Talari Mountain Lodge

• Introduction:

Talari Mountain Lodge might not be as famous as other Costa Rica birding lodges, however, it is worth a visit when you plan a Costa Rica birdwatching tour. Talari is surrounded by beautifull semi-natural gardens full of colourfull birds. Banana-feeders attract some of the most colourfull birds of Costa Rica which can be enjoyed from only a few meters. Besides that Talari is the ideal base to explore the interesting San Isidro del General area.

• Location:

Talari Mountain Lodge is located about 10 km northeast of the town of San Isidro del General, about 140 kms away from San José connected by good paved roads. Estimated travel time from San José is about 3,5 hours by car.

• Facilities:

Talari Mountain Lodge offers 14 basic rooms with private bathroom all with a  porch with hamocks with nice gaden views. The restaurant serves healty meals using fresh local ingredients ans has a great setting with views of the treetops of the garden where one can enjoy some beautifull birds at eye-level. On the 8 ha property there are about 2 kms of trails going through gardens and secondary forest. There is also a small swimming pool and jacuzzi.

• Birding and wildlife attractions:

Fiery-billed Aracari
Fiery-billed Aracari

Talari Mountain Lodge has registered already more than 200 birdspecies and the list is still growing. Not bad for an 8 ha property. The reason is that Talari Mountain Lodge is at an ineteresting middle-elevation altitude of about 700 m with influences from lowland and highland avifauna. The highlight is the Turqoise Cotinga, one of the prettiest but also rarest birds of Costa Rica. It has been seen on many occasions preched in the treetops near the restaurant. Other good birds are Speckled Tanagers and Fiery-billed Aracari’s: both are seen regularry in the gardens and sometimes even visit the fruitfeeders at the restaurant. Other colourfull birds that can be observed at the feeders near the garden are  Red-legged Honeycreepers, Green Honeycreepers, Blue Dacnis, Golden-hooded Tanagers, Cherrie’s Tanagers, Blue-gray and Palm Tanagers, but also Blue-crowned Motmots and Buff-throated Saltators often show themselves. With great eye-level views of the canopy the restaurant is a great place to start birding the day with good chances of seeing White-crowned Parrots, Orange-chinned Parakeets, Red-crowned Woodpeckers, Olivaceous Piculet, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Streaked Flycatcher and other Tyranidae, Masked Tityra’s, White-winged Becards, Brown Jays, Bay-headed Tanagers, Yellow-crowned Euphonias and northern migrants like Rose-breasted Grossbeaks and Baltimore Orioles (present only from October till April). At the entrance of the restaurant many small purple verbena flowers attract some interesting hummingbirds including Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Garden Emerald and Stripe-throated Hermit. Birds that need a little more effort are Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush and Orange-billed Sparrow that are often seen foraging in small dens bushes near the ground. In the forest behind the restaurant there are several lecks of Orange-collared Manakins, eventhough they are hard to see. With some luck the beautifull Gray-necked Woodrail can be seen walking on the lawn or fouraging under a fruit tree and sometimes Scaled Pigeons prech in the treetops. The neighboring pasturelands produce a whole new set of birds, like the hard to see Pearl Kite, Variable Seedeaters and Blue-black Grassquits, Gray-crowned Yellowthroat and both Slaty as Pale-breasted Spintail.
During northern winter migratory warblers like Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler and Black-and-white Warbler and the beautifull Summer and even Scarlet Tanager can be seen. White-crested Coquette has been reported on various occasions but is always hard to see…At night Common Pauraques become very active and can be easily seen. Common Potoo, Mottled Owl and Tropical Screech-owl are around also but are much harder.