Costa Rica Birding Hotspots: Finca Rosa Blanca, in the Central Valley Highlands


# Iconic Bird Species at Finca Rosa Blanca


Clay-colored Thrush (Spanish: Yigüirro)

Turdus grayi | Abundant Resident at Finca Rosa Blanca

Your birding list must include the national bird Costa Rica, beloved not for its unassuming plumage but for its song: Melodious and steady-tempoed, the yigüirro’s song has for centuries heralded the start of the rainy season – and long-awaited, life-giving respite for Costa Rica’s farmers.

Northern Crested Caracara (Spanish: Caracara Cargahuesos)

Caracara cheriway | Common at Finca Rosa Blanca

What looks like a hawk, acts like a vulture, and is technically a kind of falcon? Both beautiful and majestic, the northern crested caracara is a bird of prey known for its long legs and neck, as well as for its showy orange-and-gray beak. We love it for its atypical behavior, including its propensity to roam the forest floor and build its own nest, instead of inhabiting abandoned nests of other species.

Crimson-fronted Parakeet (Spanish: Perico Frentirrojo)

Psittacara finschi | Common at Finca Rosa Blanca

There are few sounds more distinctive than the raucous call of parakeets in flight. At Finca Rosa Blanca, our crimson-fronted parakeets put on a near-daily show – a peevish, boisterous squawking show, as they take to the air, seemingly scolding each other (or us?) into flight. And it’s a sound that never fails to pull our eyes upward and our smile outward.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Spanish: Mochuelo Comun)

Glaucidium brasilianum | Common at Finca Rosa Blanca

If you’ve never thought a bird of prey could be cute, we invite you to spot our resident ferruginous pygmy-owl, which clocks in at only 6 inches tall and sports disproportionately large feet and talons. Keep your ears tuned for the species’ persistent whistle – a distinctive hoo-hoo, usually in E-flat.

Gray-cowled Wood-Rail (Spanish: Rascón Cuelligris)

Aramides cajaneus | Common at Finca Rosa Blanca

If there’s a sound that symbolizes birding at Finca Rosa Blanca, then we’d peg it as the characteristic call of the gray-cowled wood-rail: repetitive, warbling and sure to put a smile on your face. Luckily, this chicken-like rail – unlike many of its cousins – is often conspicuous, often flashing its russet breast and hot-pink legs near our trail edges.

Hoffmann's Woodpecker (Spanish: Carpintero de Hoffmann)

Melanerpes hoffmannii | Abundant Resident at Finca Rosa Blanca

While several species of woodpecker make their home at Finca Rosa Blanca, Hoffmann’s woodpecker is the most populous. You’ll recognize it not only for its telltale wood-pecking, but for its rattling wicka-wicka-wicka call – not to mention, its black-and-white barring and the males’ red crowns.

Laughing Falcon (Spanish: Guaco)

Herpetotheres cachinnans| Common at Finca Rosa Blanca

When it comes to distinctive birds and their calls, you’d be hard-pressed to name one more revealing than that of the laughing falcon: far-carrying, pitchy and human-like cry-laughs, which easily morph from joyful to melancholic – and back again. The falcon’s namesake call isn’t it’s only distinguishing feature, though; we love watching its hurried, stiff flying, so different from other falcons that soar.

Lesson’s Motmot (Spanish: Momoto Común)

Momotus lessonii | Common at Finca Rosa Blanca

Chances are, there’s a motmot species on your must-spot list. And chances are, if you’re at Finca Rosa Blanca, you’ll spot one – specifically, the Lesson’s motmot, with its tick-tock tail and striking blue crown. That said, as arresting as is its appearance, the bird is name for its double-hooting call – a unique mot-mot hoot that sounds very much like an owl.