Central America has some of the best birding in the world. There are so many bird species, it would be impossible to see all of them or even visit all the national parks and regions where birds are easily seen. It is better to make a list of your priority species, find out where they can be seen and cross-reference the different regions to maximize possible species. Since I am obsessed with Parrots, I gave them priority when I decided which regions and national parks I would visit. I knew that many other fascinating bird species would also be seen such as the Resplendent Quetzal, various Toucans and Aracaris, many gorgeous little Tanagers and Woodpeckers and lots of other birds.
After using several resources such as the bird lists found on national park websites, the book Parrots of the World by Joseph Forshaw and recommendations from friends, I came up with the following spreadsheet. A black X indicates the bird has been seen in that area. A green X indicates the birds I actually saw when I was there. The “captive” Yellow-naped Amazon seen near Montverde was originally a wild parrot whose wings have been clipped so he can’t fly and is forced to hang around a certain restaurant/gift shop. There will be more details on future blogs. The bright yellow shading indicated parrots I was successful in seeing, the white rows are the 3 species I didn’t find-the Barred Parakeet and the 2 Parrotlets.