Bijagua Birding

From $ 225 per person
  • Departure: 5:00 am
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

A large group of noisy Carmiol’s Tanagers quickens their way through the mature rainforest. Accompanied by Spotted Woodcreepers, Russet Antshrikes, and a dozen other species, these finch-like birds are the backbone of an exciting mixed flock. In another part of the forest, an elusive Tody Motmot gives its steady whistled vocalization as antbirds sing from the undergrowth. This and much more happens when birding the Bijagua area.

Situated in northern Costa Rica between Miravalles and Tenorio Volcanoes, the Bijagua area acts as an ecotone between dry and wet habitats, and lowland and foothill forest. Throw mature rainforest and second growth habitats into the mix and we have a highly diverse area for birding. The Tapir Valley Hotspot is one of several great sites at Bijagua, the eBird list of which gives an idea of the types of bird species found in the area.

This excellent Caribbean foothill site also provides opportunities to see some dry forest species. Some of the factors that make Bijagua a great spot for a day of birding in Costa Rica are:

  • Access to more than one site from good roads.
  • A large area of quality mature rainforest.
  • Flowering bushes and fruiting trees that attract rare and uncommon species.
  • Good views of the forest canopy.

This area is especially good for folks in search of rare target birds as well as anyone looking for a day with a wide variety of bird species including hummingbirds, tanagers, toucans, and more.

bijagua birding costa rica
bijagua birding costa rica
bijagua birding costa rica
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bijagua birding costa rica
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We begin the day of birding by looking for a wide variety of species that frequent the edge and canopy of the forest including Barred Antshrike, Long-tailed Manakin, Black-cowled Oriole, toucans, parrots, and other species. Since a high number of birds are possible, we will be ready to identify any of the less common species that come into view while watching dozens of more expected beautiful common birds of Costa Rica.

bijagua birding costa rica

While scanning the canopy, we hope to find good views of the three main toucan species in the area; the big Yellow-throated Toucan, the slightly smaller yet stunning Keel-billed Toucan, and the lanky, jay-sized Collared Aracari. Various other species can of course also come into focus including perched White-crowned and Red-lored Parrots, different raptors including White and Gray Hawks, tanagers, and other species. With luck, we might even find Lovely Cotinga, a rare species in Costa Rica that is seen now and again in the Bijagua area.

In garden areas, we hope to connect with close views of one of the biggest target birds in Costa Rica, the fantastic Snowcap. Sporting deep burgundy plumage and a glowing white crown, the appearance of this bird  borders on surreal. Luckily, we have a very good chance of seeing it while also looking for Black-crested Coquette, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, and other hummingbirds. If hanging Heliconia plants are in flower, the eye-catching White-tipped Sicklebill is also very possible!

While working the bird-rich, thick second growth, we will likely hear and hopefully see Bay and Black-throated Wrens, Slaty Spinetail, Great Antshrike, Bare-crowned Antbird, and maybe even the rare for Costa Rica Sepia-capped Flycatcher. While focusing on these birds, we hope to also find the Central American Pygmy-Owl, various flycatchers, and other species that occur around Bijagua. Uncommon Raptors that might also show include Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Barred Hawk, and Great Black-Hawk.

As if that wasn’t enough, a walk inside the forest could also yield such difficult species as Black-throated Wood-Quail, Purplish-backed Quail-Dove, leaftossers, Keel-billed Motmot, and White-fronted Nunbird

During the rest of the day, the varied habitats around Bijagua also make it possible to keep looking for and seeing more species. Depending on what clients may like to see, we can look for more forest species and mixed flocks, focus our efforts on drier habitats, photograph hummingbirds and other birds, or keep watching the canopy to see if a cotinga or other rarity makes an appearance. The possibilities for more birds abound at Bijagua, we will see a lot!

We can’t wait to share the great birding at Bijagua. Join us for a fantastic day there and at other excellent sites for high quality birding day trips in Costa Rica.

Price from:

$ 225.00 p.p.

Price based on

2 participants


  • Private guide for a full day tour.
  • Private transportation
  • Entrance fees
bijagua birding costa rica

We can make arrangements for lodging, transportation, activities, car rental and all the fun you want to have while in Costa Rica.

Our specialty is Custom Made Birding Tours to the best birding destinations in Costa Rica.