NYC Audubon


Brooklyn Bird Club


     Long Pond Greenbelt
Location: Costa Rica, 2017

Reported by: Joe Giunta

The Happy Warbler Birding group had its sixth annual trip to Costa Rica. The trip was highly successful with a total of 306 species of birds being seen by most members of the group. Members of our flock were: Joe, Sharon, Sandy, Mary Jane, Frank, Janet, Sid, Barbara, Al and Bets. With us were our guide Noel and our driver Juan Carlos. Even though Costa Rica is a small country the diversity is tremendous. This year’s trip was unlike any other as we visited: deep jungle, river and lake habitat, and two volcanoes. A photo history of our trip was made by Frank and can be viewed at:

Jan. 19: Our United/Continental Airways flight, out of Newark/Liberty Airport, took off right on schedule. We were greeted at the airport by our guide Noel and driver Juan Carlos. They would remain with us for the next ten days. We stayed the first night at the Hotel Bougainvillea, which was fairly close to the airport.

Jan. 20: We were up early and did some birding on the grounds of our hotel. The Bougainvillea Hotel has about 10 acres of gardens which are richly planted to attract birds. It was a great place to stay and only 25 minutes from the international airport in San Jose. We saw some of the common birds of San Jose, including Rufous-naped Wren, White-winged Dove, Buff-throated Saltator and Rufous-collared Sparrow. We also recorded two hard-to-see birds of NYC, the Philadelphia Vireo and the Tennessee Warbler.

After breakfast we headed towards our first birding destination, La Selva. We made stops along the way, each time seeing many birds. Our first stop was at the house of Cope, a friend of Noel. He has made the habitat around his house into a tropical rainforest. Cope had many feeders around his house, where we saw White-necked Jacobin, Long-tailed Hermit and other hummingbird species. He even had a White-collared Manakin in his yard. He took us about a mile down the road and showed us two great birds: Spectacled Owl and Crested Owl. What a way to start a birding trip!

We finally arrived at La Selva Biological Research Station. We spent the next two nights at the station. Before retiring for the night we did some late afternoon birding. We saw Blue Dacnis, Rufous Mourner, and Cinnamon Becard among other birds.

Jan. 21: The accommodations at La Selva were somewhat basic because it is a research station being run by the Organization for Tropical Studies. The food was good, served buffet style. We spent the entire day on the grounds of this venue. Birding started early in the morning, actually before breakfast. Then breakfast, more birding, lunch, a siesta, afternoon birding, dinner and then the list and prepare for the next day. Some of the birds we saw on the grounds of La Selva were: Great Tinamou, Violaceous Trogon (now called Gartered Trogon), Black-throated Trogon, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Snowy Cotinga and Masked Tityra. Some 70 species for the day. Going through the trogons is always fun. Looking at the breast color, eye-ring and bill color helps tell them apart.

Jan. 22: After some early morning birding and breakfast we left La Selva and headed towards Cano Negro. We made stops along the way picking up more species, 94 species for the day. Two highlights occurred before we arrived at Cano Negro. Along the road in some waterlogged fields we heard and saw the White-throated Crake, a bird that proved to be quite difficult to locate in past years. We saw about 5 of them, easy. Just before sunset and about a mile from our destination Noel stopped us and indicated that we should look at a particular pole. He was expecting the Great Potoo to arrive. Right on schedule the bird appeared as if out of nowhere. It was a fantastic show as the bird hunted moths and continually returned to its favorite spot. Dinner was at Natural Lodge, our home for the next two days.

Jan. 23: On the grounds of the lodge we saw two Pacific Screech Owls before breakfast. They were regulars on the grounds. After breakfast we set out on our first boat ride. It was on the Rio Frio. The conditions were not the best this year but we did see numerous egrets and herons. Noel said that Hurricane Otto passed through the area in November and added too much water, which made finding some species difficult. We went back to the lodge, had lunch, a siesta and some of us went for a swim in their pool. In the late afternoon we had another boat ride going in an opposite direction on the river. Again we saw many egrets and herons and we did we see a specialty of the area, the Yellow-breasted Crake. On our way back we were escorted by many Lesser Night-hawks. This evening we did some owling along the road. We had great views of two Black-and-white Owls. A “lifer” for many.

Jan. 24: Noel was not happy with the boat ride of the previous day so we tried it again. We added Sungrebe, Purple Gallinule, and 5 Kingfisher species including American Pygmy. We returned from the boat ride, got our stuff and headed towards our next lodge, Arenal Observatory Lodge. Along the way we passed some wet farm fields and saw, very nicely, a key bird of the trip, the Jabiru. It was the best look ever for me as the bird was very close to the road. We had lunch on the road at a place called Rancho-Perla. Feeders were very close by where we saw: Golden-hooded Tanager, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Olive-backed Euphonia and Crimson-collared Tanager. For the day we recorded 105 species. We arrived at our lodge, had dinner and prepared for the next day.

