Guanacaste Province

The Guanacaste region of northwest Costa Rica is a much drier habitat than other parts of Costa Rica. The area is much sunnier and more open, and the bird life here is a bit different. Most birds on this list can also be found in Guanacaste parks such Palo Verde and Santa Rosa national parks, but there are several Guanacaste specialties that can be located easily even in disturbed habitat. This list would also include birds found around some of the beach resorts or second-growth habitat.

Although the Guanacaste region has an actual political boundary outlined on most maps, some of the Guanacaste specialty birds like Rufous-naped Wren, White-throated Magpie-Jay and Lesser Ground-Cuckoo spill into the surrounding provinces to the south and east. For the most part, however, the birds considered to be Guanacaste specialty birds are far easier to see in the Guanacaste province than in the outlying provinces to the south and east.

Northern Guanacaste
Double-striped Thick-Knee - Greg Lavaty

Birds like Turquoise-browed Motmot, White-throated Magpie Jay, Rufous-naped Wren, Banded Wren, Black-headed Trogon, and Streak-backed Oriole are found commonly in Guanacaste. Other birds more regularly found here but in more forested habitat include Elegant Trogon, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Ruddy Woodcreeper, and Red-crowned Ant-Tanager. Parks like Palo Verde also contain marsh birds like Limpkin, Snail Kite, and Jabiru as well as scrub grassland birds like Thicket Tinamou, Double-striped Thick-knee, Crested Bobwhite, and Lesser Ground Cuckoo.

Much of the dry secondary habitat found around many of the smaller hotels contain birds like Hoffman's Woodpecker, Streak-backed Oriole, Stripe-headed Sparrow, Orange-fronted Parakeet, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and Rose-throated Becard. Although this region doesn't have the diversity of the Caribbean side, the birding here is more open and a bit easier. Many of the Guanacaste specialty birds can be found by simply walking around some of the less-disturbed areas.

Black-headed Trogon - Greg Lavaty
Stripe-headed Sparrow - Greg Lavaty

Ebird Observations (bar chart) at Playa Hermosa -