Costa Rica's vast and various bird populations encompass well over 800 species. Many of the same species of birds inhabit North America, minus the more tropical species such as the parrots. Costa Rica is a wonderland for bird-watching enthusiasts around the world. Whether you are looking for tiny hummingbirds or the long-beaked toucan, you are sure to find it there. From the sandy beaches to the tropical rain forests, Costa Rica is overflowing with birds.
The scarlet macaw is a rather large parrot at 34 inches. Its brilliant colors of red, yellow, green and blue make it conspicuous as it flies through the trees. Flocks of pairs or small groups inhabit woodlands, the edges of forests or open areas with tall trees. They are distributed from Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia. The blue headed parrot is only about 11 inches long. It has a large blue head with a black dot on its neck and its body is green with tinges of yellow. This noisy bird usually stays in large flocks when not breeding and lives in the treetops of heavily forested areas. It's distributed from Costa Rica to Bolivia and southeast Brazil.
The black-billed cuckoo lives in the foliage of trees and in the thickets along streams. The bird averages 12 inches in size and has a red eye ring, brownish body and white underside. Both parents raise the nestlings. The yellow billed cuckoo is an active, agile bird residing in the leafy thickets of the forest. It is a slender, long-tailed bird that has a yellowish beak and grayish body. The smooth-billed ani has a short, squat body and heavy head. Its disheveled look makes it look different from other species of cuckoos. It can walk and run quite well, but it can't fly well. These birds will follow cattle and pick insects off their back for food. It is distributed from the southern United States through South America.
The acorn woodpecker is approximately 9 inches in size and is very social. It has a staring eye, streaked breast, white facial markings, black back and the males have a red crown. This bird is associated with oak trees and lives in groups of 12 birds who store their food in holes bored into trees, fences and wooden buildings. It is distributed from western North America to Columbia. The yellow-bellied sapsucker is 8 ½ inches in size, has a striped face and a black upper breast patch. It feeds off the sugary sap in trees after it has bored a hole in them. It is distributed from the United States through South America. The hairy woodpecker is 9 inches in size and is identified by a white band down its back and pure white tail feathers. It inhabits dense forests or open woodlands but rarely ventures into farmlands or the suburbs. It is distributed from Alaska to Panama.