Birding and Wildlife Attractions of Bosque del Rio Tigre

Birding near Lodge: There are a number of excellent birding areas within a short walk of the lodge. The forest directly adjacent to the lodge has numerous trails good for Marbled Wood-Quail, Scaly-throated Leaftosser, and the endemic Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager. Habitat along the river and creeks in the area is good for White-tipped Sicklebill and White-crested Coquette among many others. Watch the taller trees on the ridges for Tiny Hawk and the glowing Turquoise Cotinga. Hummingbird feeders near the lodge attract Beryl-crowned (Charming) Hummingbird as well as several hermit species. Banana feeders attract Blue-crowned Motmot and various tanagers. Since Liz and Abraham live and guide there they are able to find nesting birds and study behavior and territories which they share with their guests, a bonus to any birder or wildlife enthusiasts. I might add that Abraham’s ability to find nesting hummingbirds is becoming legendary!

Pale-billed Woodpecker

Yellow-billed Cotinga
Nearby sites: Any good wildlife lodge has explored surrounding areas to find different and interesting wildlife they can share with their guests and Bosque del Rio Tigre is no exception. Liz and/or Abraham can take you to the best place in the area to look for your most wanted species. No guarantees, but any good birder knows the importance of location when looking for the difficult birds. These areas require transport and guide which Liz or Abraham can arrange for you at an additional cost if it is not already included in your package. One of the best areas is found to the north, some 45 minutes by vehicle where you can look and usually find not only Yellow-billed Cotinga but also Turquoise Cotinga, two of the most beautiful yet uncommon birds in all of Costa Rica. I had males of each feeding in a fruiting tree on my last visit to this area. Liz and Abraham also have a fairly reliable location for the endemic Mangrove Hummingbird as well. Secondary growth to and from these areas is good for several sought after species such as Pearl Kite, Red-breasted Blackbird, and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater.

The trip south to Matapalo starts at sunrise where you begin by birding the open areas which is excellent for parrots, parakeets, and Scarlet Macaws. Near a particular lake watch for Spectacled Caiman (Crocodiles little cousin), along with a variety of waterbirds including Least Grebe, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Anhinga, and Mangrove Swallows. In the pastures on the way to the point of the peninsula keep an eye out for Red-breasted Blackbirds, Eastern Meadowlarks, a variety of seedeaters and tanagers, raptors including Pearl Kite, White-tailed Kite, the immaculate White Hawk, and King Vulture among many others. Upon reaching Matapalo, the forested tip of the peninsula, there is always the possibility of seeing the Harpy Eagle. Although there are only a few
individuals left on the peninsula, most have been sited in this area. Other rarities seen in this area include Common Potoo, Crested Owl, Spectacled Owl, and Great Curassow. Liz says that the real attraction of this area are the large troops of all 4 species of monkeys that can be seen in Costa Rica. Enjoy!

We recommend at least two nights at Bosque del Rio Tigre although 3 or 4 would be better in order to visit nearby sites and to ensure seeing more of the specialties. We also recommend Liz and Abraham as guides, not only for their birding skills but for their expertise on all the wildlife, history, and culture of the area. They are both fluent in English and Spanish.

Specialty birds of Bosque del Rio Tigre:

Little Tinamou – Here you have a chance of actually seeing these often heard but seldom seen skulkers of the secondary growth thickets.
Marbled Wood-Quail - An excellent place to look for this very attractive forest quail.
Scarlet Macaw – Common in the Osa Peninsula and the Carara/Tarcol area, its two main strongholds in Costa Rica.
White-tipped Sicklebill – Still not guaranteed but pairs do nest annually near the property and Abraham is great at locating this unique hummer.
White-crested Coquette – A SW Costa Rica, NW Panama endemic, found with some regularity here. Liz showed me my first male!
Mangrove Hummingbird – A Costa Rican endemic, resident in mangroves a short drive from the lodge.
Baird’s Trogon - A restricted range species fairly common in good forest near the lodge.
Fiery-billed Aracari – Small groups are not uncommon in the vicinity.
Olivaceous Piculet – Mostly in secondary growth, behavior and call like diminutive woodpecker.
Red-rumped Woodpecker – The most difficult woodpecker to find in Costa Rica due to its limited range, uncommon here, mostly in secondary growth.
Long-tailed Woodcreeper – Poorly pictured in the Costa Rica Guide, see Panama Guide for better illustration. Uncommon in good forest.
Scaly-throated Leaftosser – One of my favorites, uncommon inhabitant of primary forest often found on trail or working the leaf litter.
Yellow-billed Cotinga – The owners/guides know a regular spot for this angelic cotinga less than an hours drive from the lodge.
Turquoise Cotinga – Electric!!! Not uncommon in the vicinity, often perching high on open branches.
Red-breasted Blackbird - To be looked for in cattle pastures on the main road north where regular.
Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager – An Osa Peninsula and adjacent Golfito endemic, fairly common in the forest sometimes coming to banana feeder at lodge.

Pearl Kites
White-tipped Sicklebill