Jan. 25: We had breakfast on the veranda in front of their feeders. We had good views of a female Great Curassow. Not far from the dining area was a berry tree that held many tanagers. We saw: Emerald, Silver-throated, Bay-headed, Golden-hooded, Summer and Hepatic Tanagers. The habitat was just right for wrens and we recorded: Band-backed, House, White-breasted Wood, Song and Striped-breasted Wrens. Also popular on the grounds of the lodge were a good number of North American Warblers. We saw: Tennessee, Golden-winged, Yellow, Chested-sided, Black-and-white and Wilson’s. After breakfast we had a walk in the forest, lunch, a siesta (some went for a swim), afternoon walk and dinner followed by the list. We prepared for the next day.

Jan. 26: After some morning birding on the grounds we left Arenal and headed towards Poas, another volcano. First we had a stop at Lake Arenal and while doing some birding we picked up more species. Notable was another look at a Great Potoo. Also close by was a Black Phoebe, a species that so far had eluded us. Along the road we made a stop hoping for some antbirds, which had so far been difficult to find. We did manage so-so looks at a Chestnut-backed Antbird. We made another stop at a roadside restaurant with good feeders. We recorded both Red-headed Barbet and Emerald Toucanet among other birds. Late in the afternoon we arrived at Poas Volcano Lodge, a very fancy place located in the middle of some farm fields. For décor and service one would have to rate it five stars. We did some nighttime birding and had great looks at Bare-shanked Screech-owl and Dusky Nightjar. We recorded 86 species for the day.

Jan. 27: It was our last full day of birding and it began with birding on the grounds, then breakfast and then a ride to Poas Volcano. The weather was clear and after about a ¾ mile walk to the rim on the volcano we got to see the actual crater. It was very impressive and the area was very crowded with tourists. Noel took us on a side trail so we could do some birding. We were hoping for views of a Resplendent Quetzal but that part of the trail was closed probably also due to damage from Hurricane Otto. For lunch we went to LaPaz Waterfall Gardens. After lunch we visited their huge hummingbird feeder garden. We recorded: Violet Sabrewing, Fiery-throated Hummingbird and White-bellied Mountain-gem among the 10 species of hummers we saw. We left the gardens and headed towards our last hotel, The Buena Vista.

Jan. 28: The Hotel Buena Vista is located on the grounds of an old coffee plantation. The location afforded us great views of the city of San Jose. The hotel is also very close to the international airport. We did some morning birding on the grounds, had breakfast and prepared for our trip back to the US. We left our hotel at 11am and arrived at the airport shortly thereafter for our departure back to Newark Liberty airport. We arrived back in New York right on time. Another great birding trip filled with many great sightings and memories.


