Elusive 'Quetzal'

On what Birding program does someone have a reasonably good chance of seeing a Resplendent Quetzal?

  • We were not on a specific birding program, but the 2 week natural history program. The Resplendent Quetzal lived in the cloud forest where we stayed at an ecolodge one night before returning to San Jose. There was an option of getting up in the dark and going to the spot where the quetzals had been seen, but most of us chose to sleep. A Japanese nature photographer, however, who was staying there as well, did go out that morning and got good photos of the Resplendent Quetzal. We saw green macaws (photos were silhouettes and far away) flying as well as scarlet macaws and myriad other lovely, colorful species on that trip. Our guide, Gloriana, was expert at spotting and identifying wildlife.
  • In reply to charlotte.drayer010411:

    We are going to Costa Rica the end the end of March and I am curious as to how chilly the cloud forest was? I'm just beginning to think about packing. Thank you!
  • In reply to carcher36010420:

    End of February was chilly. I needed more long sleeved blouses. Fortunately, I packed d enough long pants, shshoes and socks, and jackets
  • In reply to mwmwmw6011717:

    February was chilly at night, but they have heaters in the rooms that they light if it will get cold. The public spaces are comfortable. It was misty in the AM so a chilly damp, but the clouds burned off fairly soon and it was warmer. I didn't have a thermometer, but I'm guessing it was in the low 50s when we awakened, so nothing like "winter". I had a lined windbreaker/rain jacket and was fine.
  • In reply to charlotte.drayer010411:

    Charlotte, where did you stay (the ecolodge?) I love Costa Rica - have been twice and plan to go again with a specifically birding program in mind the next time.
  • In reply to lynnetourond030811:

    Trogan Lodge. It was beautiful! I spent lots of time photographing hummingbirds there.
  • In reply to charlotte.drayer010411:

    Charlotte, I am going on the same trip as you at the end of March. Do you advise taking anything like hiking boots. I have KEEN sandals, which are completely wter impervious but do not give ankle support and have read that jungle trails can be slippery-any suggestions? Carolyn
  • In reply to carcher36010420:

    What program are you on? I am leaving on March 20 with Road Scholar.
  • In reply to weisenbergc012010:

    I am leaving on March 28 on the "Best of Costa Rica" programme".
  • In reply to carcher36010420:

    I guess we will be two ships that pass in the night.
  • I just returned from the Costa Rica photography trip and we saw a female, juvenile male and male all in one morning!
  • In reply to carcher36010420:

    I just got back and lived in my hiking boots. Never wore my new sandals.
  • I just returned from the Costa Rica photography trip and we saw a female, juvenile male and male all in one morning!
  • I just did the best of Costa Rica. 12 days and I spotted the Resplendent Quetzal as we were leaving the cloud forest of Savegre. I was very lucky to spot in on our way out.
  • On the May program Digital Photography in Nature: Capturing the Best of Costa Rica, we were fortunate to see and I was able to photograph a male Resplendent Quetzal. We stayed at Savegre Hotel Nature Reserve & Spa in the Talamanca Mountains. In this valley are several lodges and guides who know where to find birds. I was previously in this area in April 2004 and got pictures of a pair at a nest. This year, we were told they have not started nesting. Nesting birds give the best opportunity see them up close. The private reserve borders the Los Quetzales National Park which has a high number of avocado trees which these birds depend on. Road Scholar also has birding programs to Costa Rica worth checking out and spend time at Savegre Hotel. May is the start of the rainy season. Resplendent Quetzals are impressive and high on any birder's list.