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The Top 10 Milestone Birds in Costa Rica

How about a moon-walking Red-capped Manakin?

Birding in Costa Rica can be more than seeing and getting pictures of 100s of beautiful bids. At Lifer Tours, we always love doing that (!) but we also love to create custom trips that help our clients connect with target species. These are the birds that folks want to see or photograph more than others, sometimes, birds they have wanted to connect with for their entire lives. These special species are milestone birds and the following 10 are the most popular.

Typical Wrenthrush habitat.

Is it a wren? No. How about a thrush? Not in that family either! Itwas thought that this odd highland endemic was an aberrant wood-warbler until ornithologists decided it was better off in its very own family. This distinction makes the Wrenthrush one of the most unique birds in Central America and thus coveted by birders hoping to see at least one species from every avian family. This skulker isn't always easy to see and they only occur in cloud forests of Costa Rica and western Panama but we know how to find them.

Resplendent Quetzal

For most birders, this most spectacular of birds is a major milestone species. Fortunately, we know some very good places to see and photograph quetzals in Costa Rica.

Ornate Hawk-Eagle

The name of this raptor says it all! Costa Rica is an excellent place to see this large forest eagle. We often know of one or more nesting sites as well as the best places to connect with this taloned beauty.

Maroon-chested Ground-Dove

This beautiful dove has a large range but can be very difficult to find. In Costa Rica, we have a very reliable area for it and have helped many birders and photographers finally connect with this lovely bogey bird.

Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager

One of the few country endemics in Costa Rica, this cool bird with salmon highlights is restricted to rainforest in and near the Osa Peninsula.

Cabanis' Ground-Sparrow

Another species only found in Costa Rica, this fancy little bird has an extremely small range and can be a challenge to find.

Great Green Macaw

Costa Rica continues to be the easiest place to see this fantastic, critically endangered species.

Yellow-billed Cotinga

Another endangered bird, this stunner from the southern Pacific region is high on the list of most visiting birders. We are always happy to help them have a Yellow-billed Cotinga experience.

Volcano Junco

Not just another junco, this pink billed bird with personality only lives on the highest of mountains in Costa Rica and Baru Volcano in western Panama.

Mangrove Hummingbird

The Mangrove Hummingbird is another scarce endemic that can only be seen in mangrove forests on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Other milestone bird species in Costa Rica can include Peg-billed Finch, the elusive Black-crowned Antpitta, Scarlet Macaw, Fiery-throated Hummingbird, dancing Red-capped Manakins, and dozens of other species. With more than 900 birds to choose from, it's always a challenge to limit the target list to 10 species. Which beautiful birds in Costa Rica would you like to see and take pictures of? Let us know, we know how to find them and would love to help.


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