanted to digiscope them with their phones.
VERMICULATED SCREECH-OWL (VERMICULATED) (Megascops guatemalae vermiculatus) – Heard during our night walk at La Selva, then again near their day roost the next morning, though the birds had moved from their known roost into some denser vegetation further from the trail where we were unable to find them. [*]
BARE-SHANKED SCREECH-OWL (Megascops clarkii) – At least three birds were calling in the forests above Orosi on our nighttime excursion, but they were proving exceptionally difficult to find. That is, until Vernon finally located one perched a couple of trees back from the edge, where it showed well enough for us to even see the unfeathered legs for which it's named. Charlie chose this as his favorite bird of the trip.

We found some wonderful woodpeckers, including this stunning Chestnut-colored Woodpecker at La Selva. Photo by participant Joelle Finley.

CRESTED OWL (Lophostrix cristata) – We were enjoying our first views of Great Tinamous at La Selva when our local guide, Joel, looked up and noticed one of these handsome owls sitting right out in the open looking down at us with its white crest feathers fully erect! A bit of searching led to us finding its much more well-concealed mate not far away. A couple of days later we saw another pair near Cope's place as we looked for a roosting Great Potoo, so we didn't even bother looking for the roosting pair at Rancho!
SPECTACLED OWL (Pulsatrix perspicillata) – It took us a lot longer than we'd expected to find this bird on a day roost near Cope's place, and we got pretty wet and muddy in the process, but we did end up with excellent looks at this large owl. A second bird during the night on our owling excursion along the Pacific coast was a nice bonus.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Generally pretty common and easy to find, and this was our experience again this trip, as we had a superb pair of these on our first afternoon's outing near the Bougainvillea.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – Rancho guide Cali found one roosting near the lodge while we were out at Silent Mountain, and he kindly stuck around to show us the bird, which I'm not sure we would have refound on our own, so well-hidden was it. We probably could have seen the close calling bird above Orosi too, but having already seen this one, we could keep our attention focused on the Bare-shanked Screech-Owls instead.
BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) – Our formerly reliable day roosts for this bird have been all but reliable lately, so we went out looking for this one at night at a spot Vernon had seen one several times, and it paid off, as we spotted this bird sitting quietly over the road across from the very streetlight we were headed for.
STRIPED OWL (Asio clamator) – We've had excellent success over the years looking for this striking owl along the Pacific coast, but when we got a tip from a friend on a good spot in the Orosi valley, we decided to extend our owling excursion a bit in the hopes of saving ourselves a long night out later in the trip. It paid off, too, when I spotted an owl flying into a distant tree. We scoped the bird, which was pretty tough to see without the scope, then were pleasantly surprised when the bird took off and flew directly towards us, landing not far away in a roadside tree. A second bird joined it and we enjoyed amazing views before we left them to their hunting and returned to our hotel.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – After our boat ride on the Rio Tarcoles, we stuck around until dusk waiting for these birds to emerge from their day roosts, then watched as dozens began appearing over the river and coming close enough for us to see the white patch near the wing tip that distinguishes these from Common Nighthawk.
SHORT-TAILED NIGHTHAWK (Lurocalis semitorquatus) – I didn't think it was quite dark enough for these birds to come out at La Selva, but I was obviously wrong, as one suddenly appeared above the suspension bridge and made a couple of low passes over our heads while the sky was still pretty well-lit.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Surprisingly few of these common birds were encountered, but we did have great looks at one that we almost walked right up to just after our Bare-shanked Screech-Owl experience.
DUSKY NIGHTJAR (Antrostomus saturatus) – This highland specialty came pretty easy this trip. We'd stopped at a likely spot in the Savegre valley, and waited for one to call at dusk, which it did, quite close to us. With just a quick hit of playback, the bird flew right in and landed on a nearby fencepost for a fantastic view before it returned to its song perch back out in the field. If only all night birding went this smoothly!
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – We hadn't really expected to see this one as there didn't seem to be any known roosts around, but while we were searching for the Spectacled Owl, we received word that Cope had located one nearby, so we went for a look, and had some good scope views of it, though it was pretty tough to make out that it really was a bird and not just a part of the tree it was in! That is some good camouflage!
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Swifts as a whole were note particularly numerous this trip, but this was easily the one we saw most often, with records on 7 days.
COSTA RICAN SWIFT (Chaetura fumosa) – A few were seen late in the day flying high over the river during our boat trip, but the best looks came just as we were about to dock, when a couple of them came down for a drink, skimming the surface of the water and giving us a great view of the narrow white tail band in the process.
GRAY-RUMPED SWIFT (Chaetura cinereiventris) – The common small swift of the Caribbean lowlands. Small numbers were seen over the clearing at the entrance to La Selva on both of our mornings there.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – Late in the day at Villa Lapas, I had a couple of pairs of these sleek swifts flying high over the valley, but everyone had already returned to their rooms to shower up for dinner. The birds were still overhead when Tracey emerged from her room, so only she got to see them before it got too dark to see anything.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
WHITE-NECKED JACOBIN (Florisuga mellivora) – The common hummingbird at Rancho's balcony feeders.
WHITE-TIPPED SICKLEBILL (Eutoxeres aquila) – I haven't seen this scarce species in a long time, so I was excited to hear that there were some flowers at Virgen del Socorro that were just right for this species. We staked out the flowers, seeing a few other birds while we waited, and eventually had some pretty good views of this large, unique hummer as it came in to feed. Anne T. picked this incredible bird as here favorite of the tour.

We had several run-ins with the Northern Barred-Woodcreeper. Participant Ken Harris got this nice photo where the bars are easily visible.

BAND-TAILED BARBTHROAT (Threnetes ruckeri) – A fairly common hermit of the lowlands on both slopes, though like many hermits, it's not always an easy bird to find. We managed pretty good views of a couple, one that made a couple of visits to a large patch of flowering heliconias near the cafeteria at La Selva, and another on the grounds of the Villa Lapas one morning.
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – A couple of birds were regulars at the balcony feeders at Rancho, though they were easily intimidated by the other hummingbirds that were present.
LONG-BILLED HERMIT (Phaethornis longirostris) – A few each in the lowlands at La Selva and Carara.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – Best views were probably of the close bird feeding in flowers near the cafeteria at La Selva, though we also had this tiny hermit at Rancho and Villa Lapas.
GREEN-FRONTED LANCEBILL (Doryfera ludovicae) – Two nests were active at Tapanti, but the first was incomplete and the bird didn't come back while we watched (I took a picture of this nest, which showed it had one egg, they usually lay two), and the second was in an almost impossible to see location on the ranger station. Still a few folks got to see the female from this nest perched briefly nearby when it went foraging for food for its young. [N]
LESSER VIOLETEAR (Colibri cyanotus) – Up until recently known as Green Violetear, but recently split from Mexican Violetear. These were quite common and noisy in the highlands.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – A beautiful male came in for a bath at Rancho's hummingbird pools right on cue as I was asking if it still visited the stream there. Our only other sightings were of one flying over the road at Tapanti, and another along the river trail at Villa Lapas.
GREEN-BREASTED MANGO (Anthracothorax prevostii) – Only seen at Rancho's balcony feeders, where it was among the most numerous hummingbird.
GREEN THORNTAIL (Discosura conversii) – A male showed up at the feeder at the top of the stairs at La Paz Waterfall Garden just as we were about to leave. We also had one or two at the flowering verbena at the old butterfly garden, and a couple of males at Rancho.
BLACK-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis helenae) – Vernon spotted our only one, a female, as it perched briefly in one of the trees just off the balcony. Unfortunately, it was chased off by another hummingbird before we could get everyone on it.
WHITE-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis adorabilis) – This is one of the species we were hoping for in the short amount of time we had to bird around Bosque de Tolomuco, and we quickly spotted a female working her way along the verbena lining the driveway. Then, even better, Vernon found a stonking male in another verbena patch in front of the cabins, and we all hurried over for incredible views of this amazing bird! Both Virginia and Linn picked this as their top bird for the tour, which was enough to propel it into the top spot in the voting.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula) – Numerous at the feeders at La Paz and Monteverde, with a couple also at Rancho and Bosque de Tolomuco.
TALAMANCA HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes spectabilis) – The recent split of Magnificent Hummingbird into two species (Rivoli's in the southern US, Talamanca Hummingbird here) has added another species to the list of Chiriqui endemics. This large hummer was pretty common in the Savegre valley.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – One was seen briefly during a pre-breakfast walk on the grounds of the Villa Lapas, and another was spotted sitting in some bare branches above the parking lot at the Carara NP entrance the same morning, but as most everyone was still on the bus, I think quite a few folks missed it.
PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster constantii) – Our only sighting came early on along Guacimo Road when we spotted on feeding in a flowering tree then flying off across the road, where it perched just long enough for many to get a scope view before it disappeared for good.

The large Black-and-White Owl is a very attractive species, especially when you can find one as cooperative as our was. Photo by participant Steve Kilpatrick.

