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20 of the Most Photogenic Birds of Costa Rica

A lot of birds live in Costa Rica. That's probably an understatement. Just a bit less than the size of West Virginia, slightly larger than Denmark, Costa Rica harbors a variety of tropical habitats that provide living space for literally hundreds of bird species. Well over 600 are resident (!) and 300 plus more birds are migrants or accidental vagrants that push the bird list to around 930 species.

Yes, that many (!) and with a high number being beautiful tropical birds, as one might imagine, there is an abundance of fantastic photographic opportunities. Toucans, parrots, macaws, nearly 50 species of glittering, show-stopping hummingbirds, Costa Rica has a lot to focus on. With so many possibilities, it's a challenge to pick out a top 20 or even top 30 best birds to photograph. Even so, we figured we would try and make a list. With the caveat that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, in no particular order, here's our take on 20 of the more photogenic birds in Costa Rica:

Agami Heron

This reclusive species of lowland rainforest might be the most beautiful of all heron species.

King Vulture

Even vultures can be stunning!


An odd wading bird that has wings decorated with amazing eyespots.

Violet Sabrewing