Costa Rican Bird Route

The Costa Rican Bird Route is the first birding trail of its kind in Central America. Located in the northern region of Costa Rica, this ecotourism project offers a variety of bird watching and nature tourism opportunities. The Bird Route consists of 18 nature reserves specifically chosen for their high diversity of bird species. Most importantly, this region hosts the last remaining habitat in Costa Rica for the endangered Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus). The Costa Rican Bird Route offers the best opportunity to view this species on the planet!  Use your miles for a Central American award to get here!

On our trip, we visited two of the lodges on the Bird Route:  Selva Verde & Laguna del Lagarto.

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SUPPORT THE BIRD ROUTE

1. Visit the Bird Route The success of this project is dependent on sustained tourism to the sites involved, so come explore all that the Bird Route has to offer.

2. Make a Donation. Make a tax-deductible donation to the Costa Rican Bird Route project using the secure Paypal button here. Donations are used to support the efforts of the private landowners. This includes assistance with producing brochures, maintaining websites, creating signs, etc. Money will also be used for continuous education efforts within the communities of the Bird Route. Rainforest Biodiversity Group is looking to implement bird education curriculum within these communities as well as fund future workshops for the landowners.

3. Volunteer. Rainforest Biodiversity Group is looking for volunteers to work with the private landowners of the remote sites of the Bird Route, assisting them in developing their land for eco-tourism. These newly created reserves are at varying stages of development as eco-tourism sites.

 

Golden-hooded Tanager (Tangara larvata)

IMG_9691a IMG_9798The Golden-hooded Tanager (Tangara larvata) is a neotropical species that inhabits humid forest and forest edges. It belongs to the speciose genus Tangara and is often considered to belong to a superspecies with the Masked Tanager (Tangara nigrocincta) and Blue-necked Tanager (Tangara cyanicollis).

This tanager is a resident breeder from southern Mexico south to western Ecuador.  Some of the easiest places to see this beautiful little tanager is at Selva Verde Lodge & Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica.  Use an award to Central America to get to San Jose.  The lodges can organize a private shuttle or you can use the local buses to get there.  They are also frequently seen in Soberania National Park in Panama as the video clips below show.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS BIRD

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Selva Verde

VIDEOS

This is an adorable video of a baby Golden-hooded Tanager fledging.  I love how he works up his courage, then takes off!

This adult is preening, perhaps getting ready for his close-up!

Here’s a hungry little guy!

 

The Birds Of Selva Verde & Sarapiqui Area

I was really excited about the birding at Selva Verde because of the amazing bird list and superb guides they employ.  We were up at the crack of dawn as usual for our birding walk with one of Costa Rica’s top birding guides, Alejandro Esquival.  He is also the person who gives the lectures around 5pm in a little pavilion near the swimming pool to give you an idea of what can be seen in the area.  Alejandro is also a skilled photographer and has some amazing images on his Flickr page.  He did a fantastic job of finding most of our targeted species and some that were so well hidden we never would have found them on our own.

Our guide, Alejandro Esquival

Our guide, Alejandro Esquival

Selva Verde Lodge has a checklist and more information on their website.  They do a bird count every year around Christmas time as they mention on their blog.  I have copied the parrot section here and highlighted in yellow the ones we saw both the evening before and during the guided walk.

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This is one of the best places in the world to see the endangered Great Green Macaw in the wild and we were very lucky to see 2 flying over the swimming pool in the late afternoon.

MY PHOTOS

Sorry, most are pretty bad.  The birds were far away and often backlit so I can’t even see the colours.  I tried to identify most of them.  I did get some good ones of the Crimson-fronted Conure with Alejandro’s help.  At least he was perching nicely and holding still!