FIERY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Panterpe insignis) – Numerous in the high mountains, but it isn't always easy to get a good look at the fiery throat. Still, I think most folks managed to see some color by the time we saw our last ones at the feeders at La Georgina.
WHITE-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis hemileucus) – A quick look at one at the La Cinchona feeders wasn't especially satisfying, but we made up for it at Tapanti, where someone (Virginia, I think) spotted one going to a nest high above the road. While the rest of us tried to find the nest, the bird suddenly plunged down towards us, where it landed in a little patch of sun on the ground. It was rather strange to see a hummingbird sitting on the ground; not something I've seen often. [N]
PURPLE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis calolaemus) – A lone female at the La Paz feeders was an abnormally poor showing there, and the feeders were the quietest I've ever seen there in nearly 20 years of visits. Our only other ones came at the end of the trip at the Hummingbird Gallery, where we had some excellent looks at several showy males.
WHITE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (GRAY-TAILED) (Lampornis castaneoventris cinereicauda) – A few brief sightings in the Savegre Valley were improved upon with fantastic looks at a couple of gorgeous males at Bosque de Tolomuco.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – Our lone sighting was of a female in some riparian forest along the Guacimo Road. [b]
VOLCANO HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus flammula) – As its name suggests, this is a hummingbird of high elevations, and we had plenty of them in the Savegre Valley and right on up to the paramo on Cerro de la Muerte.
SCINTILLANT HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus scintilla) – Very similar to Volcano, but a bit smaller and with more rufous on the tail and flanks. Our only one was a female at the flowering verbena hedge at Bosque de Tolomuco.
VIOLET-HEADED HUMMINGBIRD (Klais guimeti) – We had only two of these small hummers, one at La Selva at the same time as our only curassow was putting in an appearance, and the other at the flowering verbena at the old butterfly farm.
SCALY-BREASTED HUMMINGBIRD (Phaeochroa cuvierii) – A dull, nondescript large hummingbird, notable only by the large white spots on the corners of the tail. Vernon and Anne T. saw one at La Selva, while the rest of us caught up with a couple at Carara.
VIOLET SABREWING (Campylopterus hemileucurus) – All the ones we saw were adult males, and other than at Monteverde's Hummingbird Gallery, where there were several, we never saw more than a single bird.
BRONZE-TAILED PLUMELETEER (Chalybura urochrysia) – Scarce this trip, with just a lone female making a couple of visits to the balcony feeders at Rancho.
CROWNED WOODNYMPH (Thalurania colombica) – Most of our records came at Rancho, where they were fairly common at the feeders and showed beautifully as they bathed at the hummingbird pools.
STRIPE-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupherusa eximia) – Our final new hummingbird, with a couple of males attending the feeders at the Hummingbird Gallery.
BLACK-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupherusa nigriventris) – We were running out of time to find this local specialty at Tapanti, so, after lunch, we staked out a suitable patch of flowers and just waited. I've got to admit, I was getting pretty impatient and was about to pull the plug when Joelle finally spotted a gorgeous male feeding. It didn't stick around for long, so we had to wait some more, but soon Tracey refound it feeding on some flowers on the other side of the road, and that time it stuck around long enough for all to see.
WHITE-TAILED EMERALD (Elvira chionura) – Another hummingbird we were hoping for at Bosque de Tolomuco, our only site for this southern specialty. We soon found a female, though as she was being harassed by a mountain-gem, it was hard to get a good look. Finally, though, we all saw her as well as a male feeding at the same hedge as the coquette.

This Pacific Screech-Owl was a last-minute bird for us, but we were able to find it for some great views. Photo by participant Ken Harris.

COPPERY-HEADED EMERALD (Elvira cupreiceps) – Much scarcer than usual at the various feeders, and we had only a handful at La Paz and Cinchona, and a single bird at the Hummingbird Gallery. [E]
SNOWCAP (Microchera albocoronata) – A male was there to greet us as we arrived at the old butterfly garden, perched atop a tall dead tree in good light. At least 3 other Snowcaps were also present, a young male and a a couple of females, but the adult male took a long time to come back for second views. We also enjoyed these special hummingbirds at Rancho, where they were especially fun to watch as they were bathing.
CHARMING HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia decora) – A briefly perched bird on our final morning at Villa Lapas was only seen by a few of the folks that joined us pre-breakfast.
MANGROVE HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia boucardi) – Nice spotting by Anne T. got us great looks at a perched one of these local specialties, endemic to the mangroves along the Pacific coast of CR. [E]
STEELY-VENTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia saucerottei) – A few around Carara, with best views coming at the park entrance where one fed on a flowering verbena hedge.
SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia edward) – The 3rd of the three target hummers at Tolomuco, and we nailed it quickly too, with Vernon picking out one sitting quietly at the far end of the verbena hedge that lined the driveway.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – The common hummingbird at most lower elevation sites on both slopes.
CINNAMON HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia rutila) – A few folks got a look at one of these in the mangroves on our final day as we were on our way back to San Jose.
BLUE-THROATED GOLDENTAIL (Hylocharis eliciae) – A handsome male was a bit of a surprise at the old butterfly garden, as this is a rather scarce bird on the Caribbean slope. A couple were also seen at Carara, where they are more regular, but that first one gave us the best views, showing the golden tail and the thick red bill that set this apart from other hummingbirds.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RESPLENDENT QUETZAL (Pharomachrus mocinno) – The famous bear jams in Yellowstone NP must have looked a lot like the quetzal jam we were part of early in the morning in the Savegre valley. There must have been a couple of hundred people out there, all vying for position to see the birds, completely blocking the road to passing traffic. While it was a bit of a circus, there's no denying the views were superb. Better still, we were able to enjoy our own quetzals without the crowds later on along the Quebrada Trail, then again at the Santa Elena Reserve, where we had a close, full-plumed male. Tyrell's overall #1 choice for bird of the trip.
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) – In the lowlands on both slopes. We saw females a couple of times at La Selva, and we saw several more of these at Carara.
BLACK-HEADED TROGON (Trogon melanocephalus) – Stopping at some gallery (riparian) forest along the Guacimo Road, we tracked down a pair of these calling from the canopy of some roadside trees. After locating the birds, we started noticing more and more of them all sitting quite close together, calling. We got as high as 8 birds when a large truck came along and flushed all of them, including at least a couple we hadn't yet seen, so there were at least 10 of them together, possibly more. I have never seen such a high concentration of a single species of trogon anywhere, and have never seen so many trogons of any mix together in one place, not even at a fantastic fruiting tree. I wonder what the big gathering was all about?
BAIRD'S TROGON (Trogon bairdii) – This beautiful trogon is a specialty of the southern Pacific slope of CR and western Panama. We found a lone male high overhead on the grounds of the Villa Lapas Hotel, then saw a couple more along the trails at Carara the next morning.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – The former Violaceous Trogon, a name I have found it hard to let go of. This is one of the more common and widespread of the trogons in CR, and we met up with them at several sites on both slopes.
BLACK-THROATED TROGON (Trogon rufus) – A smallish trogon of forest interior, where it often perches quite low. We saw just one pair this trip, along the STR trail at La Selva, though we also heard these at Carara.
ORANGE-BELLIED TROGON (Trogon aurantiiventris) – I'm still not convinced this is a good species so much as a color morph of Collared Trogon, but for now, at least, it is treated as a full species. Monteverde is the only place for this one on the tour (and Collared seems to be absent there, hmmm) and that's where we found a couple. A calling female was eventually located as we walked down the road from the Hummingbird Gallery, then a brilliant male was found easily the next day just as we arrived at the Ecological Sanctuary.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – A trogon of mid to high elevation forest here in Central America, though it's a lowland forest bird in South America. The calls also differ from the South American birds and these ones could represent a separate species, so watch for a split in the future. We had our first at Virgen del Socorro, then saw them again at Tapanti and up around 8000' in the oak forest above Savegre Lodge.

We had a lot of fun watching the White-collared Manakins display on their lek. Photo by participant Tracey Bauder.

Momotidae (Motmots)
LESSON'S MOTMOT (Momotus lessonii lessonii) – The former Blue-crowned Motmot, which has now been split into 6 different species. Our first of these handsome birds turned up at the feeders at Rancho during lunch one day. We then saw them regularly around the Villa Lapas hotel and at Monteverde.
RUFOUS MOTMOT (Baryphthengus martii) – The largest of the motmots, this one was easily seen from the suspension bridge at La Selva, where the similar, but smaller, Broad-billed Motmot was also seen. We also had one or two at Rancho. Chris was especially impressed with this one, and chose it as her top bird of the tour.
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – Much smaller than the preceding species, with a green chin and duller rufous head and breast. We saw a few of these confiding birds at La Selva, where we also hoped to find the similar-sounding, but much rarer Keel-billed Motmot, which also occurs here.
TURQUOISE-BROWED MOTMOT (Eumomota superciliosa) – A common and easy to see motmot of the dry northwest, this is also arguably the most attractive of the motmots. We had plenty of them along the Guacimo Road, though our count was in the mid-teens, a fair bit lower than last year's record of 25 along here. Steve's pick for bird of the trip.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – We had a few flybys from this massive kingfisher on three days in the Caribbean lowlands, then had a couple of them perched during our drive up the coast towards Villa Lapas, but surprisingly saw none at all on the Rio Tarcoles boat trip.
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – A single bird was seen at the ponds along the highway south of Parrita, where we also saw singles of all three of the other kingfisher species we saw this tour. [b]
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – The first along the river where we stopped for the Fasciated Tiger-Heron was not seen by everyone, but we fared better with another perched over a river along the drive to Orosi, and another perched on a power line over the ponds south of Parrita. This was one of Tracey's big targets for this trip, and subsequently her #1 choice for bird of the trip.
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – Much smaller than the similar Amazon Kingfisher, and with obvious white in the wings and tail, which Amazon lacks. We had surprisingly few of these, with singles on just 4 days, but we did see one along the Rio Tarcoles, the only kingfisher seen the entire boat trip!
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – One called from deep inside some dense mangroves along the canal during our boat trip, but we just couldn't locate it. [*]
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – A pair of these large puffbirds glared down at us from a large, bare tree along Guacimo Road.
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – This small puffbird seems to have gotten tougher around La Selva, and I hadn't seen one there for a while, so it was nice to find a pair along the police station road on our first morning in the area.
WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – Two races occur in CR, with one on each slope, and we saw them both. Our first was a lone bird of the Caribbean slope form inornata, along the STR trail at La Selva. A pair along the trail at Braulio Carrillo NP was also of this race. Then at Carara, we had several sightings of the nominate form, including a very confiding and photogenic pair perched side by side along the Sendero Meandrico. One of the few puffbirds to show sexual dimorphism, with the males being much more rufous than the females.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – Though these are found in the lowlands on both slopes, the two males we saw at La Selva, one by the suspension bridge, the other along one of the trails, ended up being the only ones we saw, though we heard them at Rancho and Carara, too.

This Band-backed Wren posed for a great portrait by participant Ken Harris. We saw this beautiful species at La Selva.

Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – We did pretty well with this species this trip, starting out with a lovely female at La Cinchona, then finding a couple of pairs at Tapanti (with scope views of a colorful male, then getting unbeatable looks at another male at the feeders at Bosque de Tolomuco.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
PRONG-BILLED BARBET (Semnornis frantzii) – Who would have guessed that that first pair we saw so well at the La Cinchona feeders would turn out to be the only ones we saw, though we heard them both at Tapanti and Monteverde as well.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis) – Once split into six different species, the Emerald Toucanet was re-lumped recently, then split back into two species, Northern and Southern. This blue-throated form is restricted to the highlands of CR and Panama. We had awesome views of a couple at the La Cinchona feeders, making this our first toucan. We saw them again at Monteverde, and heard them at a few other sites.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – Missing from Rancho's feeders during our visit, but we had already seen these small toucans daily in the Caribbean lowlands.
FIERY-BILLED ARACARI (Pteroglossus frantzii) – Replaces Collared Aracari in the southern Pacific lowlands. We had a trio of these colorful toucans on our first morning on the grounds of the Villa Lapas.
YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – Common in the lowlands of both slopes, and we saw them daily at both La Selva and Carara.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – Strangely scarce around La Selva, where only a couple of folks saw a single bird, but this is the common species upslope at Rancho, and we saw them beautifully there.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus) – Common in the highlands, where they are pretty much restricted to areas near oak forests. A pair of these at the feeders at Miriam's in the upper Savegre Valley were pretty upset by the presence of a Red-tailed Squirrel on the feeder, and kept swooping at it while squawking loudly. The squirrel was pretty unfazed by al the attention.
GOLDEN-NAPED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes chrysauchen) – A female sat out in the bare limbs of a Cecropia tree far out along the trail at Carara, luckily for us as it was about the only place we were likely to able to see her. We also had a pair along the trail behind the hotel the following morning. This is one of a handful of species restricted to the Pacific lowlands of southern CR and western Panama.
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani) – The most common and easily seen of the many woodpeckers on the Caribbean slope. We saw these daily at La Selva.
RED-CROWNED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes rubricapillus) – Replaces the similar Hoffmann's Woodpecker in the far south, with a hybridization zone in the Carara area where the two species' ranges overlap. We had one bird by the San Isidro sewage ponds.
HOFFMANN'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hoffmannii) – Common on the grounds of the Hotel Bougainvillea as well as along the Pacific coast from the Carara area northward, and especially numerous along Guacimo Road.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus) – Super close views of a very responsive male near La Selva on our first morning there. A few of us also saw a pair along the trails at Rancho.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (Picoides villosus) – Our only one was along the road in the upper Savegre Valley, and it sat motionless for a long time, though we weren't sure why until we saw a hawk, that had obviously been perched nearby, fly off across the valley. The woodpecker moved on as soon as the hawk was gone.

One of the first mammals that we saw was this Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth at La Selva. Photo by participant Chris Kilpatrick.

RUFOUS-WINGED WOODPECKER (Piculus simplex) – This was the only new woodpecker for Anne T, so she was especially keen to find one, but the first few we heard around La Selva all remained stubbornly out of sight. Luckily, I heard a faint call note during a stop on our way to Braulio Carrillo, and a touch of playback brought a pair into the trees right over our heads, where we all had fine views.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – Not an uncommon middle elevation species, but we sure didn't see many this trip. just one each at Rancho and on the Silent Mountain Road, but the scope views we had were sufficient anyway.
CINNAMON WOODPECKER (Celeus loricatus) – Another woodpecker that pretty much ignored us at La Selva, though we heard it there often. It looked like we would miss seeing it, until we heard one calling near Cope's house at literally our last opportunity to find one. We quickly tracked it down for some excellent scope views, then hopped on the bus to continue on to Rancho.
CHESTNUT-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus castaneus) – One of 6 species of woodpeckers we recorded at La Selva, but luckily this one was much more cooperative there than many of the others, as it is the only place to see it on the tour route. We had some fabulous views of one feeding low along one of the trails after having countable, but not so brilliant looks at another along the river.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – The Pileated Woodpecker lookalike, this one showed well a few times in the lowlands on both slopes, but the best views were along the Guacimo Road where a couple of birds were feeding close to the road during one of our many stops.
PALE-BILLED WOODPECKER (Campephilus guatemalensis) – A male of this large woodpecker, a close relative of the Ivory-billed, was found working over a dead tree along the trail at Carara, fortunately by both groups. Our only others were a pair on the grounds of the Fonda Vela.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – Not a commonly seen species on the Caribbean slope (it seems more common in the Pacific lowlands) so a bird that started calling as we birded around the cafeteria clearing at La Selva was a nice surprise. Even better was that we actually managed to spot it on its perch for some awesome scope views.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Pretty widespread in the lowlands of both slopes (though a recent arrival to the Caribbean side), and we had a few sightings on both sides.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Also a recent arrival on the Caribbean slope, though this species only expanded into Costa Rica along the south Pacific coast as recently as 1973. Our first of several came on our first afternoon near the Hotel Bougainvillea.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – Our first along the Silent Mountain road was only glimpsed as it was flushed from its roadside perch by an angry mob of grackles. Luckily, we ran into another that sat quietly next to the Guacimo Road allowing us some long looks before it took off.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A large gorgeous individual, likely a female judging from its size, was perched in the mangroves lining the canal during our boat trip on the Rio Tarcoles. [b]
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
BARRED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus lineola) – A few high-flying flocks were heard as they went overhead in the upper Savegre Valley. [*]
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – Seen in the lowlands on both slopes, but our best views came as we were stopped at a construction road block near Dominical, when a pair landed in a dead tree next to the bus.
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis) – Though we recorded these parrots on more days than any other parrot species (9 days) we never had a really great view of them, and at best we saw them hurtling overhead a few times.
WHITE-CROWNED PARROT (Pionus senilis) – Seemed scarcer than usual this trip, but we had a few good views of them on the Caribbean slope.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – Seen in the lowlands on both slopes, but most numerous in the early morning along the police station road near La Selva.
YELLOW-NAPED PARROT (Amazona auropalliata) – A couple of these were seen on our first morning's walk around the Hotel Bougainvillea; our only other ones were along the Rio Tarcoles during our boat trip.
WHITE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona albifrons) – The smallest of the Amazona parrots, and the only one that shows sexual dimorphism. Chris photographed one at Cocorocas while the rest of us were down the road looking at other things, but we all caught up with them on the way up to Monteverde when we had some perched in a bare tree along the road.
MEALY PARROT (Amazona farinosa) – Few this trip, though we had great looks at one feeding quietly above the STR trail at La Selva.
SULPHUR-WINGED PARAKEET (Pyrrhura hoffmanni) – A flock of 7 flew over as we walked along Silent Mountain Road, but we had better views of them at Savegre Lodge where we scoped a couple that were part of a small flock feeding in the apple orchard near the lodge.
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (AZTEC) (Eupsittula nana astec) – Good scope looks at a few around the lab clearing at La Selva, including a pair that were in the process of making more parakeets.
ORANGE-FRONTED PARAKEET (Eupsittula canicularis) – A couple of big flocks were found in fruiting trees along Guacimo Road.

This Bay Wren looks a little rumpled because it had just gotten out of its bath. These wrens can be hard to see, so we were glad that it was so confiding. Photo by participant Tracey Bauder.

GREAT GREEN MACAW (Ara ambiguus) – One was poking its head out of a nest hole near La Selva, though it was pretty inconspicuous, so it certainly was much nicer to get some scope views of a pair perched out in the open, preening, a little later in the morning. We also had a couple of pairs fly by at the reserve, and altogether we counted at least 8 bird, though there were probably more. This used to be a very difficult bird to find here, but they've made quite a comeback and now I expect to see them most trips. [N]
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – This species has also been making a comeback in the Caribbean lowlands, so it was nice to see a pair there, even if they were quite distant. Still, we had far better looks around Carara, where the population has also grown a lot in recent decades. Among the many nice encounters we had with these gaudy birds was a pair sitting in the entrance to their nest cavity over the stream on our final morning at the park. [N]
CRIMSON-FRONTED PARAKEET (Psittacara finschi) – A common and widespread species, and the first parakeet we saw on the first afternoon near the Bougainvillea. This parakeet could be encountered almost anywhere on the tour, though we had just one record after we left the Caribbean slope.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
FASCIATED ANTSHRIKE (Cymbilaimus lineatus) – A pair of these sneaky antshrikes were seen superbly and at close range as they gathered nesting material from a vine tangle right next to the trail at La Selva.
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – Prefers more open, scrubby habitats than Fasciated, and thus generally a much easier bird to see, and we had no problem getting awesome views of them near Pueblo Nuevo marsh on the Caribbean side, and at Carara on the Pacific.
BLACK-CROWNED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus atrinucha) – Formerly known as Western Slaty-Antshrike, this one is restricted to Caribbean lowland forest in the country. We had pretty good scope views of a calling female-plumaged bird at La Selva, and heard another as we slogged through the mud searching for the Spectacled Owl.
BLACK-HOODED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus bridgesi) – A local specialty, found only in the Pacific lowlands of southern CR and western Panama. Not a difficult bird to see at Carara, and we saw them a few times along the trails there.
RUSSET ANTSHRIKE (Thamnistes anabatinus) – A unique, arboreal antshrike, this one is often with mixed canopy flocks at middle elevations. We had our first with a small flock at Virgen del Socorro, then saw a couple more, also with flocks, at Rancho.
PLAIN ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus mentalis) – Our only ones were a pair that visited the moth cloth in the early morning at Rancho.
STREAK-CROWNED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus striaticeps) – One of our target birds at Braulio, as it is the only site on the tour route for this bird. My group managed to locate a pair, and the male came in close to us, but in the poor lighting he was a bit tough to spot and he didn't stick around long. Those that did see him got good views however.
CHECKER-THROATED ANTWREN (Epinecrophylla fulviventris) – Seen a couple of times with mixed flocks at Rancho.
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor) – Super looks at a stationary male near the entrance to Tapanti. A female with a mixed flock at Santa Elena was the only other record.
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis) – Great views of a pair of these lovely antwrens along the Sendero Meandrico at Carara.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) – We had to work a little to see this usually easy species at Carara, but ended up with decent views of a pair.
CHESTNUT-BACKED ANTBIRD (Poliocrania exsul) – Overall a pretty easy antbird to see around Carara, and we had some show nicely there, including one that was gleaning insects by one of the lights in the parking area at Villa Lapas.

Common Pauraques were not especially common for us, but we got a great look at this one. Photo by participant Joelle Finley.

