With its sky-blue feather, this small songbird may not be the gaudiest fowl in the jungles of Costa Rica, but it’s definitely among the prettiest. Its song is a beautiful twittering with tseep sounds interspersed.
Adorned with a gorgeous black crest and a blue-tipped beak, the caracara is perhaps the most unique-looking raptor, not only in Costa Rica, but in the entire world. Despite being closely related to falcons, they are far larger, matching hawks and some eagles in size. It is a natural predator of many of the other birds here.
While toucans are well-known worldwide, the aracari (pronounced AR-ə-SAR-ee) with their serrated bills, unique color pattern and vivid fiery colors are less famous among their family, though their obscurity can hardly be attributed to lack of beauty.
Named for their plumage, which shifts gradually from bright green to a deep red right below the beak, these marvelous hummingbirds look like little rainbows in flight.
Despite its intimidating, powerful build, curassows typically eat only fruit and insects. That being said, these endangered birds can get very aggressive when threatened, and they can use their dinosaur-like physique to deadly effect. When trying to ward humans off, the great curassow will leap to great heights and attempt to rake the eyes.
This unique bird is notable not only for its coloring, but also for its distinct song: the oropendola dips forward in a bowing display and makes a chattering sound that increases in volume and intensity. Their nests resemble sacks that hang from the tree branches, and because they are rather social, you'll find trees adorned with many such nests.
Another marvelous tropical raptor, the ornate hawk-eagle isn’t particularly large, but it’s a powerful hunter that can kill prey up to five times its own weight. It can be easily recognized due to the long crest growing at the back of its head. Juveniles' heads are almost entirely white and darken in shade as they grow up.
Every bit as majestic as its evocative name suggests, this is quite possibly the most beautiful bird in Central America. It has a bright metallic sheen, emerald-green plumage and a ruby-red breast, with males developing long, regal tail-feathers.
These night birds, so named for the white rings surrounding their eyes, don’t quite hoot. Their call has been likened rather to the sound of someone knocking on a door. The main function of this rapping call is to claim territory.
This zebra-headed waterfowl may look like a duck and a have a similar build to one, but it is actually more closely related to cranes. Rather like marsupials, the sungrebe has a pouch that allows it to carry its young within the folds of its skin.
This bird of prey joins the raptor beauty pageant with its striking black-and-white plumage and its signature V-shaped tail. While averaging at 1 lbs in weight, its wingspan can reach 4.5 feet.
Though somewhat less colorful than its fire-throated cousin, with its hooked bill, its deep, metallic purple plumage and translucent, dragonfly-like wings, it is every bit as beautiful.