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Field Guides Tour Report
Costa Rica: Birding the Edges Part II, the Far North 2020
Jan 12, 2020 to Jan 21, 2020
Cory Gregory & Vernon Campos

As we explored the northern edge of Costa Rica on this winter tour, we encountered a wealth of kingfishers along the many waterways. Of all the kingfishers in the New World, none are smaller than the American Pygmy Kingfisher. This beautiful bird was seen exceptionally well by everyone at Sendero Bogarín as it sat motionless just a couple meters away. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Costa Rica is an excellent get-away location for those winter blues and on Part 2 of this two-parted tour, we ventured north to areas not often visited by other birders.  From the highland cloud forests around Bosque de Paz, to the steamy lowlands of Caño Negro, and of course the rain-filled Arenal, we saw a lot of this amazing country and a lot of the wonderful bird life that makes Costa Rica such a fun destination for birders.

Starting out in the cloud forests of La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Bosque de Paz, we were instantly surrounded by flashy hummingbirds, tantalizing tanagers, guans galore, and even some sneaky quail-doves.  The forest trails near our lodge provided unique birds such as the exciting encounter with the Black-banded Woodcreeper, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Zeledon's Antbird, and others.  The hummingbirds certainly held their own too and we saw at least 13 different species in just the first couple days of the tour!

Caño Negro sits at the far northern edge of Costa Rica and it was our base for a couple nights.  The birding was quite good along the wet roadsides where we tallied crakes, various shorebirds, great seedeaters and seed-finches, and a wealth of herons, egrets, and spoonbills.  We were fortunate to get to take several boat trips around the Caño Negro region which netted us 100+ species.  Highlights were numerous but especially fun was the Yellow-breasted Crake (!), Agami Heron, Sungrebe, Pinnated Bittern, Jabiru, and Nicaraguan Grackle.  The boat trips really were birdy though and we enjoyed amazing herons like Boat-billed Heron, anis trying to dry out, dozens of kingfishers, point-blank Anhingas and iguanas, sloths hanging in the trees, day-roosting screech-owls, the list just goes on.

Our final home-base was at the popular and birdy Arenal.  Although rain really hampered our efforts there, we still came away with a great list of species.  We saw the range-restricted Black-crested Coquettes in the gardens, the tricky Semiplumbeous Hawk, Streak-crowned Antvireo along the trails, and others.  The Sendero Bogarín area was superb with sightings of Uniform Crake, Keel-billed Motmot, American Pygmy Kingfisher, and dozens upon dozens of tanagers and honeyeaters.  Even SkyTrek netted us some highlights like Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Song Wren, White-throated Shrike-Tanager, and Thicket Antpitta.  Our final day, we even made it all the way down to the sunny Pacific lowlands!  Whew.  This side-trip really was icing on the cake with such bonus sightings as Plain-capped Starthroat, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Long-tailed Manakin, Rose-throated Becard, Panama Flycatcher, Nutting's Flycatcher, White-lored Gnatcatcher, Streak-backed Oriole, and Olive and Stripe-headed sparrows.

This trip certainly wouldn't have been possible without the great help and guidance of our local guide Vernon.  Bravo!  William was an excellent driver for us and always kept everything neat and organized.  Many thanks to Caroline in Austin who dealt with the many logistics before the tour, and of course thanks to you for coming along and exploring the edges of Costa Rica with us!

Many thanks and until our next birding adventure together, be safe and go birding!



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

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – There were a couple of large flocks of these quirky ducks in the Medio Queso wetland area right after our boat trip. However, that was the only time we tallied any duck on Part 2!
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
GRAY-HEADED CHACHALACA (Ortalis cinereiceps) – A few of these noisy, long-tailed birds were seen around Caño Negro and the Sendero Bogarín feeders.
CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens) – These fruit-eaters were a mainstay at the feeders at Arenal. Away from the feeders, however, they weren't so obvious.
BLACK GUAN (Chamaepetes unicolor) – A hoard would visit the feeders at Bosque de Paz each of the days we stayed there. This all-black species is restricted to Costa Rica and Panama.
GREAT CURASSOW (Crax rubra) – This impressive species was seen on the grounds at Arenal, often near the fruit feeders.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – Although not a species we typically see on this tour, there was no doubt about the one we saw from one of our boat trips in Caño Negro.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Seen in urban areas. [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – Not uncommon during our time in the lowlands such as around Caño Negro.
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris) – This widespread tropical pigeon was spotted a few times including from the Hotel Bougainvillea and a few times around Arenal.

The Great Curassow is surely one of the most eye-catching beasts we encountered just wandering around the grounds at our lodges! The females, such as this one, are very nicely patterned. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – Seen on our first and last days of the tour, mostly around the Hotel Bougainvillea and other dry habitats.
COMMON GROUND DOVE (Columbina passerina) – Not a species we typically see on this tour, this small dove was perched on power lines in the Pacific Lowlands during our "detour" on our final day.
RUDDY GROUND DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – This is a widespread dove in the lowlands and we found them commonly around Caño Negro.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – This was the common Leptotila dove around Arenal and we would see them strolling into the feeder area most mornings.
GRAY-HEADED DOVE (Leptotila plumbeiceps) – With a very restricted range within Costa Rica, this was a target in Caño Negro. We encountered a few but the best views came from the banks of the river near the dock.
BUFF-FRONTED QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon costaricensis) – A couple of lucky folks looked down at the Cinchona feeders and saw this skulky species walking on the ground below the balcony!
CHIRIQUI QUAIL-DOVE (Zentrygon chiriquensis) – It was a special treat to be able to see this sneaky species early in the morning at Bosque de Paz. This species is found only in Costa Rica and Panama.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – Fairly common throughout our tour, especially in lowland habitats.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – This ani, the only one found in the part of Costa Rica we visited, was seen several times, including from the boat trips in Caño Negro where some tight flocks were trying to dry out.

Although usually a very sneaky and hard-to-see species, the Chiriqui Quail-Dove seems to be bold enough to come out of the forests at Bosque de Paz. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SQUIRREL CUCKOO (Piaya cayana) – We had a great show from one of these big guys in the forests of Sendero Bogarín.
MANGROVE CUCKOO (Coccyzus minor) – You never quite know where one of these will turn up. For us, one appeared along the road we birded as we headed towards Caño Negro.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – One of these nightbirds would sit on the ground near the Arenal feeders predawn most mornings.
Nyctibiidae (Potoos)
GREAT POTOO (Nyctibius grandis) – During our night drive post-dinner at Caño Negro, we eventually found the right pole where one of these giants was perched, surveying the area for large insect prey.
COMMON POTOO (Nyctibius griseus) – This is another nightbird we tallied on our night drive in the Caño Negro region.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – This huge, distinctive swift was the only species of swift we tallied on Part 2.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
GREEN HERMIT (Phaethornis guy) – This big hummer, with a very long bill, was fairly common at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens as well as the Bosque de Paz feeders during our stay there.
STRIPE-THROATED HERMIT (Phaethornis striigularis) – Sightings of this buffy, small hermit came from Arenal during breaks in the rain.
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – This fast species, although not visiting feeders, was seen briefly in the Arenal area feeding from flowers.
GREEN-BREASTED MANGO (Anthracothorax prevostii) – We added this stocky hummer on our final day along the Guacimo Road in the Pacific lowlands.