DULL-MANTLED ANTBIRD (Sipia laemosticta) – A responsive bird at Braulio came in close and showed well, though the torrential rain that began just as we started working on it made the viewing a little more difficult than it should have been.
ZELEDON'S ANTBIRD (Hafferia zeledoni) – Heard at close range along the road at Tapanti, but we never got even a hint of movement. Formerly called Immaculate Antbird. [*]
BICOLORED ANTBIRD (Gymnopithys bicolor bicolor) – A regular follower of army ants, and our only ones were seen at a small swarm along the trail at Carara, where about 5 or 6 were present and seen well by both groups.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
STREAK-CHESTED ANTPITTA (Hylopezus perspicillatus) – The easiest of the country's antpittas to see, as they inhabit fairly open forest at Carara and seem to be somewhat habituated to people there. We had nice looks at a pair late one afternoon, though I suffered some insect bites (chiggers? fleas?) as a result of my laying on the forest floor so folks could see past me.
Rhinocryptidae (Tapaculos)
SILVERY-FRONTED TAPACULO (Scytalopus argentifrons) – Only one or two people got to see one run, mouselike, across the paved trail at the Santa Elena Reserve. [*]
Formicariidae (Antthrushes)
BLACK-FACED ANTTHRUSH (Formicarius analis) – Great views of this terrestrial bird strutting along the forest floor at Carara, looking very much like a bantam chicken.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
TAWNY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus mexicanus) – For those that stuck around till the end at the hummingbird pools, one of these shy birds showed wonderfully as it bathed in the stream, though the flashlights sure helped in the late afternoon gloom.
SCALY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus guatemalensis) – I think Tracey was the only one other than the guides to see this leaftosser messing around on the leafy forest floor at the same time and place as our antpittas and antthrushes.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – A widespread and highly variable species which is likely to be split into at least 3-5 different species someday. The race here is sylvioides, and it belongs to the Grayish group. We saw one at the Ecological Sanctuary, our last new woodcreeper for the tour.
TAWNY-WINGED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla anabatina) – Like others in this genus, this woodcreeper is an avid follower of army ant swarms, and our only ones were at the same ant swarm with the Bicolored Antbirds at Carara.
PLAIN-BROWN WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) – We had just one sighting of this species, coming in to Rancho's moth cloth one morning for an early morning insect buffet.
WEDGE-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Glyphorynchus spirurus) – The smallest of the woodcreepers, and one of the most common and widespread. We had them at numerous sites, from La Selva and Carara in the lowlands up to Tapanti NP at near 5000' in elevation.
NORTHERN BARRED-WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae) – It takes a pretty close view to be able to make out the fine barring on this large woodcreeper, but we did see them well enough at least a couple of times. We had this one at La Selva, at the moth cloth at Rancho, and at Carara.
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – Common in the lowlands on both slopes, and seen regularly at La Selva and Carara.
BLACK-STRIPED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus) – The most strikingly marked of all the woodcreepers here. One group had fine views of this one on our final morning at Carara.
SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius) – The common large woodcreeper of mid-elevation forests, and seen well at Braulio Carrillo, Rancho, and Santa Elena.

Participant Tracey Bauder snapped this view of the group watching intently.

BROWN-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus pusillus) – Not always an easy species to find, but this was the first woodcreeper we saw on this year's tour! We heard one calling nearby as we waited for the sicklebill to show at Virgen, and a little playback brought it right to us, where it saw low and reasonably motionless for enough time for all to get incredible views of it. Another seen with a mixed flock a few days later at Rancho consequently didn't stir up as much as excitement as one of these birds usually does!
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – Generally a pretty common species and more tolerant of disturbed habitats than most other woodcreepers. Though we had a few sightings, we didn't really see a lot of these compared to many tours.
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes affinis) – The higher elevation replacement for the similar Streak-headed Woodcreeper. This one was seen only in the Savegre Valley.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – This tiny, woodcreeper-like bird was encountered a few times with mixed flocks at several different sites, including Braulio Carrillo, Rancho, and Carara.
STREAKED XENOPS (Xenops rutilans) – Occurs at higher elevations than the similar Plain Xenops, but overall a much scarcer and less often encountered bird. Our only one at Tapanti gave us excellent looks.
BUFFY TUFTEDCHEEK (Pseudocolaptes lawrencii) – A distant bird called once or twice in the oak forest above Savegre Lodge, but we never laid eyes on this one. [*]
LINEATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Syndactyla subalaris) – Quite good views of one of these skulkers moving up through a dense vine tangle along the road at Tapanti.
STREAK-BREASTED TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes rufobrunneus) – We had incredible close views of this huge Furnariid in Savegre's oak forest, then my group encountered another at Santa Elena, though we were just starting to get a look at it when those wood-quail interrupted.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (HYPOPHAEUS) (Automolus ochrolaemus hypophaeus) – It seems like a good bet that this species will be split into two species fairly soon, as the two forms found in Costa Rica have very different calls and both sound different from South American populations, too. This is the Caribbean slope form, seen well at Rancho's moth cloth.
BUFF-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (EXSERTUS) (Automolus ochrolaemus exsertus) – And this is the subspecies on the Pacific slope, where it's restricted to SW Costa Rica and western Panama. We had great looks at one along the trail behind Villa Lapas one morning.
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens) – Vernon's group had one of these small Furnariids at Braulio Carrillo, the rest of us waited until we got to Santa Elena Reserve to see this one, but it was fairly common and seen well by all there.
RUDDY TREERUNNER (Margarornis rubiginosus) – A common member of mixed flocks in the oak forests in the Savegre Valley, as well as in the much lusher cloud forest at Santa Elena.
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops) – Oddly we saw just a single pair at Tapanti this trip, and missed it at several other sites where we should have seen them. But, one is all you need, and at least we saw it well.
SLATY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis brachyura) – I was starting to think we would miss this one, but a bit of trolling at a territory I'd seen some a few years back finally pulled one into view, and we even had scope views of it before it dropped back into the dense scrub.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
YELLOW-BELLIED TYRANNULET (Ornithion semiflavum) – A pair of these tiny, short-tailed flycatchers stayed well over our heads at Carara, but the views really weren't all that bad considering the challenges of looking at small canopy birds in tall forest with considerable backlighting.
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – One was found in the dry farmland along the Guacimo Road, where it sat up in a bare roadside tree for some great views. Another was seen in the mangroves on our way back down from Monteverde on our final day.
SOUTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma obsoletum) – Heard a few times at Carara and Villa Lapas, but never really close enough. [*]

We found Lineated Woodpeckers a few times in the lowlands. Photo by participant Steve Kilpatrick.

YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) – Great looks at a couple of pairs of these in scrubby agricultural land near La Selva. It always strikes me that these birds look very much like vireos, and not so much like flycatchers.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – A couple of sightings in the Carara area of this not so distinctive elaenia.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Pretty common and widespread, but all our records this trip were from the Caribbean slope.
MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – Quite a few of this aptly-named species at high elevation in the Savegre Valley.
TORRENT TYRANNULET (Serpophaga cinerea) – A pair of these perky little flycatchers were along the river near our hotel in the Savegre Valley.
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus) – Oddly scarce, and our only one was a lone bird seen by most as we walked back down from the oak forest, though we did hear them along the trails at Rancho, too.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – Pretty widespread in lowland forest on both slopes, though we only had these at Rancho this year, where we saw them best at the hummingbird pools as they came in to bathe.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – A couple of sightings at Rancho, best seen by the folks that stuck it out at the moth cloth until the breakfast bell chimed.
PALTRY TYRANNULET (Zimmerius vilissimus) – This little flycatcher is among a handful of species that could be found at pretty much any site we visit on the tour, from lowlands on both slopes right on up to the montane oak forests at 10,000'+. We saw them best around the cafeteria at La Selva.
NORTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus arenarum arenarum) – A Pacific coast mangrove specialist, and our only ones were in the mangroves at Cocorocas.
BLACK-CAPPED PYGMY-TYRANT (Myiornis atricapillus) – We finally tracked down one of these tiny birds, one of the smallest of all Passerines, along the STR trail at La Selva. Normally stays high up in the canopy, but this one came down low enough next to the trail for all of us to see beautifully.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) – This little tyrant has a lot of charisma, and has long been one of my favorite species here. Our only sighting was at Tapanti, where we had a very cooperative roadside bird.
NORTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma cinereigulare) – We all got good looks at the oddly-shaped bill of this otherwise nondescript flycatcher on our first morning at Carara.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – Not an easily seen species in general, as they like to stay low in fairly dense vegetation, but we saw these little guys wonderfully and easily this year a couple of times at Carara, then had another in some stream-side vegetation along Guacimo Road.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Another charismatic and feisty little flycatcher, this one was seen regularly at lower elevations on both slopes.
BLACK-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum nigriceps) – Unlike the Common Tody-Flycatcher, this species tends to remain high in the canopy, where it is generally a harder bird to see well. Our only sighting was on our first full day at Virgen, where Vernon spotted a pair at a reasonable height just above the bridge, where they showed remarkably well.
EYE-RINGED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris) – A rather lethargic and inconspicuous flycatcher, which we saw pretty well at both La Selva and Carara.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – We ran into surprisingly few of this normally common and widespread species, seeing them only along Guacimo Road this year. The flycatchers in this genus are sometimes called flatbills, an appropriate name as we could see when we looked at them from below.
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus) – Great views of one that showed up nearby as we waited for the bellbird to put in another appearance in the Santa Elena Reserve.
GOLDEN-CROWNED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus coronatus) – Excellent looks at one of these inside the forest at Carara.
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – Another guide was showing this one to his group at Carara when we happened upon them, though all we could see at first was a Chestnut-sided Warbler and we couldn't figure out why he seemed so excited by it. Eventually we all got on the right bird, though.
SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius aureatus) – Nice looks at one of these at the manakin pools at Carara.
TAWNY-CHESTED FLYCATCHER (Aphanotriccus capitalis) – This species has a pretty small range, and is found mainly on the Caribbean slope of NE Costa Rica and Nicaragua, though there are a couple of recent records from Honduras as well. We had some good looks at this bird at Rancho, including at the moth cloth for some.
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (Mitrephanes phaeocercus) – A perky little flycatcher of middle to high elevations. We had several sightings of these cuties starting with a bird seen from the bridge at Virgen on our first day.
DARK PEWEE (Contopus lugubris) – Just one sighting at Tapanti. The bird was kind of backlit and looked like a silhouette, but they look like that anyway even in good light!

The Red-eyed Leaf Frog was one of the prizes on our night walk at La Selva. Photo by participant Chris Kilpatrick.

EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – We heard one calling in the forest at La Selva. [b*]
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – Similar to the two migrant wood-pewees, but tends to perch lower and has a very different call. We saw this pewee in pasture land near La Selva, along the Silent Mountain Road, and heard them in the mangroves along the Rio Tarcoles.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – Overall this is the most commonly encountered wintering Empid in the country. We saw it best at the moth cloth at Rancho. [b]
YELLOWISH FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flavescens) – One was seen briefly along the river at La Paz Waterfall Garden, and we had a couple more in the Savegre Valley, but like many of the other flycatchers this trip, we saw fewer than usual.
BLACK-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax atriceps) – A distinctive highland Empid that we saw daily in the Savegre region.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – Seen commonly along rivers and streams except in the Pacific lowlands.
LONG-TAILED TYRANT (Colonia colonus) – These lovely and distinctive flycatchers usually can be found around large dead trees in disturbed areas of the Caribbean lowlands, though with much of the area along the La Selva entrance road now grown up, they've gotten tougher to find there. Luckily, there still is a pair around, and we had nice views as they returned again and again to the same perches after sallying out for insects.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Far more often heard than seen, but we got some good scope views of a pair along the police station road one morning.
RUFOUS MOURNER (Rhytipterna holerythra) – Linn spotted this one at Virgen, but it took off before many had seen it. But it responded strongly to my whistled imitation and came right back to perch out in the open for all to see.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – The most widespread and numerous of the Myiarchus flycatchers, and we saw them regularly on the Caribbean slope, with especially good views of a pair foraging around the moth cloth.
NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus nuttingi) – This smallish Myiarchus was found at our first stop in the dry scrub along Guacimo Road.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – A regular winter visitor in lowlands on both slopes. We saw one each at La Selva and along Guacimo Road, where the presence of several other Myiarchus makes it a tough identification challenge! [b]
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – Larger than the similar Nutting's Flycatcher, and like it, restricted to the dry northwest. We had a trio along Guacimo Road, then saw another couple at Cocorocas.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Numerous pretty much throughout the country.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Common and widespread, though never quite as abundant as the similar kiskadee.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – There were only a couple of days that we didn't see this abundant bird.
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – Never as numerous as the similarly sized Social Flycatcher, but still a regular site at lower elevations on both sides of the country.
WHITE-RINGED FLYCATCHER (Conopias albovittatus) – Longer-billed and with a stronger, more contrasting head pattern than the similar Social, this one is restricted to Caribbean lowlands, and we saw them well a few times at La Selva.
GOLDEN-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes hemichrysus) – Though superficially similar to the kiskadee and Boat-billed Flycatcher, this one is more closely related to the next two species. We saw our only ones along Silent Mountain Road.
STREAKED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes maculatus) – Seen daily at Villa Lapas, where a pair was working on a nest under the eave of the carport right out in front of the hotel. Generally less cleanly streaked than the Sulphur-bellied, and with much thinner malar stripes that don't connect under the chin. [N]
SULPHUR-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Myiodynastes luteiventris) – The best of our several sightings was the bird that turned up at Villa Lapas while we were looking at the Streaked Flycatchers, allowing is the chance to nicely see the differences between these two very similar species. [a]
PIRATIC FLYCATCHER (Legatus leucophaius) – Commonly heard, and seen a number of times at a bunch of sites. This bird is a nest pirate, harassing other species (including other flycatchers like Social and Gray-capped, becards, orioles, and even oropendolas) until they abandon their nest, then throwing out the eggs or nestlings and using the nest for themselves. [a]
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Every day of the trip, though that single bird in the Savegre Valley just barely kept the streak alive.
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus forficatus) – A couple were seen along the highway near Dominical as we headed north along the coast, than another one made a spectacular flight alongside the boat as we headed up the river. [b]

You can almost imagine the conversation between these two White-whiskered Puffbirds we saw near Sendero Meandrico... "Here, honey, I caught you a beetle..." Photo by participant Steve Kilpatrick.

Cotingidae (Cotingas)
RUFOUS PIHA (Lipaugus unirufus) – Heard a couple of times in the primary forest at Carara. [*]
THREE-WATTLED BELLBIRD (Procnias tricarunculatus) – Reports from Monteverde weren't very encouraging, and I expected we'd be struggling to find this much-wanted target on the tour. But when we arrived at Santa Elena Reserve, local guides told us of a pretty reliable bird well down one of the trails, so that's where we headed. We heard the bird long before we got to the area it was frequenting, but once we got there, Anne T. spotted him on an exposed perch, where he stayed for a good long period, until just before Vernon arrived with his group. We stayed put and waited for him to come back, though when he did, it wasn't to the same perch, so we had some work to do before we refound it and ultimately got great scope views for all. One of the most amazing birds in the country, and Anne C certainly agrees, as she chose it as her favorite bird of the tour.
SNOWY COTINGA (Carpodectes nitidus) – Another species that has gotten tougher to find now that the vegetation has grown up along the entrance road at La Selva. Still, we did manage to find a pair around the cafeteria area and got some good scope views of them.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LONG-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia linearis) – One of our final new birds for the tour, and Joelle's overall favorite. We tracked down a few gorgeous males at their display areas at the Ecological Sanctuary on our windy final morning.
WHITE-RUFFED MANAKIN (Corapipo altera) – Seen in the middle elevation forests at Braulio Carrillo and Rancho, though some may have only seen female-plumaged birds.
BLUE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Lepidothrix coronata) – A lone male came into bathe at the manakin pools at Carara late in the afternoon, showing wonderfully as he sat in the stream close to where we were standing.
WHITE-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus candei) – We had quite the show from these snappy little manakins, as a female showed up on one male's display area while we were there, and we were treated to a super display as he did his best to woo her. I think we were more impressed than she was, as she flew off shortly after to go check out another male's display.
ORANGE-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus aurantiacus) – The Pacific coast equivalent of the preceding species, and restricted to SW Costa Rica and western Panama. While we didn't get to see this one perform a display, we did have excellent close looks at a couple of colorful males on a lek in Carara.
WHITE-CROWNED MANAKIN (Dixiphia pipra) – We had to hike to the highest part of the property at Rancho to get to the lek of this species, but it was worth it, as we wound up with some great looks at a couple of males on their display perches.
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Ceratopipra mentalis) – Pat picked this as her favorite bird of the trip, and with the looks we had at them at the manakin pools in Carara, it's easy to see why she chose this bird. We even got to see one do a short "moon walk" as it sat above the stream after its bath.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – Joelle spotted our only one of these birds, a female, on the grounds of the Villa Lapas on our final morning there.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – The more common of the two tityras, seen most often in the lowlands around La Selva.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – Fantastic looks at a singing male right next to the road at Tapanti, then we saw another male extremely well with a little mixed flock at Santa Elena Reserve.
CINNAMON BECARD (Pachyramphus cinnamomeus) – A nest-building pair in the lab clearing at La Selva gave exceptionally good views. [N]
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – The race found here in Costa Rica lacks the rose throat for which the species is named, as we saw in the several birds we saw along Guacimo Road.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – We never managed to find a Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl in the highlands, but at least the recording brought in some other birds, getting us our only looks at this large vireo.

The Rufous-tailed Hummingbird was common in the lower elevations on both slopes. Photo by participant Tracey Bauder.

TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps) – We only had quick views of one of these elusive forest interior greenlets along the trail behind Villa Lapas early one morning.
LESSER GREENLET (Pachysylvia decurtata) – Almost everywhere at lower to middle elevations on both slopes, but easily overlooked and far more often heard than seen. Still, we ran into them a bunch of times, often with mixed canopy flocks.
MANGROVE VIREO (Vireo pallens) – A pretty nondescript vireo of mangrove habitats, this one was seen twice, with one bird along the canal during the boat trip, and another in the mangroves near our lunch spot on the way back to San Jose.
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – Not an uncommon wintering bird. We ran into lone individuals a number of times, primarily in the Pacific lowlands this trip. [b]
YELLOW-WINGED VIREO (Vireo carmioli) – A fairly common specialty of highland forests, where we saw this a number of times. Seen especially well as we watched the feeders at Miriam's, when one came into the bare tree right next to the viewing area.
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – A couple of these near the ranger station at Tapanti were not the most cooperative birds on the planet, and were probably missed by at least a few folks.
YELLOW-GREEN VIREO (Vireo flavoviridis) – Pretty common in the drier parts of the Pacific side, with quite a few hanging around the grounds of the Villa Lapas. [a]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE-JAY (Calocitta formosa) – One of our big targets along the Guacimo Road, and we got great views of these jaunty-crested birds there, but the exceptionally tame one near the mangroves as we headed back to San Jose on our last day was even better.
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio) – Noisy and conspicuous where they occur, and we saw bunches of these large jays at several sites.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – In most locations outside of the lowlands, this was the commonly seen swallow.
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – Just a few here and there, and at least at La Selva, we saw both this and Southern together. Though some northern migrants do winter here, the birds we saw were almost certainly all part of the resident breeding population.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – We saw these only on the Caribbean slope, mainly at La Selva. Told from Northern by this birds contrasting white rump and peach-colored throat.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – Small numbers seen daily in the Caribbean lowlands, and on a couple of days in the Pacific lowlands.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – Though they are often found near mangroves, these swallows are not exclusively mangrove birds, and the first ones we saw were far from any mangroves at the San Isidro sewage ponds.
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia) – A single bird was picked out from among the many other swallows at the San Isidro sewage ponds. [b]
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – Numerous on migration and in winter here, and we saw good numbers in the lowlands on both sides. [b]
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – A fair number of these were present at a couple of sites in the lowlands, where they were generally mixed in with, though outnumbered by, Barn Swallows. [b]

Although they were common, we enjoyed seeing Golden-hooded Tanagers at many locations. Photo by participant Joelle Finley.

Troglodytidae (Wrens)
NIGHTINGALE WREN (Microcerculus philomela) – Well, we did see a brown blur fly low across the road beside us at Virgen del Socorro, though it can hardly be called a look. Still the song was pretty unique and memorable, like a tone deaf person whistling a tune.
SCALY-BREASTED WREN (WHISTLING) (Microcerculus marginatus luscinia) – We didn't fare any better with this wren, though we also heard it a number of times at Rancho and Carara. [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – Widespread in disturbed habitats throughout.
OCHRACEOUS WREN (Troglodytes ochraceus) – We managed to see a couple of these arboreal, highland wrens at both Tapanti and in the Savegre valley.
TIMBERLINE WREN (Thryorchilus browni) – Very common at the highest elevations in the mountains, but can be difficult to see, until you find the right territory. We finally did find the right territory, and wound up with super looks at this Chiriqui specialty.
BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus) – This big, boldly-marked wren was seen beautifully a couple of times around the cafeteria at La Selva.
RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (Campylorhynchus rufinucha) – First seen around the Bougainvillea where several have taken up residence in recent years. We also bumped into these large wrens a bunch of times in the Pacific lowlands.
BLACK-BELLIED WREN (Pheugopedius fasciatoventris) – Can be a tough bird, but we had some super views along the Sendero Meandrico at Carara. Despite the name, the bright white throat of this species is the far more obvious field mark.
RUFOUS-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius rutilus) – Excellent looks at pairs of these foraging with mixed flocks on a couple of occasions at Carara.
BLACK-THROATED WREN (Pheugopedius atrogularis) – This one loves dense tangles of overgrown scrub, where they can be tough to see, but we had a pretty cooperative bird near La Selva that showed well for all.
BANDED WREN (Thryophilus pleurostictus) – A specialty of the dry northwest, this lovely wren showed more easily this trip than it often does, and we had some super looks along Guacimo Road.
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) – Though we heard this one at Carara and the Monteverde Ecological Sanctuary, we were never able to get a look at one. [*]
STRIPE-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus thoracicus) – There are plenty of beautifully patterned wrens with lovely, musical songs here in CR, but this is one of my favorites. We had great looks at a pair of these foraging near the trail at La Selva.
CABANIS'S WREN (Cantorchilus modestus) – The most widespread of the three species that used to make up the Plain Wren (all three of which occur in CR). We had nice views of a singing bird along the Silent Mountain Road, and heard it a number of other places.
CANEBRAKE WREN (Cantorchilus zeledoni) – Also a former Plain Wren (the 3rd of which is Isthmian Wren which occurs in the far SW of Costa Rica and in western Panama), this is the form found in the Caribbean lowlands, where we had a super responsive pair singing out in the open in scrubby farmland near La Selva.
RIVERSIDE WREN (Cantorchilus semibadius) – These gorgeous wrens are another of the species endemic to the Pacific lowlands of SW Costa Rica and western Panama, and we saw them wonderfully along the Quebrada Bonita trail at Carara.

