Parrots & Parakeets

Parrots are one of the largest families of birds with over 365 species in the world. Costa Rica has 17 species of parrots and parakeets, all interesting, beautiful, and valuable in their own way. This is what you need to know about some of Costa Rica's most iconic species.

The Parrots and Parakeets of Costa Rica

These Costa Rican birds vary a lot in size, from tiny little parakeets to very large macaws. 
As a fun fact, parrots are one of the few birds that can imitate human voices. They live very long lives, too, and some are known to live over one hundred years. Because of these reasons and their vibrant plumage, many people enjoy parrots and parakeets as pets. 
Because of this, poaching is sadly still a huge problem in Costa Rica, as well as throughout Central and South America. Habitat destruction and illegal pet trade throughout the world have decimated the parrot populations everywhere. 
Costa Rica has many species of parrots and parakeets dwindling in numbers. Three species, the scarlet macaw, the great green macaw, and the yellow-naped parrot are already on the endangered species list.
In spite of these threats, there are also many conservation efforts, and parrots and parakeets are widely distributed throughout Costa Rica.

Where to Find Costa Rica's Most Iconic Birds

Scarlet macaws are one of Costa Rica's most prized sights, and there are even more birds to enjoy. If you are looking to find one of them, make sure to visit the areas where they live to maximize your chances to spot them.
The scarlet macaw is found from the Central Pacific to the south, in the Osa Peninsula. There are several rescue organizations that are breeding in Guanacaste as well, with some success. 
Visitors interested in the great green macaw, will need to visit the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. The very small existing population lives on the Caribbean slope. 
The endemic red-fronted parrolet, found in the cloud forest, is one of the most wanted species to see among birdwatchers. It’s only found in Costa Rica and Western Panama.

Feeding Habits

Parrots and parakeets are among the few species of birds that have bills powerful enough to break down seeds and nuts for their diets. They have little competition as seed harvesters, and can be found in trees with plenty of nuts to snack on. 
The lush nature of the tropical rainforest and the dry tropical forest provide a bounty for them, allowing for successful reproduction. The more trees there are, the more birds there will be! 
Through education, conservationists hope to halt the destruction of habitat and the kidnapping of parrot and parakeet chicks, so that these most beautiful creatures of the tropics can thrive. If you are a nature enthusiast or an avid birdwatcher, you'll be in good company in Costa Rica. Make sure to visit!
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