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5 Mega Birds Easier to See in Costa Rica

There's more than 10,000 species of birds, maybe even 11,000 species. Literally hundreds are fantastic birds with colorful patterns and exotic looks that beg to be photographed. So many birds and yet, by merit of appearance, rarity, and other factors, some still stand above the rest. Those special species are the "Megas", the birds some people hope to see the most. With a bird list of more than 900 species, it should come as no surprise that Costa Rica has its fair share of Mega birds. The five following Megas are easier to see in Costa Rica than other places.

Maroon-chested Ground-Dove

This small dove has a wide range and yet few birders get to see it. Shy, local, and possibly nomadic, this beautiful dove prefers to stay under cover. Fortunately, in Costa Rica, we know of places where this near mythical species is far easier to see and take pictures of than other parts of its range.

Great Green Macaw

Sadly, the fantastic Great Green Macaw has become critically endangered. Habitat destruction and other unknown factors have caused it to decline in most parts of its range. On a bright note, thanks to protection, one place where it seems to be doing well is Costa Rica. Take a birding tour in Costa Rica and you have a very good chance of seeing this amazing bird in action.

Resplendent Quetzal

This incredible world bird occurs in cloud forest from southern Mexico to western Panama but in terms of access and chances to see it, Costa Rica is a very good choice. Healthy populations of quetzals occur in many parts of the country and local guides keep track of feeding and nesting areas. Some will say there is a quetzal season but actually, the best local guides in Costa Rica know where to see and photograph this unbelievable bird all year long.


This hummingbird might not be as big as the other Megas on this list but its unique colors make it one of Costa Rica's most wanted birds. Like the quetzal, it also occurs in some other places but Costa Rica continues to have the most reliable and easiest sites to see the Snowcap. It's actually not as rare as you think but it helps to know where to go and what the bird sounds like.

Bare-necked Umbrellabird

Of the three umbrellabird species, this one is the most difficult. Much of its cloud forest nesting habitat is intact but after nesting, it migrates to foothill and lowland areas where rainforest has become quite fragmented. Unfortunately, this mega bird requires intact primary forest in those areas and has therefore become Endangered.Compared to the other Megas on this short list, this species is probably the most difficult one to find (even more than the ground-dove!). Luckily, we know the best places to find it, keep track of where this fantastic bird is being seen, and have routinely helped people see it.

These species might be easier to see in Costa Rica than other places but they can still be a challenge. Local experienced guides in Costa Rica make all the difference, especially ones who keep track of these and other world Mega birds. Which Megas are on your target list? We can help you with those and hundreds of other birds in Costa Rica. Contact us today at


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