Birds for Beer?

‘Birds for Beer’ is a blog dedicated to my observations of life as an experienced and very enthusiastic amateur birdwatcher living near Turrialba, Costa Rica. In addition to offering these regular postings of my mostly local sightings, plus occasional updates on information about birding in Costa Rica, I can also give advice on visiting the many excellent birding sites both in our part of the country and elsewhere.

I am by no means an ornithological expert, but if you do need a professionally guided birding tour I can put you in touch with reliable local guides. There are many excellent ones available.  So if you’re coming to Costa Rica and doing some bird-watching, please feel free to visit us at our house and  garden in the village of San Antonio at the foot of the now very active Turrialba Volcano. I’ll be happy to help.  I speak fluent Spanish, German and French, and I know the country well.  If you want to take a day trip to local hot-spots,  you can just buy me a couple of beers!

Looking forward to 2021, our house is available from March to June to use as a base for birding excursions. We ask only that you cover our running expenses, or if you prefer a home exchange visit – my wife and I are experienced home exchangers. All is subject, of course, to any restrictions imposed by the current coronavirus pandemic. Go to the Contact Me page if Costa Rica is on your birding list.

15 thoughts on “Birds for Beer?

  1. Hi Paul,

    I’m a recently-retired birder from Australia who’s visited Costa Rica a couple of times, including near Turrialba, staying at Rancho Naturalista with John Erb.
    Your offer of accommodation, birding and good comapny in return for a few beers sounds fabulous, and somewhat like my wife and I did via a birding blog a few years ago in South Africa, near the Kruger National Park.
    We’d love to take up your offer, but not in the immediate future.
    I’ll keep an eye on your blog in the meantime.


    • Hi Tony,

      The Rancho Naturalista is a really great place, and Kathy Erb gave me a warm welcome when I stopped by one day. I didn’t get to meet John. We are on the other side of Turrialba, up by the volcano. We don’t get the lowland birds and there are only small forest remnants nearby, unfortunately. However, you get wonderful highland species if you just go up a little higher into the cloud forest. I hope you get a chance to drop by at some future date.



  2. Hi Paul,
    We have been searching the net for information relating to Costa Rica and especially birding and other wildlife! One thing that struck me, how does someone from Rotherham end up in CR? As it happens I was born in Wath but only managed to move as far as Barnsley! I would like to pick your brains if you dont mind, We intend to visit CR later this year possibly early November, It may be a case that any time of year is good to visit but would there be any reason not to come at this time?
    We are still in the early stages of organising the trip but any suggestions of places to go or stay would be appreciated.
    Regards, Nick & Chris


  3. Hello Paul,
    I tried posting a message over the weekend but seemed to have failed.
    We are interested in visiting Costa Rica later in the year, possibly end Oct beginning Nov. We are keen birders but enjoy all wildlife. Would this be an ok time to visit? Just really beginning to look into the trip so no real thoughts of locations at this time. Will be looking at tour operator schedules and websites etc but do you have any good spots for birding?
    Hope to hear from you
    All the best Nick & Chris
    PS I am originally from Wath!


  4. Hi Paul,

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I spent a month doing volunteer work at La Marta, Pejibaye during 2005, primarily working with birds, tagging and helping to make an index for the reserve. Then travelled around the whole country, and, like those who were with me, fell totally in love with it.

    I’m hoping to hit CR next year and will definately try and find you for help!


    • Hi Rosemary,

      I was just updating my most recent post when your message arrived. La Marta! Fantastic place, but when I visited my blog didn’t exist so there’s no corresponding post. I spent a lonely but beautiful night of wind and rain in the cabin there. I would love to see any list of sightings, bandings etc. that you have from there. I was not given a checklist when I was there. It would have been invaluable. Please do check in with me whenever you get to this area.

      Best wishes, Paul


  5. Hi Paul,
    I am so glad to have found your blog ! Although I’m not a birdwatcher, I love nature and especially taking photographs of nature whatever it might be. Maybe, I’ll have a chance to to take a few pictures of the birds you’re watching…. that would be awesome !!!!

    Both Alicja and I are looking forward to visit your area this fall..

    and this beer you’re sitting with looks mighty good !!! Hopefully there’s good, local supply, LOL!



    • Hi Roman & Alicja,

      You’ll be in paradise for nature photographs, although the shots you’ve taken in Canada will be mighty hard to beat. That’s a wild country! I’m really looking forward to your visit, though I’m afraid the beer won’t match what they serve in Poland. Nonetheless, it’s just the ticket on a hot and sunny day.

      Best wishes,



  6. Hi Paul,

    My wife and I just returned from our first trip to Costa Rica. We had a great time in our month there. We really enjoyed the birding and saw over 200 species, many new to us. Your offer of birding for beers sounds wonderful. When we return to CR, we will be happy to come loaded with beer of your choice.

    Happy birding,
    Allen & Jennette Todd


  7. Hi guys, I’m hunting for some identifications for a few birds – some blurry photos that I took with a damaged camera 2 years ago around sarapiqui – Selva Verde. I know its cheeky but I’d love to know if possible what they were. Is there any chance I can post them /email them and get them ID’d if possible? Don’t know who to ask…




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