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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Costa Rica in July

We’ll begin in the lush highlands of Cerro de la Muerte, where flowers and feeders at our lodge attract many birds… …such as this Green Violetear… (gb) …and along the trails at higher elevations, Collared Redstart is one of the more charming birds to be encountered… (gb) …and where fruiting wild avocados occur, we’ll look for Resplendent Quetzal. We travel in a comfortable Coaster bus… …with some of the best drivers anywhere – helpful, courteous, hard working, and sharing our passion for birds and wildlife. On our way to Rancho Naturalista, we may bird Tapantí National Forest, a wet cloud forest that supports luxuriant vegetation such as this giant Gunnera. The star attraction at Rancho Naturalista is the male Snowcap, whose forecrown glows an impossible white in the understory darkness… …but perched in a rare shaft of sunlight, a male Violet-crowned Woodnymph is also a sight to behold… …and even the relatively somber Brown Violetear has its own charm. After morning birding on the veranda, a family-style breakfast at Rancho Naturalista is something to look forward to… …while Gray-headed Chachalacas take their breakfast just outside at the Rancho Naturalista birdfeeders. Our lodge in Tortuguero National Park features charming cabins amidst great birding habitat… …where Short-billed Pigeons are normally quite shy, but easier to spot in fruiting Cecropia… …and Broad-billed Motmot is just one of the many species we’ll likely see. This passion flower brightens up the forest understory, attracting hermits and other ‘traplining’ hummingbirds.  We’ll spend time at another lowland rainforest lodge, this one farther inland… …with much of the surrounding hillsides still cloaked in rainforest, and with a different mix of birds… …possibly including both of Costa Rica’s macaw species, here a Great Green Macaw… …If we find a blooming giant Heliconia, we have a good chance of seeing Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer… ……while Black-throated Trogon could be just about anywhere along the trails. The imposing Great Curassow is elusive but unmistakable once seen…. ,,,while White-ringed Flycatcher looks quite a bit like the more widespread Social Flycatcher. We’ll take time to enjoy other forest critters, such as this tiny but stunningly beautiful Strawberry Poison-dart Frog… …and this rarely seen metalmark, the Neglected Sarota. Our final destination is Celeste Mountain Lodge in the foothills of the volcano Tenorio… …where most of our birding here will be along an excellent new trail system. (cml) Surprisingly common here, Keel-billed Toucan never fails to please… …as does the Laughing Falcon, here surveying its favorite prey, snakes… …while the less spectacular but charming Long-tailed Tyrant can be found where there is a natural tree cavity for its nest. This Brassia orchid is one of the exciting non-bird encounters we may have along the forest trails… …as are these busy leafcutter ants, harvesting food for their underground fungus garden. From the mountains to the coast, cloud forest to rain forest, this tour will be a memorable adventure.