Birding & Nesting Season

Fiery-billed Aracari on the branch of tree, Playa Cativo Lodge

In Cosa Rica, more than 75% of birds nest in the jungle surrounding Playa Cativo from January to May. With more than 390 species recorded in our rainforests, the best time of year to observe nesting is March and April. With little rain and wind, abundant food, and the excitement of mating, early spring is the best time of year to get a glimpse of these birds in their natural habitat.

Most bird species do not recycle their nests, they build new nests year after year using different materials according to their needs. Twigs, moss, lichens, kapok, fibers, hair, and even spiderwebs hold their nests together. Some species are unable to make nests themselves, so they rely on help from other birds. On Playa Cativo’s Protected Rainforest Reserve, Woodpeckers build nests that can be used by more than 25 other bird species.

Special to Cosa Rica, our birds (with a few exceptions) do not have breeding plumage, meaning they keep their bright colors throughout the year. This is why are our birds are so beautiful and flamboyant all year round. Their bright plumage increases the number of species and behavior observations (nesting, courtship, predation of eggs and chicks, defense of their territory, family groups, etc.) for bird watchers and birding enthusiasts.

We have a vast array of water birds as well. Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) are the most abundant water birds in the Golfo Dulce area. Their reproductive behavior is correlated with oceanographic conditions: primarily low temperatures (from the rainy seasons) and increased concentration of nutrients (ex: nitrates and phosphates) that are related to the abundance of plankton, their primary source of food. It’s very common to see large colonies (100+ individuals) between Punta Covachas and Punta Gallardo during June and July. For these months, Brown Footed Boobies (Sula leucogaster) are also seen in greater numbers.


Playa Cativo is located on the most biologically intense region of the planet, called the Osa Peninsula region – a bird and wildlife paradise. We build specialty tours and packages for bird watchers and nature lovers. Find out more and book your trip here!