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Rails on a Birding Tour in Costa Rica? You Bet!

Start watching birds and one of the first things learned is that some species are more difficult to see than others. In many cases, those missing birds aren't all that rare, they just exhibit behaviors that make them tough to find. One such example from Canada and the USA is the Eastern Screech-Owl. Although studies have shown that this bird is probably the most frequent raptor species in many places, and can even live in suburban neighborhoods, it's hardly ever seen during an average bird walk.

In Costa Rica, we have a similar situation with the Pacific Screech-Owl.

On account of their nocturnal behavior, seeing owls is typically challenging in Europe, China, and every part of the world but some other groups of birds can be just as or even more difficult to photograph. One of those tough avian families that comes to mind is the Rallidae.

In Costa Rica, the fancy Russet-naped Wood-Rail is actually easier to see than many rails.

Also known as "chicken-like marsh birds", various species of rails and crakes can be found from the bogs of Canada to some of the more remote islands on the planet. Despite their prevalence, most rails also tend to go unseen because these hermits of the natural world love to skulk in marshes and habitats with dense grass. Because they rarely come into the open, they are heard far more often than seen.

That said, experienced, local guides are more likely to know when and where rail species can be seen and Costa Rica is no exception. Since the guides at Lifer Tours are passionate about birding, they find the places where rails and other challenging species can be seen and include those sites on tours. This is how Lifer can offer tours that have a fair chance of laying eyes on formerly "heard only" birds like the tiny Yellow-breasted Crake,

White-throated Crake,

and even really tough species like Uniform Crake, Spotted Rail and Paint-billed Crake. Although it would be unwise for any guide to guarantee such shy bird species, because we know where and how to find them, we can say that Lifer tours provide a better chance at seeing rails and other bird species that are shy, rare, or just tough to see.

Want to see and photograph rails and hundreds of other birds in Costa Rica? Contact us at Lifer Tours today!

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