Birds in tortuguero

Birds in tortuguero

When it comes to birds, Tortuguero is the best place in the American continent. Well, Maybe only second to the Amazonian forest. But what is clear is that Tortuguero is more accessible to visitors. The area of the National Park, together with the Nicaraguan area is smaller than other rain forest in the continent. Because of this, the density of birds per square kilometer is greater, increasing the possibility of bird sightings. This includes both rare and common birds. So, what is clear here is that your visit to Tortuguero guarantees you’ll have tons of photos of some of the 211 bird species located so far in the area. Let’s talk about some of these birds. These pictures were taken in the area of CaƱo Palma, which is the canal used to arrive at Turtle Beach Lodge.

bare faced ibis bird on tree branch

Bare-faced Ibis

The god Thoth of Egyptian mythology was based on the Ibis, a bird with a peculiar beak. The American continent has its species of ibis birds, one of them is the barefaced Ibis. Is a relatively big bird, like the size of a turkey. They like to live near the river where their main diet of worms, clams, and insects resides. It is very curious to see the big birds over a tree branch while trying to maintain balance. They are often seen in pairs, watching for their nest, which won’t abandon unless there is a good reason, like searching for food.

bare throated tiger heron bird resting on tree branch

Bare-throated tiger heron

This heron is known for its curious and loud sound. For mating reasons, the male makes a unique sound when sitting in a tree near any body water. Fish, crabs, frogs, and insects are part of the diet of these medium size birds. They aren’t as shy as other species, as you can see them often near humans settlements looking for some prey the fishers left off. Stripes in their feathers are the first thing you will notice, the reason people call them “tiger” herons.

costa rican toucan birds in tortuguero


The toucan is maybe the most representative bird of Costa Rica. Meanwhile, the yiguirro, a less attractive bird but with a harmonious chirping, is the official bird of the country. However the toucan is represented in many of the works done by local artists. Perhaps because the vibrant colors of the feathers call the attention of the painters. Some years ago, a toucan was savagely attacked, and its beak broken. The incident moved the consciousness of the whole country to the point that the toucan became the mascot of animal rights. “Grecia”, as the media called the toucan, won the hearts of the Costa Ricans. After an intense campaign, funds to create an artificial beak specially made for Grecia were reached quickly. Grecia is not with us anymore, as when the incident happened, the bird was old already. But the legacy remains, as Grecia helped to reach a political agreement in approving the law against animal aggression. In Tortuguero, Grecia’s familiars are often found near fruit trees, as these birds have this source of food as the main ingredient in their diet.

birds in tortuguero, anhinga resting

The anhinga

This bird is the perfect example of ostentatious. You’ll find it displaying its wings to their full extension as if it were posing for photographers. In reality, the anhinga is drying its feathers in the sun. This bird will be often soaked because they consume themselves in shallow waters to fish their prey. Their neck is rather long. Used with the head and the beak, the anhinga becomes a sharp harpoon, perfect for catching any fish that dares to swim near the surface. You’ll find them in the canals or rivers, resting in a rock or logs.

More birds coming soon!

We have more birds we can talk about, but we will save that for another article. We have plenty of photos to share with you, so stay tuned for more articles like this soon. Meanwhile, check our hotel information here, so you can start planning your trip to Tortuguero.