The Yellow-thighed Finch is well-named, as this one is demonstrating. Photo by participant Ken Harris.

BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – Common, but often a toughie to see, and they were pretty elusive as usual around La Selva. The lone bird around the lodge at Rancho must have forgotten to be sneaky, as it showed very well one afternoon when it came to take a bath in the little pool by the feeders.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Speaking of sneaky wrens, this one can be a bear to see well in the forest, so it's great to have a friendly pair that hops around in the open at the moth cloth.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – Numerous and noisy in highland forests, where it is generally easier to see than its sister species, and we had a number of sightings from Cinchona to Tapanti to Monteverde.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TAWNY-FACED GNATWREN (Microbates cinereiventris) – Anne C. and Linn were the only ones to get a look at these difficult birds on our morning at Braulio Carrillo.
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – Wow! That bird that popped out about five feet away from us and just off the ground was unreal! This is not always an easy species to see so well, as they love dense vine tangles.
WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris) – Restricted to the dry tropical forests of the northwest lowlands, where they do often occur alongside the much more widespread Tropical Gnatcatcher, and we did see the two together along Guacimo Road, giving us a great chance to compare them. Confusingly, Tropical Gnatcatcher is much more white-lored than this species, especially at this season, when the breeding males of this species have a completely black cap, right down to the eyes.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Though more widespread than the preceding species, we only encountered these gnatcatchers in the Pacific lowlands this trip.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BLACK-FACED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes melanops) – Though we heard this birds' ethereal song numerous times at Tapanti and the Savegre Valley, we were still looking for our first sighting when we got to Monteverde. We were also still looking for our first Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush by this time. The group who was with me on the trails at Santa Elena had a couple of nice sightings of this species, but missed the nightingale-thrush, while Vernon's group had the opposite experience, seeing a few nightingale-thrushes while missing this bird.
BLACK-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus gracilirostris) – This species occurs at higher elevations than the other 4 species, and is common and quite easy to see in the highland forests above about 8000'.
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – I find this one more difficult to see than the other nightingale-thrushes, and the incredibly windy conditions at Monteverde made it even harder than usual this trip. In the end, our only looks were of a bird that flew across the road ahead of us at Silent Mountain.
SLATY-BACKED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus fuscater) – As mentioned above, Vernon's group saw several along the trails at Santa Elena Reserve.
RUDDY-CAPPED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus frantzii) – Common and very easy to see on the grounds of the Savegre Lodge.
BLACK-HEADED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus mexicanus) – Both groups had excellent sightings of this beautiful thrush on our rainy morning a Braulio Carrillo
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – A single one of these migrants was seen by a few folks along the Silent Mountain Road. [b]
WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina) – Yup, this is where all your Wood Thrushes from home go for the winter. Smart birds. We saw quite a few this trip and at a bunch of different sites [b]
SOOTY THRUSH (Turdus nigrescens) – Abundant in the highlands above about 8000' in elevation.

This Bare-throated Tiger-Heron shows how the species got its name. Photo by participant Chris Kilpatrick.

MOUNTAIN THRUSH (Turdus plebejus) – A few of these drab thrushes were encountered in the Savegre Valley, where they mostly replace Clay-colored Thrush.
PALE-VENTED THRUSH (Turdus obsoletus) – A rather uncommon thrush of middle elevations on the Caribbean slope, where we saw a few at Tapanti NP.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – One of the most common and familiar birds in the country, and seen every day of the trip.
WHITE-THROATED THRUSH (Turdus assimilis) – The only one we managed to see was a singing bird that showed fairly well at Tapanti NP. Otherwise we heard a couple at Monteverde, but none that were close enough to track down.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – A fairly recent arrival in the country, which though now widespread, is still quite local. We found our only one at the Hacienda Oriente on our way to Orosi.
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
BLACK-AND-YELLOW SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Phainoptila melanoxantha) – This bird is so different from all three of the other silky-flycatchers that it's hard to believe it is actually closely related to them at all. In fact, some authorities feel this bird is better placed among the Turdidae, the thrushes. We saw just one pair of these unobtrusive birds along the Providencia Road as we headed towards the Savegre Valley.
LONG-TAILED SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys caudatus) – These elegant birds are always a treat to see, especially when they're as close as they were in that fruiting tree by Savegre Lodge.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla) – Just a brief view of one that didn't stick around at the Monteverde Ecological Sanctuary. [b]
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – Great looks at one foraging along the Rio Savegre during a pre-breakfast walk one morning. [b]
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – A common wintering bird in the coastal areas, and we saw quite a few along the Pacific coast, with just a couple of sightings on the Caribbean side. [b]
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – Several of these striking warblers were seen on several different days on the Caribbean slope. [b]
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Seen a couple of times at Rancho. [b]
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – An early migrant and I think many had already departed for their breeding areas, but we still saw a couple in the mangroves during the boat trip. [b]
FLAME-THROATED WARBLER (Oreothlypis gutturalis) – A stunning Chiriqui highland endemic. We had multiple encounters with these beauties in the Savegre Valley.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Among the most numerous of the wintering warblers in Costa Rica, and commonly seen at a bunch of different locales. [b]
GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis poliocephala) – We only saw one, but we had great looks at it when it popped up right beside us as we birded the ponds along the highway south of Parrita.
MOURNING WARBLER (Geothlypis philadelphia) – Just one bird skulking along in a hedge along Silent Mountain Road, where the views were mixed, ranging from excellent to fleeting. [b]
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa) – This secretive, terrestrial warbler was seen exceptionally well a couple of times at Rancho, with one foraging around the moth cloth, and another bathing at the hummingbird pools in the late afternoon. [b]
OLIVE-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis semiflava) – A couple of these played hide-and-seek with us at the Pueblo Nuevo marsh, but were eventually seen well by everyone, and through the scope by most.
HOODED WARBLER (Setophaga citrina) – Generally a fairly scarce migrant here. We had pretty decent looks at a handsome male foraging low in the underbrush near the cabins at La Selva. [b]
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – A lovely adult male was with a mixed feeding flock along Carara's Sendero Meandrico. [b]
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Heard in a bunch of different places, but we struggled a bit to see one. But a couple of these finally played nice when they began foraging in some Cecropia trees just off the balcony at Rancho.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – Small numbers at middle elevations on the Caribbean slope, with at least a couple of brilliant adult males in the mix. [b]
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – This migrant form is pretty common in the lowlands on both slopes, where we saw them regularly. [b]
YELLOW WARBLER (MANGROVE) (Setophaga petechia erithachorides) – This red-headed form is a resident in the mangroves, primarily on the Pacific coast. We had several fine views of these, including adult males. [b]
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – One of the most common of the migrant warblers in the country, often causing some confusion as many folks don't recognize them in their non-breeding dress. We saw at least a couple of males that had already molted into their breeding colors, and a few that were in the process but not quite there. [b]
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi) – Most of the western breeding warblers winter to the north of Costa Rica, and are rare migrants here. Of these, this is one of the more regular ones, but is still quite rare. But there was no mistaking that striking adult male that Vernon picked out as we watched the feeders at Miriam's. [b]
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – In the higher elevation forests, this is a common wintering bird, and we saw good numbers in the Savegre Valley. [b]
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (Basileuterus rufifrons) – We began our sightings of this attractive resident warbler on our first afternoon near the Bougainvillea, but saw very few after that, though they are quite widespread.

We saw a number of lovely Long-tailed Silky-Flycatchers in a fruiting tree at Savegre Lodge. Photo by participant Joelle Finley.

BLACK-CHEEKED WARBLER (Basileuterus melanogenys) – This Chiriqui endemic is a denizen of the high mountain forests, where they are regular participants in mixed feeding flocks. We saw several along the trails above Savegre Lodge.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – Seen well at Rancho, where they are pretty common inside the forest, and one pair turn up regularly at the moth cloth in the early morning.
COSTA RICAN WARBLER (Basileuterus melanotis) – A long overdue splitting of Three-striped Warbler added another species to the long list of Chiriqui highland endemics. These ones were common and confiding at the Santa Elena Reserve.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – A very distinctive warbler which is always associated with water. These were seen a few times along the river at La Selva.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – A numerous wintering warbler in scrubby highland habitats, see often in the Savegre valley. [b]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – A common bird of middle elevation forests on both slopes, though we saw relatively few this year.
COLLARED REDSTART (Myioborus torquatus) – Mostly replaces Slate-throated Redstart at higher elevations, the cute "amigo de hombre" as it is known here, showed well a few times in the Savegre Valley, and even foraged around us for the insects we were stirring up as we walked.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – A trio buzzed past the manakin bathing pools at Carara one afternoon, but didn't pause long enough for most to get decent looks. On our final morning in the park however, Vernon's group happened across an army ant swarm that had three of these present, though by the time my group came along, the tanagers had moved off.
WHITE-SHOULDERED TANAGER (Tachyphonus luctuosus) – A female among a flock of tanagers at the old butterfly farm was the only one we saw of the Caribbean slope subspecies axillaris. But we fared better with the race nitidissimus , which is endemic to the Pacific lowlands of SW Costa Rica and western Panama. We saw them a few times at Carara, though we didn't see the usually concealed orange crown patch the males of this race have.
TAWNY-CRESTED TANAGER (Tachyphonus delatrii) – Braulio Carrillo is the main place for this one on our tour, and both groups had excellent encounters with a flock moving through the understory along the trail there.
WHITE-LINED TANAGER (Tachyphonus rufus) – Prefers more open, scrubby habitats than the similar, forest-based White-shouldered Tanager. White-lined also has a much less conspicuous white shoulder patch, which can be completely obscured. We had just two sightings, both of males, one near La Selva, the other along Silent Mountain Road.
CRIMSON-COLLARED TANAGER (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus) – One popped out right next to the road during a stop on the way to Pueblo Nuevo marsh, though it didn't stick around too long. A pair a few days later along the Silent Mountain Road hung around for a longer period and allowed us to really enjoy their brilliant colors.
PASSERINI'S TANAGER (Ramphocelus passerinii) – Numerous on the Caribbean slope, where we saw them daily. We also saw a nest of this species containing a couple of eggs, near the cafeteria at La Selva. [N]
CHERRIE'S TANAGER (Ramphocelus costaricensis) – This and the preceding species were long treated as one species, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, and it's easy to see why. Males are virtually identical between the species, though the females are different enough that they could be told apart. The two don't overlap, however, with this one being restricted to the south Pacific slope (and over the border into Panama). Seen first at the Bosque de Tolomuco feeders.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Among the most familiar birds in the country, and we had them daily.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – Not quite as numerous as its close relative, but still a common and familiar species that was seen most days.
SPECKLED TANAGER (Ixothraupis guttata) – Our lone Caribbean slope bird was an all-too-brief one at the old butterfly garden, so getting a pair at the feeders at Bosque de Tolomuco was a treat, 'cause this is a real looker!

