Baryphthengus martii

The fauna of Costa Rica is distinguished by its high biological diversity of birds which is a result of the country’s location and geological origin. The variety of birds is divided into four ornithological provinces: the highlands, Caribbean slope, North Pacific and South Pacific. This amazing biological diversity has given the country a wide range of habitats.

Costa Rica is home to one tenth of all bird species in the world and boasts an estimated 850 bird species, of which 630 are resident and 19 species are endangered. Notably, the country provides critical habitats for several species of extinct birds which have disappeared from other parts of the world as a result of deforestation.

Some of these species in danger of extinction are:

Harpy eagle

The body is very large. The male reaches up to 96 centimeters in size and can weight up to 4.5 kilos. The female measures up to 107cm and 7.5 kilos in weight. The Harpy eagle’s main source of food is live animals such as monkeys, birds, reptiles and insects. The latest report from Costa Rica indicates that the birds inhabit the Osa Peninsula. This species is becoming increasingly threatened by deforestation and the use of pesticides.

Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager



Lives in the Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce in the South Pacific region of Costa Rica. Commonly travels in pairs or groups with other Ant-Tanagers and trepamusgos. This bird feeds on small insects foraging in the leaves and branches of trees and on dried, curled leaves. Forest destruction is the leading source of threat to this specie.

 White-faced whistling duck

pijije cariblanco
This whistling duck is the least arboreal and is the smallest in size, barely reaching 32cm and a weight of 650 grams. Their populations are very rare and are mainly located in the lower basin of the Tempisque River and the lagoons of San Gerónimo in Colorado of Abangares. The loss of their natural habitat is a result of the desiccation of wetlands.

  Scarlet macaw or Guacamaya

This large bird has bright colors, grows up to 79cm in size and weighs up to 900 grams. It is distinguished by its long tail. The scarlet macaw nests in hollow logs at heights above 6 meters, similar to vultures, the ceiba and big-bellied ceiba.

Today, only about 260 individuals are found in the Carara area, with a few in the lower Tempisque River. In addition, there is a little known population in the Osa Peninsula, and a few can also been seen in the Northern Zone. The dangers faced by this species are deforestation, which destroys their nests, as well as hunting for the pet trade.

 Red-throated Caracara (Cacao deslenguado)

caracara garganta
Small head with crest, slightly hooked beak, face and throat with bare, red-colored skin. These birds tend to clump together in groups outside the breeding season, so it is sometimes possible to locate groups of up to 6 individuals at forest margins, in thickets and in open areas. When flying, this bird sings and calls loudly, which gave rise to the name “ca-ca-o”. It is a resident specie whose populations have been greatly declining, and today is common only in the Golfo Dulce area of our country.

These and other majestic birds of Costa Rica are in danger of extinction, and consequently their natural habitat needs to be protected and nurtured. Be part of the change!

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