Monday, January 08, 2007

Costa Rica Most Wanted List

On January 20, I head off to Costa Rica for 2 weeks of birding. I saw over 200 life birds there in November 2005 and I hope for 200 more! In reality, I'll probably see about 100 more and get better looks at some of the 200 I saw before. I'll also have chances at some life mammals like Sloth and Jaguar! Who knows what other critters I'll find as well! Since I'm in a list making mood, here's a list of my 10 most wanted birds for this trip. Keep in mind that I saw some of Costa Rica's most sought after species my first time there like Resplendent Quetzal, Zeledonia, and Snowcap.

1. Rufous Motmot - It's got a unique call and an awesome tail.
2. Great Curassow - A really cool member of the cracids.
3. Ornate Hawk-Eagle - We had a close encounter with these birds in 2005. They were calling in a dense rainforest, but we never saw them.
4. Golden-browed Chlorophonia - A cool name and a superbly beautiful bird.
5. Scarlet Macaw - This spectacular bird should be easy to find at the Punta Leona Reserve.
6. King Vulture - A huge member of the vulture family.
7. Yellow-billed Cotinga - A beautiful snow-white bird.
8. Mangrove Hummingbird - a Costa Rican endemic found in... wait for it... mangroves.
9. Giant Cowbird - It's a cowbird... and it's GIANT!
10. White-tipped Sicklebill - A hummingbird with a wacky, sickle-shaped bill.

Well that's my list... it'd be amazing if I could find all of these, but I'd be thrilled to see any of them. Ten days and counting!


Anonymous said...

Good luck finding those birds,where all are you going?

the nemesis birder

Patrick Belardo said...

Hi Drew,

Thanks for reading. Nice blog too!

We're spending most of our time on the Pacific side. We did the Carribbean side in 2005. We're going to the Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Punta Leona, and the Osa Peninsula.

You can find itineraries for both weeks here and here.

Have you been to CR?

Mike said...

I'm amazed to note that I've actually seen one of these birds, the King Vulture. I hope you get closer to this bird, with its outlandishly colorful head, than I did.

I hope you spot all your targets, and a few hundred more besides! Nothing beats neotropical birding.

Susan said...

I want to see some of those tiny spadebills and to hear the Nightingale wren.

Patrick Belardo said...


We saw a bird that we thought was King Vulture on my first trip there. Then, we realized it was a Wood Stork. They have a similar wing pattern. Thanks for the well-wishes!


We saw Black-capped Pygmy-tyrant on our first trip which is related to the spadebills. It was TINY. I think it's one of the world's smallest, if not THE smallest passerine. If you think Kinglets are cute, these are cuter. Also, I heard Nightingale Wren when I was there. It's up there with the most interesting songsters in the world. It goes on and on and on...