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Goals for Birding Costa Rica (and Elsewhere) in 2024

Happy 2024 and another year of birding! In Costa Rica, the weather is hot and sunny and the birds are enjoying it. No snow here! Instead, we know it’s winter by the Baltimore Orioles, Tennessee Warblers, and other migrants from the north.

We love seeing those wintering species but don’t worry, we’re also seeing lots of exciting resident species. Emerald Tanagers,


shocking Crimson-collared Tanagers,


gorgeous Crowned Woodnymphs and lots more.

The birds of Costa Rica are waiting and we look forward to helping lots of people see them. Here at Lifer, that’s our main birding goal but it’s not the only one. These are a few of our other birding goals for 2024.

Year Lists

In keeping with tradition, most of us at Lifer Tours will keep a year list. We’ve already started and some of us already have more than 200 species. That’s a great bunch of birds but seeing that number in a week is actually pretty normal in Costa Rica!

In fact, if you bird the right places, you can easily see more than 300 species in a week of birding in Costa Rica. This truly is a birdy nation. It’s one of the reasons we love birding here so much!

Golden-winged Warblers

We are very pleased that the ABA named the Golden-winged Warbler the official bird of 2024. You see, during winter in Costa Rica, we see this species nearly every time we go birding. No kidding! Watch birds in forest or second growth, find a mixed flock, and there’s a fair chance you’ll see a Golden-wing.

Lots of Golden-winged Warblers winter in Costa Rica. Honestly, it’s so much easier to see them here, wooded habitats in our small country must play a vital role for this threatened species.

We expect to see the golden-capped birds but this year, in honor of them being named the ABA bird of the year, we plan on playing extra special attention. One of our goals is to look for them when we aren’t guiding and to take notes on their behavior and the sites where we find them. Hopefully, reforestation can also provide more wintering habitat for this special bird.

Find more manakin leks

That seems like a good goal. Who doesn’t like seeing and getting pictures of manakins? These fantastic little birds show their colors as they jump, dance, and snap their wings!

They aren’t too hard to find either. Well, as long as you know where to look for them, what they sound like, and other factors. These birds are beautiful but they can still be surprisingly inconspicuous.

We’ll be watching for leks of Red-capped Manakins, Orange-collared Manakins,

Fancy Long-tailed Manakins and other species!

Showing people crakes, Sungrebes, and other special birds

We love showing folks dancing manakins along with every other bird species, and, as many as possible. However, we really love it when people get the chance to lay eyes on shy birds like Yellow-breasted Crakes, or odd special species like the Sungrebe.

The way we figure is that if this were our first time in Costa Rica, we would really love to see birds like that, even the uncommon ones. We keep that thought in mind as we try our best to connect everyone with Sunbitterns and other exciting bird species.

What are your birding goals for 2024? Will you be keeping a year list? We hope so! Please share your goals and 2024 birding wishes in the comments!

To learn more about birding and bird photography in Costa Rica, and how we can help you see more birds in Costa Rica, contact us today.


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