Costa Rica 2023, The birds of CR


Well, life got in the way of writing yesterday. It was my first day back to work since landing back in Canada. It took me several days to get over the sinus infection and other not so attractive side-effects of travel but I’m feeling more human now.

The main difference I immediately noticed the first morning I woke up in my own bed was the utter silence. I was used to birds, motors, people, dogs, cats and hustle and bustle by 6am for the past ten days. The silence was deafening, and I did not like it one bit. I thought my worst nightmare of waking up deaf had finally come true. I jumped out of bed and flung open windows and patio door only to be greeted with more silence plus extremely chilly air. I don’t think we’re in Costa Rica anymore!

Today I want to share with you the colourful and melodious variety of birds in Costa Rica. I got quite a few pictures but none that do the bird justice, so, I’m also going to give you stock photos of the birds I identified with my Merlin Bird ID app that I used while walking through the rainforests, parks, beaches, and mountains of Costa Rica. While I didn’t see every bird, I most assuredly heard them. My favourite songs come from the Great Kiskadee and the Melodious Blackbird. The most familiar call I heard was from the Brown Jay which sounds very much like our beloved Blue Jay. I managed to capture a video of one in Tilaran. I also saw a Blue Jay, but it was much bigger than the ones I’ve seen in Canada. One can also compare the Great-tailed Grackle to the Mockingbird of Calgary with its pesky and mischievous nature but this Grackle is also very aggressive and preys on its own kind and other birds for sport or food. Nasty bird but endless hours of entertainment just watching their showy tail feathers swooping and diving. There were flocks of them everywhere and especially at the beach.

It will surprise you to see just how many plain and dark coloured birds there are. And the most ominous bird I saw were two black vultures sitting on someone’s yard fence in Guatuso. Just hanging out waiting for something to die. I was happy not to stick around and see what it was.

So, on with the show. Please say hello to the birds of Costa Rica. And if you are an avid bird person like me and my father, you will benefit greatly by downloading the Merlin Bird ID app so you can hear the songs and calls of all these wonderful birds. I surely miss waking up to the Great Kiskadee every morning.


Black and White Owl

Black Vulture

Blue-Gray Tanager

Buff-throated Saltator

Clay-coloured Thrust

Common Pauraque in La Fortuna

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Gray-breasted Wood-Wren

Great Kiskadee

Great-tailed Gackle

Hermit Thrush

House Wren

Inco Dove

Lesser Greenlet

Lesson’s Motmot

Melodious Blackbird

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at cabins in Avallanas

Slate Throated Redstart in Monte Verde

Bananaquit in Santa Cruz

Palm Tanager

Piratic Flycatcher

Red-billed Pigeion

Rufous-browed Peppershrike

Rufous-collared Sparrow

Scarlet-rumped Tanager

Scarlet-rumped Tanager at Los Lagos joining us for breakffast

Screaming Piha

Slate-throated Redstart

Social Flycatcher

Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher

Turkey Vulture


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