A blue heron is seen among the vegetation in Tortuguero National Park, January 29, 2022. A jacana is seen flying through the mangroves in Tortuguero National Park, January 29, 2022.
The Caribbean of Costa Rica is teeming with a colorful migration of birds considered the most important in the country and the most important in America, which is why its conservation and protection is essential. Currently, the work for the sustainable development of all areas, especially tourism, is important, even more so if we focus on bird watching, which is ideal for Costa Rican or foreign citizens.
Costa Rica is one of 5 places in the world with a migration of approximately 3 million birds of prey per season, in which Keköldi (Caribbean) is included as a preferred site. The good tropical climate of Costa Rica and its strategic position between North America and South America make it possible to appreciate, certain months of the year, many species of birds.
Between the months of August and November, millions of birds of prey, made up of 17 species, can be observed on the Atlantic coast. In Costa Rica, people can see up to 100 species of birds in a single day.
Costa Rica, which has an area of 51,100 square kilometers (0.03% of the world’s surface), is home to about 5% of the world’s biodiversity and a total of 925 species of birds, or more than 9% of the birds in the world. world. It should be noted that the geographical location of Costa Rica has allowed it to be a biological bridge, especially during the fall migration (August to December) from North America to South America, then the birds return to North America during their spring migration (February to May).
According to the representative of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), Rafael Soto, between 2017 and 2019, 64.8% of tourists had ecotourism as their main activity and, of these, 12.3% observed birds with special equipment. And speaking of the ICT, a few months ago it was learned that the institute was organizing the 5th annual bird count in the Tortuguero National Park located in the Caribbean, there more than 40 experts recorded the number of birds they observe in a day; the purpose of the activity is to unite efforts to strengthen bird watching and, therefore, protect the species.
Tortuguero National Park alone has 366 recorded species, species such as the crested eagle, considered the second largest eagle in Costa Rica and difficult to see. It is more than clear that for the authorities, ornithology represents one of the activities that continues to develop and allows travelers to live a unique experience without having to travel long distances.
Some curiosities about migratory species
Central America is important for bird migration because its territory acts as a bridge. Many of the bird species that winter in South America pass through Costa Rica instead of making the dangerous open-water journey into the Caribbean Sea. By flying over the ocean, the birds not only risk becoming exhausted and falling into the water, but they can also fall prey to falcons following their same migratory route.
Despite the obstacles, some species travel over the Caribbean, flying at night and stopping from island to island during their migration. According to the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology, more than 300 types of birds from North America migrate to Costa Rica and even South America every year.
In the wetlands of northern Costa Rica, such as Palo Verde National Park in Guanacaste, thousands of migratory and native birds, including endangered species like the Jabirú stork, can be seen between December and March . In the rest of the months you can see shorebirds, hummingbirds, thrushes, warblers, orioles and tanagers. About 25% of the avifauna of the central Pacific is migratory, the rest is resident, that is to say that it does not migrate; they live there all year round. Animal migrations are one of the most spectacular animal spectacles on the planet. Although they are best known in Africa, in the Americas, Costa Rica’s ideal location, climatic and environmental conditions make it a focal point for millions of birds, whales and sea turtles in search of a warmer climate and a safe haven to breed, nest or give birth to. .