The Coppery-headed Emerald is only found in Costa Rica. Part II enjoyed great looks at this endemic at La Paz Waterfall Gardens and the Cinchona feeders. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

GREEN THORNTAIL (Discosura conversii) – This snazzy, small hummer was common at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and we saw even more at Arenal.
BLACK-CRESTED COQUETTE (Lophornis helenae) – This tiny, stunning little hummingbird was seen several times one morning in the far gardens at Arenal. This coquette is found from southern Mexico south into northern Costa Rica.
GREEN-CROWNED BRILLIANT (Heliodoxa jacula) – A common and stocky species seen daily at the Bosque de Paz feeders.
TALAMANCA HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes spectabilis) – Although less common at the Bosque de Paz feeders compared to the previous species, this big, showy hummer was still regular.
PLAIN-CAPPED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster constantii) – This long-billed hummer was a bonus pick-up on our final day in the Pacific Lowlands.
WHITE-BELLIED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis hemileucus) – We had a brief sighting of this hummingbird at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens on our first day. This mountain-gem is found only in Costa Rica and Panama.
PURPLE-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis calolaemus) – An attractive mountain-gem of mountains in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. This species was seen daily at the Bosque de Paz feeders.
MAGENTA-THROATED WOODSTAR (Philodice bryantae) – This tiny hummer, also restricted to only Costa Rica and Panama, was seen most days at the Bosque de Paz feeders.
VOLCANO HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus flammula) – This is a small Selasphorus we encountered a few times at the Bosque de Paz feeders.

Although we had to dodge rain showers at Arenal Observatory Lodge, we eventually caught a break in the rain and saw the range-restricted Black-crested Coquette very nicely. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SCINTILLANT HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus scintilla) – Another small Selasphorus, and a close relative of the previous species, this guy was also tallied from the Bosque de Paz grounds.
CANIVET'S EMERALD (Chlorostilbon canivetii) – A hummingbird found from Mexico south into northern Costa Rica, this isn't a species we typically see on the Edges tours. However, our detour into the Pacific lowlands netted us this species on our final day.
VIOLET-HEADED HUMMINGBIRD (Klais guimeti) – A compact little hummingbird, only a few of these were tallied from the gardens at Arenal.
SCALY-BREASTED HUMMINGBIRD (Phaeochroa cuvierii) – A fairly drab but common hummingbird tallied from Arenal. We often noticed the white corners to the tail.
VIOLET SABREWING (Campylopterus hemileucurus) – A huge, showy, and fantastic hummingbird tallied at La Paz Waterfall Gardens and daily from the Bosque de Paz feeders. This is the largest hummingbird species found in Costa Rica.
BLACK-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Eupherusa nigriventris) – A beautiful and distinctive species found only in Costa Rica and Panama. We had stunning looks at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens where they perched at an arm's length away.
COPPERY-HEADED EMERALD (Elvira cupreiceps) – This species is truly endemic to Costa Rica. An emerald of cool, highland forests, this hummingbird was tallied only from the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and Cinchona feeders but they were abundant there. [E]
BLUE-VENTED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia hoffmanni) – Just within the last year or so, Steely-vented Hummingbird was split into two species. The South American species retained the name Steely-vented while the northern species, found mostly in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, now goes by Blue-vented. Anyhow, we encountered one of these on our final day in the Pacific lowlands.
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Abundant through much of the trip.

The Rufous-tailed Hummingbird was a lovely and common addition to our daily checklists. It's not bad looking either! This awesome shot was taken by participant Greg Griffith.

CINNAMON HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia rutila) – This was a bonus hummingbird species that we found in the Pacific lowlands on our final day. This buffy-fronted species ranges from Mexico south into Costa Rica.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
UNIFORM CRAKE (Amaurolimnas concolor) – This was a rare treat at the Sendero Bogarín feeders. A very rarely seen crake, one of these made appearances at the back end of the wet area! Vernon picked this as one of his highlights.
RUSSET-NAPED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides albiventris) – This wood-rail was spotted a few times on our boat trips and on the hotel grounds in the Caño Negro region. This species, along with Gray-cowled Wood-Rail, was one of the resulting species from the split of Gray-necked Wood-Rail several years ago.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – This is a colorful species of marshes and wet areas that we tallied on a boat trip in the Caño Negro region.
YELLOW-BREASTED CRAKE (Hapalocrex flaviventer) – Success! This poorly-known species is a Holy Grail bird for so many birders. For us, our boat trip into the big lagoon near Caño Negro netted us this very sneaky crake.
WHITE-THROATED CRAKE (Laterallus albigularis) – We had no shortage of great looks at this usually-sneaky crake at the Sendero Bogarín feeder area. The crakes there are unusually bold!
Heliornithidae (Finfoots)
SUNGREBE (Heliornis fulica) – Although this sneaky species resembles a grebe, it's more closely related to rails. We had an encounter on one of our Caño Negro boat trips but it was sometimes tough to spot way back in the vegetation.
Aramidae (Limpkin)
LIMPKIN (Aramus guarauna) – A snail-eating specialist, this long-legged marsh dweller was spotted a couple of times on our boat trips in Caño Negro.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
DOUBLE-STRIPED THICK-KNEE (Burhinus bistriatus) – Although not a species we see on every tour, there have been some sedentary birds in the fields near Caño Negro in recent years.

