San Gerardo Field Station
Porch at San Gerardo Field Station
Lesser Violetear - Bruce Hallett
Essentially, the San Gerardo Field Station butts up to the Santa Elena and Monteverde Reserves. If possible, two or three places can be done together, but you need at least two full days at San Gerardo. Since the San Gerardo Field Station inhabits a lower ecological zone than Monteverde, it makes an excellent companion for the Monteverde area.
San Gerardo used to be be the only place in Costa Rica where the Bare-necked Umbrellabird was known to breed... and only during late March to May. As of 2015, it is unknown whether the birds will continue to breed at that site. Getting to this rustic lodge is an effort only for the physically fit. Fortunately the trail has some good birding on the way to the lodge. We had Resplendent Quetzal, Linneated Foliage-gleaner, and Sooty-faced Finch seen along the way.
Silver-throated Jay - Greg Lavaty
Emerald Toucanet - Greg Lavaty
The lodge trails are very productive for hard-to-see birds. With a playback mechanism, we had Tawny-throated and Gray-throated Leaftossers, Brown-billed Scythebill, Black-headed Anthrush, and even a Highland Tinamou. The area has both Costa Rica guans as well as Great Curassow. Zeledon's Antbird can be found around the lodge, and raptors are common in the skies above it. Three-wattled Bellbirds sometimes call from the treetops and can be seen from the porch. San Gerardo is also good for some difficult quail doves.