Gallery of Local Birds

Costa Rica is renowned for its number of bird species—918 species have been recorded in the country, more than in all the United States and Canada combined. Of those species, six are endemic (found no where else), 62 are rare or accidental, four have been introduced by humans, and 26 are globally threatened. Given Costa Rica’s small size—an area of 51,100 sq. km., or smaller than West Virginia—it has the greatest density of bird species of any continental American country. About 600 species are resident, with most of the other regular visitors being winter migrants from North America. (See Wikipedia.)

Our corner of Costa Rica—the Pacific highlands of the “zona sur”—has about 27 species that are rarely found elsewhere in the country, although a number of them are also found in nearby Panama. We consider these our local “specialty” birds. Below is a gallery of photos of most of these birds along with their common names and scientific names. Further information about these birds, and many others as well, can be found in various online sources. Please see our Useful Links page, but for convenience, here are our favorites for detailed bird information for all birds, not just Costa Rican:

Bird Life International: maps and status of virtually all the world’s bird species.

The Internet Bird Collection: a non-profit, online audiovisual library of the world’s birds.

Xeno-canto: bird song recordings from around the world.

Local Specialty Birds

  • Masked Duck, Nomonyx dominicus, (photo: Harry Hull III)
  • Marbled Wood-Quail, Odontophorus gujanensis, (photo: Megan Perkins)
  • Wattled Jacana, Jacana jacana, (photo: Tadeusz Stawarczyk)
  • Costa Rican Swift, Chaetura fumosa, (photo: © Oscar Johnson) (Endemic from Costa Rica to northern Colombia)
  • Charming Hummingbird, Amazilia decora, (photo: © Glenn Bartley, used by permission) (Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama)
  • Veraguan Mango, Anthracothorax veraguensis, (photo: Michael Haley)
  • Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Amazilia edward, (photo: Marbry Hopkins)
    (Endemic to Costa Rica and Panama)
  • White-tailed Emerald, Elvira chionura, (photo: Ariadna Sanchez)
    (Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama)
  • White-crested Coquette, Lophornis adorabilis, (photo: © Glenn Bartley, used by permission) (Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama)
  • Baird’s Trogon, Trogon bairdii, (photo: Michael Fogden, Osa Conservation)
    (Endemic to CR and western PA)
  • Fiery-billed Aracari, Pteroglossus torquatus, (photo: Harry Hull III)
    (Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama)
  • Red-crowned Woodpecker, Melanerpes rubricapillus, (photo: Harry Hull III)
  • Pale-breasted Spinetail, Synallaxis albescens, (photo: Wikipedia)
  • Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, Automolus rubiginosus, (photo: Peter Sheikhli)
  • Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Phaeomyias murina, (photo: Patrick Ingremeau)
  • Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Tyrannulus elatus, (photo: © Roger Ahlman, used by permission)
  • Lesser Elaenia, Elaenia chiriquensis, (photo: Jo Davidson)
  • Bran-colored Flycatcher, Myiophobus fasciatus, (photo: © Claudio Marcio Lopes, used by permission)
  • Turquoise Cotinga, Cotinga ridgwayi, (photo: Roy Toft)
    (Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama)
  • Lance-tailed Manakin, Chiroxiphia lanceolata, (photo: Nick Athanas)
  • Masked Yellowthroat, Geothlypis aequinoctialis, (photo: Santiago Meligeni Lozano)
    (Costa Rica/Panama population sometimes considered a distinct species, i.e., Chiriqui Yellowthroat)
  • Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Rhodinocichla rosea, (photo: Ben Lascelles)
  • Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Sporophila nigricollis, (photo: © Roger Ahlman, used by permission)
  • Streaked Saltator, Saltator striatipectus, (photo: Julie Girard)
  • Crested Oropendula, Psarocolius decumanus, (photo: Julie Girard)
  • Thick-billed Euphonia, Euphonia laniirostris, (photo: © Frank Shufelt, used by permission)
  • Spot-crowned Euphonia, Euphonia imitans, (photo: © Jean Luc Baron, used by permission) (Endemic to Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama)

Photo Gallery

(Click on any photo to enlarge it and enter the Gallery slide show. Click on the large < arrow in the left margin to see the previous photo, the large > arrow in the right margin to see the next photo. Click on the small “x” in the upper right corner to return to this page.)