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Costa Rica- Major Destination for Macaw Photography

Macaws are meant for the camera. Big, bold, and brimming with personality, these mega birds are simply spectacular! However, away from a zoo, where can you go for macaw photography? How can you get close shots of these amazing birds?


Three words: Visit Costa Rica.


Seriously. Costa Rica is a fantastic place to see and get pictures of macaws! These are a few reasons why our beautiful country might even be the best destination in the world for macaw photography.


Two Macaws in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, we have two species of macaws; the Scarlet Macaw and the Great Green Macaw. The Scarlet Macaw is an unbelievable, big red bird with blue and yellow highlights. We find them in many parts of the Pacific slope, and, increasingly, also on the Caribbean slope. In other words, in many lowland parts of the country.

On the Caribbean slope, we also find the Great Green Macaw; a massive green, long-tailed parrot with blue and red highlights. If that sounds enticing, let's put it this way. Over many years of birding and bird photography in Costa Rica, we've seen dozens of Great Green Macaws. Every time we hear their resounding calls and glimpse these incredible birds flying over rainforest, we still get chills, we still feel awestruck.






Macaws are Easy to See in Costa Rica

But aren't macaws rare? In many places yes but not in Costa Rica! Thanks to years of local conservation efforts and reforestation, macaws have become common, regular birds in many parts of the country. Scarlet Macaws in particular have increased in numbers and healthy populations live in a number of areas. Go to the right places and you will see them. Know the best spots for macaw photography and you'll get fantastic pictures.



The Great Green Macaw is not as common as the Scarlet but this critically endangered species is still far easier to see here than other places. Just like the Scarlet, if you know when and where to find these fantastic birds, you can get incredible shots.



In Costa Rica, Macaws are Accessible

But don't you have to visit remote areas to see macaws? In most places, yes. Scarlet Macaws and most other macaw species can't live near towns. They usually stay in remote forests to avoid people who rob their nests and cut down their habitat. In Costa Rica, thanks to protection and local appreciation of these mega birds, we don't need to travel to remote and difficult areas to chance upon them.


In many areas of Costa Rica, macaws have actually become accustomed to people. We can see them at close range, even in low trees, and get truly fantastic shots of these mega world birds!



Some birds are small with plain brown plumage but have beautiful songs. Other birds flash glittering colors as they dash between flower and feeders. We love those birds too but macaw photography is another level of birding! Interested in getting killer shots of macaws in Costa Rica? Contact us to hear some easy options!



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