Savegre Mountain Lodge “Home of the Resplendent Quetzal”

Birding and Wildlife attractions of Savegre Mountain Lodge:

Resident Bird Guides: Savegre Mountain Lodge provides excellent bird guides for those who want to get the most out of their birding experience in this highland area. I know three of them personally and have the utmost respect for their skills and enthusiasm. They are polite, speak good English, know the calls, habits, and where to find the birds, and will do their best to get you good looks. They also have excellent birding equipment including spotting scopes so you can hopefully witness the quetzal up close and personal. We are happy to arrange a guide for you as we know you will be in excellent hands.

Resplendent Quetzal: (pronounced ketSAAL) It is arguably the most beautiful bird in the New World. The glorious quetzal is not uncommon in the Savegre area and even nests near the lodge occasionally. A male with full tails (actually elongated upper-tail coverts) is an unforgettable sight and is often THE highlight of a birding holiday to Costa Rica. Even non-birders are amazed at its beauty. During your stay you will not only have a very good opportunity to see the quetzal but also learn about the behavior and life cycle of this once sacred bird to the Mayans.
Resplendent Quetzal
Hummingbird feeders: These feeders are situated in front of reception and also off the balcony of the bar/lounge. The feeders are always active with resident Magnificent Hummingbird, Green Violetear with flared blue cheek tufts, Gray-tailed Mountain-Gem, Volcano Hummingbird, and the tiny little Scintillant Hummingbird. Fiery-throated Hummingbird and Violet Sabrewing are seasonally present and even Flame-colored Tanager and Slaty Flowerpiercer come in to feed. Natural vegetation near the feeders offers great photographic opportunities.
Volcano Hummingbird
Roble “Oak” Tree Oak Forest trails: This magnificent forest is a joy to walk through. The large centennial oaks of the forest are transformed into hanging gardens of lichens and emerald green mosses that contrasts with the intense red of the bromeliads. Below the oaks, the tree ferns, palms, bamboo, and multicolored mushrooms provide even more color and habitat for wildlife. There are over 10 kms of forest trails to explore in search of such specialties as Spotted Wood-Quail, Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl, Resplendent Quetzal, Collared Trogon, Buffy Tufted-cheek, Ruddy Treerunner, Ochraceous Pewee, Barred Becard, Zeledonia, and Golden-browed Chlorophonia just to name a few. You can see why birders and nature lovers enjoy there stay in Savegre Valley and why it is on the itinerary of nearly every birding tour company.
Paramo: A morning excursion by vehicle with your Savegre bird guide to the Paramo of Cerro de la Muerte can be very productive.
At around 10,000 feet in elevation the landscape changes
to stunted trees with large expanses of low bamboo. It is
in this strange and often cold habitat that some very local
Chiriqui Highland endemics occur. This is the preferred
habitat of Fiery-throated and Volcano Hummingbirds, Timberline Wren, Sooty Robin, Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush, the uncommon and local Peg-billed Finch, and Volcano Junco. Even the Zeledonia (Wrenthrush) seems a little less shy but is still quite difficult to spot. Non-birders enjoy the unique vegetation in this life zone and the dramatic scenery. On clear days at the saddle near the top, it is possible to see the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
Volcano Junco
We recommend at least two nights at Savegre in order to experience the birds and wildlife of this area. Three or
four nights would be time well spent for those who want a more relaxed approach or also for those want to increase
their chances of seeing the skulkers and rarities. We also recommend the guided tour to the Paramo, a very unique experience with some great birds.

Specialty birds of Savegre Mountain Lodge:

Spotted Wood-Quail – More often heard than seen, difficult to observe on the primary oak forest floor.

Sulphur-winged Parakeet – Flocks are seasonally common around the lodge, they especially enjoy apples.

Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl– A local species throughout its limited range. It is diurnal and nocturnal, often seen being mobbed by smaller birds in the primary oak forest.

Dusky Nightjar – Calls pre-dawn and just after dusk in the orchards and forest edge above the lodge.

White-throated Mountain-Gem – A very common hummingbird at the feeders and in the lodge garden around.

Fiery-throated Hummingbird – Found normally at a higher elevation than the lodge, best seen at the Paramo or La Georgina Restaurant.

Volcano Hummingbird – Found regularly at the feeders, very common higher up including the Paramo.

Scintillant Hummingbird – This tiny hummingbird is regular at the feeders near the lodge.

Resplendent Quetzal – The male is a glorious bird indeed, it is not uncommon in primary oak forest and forest patches near the lodge itself.

Spot-crowned Woodcreeper – Present in most mixed feeding flocks in secondary and primary forest in the area.

Buffy Tufted-cheek – This unique furnariid is fairly common in the bromeliad covered trees within the primary oak forest.

Streak-breasted Treehunter – Another large and skulking furnariid, found in mixed flocks in primary forest.

Silvery-fronted Tapaculo – Much more often heard than seen, this small, mouse-like recluse inhabits the tangled undergrowth in primary forest.

Black-capped Flycatcher – A common and distinctive Empidonax seen in bushy areas around the lodge and at the Paramo.

Ochraceous Pewee – A very local tyrant flycatcher best looked for at the edge or within primary forest.

Golden-bellied Flycatcher – Found in pairs in both secondary and primary forests.

Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher – A favorite of birders, small groups can be seen along the entrance road to Savegre in forest patches with tall trees.

Timberline Wren – A local species best looked for in dense bamboo at the Paramo above Savegre.

Black-billed Nightingale-Thrush – Fairly common in primary forest above lodge and Paramo – found
at higher altitude than Ruddy-capped.

Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush – Fairly common around lodge and waterfall trail, little overlap with Black-billed.

Sooty Thrush – Though not usually found at the lodge itself it is common higher up including the Paramo, prefers open areas.

Silvery-throated Jay – A very local specialty found in primary oak forest. Has nested recently along the Los Robles Trail above the lodge.

Yellow-winged Vireo – Found regularly with mixed feeding flocks in secondary and primary forests of the area.

Black-cheeked Warbler – Fairly common in the understory of primary oak forests and also at the Paramo.

Flame-throated Warbler – Very attractive, it is fairly common in mixed flocks in forest patches near the lodge and in primary oak forest above.

Collared Redstart – Nicknamed amigo del hombre (friend of man), due to its tame nature – common around the lodge and forests.

Zeledonia (Wrenthrush) – A skulker of the forest undergrowth, best looked for near streams and tree falls within the forest and at the Paramo.

Sooty-capped Chlorospingus – Found in most mixed flocks including at the Paramo, usually the most common species in the forest.

Flame-colored Tanager – Common around the lodge even coming to the hummingbird feeders for a nip.

Yellow-thighed Finch – Pairs and small groups are regularly seen with mixed flocks in secondary and primary forests.

Large-footed Finch – Nicknamed bigfoot – seen in secondary growth, primary forest, and at the Paramo,
skulks on the ground acting like a Towhee.

Peg-billed Finch – Uncommon and local, this nomadic bamboo specialist is best looked for at the Paramo.

Volcano Junco – Occasionally seen around the Junco Soda (small store) along the entrance road to Savegre, much more reliable at the Paramo.

Black-thighed Grosbeak – Found in pairs in secondary forest near the lodge and along the waterfall trail.

Yellow-bellied Siskin – Though not a Chiriqui Highland endemic, still a local species that is fairly common around the lodge. Feeds on dandelion seeds when available.

Costa Rican Pygmy-Owl
Ochraceous Pewee
Sooty-capped Chlorospingus