Costa Rica has two main season; dry and wet. To be honest, in mountainous areas and on the Caribbean slope, there's not much of a dry season but in the Central Valley and the Pacific, it rains from April until early December, and is dry from January through March.
This is one of the main reasons why most tours visit during February and March but those aren't the only months for fantastic birding in Costa Rica.
In Costa Rica, the birding is great all year long, even during the wet season. These are a few reasons why it's well worth it to visit Costa Rica during the wet season:
1. The birding is excellent!
The birding is typically great during the wet season because the birds can be active all day long. The best weather for seeing more birds in Costa Rica isn't constant sun. It's actually cloudy weather, especially with intermittent rain; just what we get during the wet season. There can be large mixed flocks and birds can also vocalize more.
2. It doesn't rain all of the time
Although some areas can see heavy rains for hours, most places get some rain but not for the entire day. Not to mention, since Costa Rica is a small country, if it rains too much for your liking, you can usually escape it by driving for an hour or two.
3. A good time for Three-wattled Bellbird, Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow, and other key species
Bellbirds are easier to find at more sites during the wet season and it's easier to see Cabanis's Ground-Sparrow. For whatever reason (maybe the cloudy weather) the endemic sparrow comes into the open more often and other species can also be easier to see.
4. More elbow room
For birders interested in having more places to themselves, there are fewer visitors at this time of year.
5. Focus on resident tropical species
Migrants from the north won't be around but for birders from North America, that's not an issue. All the birds seen are either resident tropical species or migrants from the south such as Yellow-green Vireo and Piratic Flycatcher.
Now is a great time to bird Costa Rica and this small stable country is as easy as ever to visit and bird. Want to see hundreds of fantastic tropical birds? Contact Lifer Tours today!