Our Edges tours enjoyed great looks at several species of mountain-gems, a colorful grouping of hummingbirds. This is a Purple-throated Mountain-gem at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – A lanky, black-and-white shorebird, these were commonly seen in the marshes around Caño Negro.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
SOUTHERN LAPWING (Vanellus chilensis) – There was beautiful light on this common shorebird during our boat trips in Caño Negro. The range of this species has made tremendous pushes north in recent years.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa) – A common but attractive wader in marshy and grassy areas throughout the Caño Negro area.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – A bonus shorebird from our jaunt to the Pacific lowlands, these were seen near our lunch spot on our final day.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla) – A few of these tiny shorebirds were spotted foraging on some mud as we made our way west towards Caño Negro.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius) – This familiar shorebird was fairly common in suitable habitat in the Caño Negro region.
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – Although not common for us on Part 2, this small Tringa was seen in one of the flooded fields as we approached Caño Negro.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – This is a tall, sturdy Tringa we tallied near Caño Negro on one of our days.
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) – This was another bonus shorebird we picked up near our lunch spot along the coast on our final day.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes) – This slender species was also spotted as we approached Caño Negro in one of the flooded fields.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of Part II was when this Uniform Crake came waltzing out of the shadows and into the open at Sendero Bogarín! Outstanding. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – This gull is abundant along the coast and we added this bonus species during our final day detour.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Like the previous species, this was a bonus find for us because we detoured down to the Pacific Coast on our final day.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
JABIRU (Jabiru mycteria) – This huge stork, found from Mexico south well into South America, was an excellent sighting from our boat trip in the Medio Queso wetland. This species can even eat small caimans and crocodiles!
WOOD STORK (Mycteria americana) – Fairly common in the wet areas around Caño Negro.
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata magnificens) – Although we saw this huge, gliding species where we'd expect to along the coast on our final day, don't forget the one we saw overhead in Caño Negro! Quite rare there, it was probably blown down with the storm from Lake Nicaragua.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – This "snakebird" was abundant on all of our boat trips in the Caño Negro region including some that posed perfectly for our cameras.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Good views were had from our boat trips in the Caño Negro area.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – This species isn't one we normally see on Part 2 but because of our detour to the Pacific lowlands, we added this saltwater pelican.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PINNATED BITTERN (Botaurus pinnatus) – This was a main target of ours in the Medio Queso Wetland and, thankfully, the rain didn't keep us from finding them! In fact, we managed multiple sightings of this poorly-known heron.
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – This tiny, rare heron was found in the Medio Queso wetland and we had great extended looks as it sat motionless. This can be a very tough bird to find in Costa Rica!

One of our main targets in the north was this secretive marsh bird, the Pinnated Bittern. Of course, we ended up seeing a couple of these and some completely out in the open! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BARE-THROATED TIGER-HERON (Tigrisoma mexicanum) – We managed quite a few great looks at this fun heron on Part 2, especially in the Caño Negro region where they were fairly common.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – Fairly common in wet areas.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Common in marshes and wet habitats throughout the tour.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Although smaller than the previous species, this delicate heron was still quite common in the Caño Negro region.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – A common heron for us in a variety of wet habitats. Remember, the first-year birds are all white!
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – A less common heron, this slender species was tallied around Caño Negro and the Medio Queso wetland.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Abundant in grassy habitats throughout the trip.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – We tallied impressive numbers of this small heron in the Caño Negro region including almost double-digits in the Medio Queso wetland.
AGAMI HERON (Agamia agami) – Woah, we found an Agami! This sneaky heron is one of the hardest herons to find in Costa Rica but one of our boat trips in the Caño Negro region was at the right place at the right time. Fantastic sighting.

Of all the herons we saw though, none was quite as rare as this Agami Heron that walked out of the shadows during one of our Caño Negro boat trips! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – Tallied on one of our days in the Caño Negro region.
BOAT-BILLED HERON (Cochlearius cochlearius) – This is a fun, nocturnal heron to find and we encountered a couple from the boat trips in the Caño Negro region. That bill is super impressive!
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – Fairly common in the Caño Negro region.
GREEN IBIS (Mesembrinibis cayennensis) – This dark-colored ibis is rather bizarre; it's much shorter than, say, Glossy Ibis. In good light, like the one we saw near the hotel at Caño Negro, they do have a fair bit of green on them, especially on the nape.
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – A beautiful species found in wet areas near Caño Negro, these were tallied each of our days there.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Tallied most days.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – This common and widespread species was tallied on most of our days.
LESSER YELLOW-HEADED VULTURE (Cathartes burrovianus) – This marsh-loving species was seen rather distantly at the Medio Queso wetlands where a couple were sitting out in the rain.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – We had a few sightings throughout the tour of this fish-eating raptor, often as we were driving near large bodies of water.

You gotta STRETCH! This Least Bittern in the Medio Queso area seemed to know what it was doing although it struck a funny pose while doing it. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – You may have seen this slender raptor near the Hotel Bougainvillea on our first day. However, it wasn't tallied on any of our subsequent days.
GRAY-HEADED KITE (Leptodon cayanensis) – Never a common raptor, this lowland species showed up in a treetop during one of our boat trips in the Caño Negro region. That was our only sighting.
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – We spied a youngster, through the raindrops at SkyTrek, near Arenal. Although it was perched on the far side of the valley, we were able to get scopes on it and watched it as it called incessantly.
BLACK-COLLARED HAWK (Busarellus nigricollis) – We scored this wetland raptor near the dock in Caño Negro after we returned from one of our boat trips.
SNAIL KITE (Rostrhamus sociabilis) – We managed a couple of nice looks of this snail-eating specialist from the boat at the Medio Queso wetland.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – One of our boat trips in Caño Negro tallied this fine raptor. Unfortunately, it stayed mostly out of view and eventually flew off.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – A common raptor tallied on a majority of our days, especially in the lowland areas.
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – We eventually found this species perched in some roadside trees as we made our way towards Caño Negro on our third day.
SEMIPLUMBEOUS HAWK (Leucopternis semiplumbeus) – Vernon was sharp and picked up on this sneaky species during a walk at Arenal. We eventually found it perched and got scope views.

We had quite the adventure with Black-and-white Owls on this tour! This one, for example, was hunting right outside our dining hall in Caño Negro! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – One of these showed briefly at the Sendero Bogarín feeder area. This raptor ranges from Costa Rica north into the US.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – This is a wintering raptor in Costa Rica and we found one on our first day at Freddo Fresas. Interestingly, they weren't very common for us for the remainder of the tour.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – We were driving on our final day when a couple folks spotted this raptor in flight. Sadly, we weren't in a good place to stop.
Strigidae (Owls)
PACIFIC SCREECH-OWL (Megascops cooperi) – One of our days at Caño Negro was loaded with these! We found two different pairs day-roosting from our boat trips, and then we found a singing bird on our night drive.
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Although it remained out of sight, this dry-country owl was heard a couple of times on our final day in the Pacific lowlands. [*]
BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) – Not only did we see this fantastic owl, we REALLY saw it. It started with a bird that was hanging around the dining area at our lodge in Caño Negro; we got insane looks at it point-blank in a tree right outside. But then things got weirder when it chased a tanager INTO the dining hall! It went on to eventually catch the tanager. Then later that night, we went on a night-drive and tallied quite a few of these, at least five!
STRIPED OWL (Asio clamator) – We had beautiful looks at this attractive species on our night-drive in Caño Negro.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) – We tracked down this trogon on one of our boat trips in Caño Negro.
BLACK-HEADED TROGON (Trogon melanocephalus) – Like the previous species, this trogon was seen only from the boat during one of our Caño Negro floats.

