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Great Photography and Birding in Costa Rica at Cano Negro

One of the main factors that places Costa Rica in the upper echelons of biodiversity is the wide variety of habitats in such a small area. Drive a few hours in one direction and the car can pass through high elevation forests with quetzals and endemic hummingbirds before reaching lowland rainforests replete with macaws. Head in the other direction and the camera captures images of Black-headed Trogons and other dry forest species.

The Black-headed Trogon is one of several common trogon species in Costa Rica.

Although tropical forests harbor most of Costa Rica's biodiversity, wetlands also host a fine set of bird species. It only gets better for birders and photographers when lowland wetlands are bordered by rainforest. Such is Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, one of the easiest places in the country for good looks and photos of everything from the odd Sungrebe to parrots, uncommon marsh birds, and even Jabiru.

Jabiru, the largest stork in Costa Rica.

Situated near Nicaragua, the wetlands of Cano Negro are somewhat associated with Lake Nicaragua and are fed by large amounts of water that falls on the slopes of Arenal and other nearby volcanoes. As one might expect, large numbers of birds use the Cano Negro wetlands but it's not only good for waterbirds. This bio-rich site also delivers in terms of owls, potoos, raptors, woodpeckers, and several other lowland species. Many are also actually easier to see and photograph than at other sites because the canopy of the forest tends to be lower.

A few of the birds waiting to be photographed at Cano Negro:

Great Potoo

Chestnut-colored Woodpecker

Olive-throated Parakeet

Cano Negro is a perennial favorite of local birders (including all of us at Lifer Tours!) and is why we include it on established tours. Photograph birds at Cano Negro and other exciting sites on our Untamed Northern Costa Rica tour in February, spaces are still available!

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