With approximately 850 species of birds and being an important corridor for bird migration between from North and South America, Costa Rica has always been a popular spot for tourists who are interested in bird watching (avituismo in Spanish).
During the last five years, this activity has also grown locally with over 3,000 Costa Ricans and expats participating. There are around 17 local birdwatching clubs for those who are seeking to be closer to nature or just interested in learning something new.
Many guided tours are now available for birders or pajareros, according to Sergio Arias, author of the report, Profile of Birdwatchers in Costa Rica. Mr. Arias complied his information with the help of the Costa Rican Ornithological Association. He says that about 70 percent of the people who partake are occasional birdwatchers while around 15- 20 percent devote a greater amount of time to this activity.
Birdwatching can be practiced by people of all ages and is relatively inexpensive. However, sometimes it is necessary to hike up to seven kilometers, so it is advisable to be in good physical shape and have the correct equipment. Probably the most important items are: binoculares, cameras or a small tablet for sharing information and pictures with other birdwatchers on Facebook, Instagram and Flickr. There is also a useful application called eBird that is packed with helpful data on the subject.
It is important to have a comfortable pair of hiking boots or shoes, rain gear, compass, a small backpack, sunscreen, water and snacks. A professional bird guide is also recommended. The latter are highly trained and knowledgeable about all of the country’s different species of birds.
Here an example of one guided tour: http://birdingpal.org/tours/CostaRicaItinerary.htm
To see a list of many of the country’s species of birds: http://www.birdwatchingcostarica.com/birds-of-costa-rica/
Birding hotspots are found here: http://www.birdwatchingincostarica.com/index.php/hotspotsmembers/