One of the other owls we enjoyed repeated looks at in the Caño Negro region was the beautiful Striped Owl. We saw at least three that evening! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – This widespread trogon was seen a couple of times including at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens and then again at Bosque de Paz.
COLLARED TROGON (ORANGE-BELLIED) (Trogon collaris aurantiiventris) – This subspecies, until recently, was considered a distinct species. However, it now has been subsumed by Collared Trogon. We saw one of these at Bosque de Paz.
Momotidae (Motmots)
KEEL-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron carinatum) – This tough species was certainly a highlight for many of us at the Sendero Bogarín trails. Awesome looks.
BROAD-BILLED MOTMOT (Electron platyrhynchum) – SkyTrek, near Arenal, yielded this fancy motmot.
TURQUOISE-BROWED MOTMOT (Eumomota superciliosa) – This gorgeous species was picked up because we took that last-day detour down to the Pacific lowlands.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – A huge kingfisher, these were seen several times around Caño Negro.
AMAZON KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle amazona) – This mostly-green species was the most common of the kingfishers during our boat trips in Caño Negro.
AMERICAN PYGMY KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle aenea) – We had stunning views of a tame bird at Sendero Bogarín. What a show!

One of the tougher motmots to find, and one of our main targets on Part II, is the Keel-billed Motmot. Vernon worked his magic and found this one at Sendero Bogarín! Photo by leader Cory Gregory.

GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – We eventually encountered several of these small, green guys around Caño Negro but they were usually outnumbered by Amazons.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
PIED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus tectus) – Vernon had a spot all figured out for us to snag this little black-and-white puffbird near Caño Negro.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – Great looks were had by all at Sendero Bogarín when one of these came and landed overhead.
Capitonidae (New World Barbets)
RED-HEADED BARBET (Eubucco bourcierii) – This attractive barbet was seen nicely at the Cinchona feeders near La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
Semnornithidae (Toucan-Barbets)
PRONG-BILLED BARBET (Semnornis frantzii) – Like the previous species, this big-billed guy gave us point-blank looks at Cinchona.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
NORTHERN EMERALD-TOUCANET (BLUE-THROATED) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus caeruleogularis) – We certainly couldn't have gotten better views of this nicely-colored toucanet at the Cinchona feeders on our first day. Several years ago Emerald Toucanet was split into two species, this and the Southern Emerald-Toucanet in South America.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – This colorful toucan was seen daily around Caño Negro.
YELLOW-THROATED TOUCAN (CHESTNUT-MANDIBLED) (Ramphastos ambiguus swainsonii) – Wow, this big guy is quite a stunner. We had superb looks at the Sendero Bogarín feeders from the comfort of the covered balcony.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – This gaudy toucan was seen just a couple of times around Caño Negro.

I'm not sure anyone got better photos of this Prong-billed Barbet at the Cinchona feeders than David and Judy Smith. Awesome shot!

Picidae (Woodpeckers)
BLACK-CHEEKED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes pucherani) – This is an attractive woodpecker we tallied from Caño Negro. It's found from Mexico south into South America.
HOFFMANN'S WOODPECKER (Melanerpes hoffmannii) – Seen daily around Caño Negro and then again around Arenal.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Dryobates fumigatus) – Our best looks came from Sendero Bogarín when one of these flew in and landed overhead.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – Caño Negro was a great spot for this big woodpecker and we saw them daily there. This is the one that reminded some folks of the Pileated Woodpecker from farther north.
RUFOUS-WINGED WOODPECKER (Piculus simplex) – Although a bit of a surprise, we found this species on a side road near Caño Negro one afternoon.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – Two of these were seen at Arenal one afternoon.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Fairly common around Caño Negro.
YELLOW-HEADED CARACARA (Milvago chimachima) – Although less common than the previous species, these were also seen at Caño Negro, sometimes on the boat trips.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) – One of these was heard "laughing" at Arenal one day. [*]

The beautiful Northern Emerald-Toucanet was seen a few times including this one wonderfully captured by participant Tracey Bauder.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – It was a quick drive-by but some folks saw this species perched along power lines.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – Wow, it was cool to watch this nicely colored falcon on our final day down in the lowlands. It looked to be plucking a freshly killed dove.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – This majestic falcon made several passes overhead on one of our Caño Negro boat tours.
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – These short-tailed parakeets were common throughout much of Part 2, especially at the Sendero Bogarín feeders.
WHITE-CROWNED PARROT (Pionus senilis) – A small flock of these was spotted at Sendero Bogarín.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – Some large flocks of these would come screeching in overhead at Caño Negro most evenings.
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (Eupsittula nana) – Seen around Caño Negro.
ORANGE-FRONTED PARAKEET (Eupsittula canicularis) – This was a bonus find for us because we dropped into the Pacific lowlands on our final day.
SCARLET MACAW (Ara macao) – We were driving back towards San Jose when a few folks saw this brightly-colored macaw in flight.
CRIMSON-FRONTED PARAKEET (Psittacara finschi) – The only time we saw these on Part 2 was at the Hotel Bougainvillea at the start of tour.

The only aracari in the range of Edges Part II is Collared Aracari. Indeed, we had repeated looks at these fascinating and nicely-marked toucans. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – This black-and-white antshrike was seen several times during our visit to Caño Negro, sometimes even from the boat.
RUSSET ANTSHRIKE (Thamnistes anabatinus) – We eventually found several of these plain brown birds along the trails at Arenal.
STREAK-CROWNED ANTVIREO (Dysithamnus striaticeps) – This was one of our targets along the trails at Arenal and we eventually managed to get views of some back in the forested segments.
SLATY ANTWREN (Myrmotherula schisticolor) – One of the busy mixed flocks at La Paz Waterfall Gardens had a pair of these mixed in.
DUSKY ANTBIRD (Cercomacroides tyrannina) – We were boating near Caño Negro when Vernon picked one of these out. With a little work, we managed a quick look at the female.
BARE-CROWNED ANTBIRD (Gymnocichla nudiceps) – This songster remained out of view during one of our Caño Negro boat trips. [*]
DULL-MANTLED ANTBIRD (Sipia laemosticta) – Wow, we had great looks at this guy near Arenal just along one of the roadsides. This was near one of the spots we tried for Thicket Antpitta.
ZELEDON'S ANTBIRD (Hafferia zeledoni) – Just up the road a little from Bosque de Paz, we had a pair of these slinking through the roadside edge (and singing). Good show!
SPOTTED ANTBIRD (Hylophylax naevioides) – Although it ended up doing a couple laps around us, this little guy was kinda sneaky along the trails at Arenal. When we initially saw it, I think most folks had good looks.
Grallariidae (Antpittas)
THICKET ANTPITTA (Hylopezus dives) – This sneaky antpitta of shadowy forest floors showed quite closely along the trails at Sky Trek. However, it usually chose dense cover and so it took us a while before everyone had the right hole to view it. A fantastic bird to see so well!