Great Tinamou
Least Grebe
Pied-billed Grebe
Neotropic Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Tricolored Heron
Little Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Boat-billed Heron
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron
Fasciated Tiger-Heron
Wood Stork
Green Ibis
White Ibis
Glossy Ibis
Muscovy Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture
Gray-headed Kite
Hook-billed Kite
White-tailed Kite
Snail Kite
Double-toothed Kite
Semiplumbeous Hawk
Harris's Hawk
Black-collared Hawk
Gray Hawk
Roadside Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Crested Caracara
Yellow-headed Caracara
Laughing Falcon
Gray-headed Chachalaca
Crested Guan
Great Curassow
White-throated Crake
Gray-necked Wood-Rail
Yellow-breasted Crake
Purple Gallinule
Northern Jacana
Black-necked Stilt
Southern Lapwing
Semipalmated Plover
Spotted Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Rock Pigeon
Band-tailed Pigeon
Pale-vented Pigeon
Red-billed Pigeon
Short-billed Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Ruddy Ground-Dove
Inca Dove
Gray-headed Dove
Gray-chested Dove
Great Green Macaw
Crimson-fronted Parakeet
Olive-throated Parakeet
Orange-chinned Parakeet
Brown-hooded Parrot
White-crowned Parrot
Red-lored Parrot
Squirrel Cuckoo
Groove-billed Ani
Pacific Screech-Owl
Bare-shanked Screech-Owl
Vermiculated Screech-Owl
Black-and-white Owl
Crested Owl
Spectacled Owl
Central American Pygmy-Owl
Great Potoo
Lesser Nighthawk
Dusky Nightjar
White-collared Swift
Gray-rumped Swift
Green Hermit
Western Long-tailed Hermit
Stripe-throated Hermit
Green-fronted Lancebill
Scaly-breasted Hummingbird
Violet Sabrewing
White-necked Jacobin
Green-breasted Mango
Violet-headed Hummingbird
Black-crested Coquette
Green Thorntail
Fiery-throated Hummingbird
Coppery-headed Emerald
Black-bellied Hummingbird
Violet-crowned Woodnymph
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
Steely-vented Hummingbird
Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer
White-bellied Mountain-gem
Purple-throated Mountain-gem
Green-crowned Brilliant
Magnificent Hummingbird
Black-headed Trogon
Violaceous Trogon
Black-throated Trogon
Slaty-tailed Trogon
Belted Kingfisher
Ringed Kingfisher
Amazon Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Green-and-rufous Kingfisher
American Pygmy Kingfisher
Blue-crowned Motmot
Rufous Motmot
Keel-billed Motmot
Broad-billed Motmot
Rufous-tailed Jacamar
White-necked Puffbird
Pied Puffbird
White-whiskered Puffbird
Red-headed Barbet
Prong-billed Barbet
Emerald Toucanet
Collared Aracari
Keel-billed Toucan
Black-mandibled Toucan
Black-cheeked Woodpecker
Hoffmann's Woodpecker
Smoky-brown Woodpecker
Rufous-winged Woodpecker
Golden-olive Woodpecker
Chestnut-colored Woodpecker
Lineated Woodpecker
Pale-billed Woodpecker
Slaty Spinetail
Red-faced Spinetail
Spotted Barbtail
Plain Xenops
Streak-breasted Treehunter
Wedge-billed Woodcreeper
Northern Barred-Woodcreeper
Cocoa Woodcreeper
Spotted Woodcreeper
Streak-headed Woodcreeper
Fasciated Antshrike
Barred Antshrike
Western Slaty-Antshrike
Dusky Antbird
Chestnut-backed Antbird
Dull-mantled Antbird
Spotted Antbird
Snowy Cotinga
Purple-throated Fruitcrow
White-collared Manakin
Yellow Tyrannulet
Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet
Yellow-bellied Elaenia
Mountain Elaenia
Torrent Tyrannulet
Olive-striped Flycatcher
Paltry Tyrannulet
Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant
Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant
Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher
Common Tody-Flycatcher
Eye-ringed Flatbill
Yellow-olive Flycatcher
Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher
Tufted Flycatcher
Tropical Pewee
Yellowish Flycatcher
Black Phoebe
Long-tailed Tyrant
Bright-rumped Attila
Rufous Mourner
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Boat-billed Flycatcher
Social Flycatcher
Gray-capped Flycatcher
White-ringed Flycatcher
Tropical Kingbird
Fork-tailed Flycatcher
Cinnamon Becard
White-winged Becard
Masked Tityra
Black-crowned Tityra
Gray-breasted Martin
Mangrove Swallow
Blue-and-white Swallow
Southern Rough-winged Swallow
American Dipper
Band-backed Wren
Rufous-naped Wren
Black-throated Wren
Spot-breasted Wren
Bay Wren
Stripe-breasted Wren
Plain Wren
House Wren
Ochraceous Wren
White-breasted Wood-Wren
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren
Song Wren
Gray Catbird
Tropical Mockingbird
Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush
Wood Thrush
Clay-colored Robin
White-throated Thrush
Long-billed Gnatwren
Tropical Gnatcatcher
White-throated Magpie-Jay
Brown Jay
Yellow-throated Vireo
Philadelphia Vireo
Lesser Greenlet
Golden-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Tropical Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Kentucky Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Olive-crowned Yellowthroat
Gray-crowned Yellowthroat
Wilson's Warbler
Slate-throated Redstart
Collared Redstart
Golden-crowned Warbler
Three-striped Warbler
Buff-rumped Warbler
Common Bush-Tanager
Sooty-capped Bush-Tanager
Dusky-faced Tanager
Gray-headed Tanager
Red-throated Ant-Tanager
Hepatic Tanager
Summer Tanager
Flame-colored Tanager
Crimson-collared Tanager
Passerini's Tanager
Blue-gray Tanager
Palm Tanager
Yellow-throated Euphonia
Olive-backed Euphonia
Plain-colored Tanager
Emerald Tanager
Silver-throated Tanager
Bay-headed Tanager
Golden-hooded Tanager
Blue Dacnis
Green Honeycreeper
Shining Honeycreeper
Red-legged Honeycreeper
Variable Seedeater
White-collared Seedeater
Ruddy-breasted Seedeater
Nicaraguan Seed-Finch
Thick-billed Seed-Finch
Slaty Flowerpiercer
Sooty-faced Finch
Yellow-thighed Finch
Large-footed Finch
Orange-billed Sparrow
Black-striped Sparrow
Rufous-collared Sparrow
Grayish Saltator
Buff-throated Saltator
Black-headed Saltator
Black-faced Grosbeak
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Melodious Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Nicaraguan Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
Giant Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Black-cowled Oriole
Scarlet-rumped Cacique
Chestnut-headed Oropendola
Montezuma Oropendola
House Sparrow

Species seen - 306