Many people come to Costa Rica to see birds and Manuel Antonio is a great place to see a wide variety of birds. There are approximately 350 different species of birds in this area. Even people that aren’t normally birders, find themselves taking note of the interesting species.
You can go on an organized tour to see birds with guides that know where the birds that tourists want to see are commonly found. Or you can just enjoy the birds as you walk the beach, eat in open air restaurants or sail on a sunset cruise.
Some of my favorite birds to see are the water birds, which include the Magnificent Frigate bird (which is pictured above) the brown pelican, the roseate spoonbill, the white ibis, the neotropical cormorant and the anhinga.
The brown booby is a harbinger of dolphin as they eat the same food. Become familiar with this bird, so that you can easily find dolphin when you are out on the water.
Other water birds include a wide variety of herons, sandpipers, kingfishers, gulls and ducks.
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As many water birds as there are here, there are more birds to be found in the nearby jungles. Here you will hear parrots and parakeets. I love seeing the variety of the colors of the tanagers, warblers and the cuckoo birds. The chestnut-mandibled toucan and firey-blled aracari are two of my favorite birds.
There are many varieties of hummingbirds and honey creepers which always delight visitors and many locations have hummingbird feeders to attract these popular birds.
Birding isn’t limited to the day at Manuel Antonio. At night you can hear and see a wide variety of owls that call this area home. There are also night herons, nighthawks and nightjars.
There are many excellent birding books that you can purchase either before your trip or after you arrive in Costa Rica that can help you identify these birds.