Costa Rica Birding Journeys

365 days

American Pygmy Kingfisher

Small and elusive

Welcome to the neo tropics!!! Many not to say the good majority of Costa Rican birds are small, elusive and fast moving. As the case of the smaller kingfisher in the Americas. Many of such birds live in rather dark forest environments so getting them captured through your lenses requires a bit more work than usual but also a certain type of lenses due the closeness they may appear to you. Is very important to choose the right camera gear for the destination, location, national park, etc. Double check your lens minimum focus distance.

This image was captured at Tarcoles River mangrove boat tour at the focal distance of 2-3 meters, a task impossible with a 500-600 prime.

Lesson to be learn

Biggest is not always the best so having a spare lens such as 200-500 nikkor or 200-400 Canon/Sony or others is a must!!! Trying having a tripod in a narrow trail full of tree roots can be frustrating. Therefore, we suggest using a monopod with little tripod-like legs.

365 days


Flowers and colourful plants

Not a secret that birds get attracted to colours and nectars but…. Knowing what would come to them is the real treat. Our guides would have the knowledge needed to give you a good idea whether to wait or move on. Regardless, remember you can always take a better photo of the actual collection on your hands.

Lesson to be learn

While sitting and waiting for the flower to happen, scan around you for other possible birding perches, background and remove gently all annoying or disturbing pieces of plants, branches etc. We normally use either a fishing string to pull and remove or any other invisible cord. Before you go undo what has been altered.

365 days

Bare throated Tiger Heron

Keep a distance

It’s indeed very hard when you find a marvellous natural event not to aim the camera and start shooting. But Costa Rican bird photography ethics suggest we maintain a line of respect towards nature. In this case scenario we were at Tortuguero National with 600mm + 1.4x Tele converter. It gave us a good distance and birds were acting normal minding their own lives.

Lesson to be learn

Being closer is not always the best. We have thousands of hours in the field which helps us to learn that a good distance can be the solution to a better image. In this case scenario if we would be any closer the heads of the tiger herons could have been out the frame since when we first saw them were sitting on the nest. If someone does not know the length of their bodies would definitively miss that capture.