San Vito

The San Vito area in southern Costa Rica, is home the Wilson's Botanical Garden and several nice birding areas close-by. The botanical garden is an OTS research site and can house researchers, natural history buffs, and visitors in pleasant accommodations. You will also be in short driving distance to places close to the Panama border. These areas offer some interesting birding. In specific locations, we found a nice spot for the hard-to-find Mouse-colored Tyrannulet and a sitting Blue-headed Parrot. Another dirt road is a promising spot for Lance-tailed Manakin (we had several sightings) and has the potential for Sepia-capped Flycatcher (we dipped on that one). We also had decent looks at White-tailed Emerald and Purple-crowned Fairy at this location. Close to WBG is a drive-able road that takes you to a higher elevation (Calle la armadilla). On our visit here, several Black-chested Jays had been observed in the weeks before. Black-chested Jay is more commonly a localized Caribbean species in Costa Rica and was slightly out-of-range at this location. We happened to find one very curious bird who perched on our rear-view mirror to get a better look.

At the Wilson's Botanical Garden there are several good trails. One trail leads to a nice patch of Heliconia, and other trails leads you into deeper forest where Ruddy Foliage-gleaner is sometimes observed. During our stay we also had good looks at Crested Oropendola and White-throated Thrush along some of the trails. Thick-billed Euphonias and several species of flycatchers and tanagers can be found around some of the buildings.

Black-chested Jay. Photo by Johan Chavez
Accommodations at Wilson's Botanical Gardens
Wilson's Botanical Garden