Selva Verde Lodge is an eco-lodge and rainforest reserve located in the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí – an area reknowned as one of Costa Rica’s top birding destinations. While close to many other great birding sites, the eBird hotspot for Selva Verde Lodge alone boasts 460 species! So even though I had already spent some time in this area earlier in the year, I was quick to accept an invitation to return and stay for several nights in support of my Big Year.
A member of Costa Rica Birding Hotspots, Selva Verde Lodge protects a 500-acre reserve while sustainably accommodating bird watchers and other nature lovers. They work closely with the Sarapiquí Conservation Learning Center (SCLC), an independent non-profit that connects local communities and conservation. With the aim of achieving a sustainable future for both the people and the wildlife of the region, SCLC undertakes various initiatives in the areas of environmental education, community development, conservation, and tourism.
Wandering around the property upon my arrival, I encountered a number of neotropical migrants making their way north. Small numbers of Swainson’s Hawk and Broad-winged Hawk were interspersed with a large group of passing Turkey Vulture. An Eastern Kingbird – new for the year – was also foraging along the river. The following morning a flock of Chimney Swift passed overhead, also a new species for the year.
With the assistance of Ronald Jimenez Saborio, one of Selva Verde’s very knowledgeable naturalist guides, I located two more new birds for the year — Fasciated Tiger-Heron and Rufous-tailed Jacamar — bringing my yearly tally to 624 species.
Additional highlights at Selva Verde included Black-crested Coquete, Snowy Cotinga, and Great Green Macaw.