The Orange-chinned Parakeet show at the Sendero Bogarín feeders was exceptional. It gave us the rare chance to actually see the orange chins! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
BLACK-BANDED WOODCREEPER (Dendrocolaptes picumnus) – Holy smokes, this may have been bird of the trip for several people! This is a very rare and hard-to-find species that we somehow chanced upon on the trails above Bosque de Paz. Vernon was especially excited since it was the best view he's ever had of one! Excellent, top notch bird!
COCOA WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus susurrans) – We had quick views of this sturdy-billed woodcreeper in the Caño Negro area.
SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius) – Seen a couple of times including at La Paz Waterfall Gardens and the Sky Trek/Arenal area.
BROWN-BILLED SCYTHEBILL (Campylorhamphus pusillus) – Woah, talk about an impressive bill! This huge-billed woodcreeper was seen along the trails at La Paz Waterfall Gardens on our first day. This might be the most distinctive of all woodcreepers in Costa Rica!
STREAK-HEADED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii) – Our most widespread woodcreeper, seen especially in lowland habitats.
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes affinis) – This woodcreeper somewhat replaces the previous species at higher elevations. For example, we encountered it only at the elevations around Bosque de Paz.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – A couple of these tiny woodcreepers were seen at SkyTrek and Arenal.
STREAK-BREASTED TREEHUNTER (Thripadectes rufobrunneus) – This was one of our main targets in the forests above Bosque de Paz. With a little work, we eventually found one and I think everyone managed some kind of a look.
SPOTTED BARBTAIL (Premnoplex brunnescens) – We had quite good luck with finding these at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Along the trails, a couple of these perched at eye level. This species is found in montane forests south to Bolivia.
RED-FACED SPINETAIL (Cranioleuca erythrops) – A nicely-patterned spinetail we encountered each of our first several days around Bosque de Paz.

We all agreed that one of the best moments of the tour came when Vernon found this Black-banded Woodcreeper! Being essentially a lifer for him, he was really happy and we all fed off that enthusiasm! Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

SLATY SPINETAIL (Synallaxis brachyura) – Although the bird is still mostly rufous, this spinetail does indeed have more slate color than others. We encountered at least one of these on a boat trip at Caño Negro.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LONG-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia linearis) – This fancy manakin was one of the bonus species we found on our final full day in the Pacific lowlands. We had nice views of several birds, some of them young males with intermediate-length tail streamers.
WHITE-RUFFED MANAKIN (Corapipo altera) – Seen on just one of our days at Arenal. The male is all black with a bright white throat.
WHITE-COLLARED MANAKIN (Manacus candei) – We encountered this handsome species a few times around Caño Negro.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
BLACK-CROWNED TITYRA (Tityra inquisitor) – Not an overly common species and so it was good to catch up to a couple from one of our boat trips.
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – Tallied on just a couple of our days including from the gardens at Arenal.
BARRED BECARD (Pachyramphus versicolor) – Seen just once on Part 2 from the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
WHITE-WINGED BECARD (Pachyramphus polychopterus) – We had a surprise encounter, and great views, of this species during a morning walk around Caño Negro.
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – We added this species in the Pacific lowlands on our final day.
Oxyruncidae (Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies)
SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius aureatus) – Tallied on just one of our days, this species was seen at Arenal towards the end of our trip.

Everyone here is focused intently on one thing... a Yellow-breasted Crake that we found on this float mat of vegetation! This tricky species ranked as one of the best birds of the trip. Photo by leader Cory Gregory.

Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
WHITE-THROATED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus mystaceus) – This tiny, leaf-sized flycatcher was tallied a couple of times from the forests around Bosque de Paz.
OLIVE-STRIPED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes olivaceus) – Not a very common species for us on Part 2, only tallied once near Bosque de Paz.
SLATY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon superciliaris) – This was a good pickup from Sky Trek between rain showers.
SCALE-CRESTED PYGMY-TYRANT (Lophotriccus pileatus) – This is another tiny little flycatcher that we found at Sky Trek. From the metal viewing platform, we were even able to look down on this nifty species.
SLATE-HEADED TODY-FLYCATCHER (Poecilotriccus sylvia) – We were successful in finding this fun tody-flycatcher near the docks at Caño Negro. It repeatedly came in for very nice, close looks.
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – Quite a common species during our time in the lowlands and up to Arenal.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Seen twice: first from the neighborhood around Caño Negro and then again at Sendero Bogarín.
YELLOW TYRANNULET (Capsiempis flaveola) – This species is quite fond of scrubby edges and open areas; it avoids thick forests. We encountered it from the boat in Caño Negro.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – It was a bit of a surprise to find this species at Caño Negro but either way, we encountered it on one of our walks in the neighborhood.
YELLOW-BELLIED ELAENIA (Elaenia flavogaster) – Not very common for us, interestingly. We encountered this bushy-crested flycatcher mostly around Caño Negro.

Although we ended up seeing only a few species of jays on the trip, this White-throated Magpie-jay sure made up for any lost ground. This gaudy jay, one with even a wispy tuft, was photographed nicely by particpants David and Judy Smith.

MOUNTAIN ELAENIA (Elaenia frantzii) – Tallied a couple of times including at Freddo Fresas on our first day and then again from the road at Bosque de Paz. At the latter location, it proved to be quite fond of perching out of view!
MISTLETOE TYRANNULET (Zimmerius parvus) – Formerly part of the Paltry Tyrannulet complex, this somewhat plain species was fairly common throughout.
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (Mitrephanes phaeocercus) – A compact, colorful, and distinctive little flycatcher. We had nice looks in the forests at Bosque de Paz.
DARK PEWEE (Contopus lugubris) – This target of ours eventually worked out pretty well. We first encountered them at La Paz Waterfall Gardens and then again near Bosque de Paz. This pewee is endemic to the mountains of Costa Rica and Panama.
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – Fairly common along the fences near Caño Negro.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – The only encounter we had with this wintering Empid was one we found along the Guacimo Road in the Pacific lowlands.
YELLOWISH FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flavescens) – Often very approachable, this Empid was seen nicely along the driveway at Bosque de Paz. This species has a bold, pale, almond-shaped eyering.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – We could always count on seeing this water-loving flycatcher near the stream at Bosque de Paz.
NORTHERN SCRUB-FLYCATCHER (Sublegatus arenarum) – These guys almost look like miniature Myiarchus flycatchers. For us, we encountered this in the mangroves we birded in the Pacific lowlands. However, the bird didn't stick around and only a few lucky folks saw it.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – We heard the mournful call of this Myiarchus in the Pacific lowlands but the bird stayed out of view. [*]

Bosque de Paz, our home for a couple nights, was a great home-base to have as we explored the cloud forests and the many specialized birds at that elevation. Black Phoebes foraged along the stream and hummers were constantly buzzing around the feeders. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

PANAMA FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus panamensis) – This is a big Myiarchus, like the Great Crested, but it generally lacks a lot of the bright rufous tones and the deepest of yellows on the belly. We found this species in the Pacific lowlands on our final day.
NUTTING'S FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus nuttingi) – This Myiarchus of dry country was added on our final day in the Pacific lowlands.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – This wintering flycatcher was fairly common around Caño Negro. For many folks, this was a species familiar to them from the US.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Common and widespread.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – This big flycatcher is quite similar to the previous species. We had looks from the patio at Arenal of an especially wet individual.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Common and widespread, especially in the lower elevation habitats.
GRAY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes granadensis) – The pale eye of this species really seems to jump out! We had nice, close looks from the gardens at Arenal.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Our most common flycatcher, these were about everywhere.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – One of these wintering vireos showed up for us in the Pacific lowlands.
YELLOW-WINGED VIREO (Vireo carmioli) – This is a bit of a specialty vireo that's only found in Costa Rica and Panama. For us, we encountered it just once from the road above Bosque de Paz.

