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LA SELVA FIELD STATION

green-slate

COSTA RICA
LOCALE

Area (ha):1,600
Altitude (m):35-150
# Species:475
# Excl Vagrants:383
# Endemics:0
# Near Endemics:13
Species/100 ha:23.9
Habitat: Primary rainforest

ABOUT THE BIRDING

La Selva Biological Station covers an expanse of lowland primary and secondary rainforest on the Caribbean slope of northwestern Costa Rica. It's owned and operated by the Organization for Tropical Studies and serves primarily as a research and educational facility for university staff and students. Amateur birders are welcome but are not allowed to walk the trails through the primary forest unless accompanied by a qualified guide. Due to increasing numbers of visitors, the time allotted to many tour groups to bird along the rainforest trails is often limited to a couple hours. Groups led by Costa Rican guides are sometimes allowed greater access.

La Selva is a fabulous birding destination with over 400 species recorded in the area. Terrific birding opportunities are available in the more open areas both outside and inside the entrance gate. It's perhaps the best place in Costa Rica to see tinamous, which are normally very secretive but have become accustomed to the presence of humans. The highly endangered Great Green Macaw regularly puts in an appearance at La Selva, though the main breeding populations are in more remote areas to the northwest. La Selva is a great place to see many species of hummingbirds and tanagers, including the beautiful Scarlet-rumped Tanager. It's possible to see the Three-wattled Bellbird at La Selva, although it generally takes a substantial hike to reach the areas where it's found.

LOCATION OF SITE

La Selva Biological Station is located in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica adjacent to Braulio Carrillo National Park. It's about 1½ hours north of San Jose near the town of Puerto Viejo.

OTHER LOCALES