Palo Verde National Park sits next to the Tempisque River just before it empties into the Golfo de Nicoya. This river drains most of the North Pacific portion of the country.
Over 16,000 hectares of land are protected in the park. A great portion of the park gets flooded at the peak of the rainy season providing important habitat for many migrant and
resident species of birds.
The park faces drastic changes in the water levels due to the very well marked seasons. The marshy areas are more extensive in the wet season and birds
tend to spread out more which makes it more difficult to bird. On the other hand the remaining water holes in the dry season create a congregation of birds that
you will certainly appreciate. Right in front of the OTS Station you can usually find some important groups of marsh birds. Passerines however are active all throughout
the year and the park is quite a place for birding and wildlife in general. It is quite easy to run into Howler Monkeys, White-faced Monkeys, White-tailed Deer, American
Crocodiles along the river. Be aware of mosquitoes, they can be very intense so bring repellent and it doesnīt hurt to wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants in spite of
the hot temperatures.
Before you enter the park there are some important rice fields, where you can find good concentrations of Wood Storks, also Black-necked Stilt, Great Egret, Solitary Sandpiper,
and in migration time Bobolinks, Dickcissels, and many more species.
If you decide to stay in Organization for Tropical Stationīs facilities, which are basic but ideally located, you will have good time to explore surrounding areas. There is an old
airstrip that begins right in front of the station, walking it is quite productive and it is from here where you get good views of the wetlands. From here you can also access an old
metal tower, which doesnīt hold more than two people, but offers a good angle to scan for marsh birds, I suggest you ask the staff from the OTS about the conditions of the tower
before you go use it. The tower shakes quite a bit when it is blown by winds which hit this area a lot from November to March. There is also a board walk that can be accessed
from this airstrip and offers good opportunities to bird watch this marsh. Some birds you should expect to see in the marsh are Northern Shoveler, Fulvous Whistling-Duck,
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Glossy Ibis, Limpkin, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, and even Jabiru. Raptors would include Peregrine Falcon, Snail Kite, Zone-tailed Hawk.
If you follow the road that goes to the Ranger Station you will then be able to work some dry forest and forest edge bird species like Brown-crested Flycatcher, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl,
Pacific Screech-Owl, Mangrove Cuckoo, Rose-throated Becard, Black-headed Trogon.
After the Ranger Station on the same road towards the Tempisque River you will also find good birding, some bird species are Black-headed Trogon, White-throated Magpie-Jay,
Canivetīs Emerald, Green-breasted Mango, Plain-capped Starthroat, Cinammon Hummignbird, and in the right time of the year the interesting Indigo Bunting and Painted Bunting.
Thicket Tinamou can be encountered pretty much in any dry forest spot, however a good location would be a small road that about 450 meters past the ranger station, this is a
good spot for birding the dry forest and it is good for this tinamou species, also expect birds like Turquoise-browed Motmot, Elegant and Black-headed Trogons, Long-tailed Manakin,
White-lored Gnatcatcher, and Ivory-billed Woodcreeper.
The following is a list of birds of interest when visiting Palo Verde National Park