Our Edges Part II tour tallied at least 13 different kinds of wrens! One of the ones we saw, and saw REALLY well, was the range-restcited Spot-breasted Wren in the Caño Negro region. Photo by leader Cory Gregory.

BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – Like the previous species, we only found this montane vireo at Bosque de Paz on our third morning.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE-JAY (Calocitta formosa) – We found this beautiful, long-tailed jay along the Guacimo Road in the Pacific lowlands. It's hard not to like the little bob/tuft they have on their heads.
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio) – A big and common jay, especially at the Arenal feeders.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLUE-AND-WHITE SWALLOW (Pygochelidon cyanoleuca) – Not very common for us on Part 2 although this species tends to be one of the most widespread swallows in Costa Rica.
SOUTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx ruficollis) – This rough-winged swallow has a paler rump than the northern counterpart. We tallied it on one of the boat trips in Caño Negro.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – A big swallow related to the Purple Martin that many folks are familiar with. These were fairly widespread in the Caño Negro region.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor) – This was a surprise species for us along the road leading to Caño Negro. We found a flock of 50+ which is quite rare for the area.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – An attractive little swallow with a bright white rump. We had stellar looks from the boat trips in Caño Negro.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica) – A high flock of these fork-tailed swallows was swirling overhead in the Pacific lowlands.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
TAWNY-FACED GNATWREN (Microbates cinereiventris) – This secretive and poorly-known species was seen along the trails at SkyTrek. You had to be quick though; the bird moved through pretty rapidly.

Sometimes you have to make the best of it. For us, we wanted out of the rain at Arenal on our final day and so we detoured to the Pacific lowlands where we got to enjoy this nice Stripe-headed Sparrow. Photo by participants David and Judy Smith.

WHITE-LORED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila albiloris) – This dry-country bird is found from Mexico south into northern Costa Rica. For us, we encountered it in the Pacific lowlands on our final day.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Seen just once or twice in the Caño Negro region.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
NIGHTINGALE WREN (Microcerculus philomela) – We heard a few notes from this secretive wren at Arenal but it stayed out of view. [*]
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) – A common and widespread wren through much of our tour.
OCHRACEOUS WREN (Troglodytes ochraceus) – This high-elevation specialty was seen on our first day at Freddo Fresas. This buffy species is restricted to the mountains of Costa Rica and Panama.
BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus) – This big and boldly-marked wren was spotted a few times in the far gardens at Arenal where they stayed pretty high in the trees.
RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (Campylorhynchus rufinucha) – This big wren would be very hard to misidentify! It's boldly marked and very attractive. We encountered it nicely in the dry country in the Pacific lowlands.
SPOT-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius maculipectus) – Within Costa Rica, this is one of the most range-restricted wrens. One of the only reliable spots is near Caño Negro and we ended up with outstanding looks not far from the lodge.
STRIPE-BREASTED WREN (Cantorchilus thoracicus) – This colorful wren was seen sneaking through the tangles at Arenal on one of our hikes. However, it was pretty tough to see well.
CABANIS'S WREN (Cantorchilus modestus) – Our first outing as a group, across from the Hotel Bougainvillea, netted us this species. This is one of the three resulting species from the Plain Wren split several years ago.

This photo, taken by participants David and Judy Smith, really does a great job at showing the chestnut cap of this Chestnut-capped Brushfinch. The gleaming white throat always seems to stand out as well.

CANEBRAKE WREN (Cantorchilus zeledoni) – Like the previous species, this is also one of the three resulting species from the Plain Wren split. We found ours from a boat trip in Caño Negro.
BAY WREN (Cantorchilus nigricapillus) – One of our boat trips put us in a territory of this big, rufous wren.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Our only look at this skulker was on a morning walk at Caño Negro. We heard it singing and eventually caught a glimpse or two of its head as it peeked out.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – This songster was seen pretty well from the trails and road at Bosque de Paz. This is the higher-elevation counterpart to the previous species.
SONG WREN (Cyphorhinus phaeocephalus) – This bizarre wren showed a few times along the trails at SkyTrek. It's a sneaky species though and didn't stick around for long. This wren has a wide, bare skin patch around its eye that's bluish in color.
Cinclidae (Dippers)
AMERICAN DIPPER (Cinclus mexicanus) – Although we never saw it, at least one dipper called a few times along the creek at Bosque de Paz. [*]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
TROPICAL MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus gilvus) – Seen a few times, often from roadsides as we were driving around Caño Negro or en route to Arenal.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BLACK-FACED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes melanops) – A wonderful specialist of the higher elevations in Costa Rica and Panama. We encountered this gifted songster daily at Bosque de Paz.
SLATY-BACKED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus fuscater) – Staying mostly low or on the ground, this attractive thrush was seen a couple of times at Bosque de Paz from the trails.
RUDDY-CAPPED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus frantzii) – One of these Catharus thrushes put in a brief appearance on the driveway at Bosque de Paz.

A species that's actually endemic to the small country of Costa Rica is the Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow. This target fell into place nicely on our first morning near the Hotel Bougainvillea. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

BLACK-HEADED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus mexicanus) – It proved to be rather sneaky but I think most folks got a glimpse of this attractive thrush at SkyTrek.
WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina) – This wintering thrush species was tallied from Sendero Bogarín where one hopped along the edge of the trail.
MOUNTAIN THRUSH (Turdus plebejus) – This montane species, found from southern Mexico down into Panama, was common only around Bosque de Paz which was in the right elevational zone.
WHITE-THROATED THRUSH (Turdus assimilis) – One of these sneaky thrushes popped up for a few folks at SkyTrek.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Our most common thrush on tour, and also the national bird of Costa Rica.
Ptiliogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
LONG-TAILED SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptiliogonys caudatus) – This gaudy and distinctive species is found only in the mountains of Costa Rica and Panama. Lucky for us, we found ourselves in their range during our time at Bosque de Paz.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – This introduced species was seen a handful of times. [I]
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
SCRUB EUPHONIA (Euphonia affinis) – This is a dry-country specialist found from Mexico south into northwestern Costa Rica. We encountered it in the dry country of the Pacific lowlands on our final day.
YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia hirundinacea) – This was our most common euphonia on Part 2 and we saw them regularly around Caño Negro and Arenal.
TAWNY-CAPPED EUPHONIA (Euphonia anneae) – It was a pretty quiet tour for this species. Our only encounter came on our first day when we saw this species along a roadside.

