In 1502, Christopher Columbus could little have known that he had ‘discovered’ a country that contained nearly 10% of the bird species on Earth! This small country is as close to the perfect bird watching destination as possible. With more than 850 species of birds, all found within a tight geographic area, Costa Rica offers birders of all levels of expertise an unrivaled bird watching experience during their stay in the country. From the oak forests of the Talamanca Mountains, Costa Rica´s highest mountain range, to the cloud forests of Monteverde or Braulio Carrillo National Park, to the lowland rainforest of the Osa Peninsula, birders will discover a rich variety of habitats filled with wonderfully diverse groups of birds. The best advice for birding in Costa Rica is to visit several different habitats and come prepared with the “Birds of Costa Rica” guide book. This excellent guide, written by Gary Stiles of the University of Costa Rica and Alexander Skutch, is readily available from Cornell University Press. Birders will find well – drawn illustrations as well as helpful information about habits, calls and plumage in this classic book, which also lists key areas for productive bird watching and provides useful hints about clothing, insect repellents, etc.