Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus)
David Spatela

Meet the Birds of Selva Verde Lodge

Meet the Birds of Selva Verde Lodge

Aug 17, 2016|Birding| by Holbrook Travel

Great Green Macaw, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Golden-hooded Tanager...the birds of Costa Rica are just as colorful as their names suggest. At our very own Selva Verde Lodge & Rainforest Reserve in the Caribbean lowlands, birders will find a hotspot of activity; 500 acres of protected primary and secondary rainforest provide habitat for resident and migrant species. More than a third of the country's 910 species have been recorded at Selva Verde (view the full list here), and the reserve is a key location on both the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and the Costa Rica Bird Route.

 Birders at Selva Verde Lodge

Photo by Greg Basco

Here are just a few of the colorful visitors you may encounter at Selva Verde:

Great Green Macaw

The Selva Verde reserve is home to one of the largest almond trees in all of Central America, which provides habitat for the endangered Great Green Macaw. At one point the Costa Rican population was estimated to be fewer than 200 individuals, but thanks to ongoing conservation efforts these numbers are increasing. Other parrots you may see include the Scarlet Macaw, the Red-lored Parrot, and the Orange-chinned Parakeet. 

 Great Green Macaws

Photo by David Spatela

 Red-lored Parrot

Photo by Jerry Goffe,


 Orange-chinned Parakeet

Photo by Martin Van Lokven


​Members of the same family as blackbirds and orioles, oropendolas are vocal, social birds that live in colonies and are known for their distinctive, basket-like nests. Two species can be found at Selva Verde, the Montezuma Oropendola and the Chestnut-headed Oropendola. 

 Montezuma Oropendola

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

 Oropendola nests

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

 Chestnut-headed Oropendola

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

Riverine birds

Freshwater birds can be found along the Sarapiquí River, on whose banks the lodge is located. A special treat is the seemingly drab Sunbittern; in full display, its wings are emblazoned with an impressive sunburst pattern. Also watch for myriad herons, jacanas, and other waders.


Photos by Sanford M. Sorkin


Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

 Agami Heron 

Photo by Jerry Goffe,


 Boat-billed Herons

Photo by Jerry Goffe,



Photo by Andrea and Antonella Ferrari


Tanagers and honeycreepers

In addition to North American migrants like Scarlet and Summer Tanagers, many rainbow-hued species of the neotropics can be observed from up close at the feeders placed around the lodge grounds.

Blue-gray Tanager

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

 Bay-headed Tanager

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

Crimson-collared Tanager

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

Golden-hooded Tanager

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

 Red-legged Honeycreeper

Photo by Jerry Goffe,


Green Honeycreeper

Photo by Sanford M. Sorkin

Read "Meet the Birds of Selva Verde Lodge: Part 2"

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