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Hawk Watching at Raptor Ridge

What is it about birds of prey that make them so fascinating? Perhaps we are captivated by their speed and agility, their mastery of flight. Or maybe it is their killer instincts and hunting prowess that draws us to them. Whatever it is, more and more birders are being drawn to the activity of “hawk watching”, learning how to identify raptors in flight, and hoping for an intimate look into the lives of these amazing birds.

White hawk in Tambor bay, Costa Rica

The rare White hawk, a specialty bird at Raptor Ridge

Raptor Ridge Birding Retreat in Tambor Bay, is an area that is now becoming known as the Nicoya Peninsula’s hawk watching destination. Located at 1400ft, the property overlooks Tambor Bay and provides a spectacular 360 degree view of the skies and the Pacific Ocean below. Raptor Ridge is owned and operated by Larry and Ruth Rodriquez, passionate naturalists and owners of Rainforest Publications, the creators of the popular Costa Rican field guides. Visiting birders are accommodated in a large guesthouse that contains all the amenities for overnight or extended stays.

Accomodations at Raptor Ridge

Accommodation at Raptor Ridge

The main watch at Raptor Ridge is the front yard, where one can sit by the blue tiled pool and gaze out over Tambor Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The view is truly breath taking. One can spend hours scanning the skies for the numerous raptor species that ride the thermals throughout the day. The specialty here is the rare white hawk, a pair of which has made the mountain their permanent home. The pair can be seen diving, swooping and soaring in the skies all around the watch. Another species that has been sighted more and more regularly is the King Vulture, a species that is hard to see in Costa Rica and a real treat for the visiting bird watcher. Other species commonly sighted include short-tailed hawk, zone-tailed hawk, plumbeous kite, broad-winged hawk, gray hawk, bat falcon, and peregrine falcon. Check out this recent blog post about hawk watching at raptor ridge.

The King Vulture, now rare in Costa Rica is commonly spotted from the watch.

The King Vulture, now rare in Costa Rica is commonly spotted from the watch.

Little is known about hawk migration on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica and we hope to spend lots of time at Raptor Ridge, especially during migration when hundreds of thousands of hawks move northward. If you are a visiting birder looking to try hawk watching in the tropics be sure to CONTACT US to arrange your stay at the Raptor Ridge Birding Retreat.

Zone-tailed Hawk

Zone-tailed Hawk

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Bat Falcon

Plumbeous Kite

Plumbeous Kite

Broad-winged Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk