NYC Audubon


Brooklyn Bird Club


     Long Pond Greenbelt
Dates: Jan. 19-26, 2011

Location: Costa Rica

Reported by: Joe Giunta

Our group consisted of Joe, Elyse, Al, Eileen, Alison, Jennifer, and Barbara.  Except for Joe, our leader, it was the first time any of our birders had been in Costa Rica. It was also the first time that Happy Warblers LLC had ever sponsored a trip to Costa Rica. The trip was highly successful with a total of 245 species of birds being seen by most members of the group. At the end of the trip it was wished that we could have stayed longer and just enjoyed the wildlife, venues, food, and friendships that were made on the trip. A slide presentation of the trip can be found at

Jan. 19: Our Continental Airways flight, out of Newark/Liberty Airport, took off  right on schedule.  We were greeted at the airport by our guide, Noel Urena , and our driver Luis. Noel and Luis would remain with us for the next eight days.

Jan. 20: We had breakfast at our first Hotel the Buena Vista. We began birding in their backyard where we saw Brown Jay, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, and Blue-gray Tanager. This tanager would become very common for us and we would see it at almost every venue we stopped. We left our hotel and started the ride to Sarapiqui Neotropical Center. This would be  our lodge for the next few days. Along the way we saw the more common birds like Tropical Kingbird and Great Kiskadee.  At Sarapiqui we would have lunch and then bird the grounds of the nearby La Tirimbina Nature Reserve. Here we would see great birds like: Violacious Trogon (renamed  Gartered Trogron), Keel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Lineated Woodpecker, and Chestnut-backed Antbird. Masked Tityra, which we nicknamed, Mr. Googles, became a common bird for us. Our tanagers increased to include Golden-hooded Tanager, Passerini’s  Tanager, and Palm Tanager. They were all seen at  close range  as they were on a nearby  feeder. Also on the feeder were colorful birds like Blue Dacnis and Green Honeycreeper. We had dinner at the lodge and prepared for our next day of birding.

Jan.21:  We set out very early in the morning in order to do some birding along the way to our destination, La Selva. On the gravel road before the entrance to La Selva we would stop and see: Fasciated  Antshrike, Long-tailed Tyrant, Olive-crowned Yellowthroat along with other species. We would have breakfast at the research stations cafeteria. We would split up the day into two parts, first taking the trail on the right before the bridge and later in the afternoon taking the trail over the bridge. The morning trail produced a tremendous number of birds. The highlights were: Crested Guan, Slaty-tailed Trogon, White-whiskered Puffbird, White-necked Puffbird, Plain Xenops, Great Tinamou, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (only the second time ever reported at La Selva) and my personal favorite Snowy Cotinga. What a morning we had!

Lunch followed at the research station cafeteria. The entire cafeteria was cleaned out in a matter of one minute at a report that a Crested Eagle was perched outside. We did not find the bird but we did find a Black Hawk-Eagle perched. In its talons was an Iguana. We had excellent scope views.

In the afternoon we would take the trail that goes over the bridge and then to the left. Here we would see Sungrebe, and Eye-ringed Flatbill among other species. We returned to the lodge, had dinner and prepared for the next day.

Jan. 22: We would again go to La Selva, stopping at the gravel road before the entrance, having breakfast at the research station but this time we would go over the bridge and take the trail to the right. Some highlights were Ochre-bellied Flycatcher and Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant. We saw some North American warblers which winter in this area. We picked up Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler as well as the very common Chestnut-sided Warbler. We also saw a few Summer Tanagers which also winter here. In the afternoon we would bird some farm fields near our lodge. This would be a different habitat and we would see different birds. We picked up: Thick-billed Seed-finch, Variable Seedeater, Blue-black Grassquit, and White-lined Tanager.  At the end of our farm road we would find a small marshy area. Here we saw Ringed Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Purple Gallinule, Gray-breasted Crake (very briefly) and Northern Jacana.  On our way back we would see two of the highlights of our trip. We very clearly saw many Common Paraques and one Vermiculated Screech-Owl. We went back to our lodge, had dinner and prepared for our next day.

Jan.23:  After breakfast at the lodge we would leave and head towards San Isidro, on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. We made some stops along the way. The first stop was at Braulio Carrillo National Park. Here we would walk the trails seeing White Hawk, and Black-and-yellow Tanager. Our next stop was at the top of the mountains that were part of the central range. Here we would see many hummingbirds including Magnificent Hummingbird, Volcano Hummingbird, Fiery-throated Hummingbird and Green Violetear. Some thrushes and finches were also present and we saw Large-footed Finch, Sooty Thrush and Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush. We also made another stop at high elevation seeing Timberline Wren, Rufous-colored Sparrow and Volcano Junco. Lunch was at a mountain top restaurant where the food was excellent especially the guacamole.  We arrived at our next lodge, the Talari Lodge, had dinner and got ready for our next day of birding.

Jan.24:  Today we would visit Los Cusingos, the home of Dr. Alexander Skutch. He was the famous ornithologist who first came to this area in the 1930’s. Among the many books that he wrote was the ‘Birds of Costa Rica’. It is the classic field guide that is still used today. Los Cusingos has the most beautiful birds. At the feeder near the entrance were Bay-headed Tanager, Speckled Tanager, Green Honeycreeper and Cherries’s Tanager. On the grounds were Blue-crowned Manakin , Orange-collared Manakin and  best of all, four  male Turquoise Cotingas perched in one tree at one time. For colors and beauty this place cannot be beat!  We had lunch at an excellent pizza parlor in the village of San Isidro. The individual pizza was excellent, even better than most that I get in New York. After lunch we returned to our lodge, took a break and then birded the grounds of the Lodge. The evening routine was the same, go over the list, have dinner and get ready for the next day.

Jan.25: After breakfast we started our return trip to San Jose. We would make three birding stops along the way. At the top of the mountain we would again stop at a roadside restaurant and view the numerous hummingbirds at their feeders.  Repeaters like Volcano Hummingbird and Fiery-throated Hummingbird were easily seen. Next we went to Noel’s Secret road. This is a lower elevation spot where we would see great birds like Golden-browned Chlorophonia, Collared Redstart and a close flyover of an Ornate Hawk-eagle. After this stop we went to Quetzal Valley. Of course our target bird was the Resplendent Quetzal. Unfortunately we did not see this bird but we did see Long-tailed Silky-flycatchers, many Swallow-tailed Kites, Yellow-thighed Finch and feeder views of both male and female Flame-colored Tanagers. Finally we made our way to San Jose and the Don Carlos hotel where we would have dinner and spend the night.

Jan. 26: Luis picked us up at 7am and we were on our way back to the airport. We returned on the 10am Continental flight and touched down at Newark/Liberty airport about 4pm.


Great Tinamou
Neotropic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Ibis
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Swallow-tailed Kite
Pearl Kite
White-tailed Kite
Double-toothed Kite
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Semiplumbeous Hawk
White Hawk
Gray Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Black Hawk-Eagle
Ornate Hawk-Eagle
Crested Caracara
Yellow-headed Caracara
Gray-headed Chachalaca
Crested Guan
White-throated Crake
Gray-breasted Crake
Gray-necked Wood-Rail
Purple Gallinule
Northern Jacana
Spotted Sandpiper
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Pale-vented Pigeon
Red-billed Pigeon
Short-billed Pigeon
Ruddy Pigeon
Ruddy Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Crimson-fronted Parakeet
Olive-throated Parakeet
Sulphur-winged Parakeet
Orange-chinned Parakeet
Brown-hooded Parrot
White-crowned Parrot
Red-lored Parrot
Mealy Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Groove-billed Ani
Vermiculated Screech-Owl
White-collared Swift
Band-rumped Swift
Gray-rumped Swift
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift
Western Long-tailed Hermit
Stripe-throated Hermit
White-necked Jacobin
Green Violet-ear
Fiery-throated Hummingbird
White-tailed Emerald
Violet-crowned Woodnymph
Blue-throated Goldentail
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Blue-chested Hummingbird
Snowy-bellied Hummingbird
White-throated Mountain-gem
Magnificent Hummingbird
Long-billed Starthroat
Scintillant Hummingbird
Volcano Hummingbird
Violaceous Trogon
Collared Trogon
Black-throated Trogon
Slaty-tailed Trogon
Ringed Kingfisher
Amazon Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Blue-crowned Motmot
Broad-billed Motmot
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
White-necked Puffbird
Pied Puffbird
White-whiskered Puffbird
Collared Aracari
Fiery-billed Aracari
Keel-billed Toucan
Chestnut-mandibled Toucan
Acorn Woodpecker
Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Red-crowned Woodpecker
Hoffmann's Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Rufous-winged Woodpecker
Cinnamon Woodpecker
Chestnut-colored Woodpecker
Lineated Woodpecker
Pale-billed Woodpecker
Plain Xenops
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
Northern Barred-Woodcreeper
Cocoa Woodcreeper
Black-striped Woodcreeper
Spotted Woodcreeper
Streak-headed Woodcreeper
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper
Fasciated Antshrike
Great Antshrike
Black-hooded Antshrike
Western Slaty-Antshrike
Russet Antshrike
Chestnut-backed Antbird
Turquoise Cotinga
Snowy Cotinga
White-collared Manakin
Orange-collared Manakin
Blue-crowned Manakin
Yellow Tyrannulet
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Mountain Elaenia
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Eye-ringed Flatbill
Yellow-olive Flycatcher
Yellow-margined Flycatcher
Golden-crowned Spadebill
Tufted Flycatcher
Tropical Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Yellowish Flycatcher
Long-tailed Tyrant
Rufous Mourner
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Gray-capped Flycatcher
White-ringed Flycatcher
Golden-bellied Flycatcher
Streaked Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Cinnamon Becard
Rose-throated Becard
Masked Tityra
Black-crowned Tityra
Gray-breasted Martin
Mangrove Swallow
Blue-and-white Swallow
Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher
Rufous-breasted Wren
Riverside Wren
Stripe-breasted Wren
House Wren
Ochraceous Wren
Timberline Wren
White-breasted Wood-Wren
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren
Gray Catbird
Tropical Mockingbird
Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush
Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
Sooty Robin
Mountain Robin
Pale-vented Thrush
Clay-colored Robin
Long-billed Gnatwren
Tropical Gnatcatcher
Brown Jay
Black-capped Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo
Yellow-winged Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Tawny-crowned Greenlet
Lesser Greenlet
Golden-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Flame-throated Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Collared Redstart
Buff-rumped Warbler
Common Bush-Tanager
Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager
Black-and-yellow Tanager
Gray-headed Tanager
White-lined Tanager
Red-throated Ant-Tanager
Summer Tanager
Flame-colored Tanager
Passerini's Tanager
Cherrie's Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Yellow-crowned Euphonia
Spot-crowned Euphonia
Olive-backed Euphonia
Golden-browed Chlorophonia
Silver-throated Tanager
Speckled Tanager
Bay-headed Tanager
Golden-hooded Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Green Honeycreeper
Shining Honeycreeper
Red-legged Honeycreeper
Blue-black Grassquit
Variable Seedeater
Nicaraguan Seed-Finch
Thick-billed Seed-Finch
Slaty Flowerpiercer
Yellow-thighed Finch
Large-footed Finch
Black-striped Sparrow
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Volcano Junco
Buff-throated Saltator
Black-faced Grosbeak
Eastern Meadowlark
Melodious Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Yellow-tailed Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Black-cowled Oriole
Chestnut-headed Oropendola
Montezuma Oropendola

Species seen - 245