A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica
Steve Bird
Publisher:  John Beaufoy Publishing, Oxford
Page Count:  176
ISBN Number:  9781909612648

This guide covers one of the most biodiverse countries in Central America, and which is a perennial favourite to experience a broad range of neotropical birds thanks to its many national parks and well developed eco-tourism infrastructure.

In the introductory section, the author introduces the country, as well as listing the main birdwatching spots in Costa Rica. The latter are relatively brief, listing the stand-out species, best times to visit and some general advice.

The main section of the book is taken up by the species accounts, which features two species per page. Each species account includes a picture, a brief description of range in Costa Rica and the best sites to find it. The pictures are of varying quality sadly, with good pictures of, for example, Passerini’s Tanager and Ferruginous Pygmy Owl offset by the mostly obscured Melodious Blackbird or digiscoped and uncropped Black-and-White Owl.

Overall, this is a useful book for birders visiting the region for the first time, though likely less suitable for those with more experience.

Stephen McAvoy