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3 Key Tips to See More Birds on a Group Birding Tour in Costa Rica

There's more than one way to see birds in Costa Rica but if you want to see the most birds, including rare species, a guided tour is the answer. Of the two ways to take that trip, birding on your own comes with a lot of benefits but it's going to cost a great deal more than birding with a group. In addition to lower costs, birding Costa Rica with a group can also have such advantages as sharing the experience with more people and spotting more birds because there are more sets of eyes to look for them.

Someone might spot a beautiful American Pygmy-Kingfisher.


Want to see more birds during a group birding tour to Costa Rica? We do! Check out these 3 essential tips to make it happen:


Study for the Trip

Even if you are taking a birding tour with the best of guides, if you study for that trip, you are going to see more. This is because studying for a birding trip preps the mind for quicker recognition and thus easier identification in the field. Don't expect to recognize and identify everything (and that's partly why you have the guide), but the more prepared you are for the trip to Costa Rica, you will see that much more and have a more fulfilling experience. Use field guides and apps to study photos, illustrations, vocalizations, information about the habitats to be visited, and information about Costa Rica to get ready for a fantastic trip!


Take a Tour with the Best Local Guides

No matter where you go birding, the best birding tours to Costa Rica will be the ones that are managed well and guided by the best local guides. For the managing part, look for a company with experience. For the guiding part, look for a company that has highly experienced guides who stand out for their ability to find rare birds, maybe teach people about birds, and who have shown that they are always learning more about the local birdlife by participating in expeditions and research, either with others or on their own. In other words, look for guides who live the birding life, they will be the people who know the birds the best.


Pay Close Attention to the Guide

During the tour, make sure to pay close attention to what the guide points out and not what your fellow participants look at or wondering about. To see more birds on a birding tour, this is probably the single best suggestion to follow because while someone is wondering what a common bird is and trying to get people on that Blue-gray Tanager, the guide might be pointing out any number of key, rare species that won't be seen again. It's always good to remember that, as expected, a good local birding guide will always know the local birds much better than the tour participants.


The guide might have spotted a fantastic Agami Heron.


Remember that the best birding guides will also have certain species in mind for each site visited and will be focusing on those species because they might not be possible during other parts of the tour. The best birding guides will also know what has already been seen and are constantly aware of the chances of finding and seeing all other species. Since one of their main goals is having tour participants see as many birds as possible (or photograph them as best as possible), you can't go wrong by trusting the guide and following his or her lead. Not to mention, since a lot of Costa Rica birds can suddenly appear, fly off and never be seen again, it's worth it to pay close attention to the guide.


Bonus Tip- Take a Trip with Friends

As a final bonus tip, the birding trip will always be better if you can take a birding trip with friends, with the people whom you love to go birding with. These are wonderful trips to do and we love to make them happen. Contact us to see how we can help! Until then, happy birding from Costa Rica!