Nature Notes

September 19, 2008

Monteverde, Costa Rica

Filed under: Birds,Costa Rica — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Violet Saberwing

Violet Saberwing

The primary growth cloud forest of Monteverde is one of the world’s finest nature destinations. Getting there will be a memorable experience as it involves a few hours of driving on a very rough road. There is a wide range of accommodations in Santa Elena, just outside of the reserve.

The reserve is open from 7 AM to 4 PM, and offers a well maintained series of trails, over 20km. in total. If you arrive earlier, a walk along the road outside the entrance will be very productive. As well as the Monteverde Reserve, you can visit Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve, and Children’s Rain Forest, both nearby.

Monteverde straddles the continental divide and includes six distinct ecological habitats, all contributing to a great diversity of species including over 400 species of birds and 100 species of mammals. This includes 49 species endemic to the Costa Rica-Panama Highlands. Some of the birds to be seen are the Resplendant Quetzel, called by many the world’s most beautiful bird, Three-wattled Bellbird, Mountain Thrush or Robin, Black-faced Solitaire, Slaty-backed Nightingale-Thrush, Black Guan, Mountain Elaenia, Common Bush-Tanager, Golden-browed Chlorophonia, Three-striped Warbler, Collared and Slate-throated Redstart.

Just outside of the entrance to Monteverde is the Hummingbird Gallery, a must see. Even people who have little interest in bird are awestruck as hundreds of individuals move about the feeders, and you will easily see a half dozen species such as Stripe-tailed Hummingbird, Coppery-headed Emerald, Green-crowned Brilliant, Magenta-throated Woodstar, White-throated Mountain-Gem, Brown and Green Violetear, and Violet Saberwing.

As you head back into town, you will come to a bakery, make sure you stop. As you relax with a delicious pastry, you will be able to watch a nice variety of birds in the garden where they come to feed, including Blue-throated Toucanet (formerly known as the Emerald Toucanet before it was split.), Turqouise-browed Motmot, Red-billed Pigeon, Brown Jay, Blue-Gray Tanager, Clay-colored Thrush or Robin, and Yellow-throated Euphonia.


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