Nature Notes

September 27, 2008

Birding Carara N.P.: Costa Rica

Filed under: Birds,Costa Rica — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Boat-billed Heron

Boat-billed Heron

The Carara National Park is my favorite wildlife area in Costa Rica. It is located on the central part of the Pacific coast and includes a large amount of primary growth as well as secondary growth and the rich diversity of the Tarcol River.

There is a short trail by the main entrance and a 4.5 km trail by the river called the Vigilancia Trail. The park doesn’t open until 7 A.M. but it is common practice for birders to go in early and pay on the way out. By 9 A.M. tour buses arrive and the park becomes more crowded.

The parks main attraction are breeding pairs of Scarlet Macaws who frequently stage raucus squacking flyovers. If you take an early walk along the Vigilancia Trail, you could see a long list of birds including Barred and Black-hooded Antshrikes, Slaty and Dot-winged Antwren, and Dusky Antbird. There is a an Orange-collared Manakin lek within the first kilometer of the trail entrance, listen for the telltale snapping similar to a person snapping their fingers.

The most common hummingbirds are Long-tailed Hermits and Scaly-breasted Hummingbirds. Make sure you check the river at all the lookout spots as you go. Northern Jacana feed along the edges, and there is a Boat-billed Heron colony as well as Bare-throated Tiger-Heron and Anhinga. At least five species of Trogon are in the area, although you would be very lucky to see all of Black-headed, Baird’s, Slaty-headed, Violaceous and Black-throated.

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  1. Very beautiful birds. Nice photo. :)))

    Comment by animtreebird — September 29, 2008 @ 10:46 am

  2. Thanks very much.

    I had a look at your website. Great stuff.

    Cheers, Harold

    Comment by Harold — September 29, 2008 @ 9:46 pm

  3. […] One of the easy places to find them is the Carara Refuge in Costa Rica along the River Trail. […]

    Pingback by Boat-billed Heron, Cochlearius cochlearius | Nature Notes — January 14, 2010 @ 7:02 am

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