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In addition to the covered observation deck, the Eco-Observatory has well-maintained trails that lead through dense forest down to the Sarapiquí River.  There’s also a beautiful wooden house perched atop the river’s canyon (see below).  From the back deck of this house you can peer down into the forest or straight out into the treetops.  The house itself is available for overnight rental for a small group.  A narrow stretch of lawn parallels the entrance road with luxuriant tropical plantings on both sides.  There’s plenty to explore here!

I had a great time watching the birds while relaxing and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.  The Eco-Observatory borders the huge private Tirimbina Reserve, so there’s lots of pristine lowland rain forest in the area.  But the best part of my visit wasn’t the birds nor the habitat, it was time spent visiting with the two Daves.  These guys are passionate about environmental protection and both seemed genuinely delighted to exchange information with visitors such as myself.  They’re happy when serious birders and photographers show up, but maybe even more excited when casual tourists stop by - the kind of folks who don’t always hear much about conservation.  It’s a great concept, a great place, run by great guys.  It’s sure to succeed.  I can’t wait to go back.

Above, left to right: Black-mandibled Toucan; Black-cheeked Woodpecker; Red-throated Ant-Tanager.

Below, left to right: Passerini’s Tanager; Black-cowled Oriole; Buff-throated Saltator; Palm Tanager.

Clockwise from top left: Great Kiskadee; Collared Aracari; Golden-hooded Tanager; Crimson-collared Tanager; Green Honeycreeper; Great Antshrike, which didn’t come to the fruit, but which was still seen near the feeders.

Above, trail leading down to the river.

Below, Rufous Motmot, a forest dweller that showed off for me.