Long-tailed Manakins were some of the last birds we found. This image shows the namesake tail nicely! Photo by participant Steve Kilpatrick.

GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Tangara larvata) – The most widespread and numerous of the many Tangara tanagers, this beauty was seen regularly throughout.
SPANGLE-CHEEKED TANAGER (Tangara dowii) – A couple of folks spotted one at La Paz Waterfall garden, but a bunch of roadside birds at Tapanti were the first (and last!) for most folks.
PLAIN-COLORED TANAGER (Tangara inornata) – This bird's Latin name says it all, it really is inornate, especially in comparison to pretty much every other species in the genus. We had a single pair of these at La Selva.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Few on the Caribbean side this year, with just one at Cinchona and a couple at Tapanti, but we ran into these a bit more often around Carara.
EMERALD TANAGER (Tangara florida) – Seen well by all as we watched hummingbirds feeding at the old butterfly gardens. A pair there seemed to be prospecting for a nest site just over the entrance road and showed wonderfully. A lone one was also seen along Silent Mountain Road.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – Hard to beat those first views of them eating bananas at the Cinchona feeders, but we had plenty of opportunity to do so as we ran into them often in the highland forests.
SCARLET-THIGHED DACNIS (Dacnis venusta) – Anne C. saw one at Cinchona, but it was gone by the time anyone else tried to find it. Luckily, we ran into a couple more at Tapanti where we had good views, but as usual, no one saw the scarlet thighs.
BLUE DACNIS (Dacnis cayana) – A lone male near the cafeteria at La Selva was the only one we saw.
SHINING HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes lucidus) – The same tree that the Blue Dacnis had been in hosted our only pair of Shining Honeycreepers the very next day.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Small numbers of these gorgeous birds were noted daily around the Carara region.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Seen a number of times at La Selva, Braulio, and Rancho.
BLACK-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Chrysothlypis chrysomelas) – Unfortunately we just weren't lucky with this species, and just a lone female was seen by Vernon's group at Braulio.
SLATY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa plumbea) – Numerous in the Savegre Valley, where many tubular flowers show the work of this species as it pierces the base to steal the nectar
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Common in grassy pastures in the lowlands on both slopes, and we got to see the display that leads to one of its colloquial names --Johnny Jump-up-- on at least one occasion.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – Females are actually more easily distinguished from similar species than are males, which really look a lot like chunky Variable Seedeaters. And females are what we saw, on two occasions on the Caribbean side.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina) – Both forms, the all-black Caribbean slope form and the black-and-white Pacific slope one, were seen regularly.

We had great views of a troop of Central American Spider Monkeys at Carara. Photo by participant Steve Kilpatrick.

WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila torqueola) – A lone male with a bunch of Variable Seedeaters near the Great Green Macaw nest, and a few at Hacienda Oriente were all we tallied this tour.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – Numerous and seen daily on the Caribbean side. On the Pacific slope we had them only at Monteverde, where one was visiting the feeders at the Hummingbird Gallery.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – A fairly common bird of grassy pastures at middle elevations, on up to over 7000' in the Savegre Valley.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – The most common and widespread of the saltators, and we had them regularly throughout.
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps) – Bigger, brighter, and noisier than Buff-throated, this species was seen well a couple of times near La Selva and along the Silent Mountain Road.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – This saltator was first seen around the Hotel Bougainvillea, then again in the early morning by our Orosi hotel.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
SOOTY-CAPPED CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus pileatus) – Abundant in the high elevation forests in the Savegre Valley.
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus) – Abundant in middle elevation forests, mostly below the range of the preceding species. Especially good views were had at the Cinchona feeders.
STRIPE-HEADED SPARROW (Peucaea ruficauda) – A large, sociable sparrow. We had several big groups of these along Guacimo Road and elsewhere in the dry northwest.
OLIVE SPARROW (Arremonops rufivirgatus) – Like the above species (and a bunch of others on this list) this is a species that reaches the southern limit of its range in northwest Costa Rica. We saw a couple of small groups along Guacimo Road and Mata de Limon on our way back to San Jose.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – Replaces Olive Sparrow in wetter regions on both slopes. We had pairs on two days, once along Silent Mountain Road, then again at Bosque de Tolomuco.
ORANGE-BILLED SPARROW (Arremon aurantiirostris) – We saw this gorgeous bird well several times at several places, but those first ones that came into the restaurant while we were doing our checklists at La Quinta were pretty special.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – A pretty common species in upland forests, and we ran into them several times at several sites, but I'm not sure we ever had a really good bird for the whole group. Still, I think most folks saw at least one.
SOOTY-FACED FINCH (Arremon crassirostris) – Not normally such an easy bird to see, but that pair at La Paz has gotten pretty used to the crowds and are pretty bold now.
VOLCANO JUNCO (Junco vulcani) – Only seen up in the paramo high in the Talamanca Mountains, but we had a great view of a pair there.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Common and widespread in the mountains.
LARGE-FOOTED FINCH (Pezopetes capitalis) – These were pretty easy to see right around our hotel grounds in the Savegre Valley.
WHITE-EARED GROUND-SPARROW (Melozone leucotis) – Our sightings of this large sparrow book-ended our tour, as we saw them on our first afternoon and morning near the Hotel Bougainvillea, then again on our final day on the Fonda Vela Hotel grounds.
CABANIS'S GROUND-SPARROW (Melozone cabanisi) – Now that this form has been split from Prevost's Ground-Sparrow, Costa Rica has a new endemic species. This bird is quite local and not easy to find on the tour route, but those that joined us for the first pre-breakfast walk near the Bougainvillea got excellent looks at a pair feeding with a couple of White-eared Ground-Sparrows. [E]
YELLOW-THIGHED FINCH (Pselliophorus tibialis) – The first one we had around the restaurant at La Paz Waterfall Gardens was a young bird that lacked the yellow thighs. Later in the Savegre Valley we could easily see how these birds got this well-deserved name.
Zeledoniidae (Wrenthrush)
WRENTHRUSH (Zeledonia coronata) – This unique little bird was giving us trouble and we were getting down to the wire with it, but Vernon had a backup, backup spot to try as we headed out of the mountains, and we finally connected there, even getting to see the bird fly across the road. I had just been wondering whether anyone had ever seen one fly, as they usually just hop around near the ground. Until recently treated as a warbler, this is now in its own monotypic family.
Mitrospingidae (Mitrospingid Tanagers)
DUSKY-FACED TANAGER (Mitrospingus cassinii) – This unusual tanager has also seen some taxonomic changes, and is now in a small family of only two species, the other being Olive-backed Tanager of the tepui region of SE Venezuela and adjacent Brazil and Guyana. we got great looks at a group of 4 as they moved low through the undergrowth at La Selva.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava) – A female along the road near Virgen del Socorro on our first morning was the only one of the trip.
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – A very common wintering bird, and we saw them almost daily, including a bunch of brilliant adult males. [b]

The gorgeous Purple-throated Mountain-Gem was one of 41 hummingbird species that we saw. Photo by participant Chris Kilpatrick.

FLAME-COLORED TANAGER (Piranga bidentata) – Numerous in the Savegre Valley, where we saw them in a variety of plumages.
WHITE-WINGED TANAGER (Piranga leucoptera) – Generally a pretty scarce bird of montane forests, and one we often miss. I think Tracey gets credit for spotting this one, a stunning male, along the road at Tapanti.
RED-THROATED ANT-TANAGER (Habia fuscicauda) – Regularly on the Caribbean slope, with that pair at Rancho's moth cloth being particularly extroverted.
CARMIOL'S TANAGER (Chlorothraupis carmioli) – Formerly known as Olive Tanager, this chunky tanager is often in big monotypic flocks inside forest on the lower Caribbean slope. We first saw them at Virgen del Socorro, then again at Braulio (where they were most numerous) and Rancho.
BLACK-FACED GROSBEAK (Caryothraustes poliogaster) – Several small, noisy flocks of these were seen around the clearing at La Selva, and on the trails at Braulio.
BLACK-THIGHED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus tibialis) – Our only one of the trip was in an unusual place, at La Selva, where I'd never seen this species before. Normally it occurs from about 3000' in elevation upwards, but occasionally wanders down to the lowlands. We had fine scope views of it as it sat quietly in a treetop near the cafeteria.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – A fine male was seen in the parking lot of the Bougainvillea the first morning, but that was our only one until we got to the dry northwest where we ran into several more, mainly females. [b]
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) – This grosbeak often tends to stay low in dense vegetation where it isn't always easy to see, but we ended up seeing single males on 5 different days on both slopes, and I think every one offered good views.
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris) – A flashy male that came in to our pygmy-owl imitations than flew off across the road in the mangroves along the Pacific coast our last day was the only one for the trip. [b]
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna) – A resident species in open grasslands here. We saw them at Hacienda Oriente and along the Rio Tarcoles during our boat trip.
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Sturnella militaris) – Our only ones were at Hacienda Oriente along with the Eastern Meadowlarks.
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – There weren't many around this trip, but we did see quite a few up along the Silent Mountain Road where there was an active nesting colony. [N]
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma) – Numerous in the Caribbean lowlands, otherwise seen only on one day near Carara. [N]
SCARLET-RUMPED CACIQUE (SCARLET-RUMPED) (Cacicus uropygialis microrhynchus) – A pair of these showed well as they sat quietly in the shade near their nest at La Selva. [N]
BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE (Icterus prosthemelas) – These lovely slender orioles were seen daily in the Caribbean lowlands.
STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus) – This and the next species are restricted to the dry northwest, though this one seems to be a bit more common towards the southern end of the range. We had a trio of these along Guacimo Road, then a couple more at Cocorocas.
SPOT-BREASTED ORIOLE (Icterus pectoralis) – The unplanned visit to Cocorocas allowed us to add a number of species we wouldn't have otherwise seen, including a gorgeous pair of these large, orange orioles.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – Abundant pretty much throughout the country, and we saw plenty of these most days. [b]
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) – A few birds were at Pueblo Nuevo Marsh, then a bunch more were along the Rio Tarcoles. The birds here are residents, not northern migrants.
SHINY COWBIRD (Molothrus bonariensis) – Becoming increasingly common in the country since first turning up a few years ago. We had records on four days on the Caribbean slope.
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus) – I wonder if the presence of Shiny Cowbirds is having any sort of effect on the population of these cowbirds. We certainly saw very few, just a single each at Hacienda Oriente and one at Savegre Lodge.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – Singles of this aptly-named cowbird were seen at La Selva and Rancho.
MELODIOUS BLACKBIRD (Dives dives) – There weren't many days or places where we didn't encounter this relative newcomer to the country.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Abundant in disturbed areas throughout, except high in the mountains.

