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Choice Birds from a Birding Tour in Costa Rica: Stars of the Cloud Forest

A birding tour in Costa Rica can take many forms. Focusing on photography, searching for special target birds, or aiming for seeing more than 100 species per day, there's many options and each one is exciting! With literally hundreds of species to choose from, a trip to Costa Rica will include many birds. One of the main reason why Costa Rica enjoys such a wealth of species is because of the wealth of habitats. Lowland rainforest hosts toucans, parrots and manakins whereas tropical dry forest features White-throated Magpie-Jays, Turquoise-browed Motmots, and Painted Buntings.


At somewhat higher elevations, we find one of the most intriguing habitats in Costa Rica- cloud forest. Dripping moss, dense vegetation and misty surroundings; don't be surprised if walking through the forest feels like a fantasy novel scene come to life. The birds are even better, look forward to seeing these choice cloud forest star species on your next birding tour to Costa Rica.


Purple-throated Mountain-gem

One of several hummingbird species that live in cloud forest, this mountain-gem is a serious beauty. Thankfully, it's also quite common. We often see and photograph this iridescent beauty and are pleased with every mountain-gem encounter.


Resplendent Quetzal

We should apologize for mentioning this bird in one blog post after another. It's just tough not to talk about a bird that was believed to be a messenger of the Gods. This large and colorful trogon is simply one of the most spectacular bird species on the planet. Thanks to protected areas, quetzals are regularly seen at many cloud forest sites in Costa Rica.


Spangle-cheeked Tanager

This burnt orange beauty with opal highlights moves through the misty forest in small flocks. They often congregate at fruiting trees and can occur in mixed flocks that include several additional species.


Golden-browed Chlorophonia

A distant one in misty surroundings.


Bright emerald green with a hint of blue and beautiful yellow underparts, this small bird easily ranks as one of the most stunning species in Costa Rica. Its mellow whistled call notes are frequently heard as it feeds on mistletoe berries and other canopy fruits.


Slate-throated Redstart


One of the friendliest birds of the cloud forest, this wood-warbler species brightens its surroundings with a cheerful song and welcome demeanor. Pairs frequently flash the white in their tail as they move through the forest. This behavior may scare insects out of hiding and thus make it easier for the bird to catch them.


These are just five of many beautiful and interesting cloud forest species. Of course, the best way to see them is on a birding trip to Costa Rica and a lot more birds are waiting! Which ones would you like to see? Let us know how we can help plan your birding or bird photography trip of a lifetime.