Once again, like every year, in the month of December, the bird count was carried out in our natural reserve owned by our hotel Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails. This activity is part of the Bird Count that is carried out every year at the National level. . For this activity, we have on this occasion the participation in our reserve of a leader guide and six bird-loving volunteers from different places in Costa Rica.

For this 10th Bird Count for the entire Arenal area, approximately 50 people participated in total, distributed throughout the different areas of the area.

The count began at 5.45 am, visiting the deck area, an area close to the hotel restaurant, where a large number of birds are usually seen in the early hours of the morning, and then proceeding along the trails of our reserve; Saino trail and La Hormiga trail. At midday, after a comforting lunch, we continued with the count along the La Catarata trail to later end at the farm owned by the hotel, which is characterized by open areas and where it is more feasible to see the birds. The count ended at 4.00 pm in the afternoon.

In this X Bird Count, we were able to observe or hear approximately 140 species of birds on the property, which makes the nature reserve of our Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails hotel a privileged place for bird watching nationwide.

It should be noted that a total of 506 species have been recorded in our reserve, that is, more than 50% of the total species registered in Costa Rica, which makes us the first place for bird watching in the country.

This year the featured birds are latitudinal migratory birds since they migrate from North America and are also rare in our country. These birds are: Cape-May Warbler and the Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Cape-May Warbler, “Setophaga tigrina”, is a bird that measures approximately 5 inches (13 cm) and is a rare migrant to the area, apparently it can be seen from late November to mid-May. The breeding male has distinctive reddish sides to the head, this feature is reduced in the non-breeding male. Cape-May Warbler is a small, active bird characterized by a thin, pointed beak.

Black Throated Blue Warbler “Setophaga cerulea” is a bird of approximately 5 inches (13 cm) and is a casual migrant, estimated from October to March, mostly found at elevations of 1,600 to 4,600 feet (500 to 1,400 m.a.s.l. )
A complete list of the birds observed during this X Bird Count in our reserve can be seen at the following link on the e-bird platform: https://ebird.org/tripreport/193969?welcome=true

We hope, next year, to participate in another Bird Count again and be part of an activity and experience that generates so much passion.

Christian Campos
Arenal Observatory Lodge & Trails Guide
Dec 20, 2023