This Streak-backed Oriole is perched on a bunch of cashew fruit. Photo by participant Tracey Bauder.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
GOLDEN-BROWED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia callophrys) – Incredible views of a pair of these breathtaking birds feeding low in a fruiting plum tree near Miriam's restaurant.
SCRUB EUPHONIA (Euphonia affinis) – Heard a few times in the dry northwest, but they were always too far away. [*]
YELLOW-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia luteicapilla) – We finally picked up a few of these normally common birds in the parking lot at Carara NP headquarters.
YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia hirundinacea) – Seen only on our first early morning on the grounds of the Villa Lapas.
ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Euphonia elegantissima) – Ken gets credit for spotting these stunning birds feeding in some mistletoe along the road at Tapanti.
SPOT-CROWNED EUPHONIA (Euphonia imitans) – Vernon's group saw a calling male along the Quebrada Bonita Trail at Carara; my group only heard it.
OLIVE-BACKED EUPHONIA (Euphonia gouldi) – The most commonly seen euphonia this trip, as we saw quite a few around La Selva, then also had them at the Rancho feeders.
TAWNY-CAPPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia anneae) – Fairly common in middle elevation forests. First seen by some along the trails at Braulio, but best seen at Tapanti, where we finally caught everyone up on it.
YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN (Spinus xanthogastrus) – There seemed to be more than usual around the Savegre Valley, and we saw them fairly easily and often compare to most tours.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Only a few towns seemed to have these introduced birds around. [I]

COMMON OPOSSUM (Didelphis marsupialis) – Seen by some as it crossed the road during our owling night near Orosi.
LONG-NOSED BAT (Rhynchonycteris naso) – These were the tiny bats seen roosting on the tree along the La Selva suspension bridge, then again under the overhang of the cabins at Villa Lapas.
LESSER WHITE-LINED BAT (Saccopteryx leptura) – The 5 bats with the squiggly white marking on their backs in the decrepit shelter along the trail at La Selva.
NORTHERN GHOST BAT (Diclidurus albus) – One of these large, white bats was found on its day roost under a broad palm frond at Carara.
COMMON TENT-MAKING BAT (Uroderma bilobatum) – A dense crowd of moms and babies were in the usual nursery tree at the Villa Lapas.
MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – Heard more often then seen, but we saw a couple at Virgen del Socorro, then plenty along the drive up to Monteverde.

White-throated Capuchins were seen at several points along our route. Photo by participant Tracey Bauder.

WHITE-THROATED CAPUCHIN (Cebus capucinus) – Several sightings of these impish monkeys, seen at La Selva, Tapanti, and Carara.
CENTRAL AMERICAN SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles geoffroyi) – Seen fleetingly by Vernon's group at Braulio, then we all had excellent looks at a large troop at Carara.
HOFFMANN'S TWO-TOED SLOTH (Choloepus hoffmanni) – On our second morning at La Selva we saw our only one of these near the soccer field.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Three of these were seen on our first day at La Selva, including a vey low and active one after we'd turned around and headed back in for lunch.
NORTHERN TAMANDUA (Tamandua mexicana) – Vernon found one at La Selva as we crossed the suspension bridge at the start of the night walk, and we all had nice looks at it, but we topped that at Carara when we found one digging into an arboreal termite mound and chowing down on the emerging insects. We feel lucky when we see one of these, so we were pretty fortunate to get two.
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides) – The common large squirrel, seen throughout, and in several different color versions.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – Smaller and with a less bushy, red tail. We had these at the Rancho feeders and the feeders at Miriam's where the Acorn Woodpeckers took exception to their presence on the feeding table.
ALFARO'S PYGMY SQUIRREL (Microsciurus alfari) – My group ran into one of these tiny squirrels on our rainy morning at Braulio. It oddly had a white-tipped tail, which they normally don't.
DUSKY RICE RAT (Melanomys caliginosus) – One was a regular visitor to the feeders at Rancho.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – Some folks saw the one that's been hanging around Rancho's feeders lately. Elsewhere we saw them at Carara and the Ecological Sanctuary.
GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) – A couple along the road above Orosi during our owling excursion, though they stayed near the limit of our flashlight beams where they were had to see well.
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – Surprisingly few this trip. Some folks saw the one that, like the agouti, has been visiting the Rancho feeders recently. The rest of us caught up with an entertaining one enjoying a good scratch along the trail at Santa Elena.
KINKAJOU (Potos flavus) – Our night walk at La Selva didn't yield any night birds, but we did pretty well with mammals, including this one. We spotlighted a male as it sat directly overhead, peering down at us. Though a common animal, we don't often see this one on tour.
TAYRA (Eira barbara) – Another great mammal that we were lucky to see, but as one had been visiting the Rancho feeders semi-regularly, I had high hopes it would show for us, and it did. We watched it as it made repeated visits to the feeders, vanishing with a banana in its mouth each time, then coming back for another. The diet of this large weasel is not restricted to fruit, and they are voracious predators as well.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – As usual these were easy to see at La Selva where they have become pretty habituated to the presence of people. My group also saw a pair inside the forest at Carara, a much rarer sighting. These animals were a lot more wary, and bolted off almost as soon as we'd seen them stumble out onto the trail ahead of us.
GROUND ANOLE (Anolis humilis) – At least some of the small anoles seen were this species. Joel pointed out one with a red dewlap at La Selva.
GREEN TREE ANOLE (Norops biporcatus) – We found one of these rarely seen large canopy anoles at Carara, where one was unusually low to the ground.
GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana) – Quite a few in the trees along the river at La Selva, and a few along the Tarcoles, including a large orange male that had come down to the water's edge for a drink.
BLACK SPINY-TAILED IGUANA (Ctenosaura similis) – Restricted to the dry northwest, where we saw quite a few.
COMMON BASILISK (Basiliscus basiliscus) – The "Jesus Christ" lizard of the Pacific slope, where they were pretty common along watercourses. At least a few folks got to see one run across the water's surface.
GREEN BASILISK (Basiliscus plumifrons) – I think only Tracey saw one of these bright green basilisks (and photographed it) on the grounds of La Quinta.
STRIPED BASILISK (Basiliscus vittatus) – The brown basilisk at La Quinta. A couple hung out by the fruit feeders there.
HELMETED BASILISK (Corytophanes cristatus) – One of these cool lizards has been a fixture at Cope's house and is regularly seen sitting motionless at the base of the trees right outside the home, which is where we saw it.
TROPICAL HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus mabouia) – Common in a couple of the lodges, though more often heard than seen.
YELLOW-HEADED GECKO (Gonatodes albigularis) – Charlie photographed one of these neat geckos at La Selva.
YELLOW-SPOTTED NIGHT LIZARD (Lepidophyma flavimaculatum) – Vernon had one of these nocturnal lizards in his room at La Quinta, and Anne T. happened to be nearby at the time and also got to see it.
CENTRAL AMERICAN WHIPTAIL (Ameiva festiva) – Seen regularly in sunny patches in the leaf litter at several sites. The juveniles of these have bright turquoise tails.
GREEN SPINY LIZARD (Sceloporus malachiticus) – A female on a dead tree trunk as we walked down from the oak forest at Savegre was our only one.
EYELASH VIPER (Bothriechis schlegelii) – A couple of very small, bright yellow ones were found close together along the STR trail at La Selva. They were the only snakes we saw the entire tour.
AMERICAN CROCODILE (Crocodylus acutus) – A couple of biggies came to check us out when we stopped to look for Collared Plover along the Rio Tarcoles.
SPECTACLED CAIMAN (Caiman crocodilus) – One was in the river below the suspension bridge at La Selva on the night walk.
SMOKY JUNGLE FROG (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) – The largest frog in the country. We saw a few of these on our night walk at La Selva.
STRAWBERRY POISON DART FROG (Dendrobates pumilio) – Despite it being pretty dry, we found quite a few of these tiny red frogs at La Selva.
GREEN-AND-BLACK POISON DART FROG (Dendrobates auratus) – Only one or two saw this spectacular small frog at La Quinta, but we found a few more inside the forest at Carara.
RED-EYED LEAF FROG (Agalychnis callidryas) – One of these gorgeous frogs was found by Joel on our La Selva night walk.
BLACK RIVER TURTLE (Rhinoclemmys funereal) – At least three were sunning themselves on logs along the river below the suspension bridge at La Selva.
BROWN WOOD TURTLE (Rhinoclemmys annulata) – A small one was walking alongside the paved trail at La Selva.
SMOOTH-SKINNED TOAD (Bufo haematicus) – A couple of these were around the insect light during our La Selva night walk.
CANE TOAD (Rhinella marina) – Most of the toads seen near our cabins at several sites were this common species.


Totals for the tour: 497 bird taxa and 21 mammal taxa