Maquenque Christmas Bird Count

Southern Lapwing. Courtesy of

Southern Lapwing. Courtesy of

On January 5th, 2013, the Rainforest Biodiversity Group coordinated the 5th annual Maquenque Christmas Bird Count. This year was another successful count with birders tallying a total of 1,822 birds and 219 different species.  The 219 species was one more than the 2011-2012 count, but unfortunately this is still down 9.8% from the 5-year average of 240.6.  This was likely due to the relatively low number of birders (13) and lodges (4) participating. The Laguna Lagarto Lodge crew once again walked away seeing the most species with 148, which is the third highest total for any lodge since the survey began!  Maquenque Ecolodge ended the day with a very impressive 141 species.

Among this year’s many fantastic finds, we had an amazing six (!) new species for the Maquenque count: Southern Lapwing, Black-headed Trogon, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Green and Rufous Kingfisher, White-whiskered Puffbird, and Pale-vented Thrush. Elidier Vargas Castro, who participated at the Maquenque Ecolodge, believes the Southern Lapwing might even be nesting within the count circle. Congratulations to the participants who found these fabulous birds!

As the count takes place in the winter, species known as neo-tropical migrants are taking advantage of the available food sources in the tropics at this time of year. During this year’s count, birders encountered nine species of migratory warbler and five species of migratory herons and egrets.

Click here for the entire bird check list from this year.

The Rainforest Biodiversity Group would like to thank all of the participants for making the 2012-13 Maquenque Bird Count possible: Meha Mehta, Jose Fallas, Tomas Alfaro Fallas, Adilio Antonio Zeledon, Miguelange C. Camacho, Johan Kuilder, Ineke van Leeewen, Machiel Crielaard, Alex Molina Arias, Alberto Segura Jara, David Segura Segueira, Elidier Vargas Castro, and Julio Artavia. Also, thank you to all the participating sites and to the Costa Rican Ornithological Society for helping enter the data gathered.

If you have a desire to participate in next year’s Maquenque Christmas Bird Count please contact us at

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