BIRDING FIELD TRIPS

Birding in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Despite its relatively small size (51,100 km2), Costa Rica boasts some of the highest biological diversity per km2 in the world. Over 900 bird species have been recorded, of which 74 species are birds of prey. Of these, 78% are resident species (58).

La Fortuna, (San Carlos, Alajuela Province) is a small paradise located along the Caribbean Slope of Costa Rica. Famous for its scenic beauty and biological richness, the town boasts an impressive infrastructure designed to provide visitors with a safe, enjoyable and memorable experience.Located beneath the imposing Arenal Volcano and surrounded by national parks, the Arenal Monteverde Protected Zone, and private reserves the bird watching opportunities are fantastic. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the area including 50 species of raptors: 31 Accipitriformes, 9 Falconiformes and 10 Strigiformes. There are also four out of the six large eagles present in Costa Rica, such as the spectacular Crested Eagle (Morphnus guianensis), as well as the three representatives of the Spizaetus genus.

Raptor Migration in Costa Rica

The conference dates, 10 to 13 October, were chosen to coincide with the fall raptor migration (August to December), and Costa Rica has the second largest raptor migration in the world. Kèköldi Reserve, in the lowlands on the Caribbean slope (Talamanca, Cahuita and Puerto Viejo), is one of only three places in the world where it is possible to observe more than a million migrating birds of prey during the fall season. Additionally, the largest concentration of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) on fall migration have been recorded here, with more than 3000 individuals seen in one season.

During and after the IV Neotropical Raptor Conference and II Symposium on Neotropical Owls, participants will have the opportunity to participate in various guided excursions for birding and to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

PRE-CONFERENCE EXCURSIONS

10 October 2016

Destination 1: Sky Adventures Arenal Park. This adventure park borders the Arenal Volcano National Park, and is an important buffer zone which connects with other nature reserves in this conservation block. The richness in avifauna of this place is incredible. The park has a system of suspension bridges and platforms perfect for observing birds of prey and many other species of birds from a unique perspective above the forest canopy. It also has a great biodiversity of plants and other organisms. Some species that can be found are Ornate Hawk- eagle, Black Hawk-eagle, Barred Hawk, White Hawk, Great Black Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk and Double-toothed Kite. This is also the place with one of the most recent records for Crested Eagle in Costa Rica (2014).

Price per person: $40

Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

Destination 2: Arenal Mundo Aventura. On this tour we will visit open areas, gallery forests and intact rainforest, creating the opportunity for watching a wide variety of bird species within these varied ecosystems. The park has a tower built as part of their canopy tour, which can be used as an observation tower as we search for birds of prey. On a very good morning, over 10 species of raptors can be observed including Ornate Hawk-eagle, Black Hawk-eagle, Barred Hawk, Semiplumbeous Hawk, White Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk and Double-toothed Kite among others.

Price per person: $40

Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

Destination 3: Arenal Observatory Lodge. This Lodge is one of the favorite destinations for birders in the area. It has many gardens with a variety of plants that attract lots of hummingbirds, tanagers and and many more species. It also boasts coniferous plantations that attract large numbers of migratory species. There are a number of nature trails to take us deep within the primary forest. Price per person: $ 40

Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

Price per person: $40

Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

CONFERENCE EXCURSIONS

11, 12 and 13 October 2016

Morning Field Trip – Birding the gardens and farm of Hotel Manoa

An early morning walk around the hotel grounds which include a working farm, a small pond, and many flower-filled gardens offers the opportunity to see a number of beautiful species such as: Northern Jacana, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Red-lored Parrot, Masked Tityra and many more.

Price per person: $10

Hours: 5:30 a.m. - 7:30 a.m.

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

 

Night Tour – Searching for Owls in La Fortuna 11 and 12 October 2016

On this tour we will search for owls and other nocturnal birds. During the conference we will offer an  evening out to find the most common species of nocturnal birds of prey in the area, as well as some  other specialties. Some expected species include Tropical Screech Owl, Crested Owl, Spectacled Owl,  Mottled Owl, Black and White Owl and Striped Owl.