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Montezuma Oropendula

Montezuma Oropendula

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Great Green Macaws

Great Green Macaws

Toucan in flight

Toucan in flight

IMG_9523

Swainson's Toucan

Swainson’s Toucan

Swainson's Toucans

Swainson’s Toucans

Hanging Bridge, Selva Verde

Hanging Bridge, Selva Verde

IMG_9543 IMG_9545a

Swainson's Toucans

Swainson’s Toucans

Swainson's Toucans

Swainson’s Toucans

Swainson's Toucans

Swainson’s Toucans

Swainson's Toucans

Swainson’s Toucans

IMG_9568

Swainson's Toucans

Swainson’s Toucans

Mealy Parrots

Mealy Parrots

Mealy Parrots

Mealy Parrots

Mealy Parrots

Mealy Parrots

Greater Kiskadee

Greater Kiskadee

IMG_9580 IMG_9585a

Swainson's Toucan

Swainson’s Toucan

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

IMG_9596

Mealy Parrots

Mealy Parrots

IMG_9605

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

Crimson fronted Conure

There's a bird in here somewhere!

There’s a bird in here somewhere!

I think this is a female Blue-grey Tanager

I think this is a female Blue-grey Tanager

Greater Kiskadee

Greater Kiskadee

Either Red-lored or Mealy Parrots, I can't see the colours

Either Red-lored or Mealy Parrots, I can’t see the colours

IMG_9640a

This stream is a great place to see birds, just 10 minutes walk from Selva Verde Lodge

This stream is a great place to see birds, just 10 minutes walk from Selva Verde Lodge

“Beauty of Costa Rica” Photography Contest

Hurry because the last day to enter is 31 Oct.  Who wants to win a FREE 5 night stay at Selva Verde, Costa Rica?  Airfare not included, but we know how to get there on the cheap!  Good luck to all who enter!

Show us your best “Beauty Of Costa Rica” photos for a chance to win a 50% off coupon for a 3 night stay at Selva Verde OR this month’s book title: The Wildlife of Costa Rica: A Field Guide by Fiona A. Reid, Twan Leenders, Jim Zook & Robert Dean

Winners will also be entered into a draw for the Grand Prize – an all inclusive 5 night stay for 2 at Selva Verde!

6 days 2:27:41
Left Until Contest Ends

ENTER NOW!

How To Enter

  1. “Like” Selva Verde on Facebook.
  2. Upload your photo of a “Beauty Of Costa Rica
    (Please note – only one entry per day).

Enter Now!

“Beauty Of Costa Rica” Photo Contest runs from
Sept 1, 2013 to Oct 31, 20135:00pm PST.

Contest Prizes

“Beauty of Costa Rica”
Contest Prize

One winner will be randomly drawn from all eligible contest entries. If you win, you can choose from one of the following two prizes:

50% Off on Up to 3 Nights at Selva Verde

  • 50% off meals and accommodations
  • Based on availability
  • Discount applies to 1 room only
  • Discount does not apply to ground transfers, tours, or taxes
  • Good for travel within 12 months of Jun.30, 2013.

OR

“Beauty of Costa Rica” Book Selection:

2013 Grand Prize

One lucky Grand Prize Winner will be selected from all 2013 mini contest entries by a panel of expert judges.

The Grand Prize winner will win a FREE 5 night stay at Selva Verde Lodge in Costa Rica, including:

  • 5 night stay for 2 at Selva Verde
  • Daily breakfast, lunch & dinner for 2
  • Ground transfers from San Jose
  • All taxes
  • An art piece from a Sarapiqui artist (to be announced!)
  • Based on availability
  • Good for travel anytime within 2014

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered, or associated with Facebook. You are providing your information to Selva Verde Resort and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used to determine the winners of this contest.

Website: www.selvaverde.com | Phone: 1-800-451-7111 | Email: info@selvaverde.com

 

Amazing Deal Alert! Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve, Costa Rica

While I was writing my review of this fantastic lodge, I found this amazing deal!  You need to be quick as you must book by 31 Oct.2013 for travel before 15 Dec.  Here are the details, they also have discounts on guided birding tours!  I wish I lived close enough for a quick trip back!  If anyone has the US Airways credit card and some USDM miles, this is a good excuse to burn some miles and get 25% back!  You need to have been targeted so check your emails.  Yes, I know the text I copy-pasted below says Sept 30 but when you click on the banner, it says valid until 31 Oct and it is still bookable.