One of the most range-restricted species of the entire trip was probably the Nicaraguan Grackle. And as you can see by the frame of animal legs, they preferred the shortly grazed streamsides near Caño Negro. Photo by particpants David and Judy Smith.

YELLOW-BELLIED SISKIN (Spinus xanthogastrus) – We were birding along the road above Bosque de Paz when we heard a few of these calling from overhead, probably in flight. [*]
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
COMMON CHLOROSPINGUS (Chlorospingus flavopectus) – Very common around Bosque de Paz; nearly every bird we put our bins on seemed to be one of these!
STRIPE-HEADED SPARROW (Peucaea ruficauda) – This boldly-marked sparrow is found on the Pacific slope of Mexico south into Costa Rica. We had great looks in the Pacific lowlands on our last day.
OLIVE SPARROW (Arremonops rufivirgatus) – This Arremonops is found from northwestern Costa Rica north into south Texas. For us, we found it on our last day in the Pacific lowlands.
BLACK-STRIPED SPARROW (Arremonops conirostris) – This sparrow was fairly common under the feeders at spots like Arenal.
CHESTNUT-CAPPED BRUSHFINCH (Arremon brunneinucha) – This attractive brushfinch, with a gleaming white throat, was seen below the feeders at Cinchona and then again at Bosque de Paz.
SOOTY-FACED FINCH (Arremon crassirostris) – It took a little work but we eventually saw this uncommon species by the dining hall at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) – Seen on our first morning around the Hotel Bougainvillea.
CABANIS'S GROUND-SPARROW (Melozone cabanisi) – Success! This rare, Costa Rican endemic was pretty cooperative on our first morning near the Hotel Bougainvillea. Up until recently this was part of the Prevost's Ground-Sparrow complex.
YELLOW-THIGHED BRUSHFINCH (Atlapetes tibialis) – This all-black bird with yellow "thighs" was seen on our first day at the La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Recently the name has changed from Yellow-thighed Finch.

It would be hard to pick a most-colorful tanager on Edges Part II. Certainly some of the most striking were the Golden-hooded Tanagers that we enjoyed most days. Participants David and Judy Smith got this cracking shot of one.

Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-BREASTED MEADOWLARK (Leistes militaris) – A couple of these were seen in the open fields around Caño Negro. It was great to see the bright red fronts through the scope.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – A duo of these came through the feeder area at Sendero Bogarín but didn't stick around for long.
CHESTNUT-HEADED OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius wagleri) – Some folks saw this species at Sendero Bogarín.
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma) – Although they were common and widespread, this species sure is interesting. From the crazy calls to the eye-opening displays that they do, they always kept us entertained.
BLACK-COWLED ORIOLE (Icterus prosthemelas) – This black-and-yellow oriole was seen around the gardens at Arenal a couple of times between the showers.
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – Only a few of these burnt orange and black orioles were seen this time around.
STREAK-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus pustulatus) – This was a bonus bird for us because we ventured down into the Pacific lowlands on our final day.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – A common wintering species throughout our trip.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus) – A fairly common denizen of grassy fields near Caño Negro.
MELODIOUS BLACKBIRD (Dives dives) – Spots that hosted these "melodious" blackbirds included the Hotel Bougainvillea, Caño Negro, and the Arenal gardens.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Common and widespread through much of our trip.

I think we were all keen to try to find this ginormous-billed seed-finch near Caño Negro. Lightning struck along one of the roadsides en route to our lodge when we found this male Nicaraguan Seed-Finch, a real highlight! Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

NICARAGUAN GRACKLE (Quiscalus nicaraguensis) – Although it's "just a grackle," it's good to pay attention to this rare and range-restricted species. Nearly endemic to Nicaragua, this grackle can be found just a few spots in Costa Rica as well. One of the most reliable ways to see these is to take the boat trips out of Caño Negro. Of course, we did just that and had great looks at both males and females.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – Although they often stuck to the shadows, this wintering warbler was pretty common.
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera) – This attractive wintering species was seen at Bosque de Paz several times.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – This familiar species was seen a number of times, creeping along limbs as is typical of this wintering warbler.
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – It's hard to get enough of these vibrant, swamp-loving warblers. We had great looks from the boat trips in the Caño Negro region.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Leiothlypis peregrina) – This is another wintering warbler that we saw visiting fruit at places like Cinchona, Bosque de Paz, and Arenal.
GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis poliocephala) – Although they can sometimes be sneaky, this warbler actually posed for us quite nicely. Our best looks came from the road en route to Caño Negro where it perched out in the open singing.
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – Not very common on Part 2. Our best look came from Bosque de Paz.
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (Setophaga fusca) – A couple of these warblers, which winter in Costa Rica, were seen at Bosque de Paz.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – This familiar warbler was fairly common in the lowland areas around Caño Negro.
YELLOW WARBLER (MANGROVE) (Setophaga petechia bryanti) – This rufous-headed subspecies was seen nicely in the mangroves in the Pacific lowlands on our final day.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – Common at locations like Caño Negro and Arenal.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – Just one or two of these were spotted at places like Freddo Fresas and Bosque de Paz.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – This Basileuterus warbler, although somewhat muted in color, was seen a few times at locations like Bosque de Paz, SkyTrek, and Arenal. This species ranges from Mexico south well into South America.
COSTA RICAN WARBLER (Basileuterus melanotis) – In the same genus as the previous species, this used to be part of the Three-striped Warbler complex before being split out. This species, which is endemic to Costa Rica and Panama, was seen around Bosque de Paz.
BUFF-RUMPED WARBLER (Myiothlypis fulvicauda) – A fairly distinctive warbler, with the tail-bobbing behavior, that we saw on the trails and road edges around Arenal.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – This was a fairly common wintering warbler at higher elevations at spots like Bosque de Paz.
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – A flashy warbler of higher elevations. We had nice looks during our stay at Bosque de Paz.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – A common species in the mid-low elevations. We had daily looks at Caño Negro and Arenal.
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – Costa Rica is all the way at the southern tip of the wintering range of this colorful species. We heard one of these calling quite a few times near the magpie-jay spot in the Pacific lowlands. [*]

The Central American Agouti was fairly common for us but it was always interesting to witness their behavior. This one, from Bosque de Paz, was nicely photographed by participants David and Judy Smith.