Price per person: $35

Hours: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

 

POST CONFERENCE TRIPS

14 October 2016

Destination 1: Sky Adventures Arenal Park. This adventure park  borders the Arenal Volcano  National Park,  and is an important  buffer zone  which connects with  other nature reserves in  this  conservation block. The  richness in avifauna of  this place is  incredible. The park  has a  system of  suspension bridges and  platforms perfect  for  observing birds of prey and many  other species of  birds from a unique perspective above the forest  canopy.  It also has a great  biodiversity of plants and other  organisms. Some species that can be  found are Ornate  Hawk-  eagle, Black Hawk-eagle,  Barred Hawk, White Hawk,  Great Black  Hawk,  Short-tailed Hawk and Double-toothed  Kite. This  is also the  place with one of the most recent  records for Crested Eagle in Costa Rica (2014).

 Price per person: $40

 Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

 Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group


Destination 2: Arenal Mundo Aventura. On this tour we will visit open areas, gallery forests and intact rainforest, creating the opportunity for watching a wide variety of bird species within these varied ecosystems. The park has a tower built as part of their canopy tour, which can be used as an observation tower as we search for birds of prey. On a very good morning, over 10 species of raptors can be observed including Ornate Hawk-eagle, Black Hawk-eagle, Barred Hawk, Semiplumbeous Hawk, White Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk and Double-toothed Kite among others.

Price per person: $40

Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

Destination 3: Arenal Observatory Lodge. This Lodge is one of the favorite destinations for birders in the area. It has many gardens with a variety of plants that attract lots of hummingbirds, tanagers and and many more species. It also boasts coniferous plantations that attract large numbers of migratory species. There are a number of nature trails to take us deep within the primary forest. Price per person: $ 40

Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group


Destination 4: Arenal Volcano National Park – Peninsula Road. The Peninsula road connects the Arenal Volcano National Park with the Arenal Reservoir, and is perfect for bird watching. Here, we can often find mixed flocks that may contain more than 15 different species, as well as some local specialties like the elusive Thicket Antpitta (Hylopezus dives) and Bare-crowned Antbird (Gymnocichla nudiceps). The species of raptors we can hope to see are Ornate Hawk-eagle, Laughing Falcon, White Hawk, and Double-toothed Kite among others.

Price per person: $35

Hours: 5:30 am - 12:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 10 people per group

Destination 5: Caño Wildlife Refuge. Caño Wildlife Refuge is located near the border with Nicaragua and consists of a system of seasonal lagoons, which are perfect for watching wetland species. All species of kingfishers in the country can be found in this area, as well as some specialties such as Nicaraguan Seed-Finch (Oryzoborus nuttingi), Nicaraguan Grackle, and Agami Heron, among others. Expected raptor species are Black-collared Hawk , Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture , Grey-headed Kite, Grey Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk, and Peregrine Falcon, among others.

Price per person: $65

Hours: 5:30 am - 4:00 pm

Maximum Capacity : 15 people per group

 

Destination 6: Helicona Lodge. This lodge is nestled in the foothills of Tenorio Volcano, and boasts hiking trails that wind through primary forest, open areas and gardens. The trail itself is a series of suspension bridges that allow you to observe birds from various levels of the forest. The area is good for some specialties like Tody Motmot (Hylomanes momotula), Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo, Barenecked Umbrella Bird (Cephalopterus glabricollis) and Lovely Cotinga. There are some Crested Owls known to roost in the area. Diurnal raptor species we can expect are Ornate Hawk-eagle, Laughing Falcon, White Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, and Double-toothed Kite, among others.

Price per person: $65

Hours: 5:30 am - 4:00 pm

Maximum Capacity: 15 people per group

FAQ:

How do I sign up for a birding tour?

To sign up for one or more field trips, please contact info@rapacesdecostarica.com

When do I need to sign up for the birding tour?

Space is limited. We suggest you reserve your space as soon as possible.

Will it be possible to reserve a spot on a tour after the IV Neotropical Raptor Conferece has already started?

Only if space is available.

What is included in the tour price?

A local bird guide, transportation and all park entrance fees

What should I bring with me on the tour?

Water, rain jacket, insect repellent, sun screen, hat, snack, binoculars, camera, flashlight (only for night tours) and field guide (optional).

For more information please contact info@rapacesdecostarica.com