Why come to Rancho Naturalista to see birds? Rancho is more than just a beautiful lodge set in the verdant Caribbean Rainforest of Costa Rica. We are known all over the world for our main attraction, which are the many beautiful species of birds that live in our forest reserve, and for the ease of which you can observe so many species in just one area.
On the balcony at Rancho Naturalista the hummingbird feeders are renowned for attracting many species of hummingbirds. Some of the species possible are; Violet-crowned Woodnymph, White-necked Jacobin, Green Hermit, Green Thorntail, Violet Sabrewing, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer and Green-crowned Brilliant. On the Verbena Hedges at Rancho Naturalista the Snowcap is a frequent visitor along with the Black-crested Coquette, the Violet-headed hummingbird and possibly the Garden Emerald.
All our guides have a passion for birds and a love for nature. They understand that a happy and positive experience will help bring you to a closer connection with nature. At Rancho Naturalista a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere is combined with the beauty of nature. This is all part of what we do, striving to bring you, the birds and nature together.
The birding activity starts early in the morning at sunrise when the birds become active. Most mornings you will meet with other birders on the balcony for a quick cup of coffee or tea at dawn. Then it’s birding on the balcony to see what comes to the feeders, off to the insect light to see some of the insect feeding species like the Red-throated Ant Tanager, or birding around the lodge. You will come back for a full breakfast at 7:00 am. After breakfast you will head out on the trails in the private forest reserve to look for mixed species flocks. Several different species can be seen foraging together in the canopy and understory of the forest. Birdwatching in the rainforest can be challenging and will take some skill. You will probably spend all morning in the forest moving quietly along a trail to watch and listen for the birds. If you are looking for a certain species, you can talk to a guide who will be happy to give you advice on where to see it, or you can hire a guide to maximize your birding experience. Then it’s back to the lodge for a delicious and healthy lunch.
During the afternoon you will probably take a relaxing “siesta” and later around 3:00 pm you can head into the forest, just a short walk from the lodge are the Hummingbird Pools where hummingbirds arrive to dip in the fresh spring water of the stream each evening. In the cool green of the forest understory is an observation deck above a rainforest stream. There you will have an amazing look into a private world as you sit and enjoy the amazing sight of these beautiful gems of the rainforest. See the striking Purple-crowned fairy, the Snowcap with its gleaming white cap, and the vibrant colors of the Violet-crowned Woodnymph and more. Also other species besides Hummingbirds visit this area including the Tawny-throated Leaftosser, the Dull-mantled Antbird, Great Tinamou and many more. You may also want to head out on the trails and the birding can actually be pretty good even along the entrance road to Rancho Naturalista. Dinner is served at 6:00 pm and is a nice time to visit with fellow birders. If you would like to see some of the insects, birds and mammals that are active after dark, ask a guide if there will be a night walk.