Bird watching lovers: bird species you will see in Nosara

Although a small nation Costa Rica is home to a greater density of different bird species. Consequently, a great destination for bird watching than any other continental American country. The explanation for this phenomenon dates back millions of years to when North and South America were separate continents. After the continents were fused, species that had previously existed independently came together from the north and south via the new land bridge that became Central America. Much of this diversity stems from the uncommonly large array of habitats that Costa Rica offers. These include tropical and subtropical forest, mangrove swamps, mountains, highlands, lowlands and coastal plains.

The net result of these ecological factors is a country that boasts one of the world’s highest rates of biodiversity in bird species. The following selection features those which Nosara visitors are most likely to see on a daily basis or while bird watching. Along with one or two that require either luck or being an expert on bird watching.


White-throated magpie-jayMagpie Jay bird commonly found in Nosara

The white-throated magpie-jay is a large, noisy, black, blue and white bird with a distinct crest on its forehead. This bird is exceptionally confident in the presence of humans. If you happened to be sitting in a restaurant terrace and witness a creature come swooping down onto your table to steal your food then the chances are that it’s this guy. They are skilled thieves, but white-throated magpie-jays are also known for their incredible range of vocal skills. Their repertoire features a large range of calls. Including different types of predator warning calls, mating and mobbing calls, social calls, distress calls, and a range of calls used to beg for food.



Rufous-tailed hummingbird

Humingbirds are a common species in Guiones and Nosara At 10-12 cm long the adults can be recognized by a green feathered throat, greyish belly and a slightly forked tail. Additionally, this hummingbird has a distinguishable, long, red bill with a black tip. Nest building is the sole responsibility of the female, in which she lays two eggs which hatch after around 45 days. The roufus-tailed hummingbird’s diet includes floral nectar and small insects. This species is known to be aggressive towards other hummingbird species and will vigorously defend its feeding grounds. Is a thrill to see this beautiful species during your bird watching.







Caracara bird in Guiones, Nosara, Costa RicaThe Northern Crested Caracara is a large, powerful falcon (often mistaken for a hawk). Although the Caracara is a member of the falcon family, unlike it’s relatives it is slow and sluggish, as opposed to fast-flying and highly maneuverable.  You can easily recognize this birds of prey and tourists can often see them on the side of the road dining on whatever they can find to scavenge – often snakes or mammals. It can be distinguished by a tall, sleek black body, white wings, crest and crown. It’s neck, rump, tail and wings are white. It’s large beak is grey, and it has a powerful hook designed to tear into it’s prey.






Brown Pelican

Pelican in Pelada beach in NosaraNosara visitors can see this small Pelican either flying in a V-formation over the line-up or floating on the surface of the ocean, looking to dive down and snag its next meal. Out of all the Pelican species found in the western hemisphere, the brown pelican is one of only two that actively dives beneath the waters surface to find food. The brown pelican is one of the most common seabirds found in continental America. You can find them throughout the entire continent on both the east coast – from Nova Scotia to Venezuela, and west coast – from British Columbia to northern Peru. It’s diet consists strictly of medium sized fish.







Great kiskadee

Kiskadee in a tree in NosaraThe great Kiskadee is a large flycatcher which birdwatchers can find in tall-treed, open woodland. It is common, noisy, bold and has no problem swooping down to snatch your food from your plate. Many people find this endearing, however to others it’s a nuisance. The great kiskadee is omnivirous. It will eat literally anything and everything including, fruit, plants, insects and even small rodents. They are alert, aggressive, strong and highly maneuverable, which provides it with a good advantage when attacked or chased by larger birds of prey. Often the great kiskadee will even attack larger birds by diving down from above while they flying in mid-air.








Black vulture

Black vulture in a beach in NosaraVisitors of Playa Guiones can find this large, black scavenger very often here and in the surrounding beaches waiting for something dead and delicious to wash up onshore. Although relatively small for a vulture it is still a large bird with a wingspan of up to 5 feet. They have jet black plumage, a featherless, gray wrinkled neck, and a short, powerful hooked beak. Although the black vulture is a scavenger, they also eat eggs, and to kill and eat newborn animals. In areas densely populated by humans the black vulture can often be found scavenging at the local rubbish dump.







Osprey bird flying in Nosara, Costa RicaPeople also know this bird as a fish eagle, sea hawk, rivers hawk or fish hawk. Is a large, distinctly colored raptor which feeds exclusively on fish. Second only to the Peregrine falcon, the osprey is one of the world’s most widely distributed raptor species. This is due largely to the fact that the osprey is adaptable and can tolerate any  habitat  that contains a body of water with adequate food supply. The osprey is a large raptor characterized by brown and white speckled underparts and a grayish white head.





Black Cheeked Woodpecker

Woodpecker in a garden in Guiones, NosaraYou can usually hear this guy due to the rattling “krrrrrrr’ sound made when they make holes into the trees. The Black cheeked woodpecker has a range that extends from Southern Mexico through to Ecuador. It lives in wet and dry forest, open woodland, and builds its nest high in the trunk of dead trees. Adults are around 20cm long. Although their diet consists primarily of insects they also eat fruit and nectar.







Crimson fronted parakeet

Parakeet seen in birdwatching in Nosara, Costa RicaThis small species of parrot is a common site in the Nosara area. Is easily identified by both it’s vibrant colors of yellow green and red, and by its loud, high pitched squawks and whistles. Its night time roosting calls are loud, intricate and often highly musical. The Crimson-fronted Parakeet, also known as Finsch’s Parakeet is a neotropical bird.







Blue crowned motmot

Motmot bird in nosaraThe highly attractive, and beautifully colored Blue-crowned Motmot is a large, long-tailed bird, with a highly unique “racket” tip tail. It’s coloration is generally green and blue. You can find the Blue crowned motmots from Southern Mexico through to Costa Rica. They can often be difficult to see due to the fact they sit silently still in the the tree tops for long periods of time. They nest in tunnels, on riverbanks, and high in the tree tops of primary forest and their diet consists of  small prey such as insects, lizards, and sometimes fruit.



Interested in seeing one or maybe all of these bird species? Book a tour now and start finding the most unique bird species in the country!

2 thoughts on “Bird watching lovers: bird species you will see in Nosara

  1. Isabel Meisler says:

    My son and family are going to Nosara for vacation in March mainly for the surfing ,but I ,the Grandma want to find a guide for myself for bird watching. A one or two day guide. Is this possible?

    Many thanks.


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