FLAME-COLORED TANAGER (Piranga bidentata) – This Piranga is more of a montane species than the previous one. We had great looks of these eating fruit at Bosque de Paz.
CARMIOL'S TANAGER (Chlorothraupis carmioli) – This is an interesting species that's not really a true tanager. Instead, it's in the Cardinalidae family and is found in humid foothill forests. Our best looks came from the driveway at Arenal.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – A scarce wintering species for Part 2. Our only encounter came on our final day in the Pacific lowlands.
BLUE-BLACK GROSBEAK (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) – Our only encounter was with a female all the way up at Bosque de Paz which is higher than we expected to see it.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-THROATED SHRIKE-TANAGER (Lanio leucothorax) – This is a bit of a specialty; this tanager is found only from Honduras south into Panama. We encountered it only at Sky Trek where it was part of a mixed flock.
CRIMSON-COLLARED TANAGER (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus) – Our best looks at this crimson-and-black stunner came from the Cinchona feeders.
SCARLET-RUMPED TANAGER (PASSERINI'S) (Ramphocelus passerinii passerinii) – An abundant tanager throughout our entire tour. Note that Passerini's has been re-lumped with Cherrie's into Scarlet-rumped.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – This was another abundant tanager, perhaps the most common, throughout our entire trip.
PALM TANAGER (Thraupis palmarum) – With a good look, this tanager is actually quite attractive with the black in the wing and the yellow tinge to the head. These were seen most days.
GOLDEN-HOODED TANAGER (Stilpnia larvata) – This is a beautiful tropical tanager that always ranks as a highlight. We tallied these on about half of our days.
SPANGLE-CHEEKED TANAGER (Tangara dowii) – Ooh, this is a gorgeous Neotropical tanager! This species, which ranges only in Costa Rica and Panama, was seen around Bosque de Paz and La Paz Waterfall Gardens.
BAY-HEADED TANAGER (Tangara gyrola) – Rather scarce on Part 2 probably due to the heavy rain. Our looks from Arenal were rather brief.
EMERALD TANAGER (Tangara florida) – This mostly-green tanager was seen a few times at Arenal, including at the feeders, but the rain probably kept us from seeing more of these.
SILVER-THROATED TANAGER (Tangara icterocephala) – A fairly common tanager at mid-upper elevations and so we tallied them from Bosque de Paz and Arenal.
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – This stunning honeycreeper was truly abundant at the Sendero Bogarín feeders! At one point, one of the trees in the back had probably a couple dozen of these gems at once.
GREEN HONEYCREEPER (Chlorophanes spiza) – Not very common on Part 2; our best looks came from a few birds at the Sendero Bogarín feeders.
BLACK-AND-YELLOW TANAGER (Chrysothlypis chrysomelas) – It was a treat to see this uncommon and poorly-known species at SkyTrek between the showers. This species is essentially only known from Costa Rica and Panama.
SLATY FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa plumbea) – A couple of these were spotted on our first day at Freddo Fresas and those ended up being our only ones for the trip. This distinctive species is found only in Costa Rica and Panama and usually at mid-high elevations.
BLUE-BLACK GRASSQUIT (Volatinia jacarina) – Woah, watching this species displaying next to the road near Caño Negro was truly REALLY cool!

Yikes, these White-faced Capuchins were NOT happy with us! Still, it was fun to be able to watch these medium-sized monkeys as they worked through the trees. Photo by participant Greg Griffith.

RUDDY-BREASTED SEEDEATER (Sporophila minuta) – This is a tiny species, a tricky one to track down sometimes, that we found as we birded through the open areas en route to Caño Negro. This isn't a species we see very often on Edges.
THICK-BILLED SEED-FINCH (Sporophila funerea) – This hefty-billed species was spotted just a couple of times including near Caño Negro.
NICARAGUAN SEED-FINCH (Sporophila nuttingi) – Success! This was a major target for us in the north and we were successful in finding a brilliant male on the road to Caño Negro. This huge-billed species is thought to have benefited from the clearing of forests in recent decades.
VARIABLE SEEDEATER (Sporophila corvina) – Abundant in grassy settings around Caño Negro.
MORELET'S SEEDEATER (Sporophila morelleti) – We ended up with nice scope views of this attractive seedeater in the far north. Until recently, this was part of the White-collared Seedeater complex before being split out.
BANANAQUIT (Coereba flaveola) – A common species around flowers throughout our time in Costa Rica.
YELLOW-FACED GRASSQUIT (Tiaris olivaceus) – Maybe our only look came on Day 1 from Freddo Fresas.
BUFF-THROATED SALTATOR (Saltator maximus) – A common tanager through much of the trip, these were often seen feeding on fruit set out for birds.
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps) – This bigger and meaner-looking saltator was spotted only from the Cinchona feeders on our first day.
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – We had to wait until our final day to tally this saltator but we did see one munching on flower petals for a snack.

MANTLED HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta palliata) – Although usually easier to hear, and we did hear them a fair few times, we eventually had looks at these too. This species is one of the largest of the Central American monkeys.
WHITE-THROATED CAPUCHIN (Cebus capucinus) – Although they looked to be quite angry at us for stopping to look at them, we stopped anyway on our final day for good looks at this medium-sized monkey.
CENTRAL AMERICAN SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles geoffroyi) – This is a lanky species we saw from the boat rides in the Caño Negro region.
BROWN-THROATED THREE-TOED SLOTH (Bradypus variegatus) – Just hanging around. That's what these seemed to be doing when we saw them from the boat trip in Caño Negro.
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides) – This was our most common tree squirrel throughout the trip.
RED-TAILED SQUIRREL (Sciurus granatensis) – A squirrel of higher elevations, these were seen on our first day.
MONTANE SQUIRREL (Syntheosciurus brochus) – The squirrels at Bosque de Paz looked to be this, well, montane species.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – Sometimes a few of these were seen around Bosque de Paz.

Despite the name Green Iguana, these big males were actually quite a bright shade of orange! We had lots of great looks at these from our boat trips in the Caño Negro area. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

PACA (Cuniculus paca) – Bosque de Paz might actually be one of the best places anywhere to see this nocturnal mammal.
NORTHERN RACCOON (Procyon lotor) – We spotted one of these critters during our night drive near Caño Negro.
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – It was always lively when a hoard of these moved in. Bosque de Paz and Arenal seemed to always have a roving troop on the grounds.
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – We were hiking in the forest at Bosque de Paz when we stumbled on one of these. After it ran off, we could even smell it!
GREEN IGUANA (Iguana iguana) – We had lots of looks at these from the boat trips in Caño Negro. Some of the huge males were even showing that distinctive orange color.
GREEN BASILISK (Basiliscus plumifrons) – These were sometimes seen from the boat trips in Caño Negro as well.
TROPICAL HOUSE GECKO (Hemidactylus mabouia) – A common sight and sound in buildings at all the mid-lower elevations.
EYELASH VIPER (Bothriechis schlegelii) – Thanks to a tip from one of the workers, we saw this tiny little snake coiled up in a tree at Arenal.
SPECTACLED CAIMAN (Caiman crocodilus) – We spotted a few of these in the Caño Negro region, sometimes just in roadside ditches.
STRAWBERRY POISON DART FROG (Dendrobates pumilio) – A colorful little guy, one of these was nicely spotted by Tracey along the trails at Sendero Bogarín.
MESO-AMERICAN SLIDER (Trachemys venusta) – Some of these had pulled themselves out of the water in ditches in the Caño Negro region.


Totals for the tour: 317 bird taxa and 12 mammal taxa