Where We Bird: Cerro Paraguas

In ‘Where We Bird’ we have tried to show you some diverse and exciting birding sites…locations and ecosystems that are no more than one hour’s drive from downtown San Vito. We’ve taken you to the steamy rice fields of Las Pangas…the explosion of color on the Poro Road…the tunnel-like walk through the forests of Rio Negro…the world famous diversity of the Wilson Botanical Garden…and the never-ending surprises of the Magic Road. This, our last entry in the series, is quite different; Cerro Paraguas.

A genuine cloud forest habitat, Cerro Paraguas is closer to San Vito than you might think. See that long, high ridge to the west of Linda Vista? The one with the tall tower. The one almost always blanketed in clouds? That is the Cerro Paraguas. The entrance for us (see below) is the gravel road to the right just past Wilson Garden (as you’re heading down the hill).

Follow that road…up, up, up. Four-wheel drive recommended but it can be done without. Keep your eyes open and your windows down as you traverse the hilly route. Eventually, (less than a half hour) you’ll find yourself in a new habitat; a tropical cloud forest. FYI: A cloud forest gets much of its moisture from daily cloud and fog condensation. You’ll find some beautiful primary forest near the top and in that forest are some bird species we rarely, if ever, see down in San Vito. One species of note is the Black-faced Solitaire (or Jilguero). This lovely gray and black bird delivers the iconic sound of the cloud forest; a sound like an other-worldly flute being played by some other-worldly flautist. Click on the link below and then click the ‘LISTEN’ button to hear it. There is a photo below as well.


Here then are some of the inhabitants of…Cerro Paraguas.

Black-faced Solitaire; photo courtesy of Pepe Castiblanco.
Golden-browed Chlorophonia; photo courtesy of Marilin Saldana.
Red-headed Barbet; photo courtesy of Yeimiri Badilla.
Black-throated Jay; photo courtesy of Yeimiri Badilla.
Northern Emerald Toucanet; photo courtesy of Yeimiri Badilla.

There are of course many more bird species to be seen and photographed. And for you wild-eyed botanists, Cerro Paraguas will keep you busy as a bee for several trips to come.