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Truly tropical birds

Found throughout the tropics anywhere there are trees and extending into the subtropics. Of about 330 species in the world, 16 are recorded from Costa Rica. AII have a short but very powerful bill with a pronounced hook that is used to open buds and flowers in search of nuts and seeds, which are their main food.

The most spectacular Costa Rican parrot is the scarlet macaw (lapa roja; Ara macao), unmistakable with its large size (84cm long), bright red body, blue and yellow wings, long red tail, and white face. Macaws mate for life (as is generally true of all parrots) and are often seen flying overhead, in pairs or small flocks, calling raucously to one another. Recorded as common in 1900, they have suffered devastating reductions in numbers because of deforestation and poaching for the pet trade. Now, it is rare to see these birds outside of Carara and Corcovado.

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