Travel Costa Rica – Colorful Native Birds

By Alexa Boyce – Costa Rica is not only a great place to learn Spanish; it is also a great place to go experience eco-tourism and some of the most pristine nature scenes in the world. From the cloud forest to the palm-lined beaches, Costa Rica's national motto of 'Pura Vida' rings true. Over 25% of Costa Rica's geography is protected wildlife reserves. One of the most popular brands of eco-tourism in Costa Rica is birding, due to the wide variety of colorful native birds.
There are approximately 850 recorded species of birds in Costa Rica, which is one-tenth of the world's total. That's not bad for a country that is slightly smaller than West Virginia! Birding is so popular that people take guided tours for the sole purpose of viewing and possibly photographing these exotic birds. Fortunately for them, Costa Rican birds are not shy. You can expect to see many dozens of species on any given day. There are four major “avifaunal zones”: the northern Pacific lowlands, the southern Pacific lowlands, the Caribbean lowlands, and the interior highlands. The areas range from very dry in Guanacaste (northern Pacific lowlands) to one of the richest freshwater avifaunal ecosystems in Central America in the Tempisque Basin.
Amidst all the colorful and unique birds to be found, it is surprising to find that the national bird is the brown and grey yiquirro, a relatively uninteresting robin with red eyes.

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