Costa Rican Parrot and
Macaw Tour


Led By: Greg Matuzak, M.Sc. and Dr. Janice Boyd for The Amazona Society, with promotional help from Amigos de las Aves USA The Parrot Conservation and Research Fund

Dates: March 6 - 15, 2006

Overview of Trip: Greg Matuzak and Dr. Janice Boyd will lead a parrot and macaw tour in Costa Rica from March 6 - 15, 2006. These dates were chosen to reflect the best time of the year to encounter Costa Rican parrots and macaws in the wild since it will be in the middle of the nesting season for most species of parrots, as well as for many other species of birds. Generally, the best opportunity to see macaws and parrots is during the nesting season when they are found at their nesting sites most of the day.

Greg Matuzak, M.Sc., is a parrot and macaw biologist who has worked with 6 species of parrots in Costa Rica the past three years and has worked on the Tambopata Macaw Conservation Project with Dr. Don Brightsmith. Dr. Janice Boyd, the President of Amigos de las Aves USA The Parrot Conservation and Research Fund, and Greg will lead members and friends of The Amazona Society on a tour to see many native parrots and birds of Costa Rica. This will include encountering several species of Amazon Parrots and the two native species macaws in Costa Rica, the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) and the Great Green or Buffon's Macaw (Ara ambigua). We will travel to three distinct areas of Costa Rica, including an area of tropical wet forest, an area of tropical moist forest, and an area of transitional tropical dry and moist forest types. The diversity of birds and animals in each area is high and each is distinct from the other, providing a great opportunity to see a large part of the bird life of Costa Rica during one trip.

Day 1
(March 6th) - Meet everyone at hotel (within five minutes of the airport). Have dinner together. Two initial lectures will be given about the work that Greg Matuzak and Janice Boyd have done in Costa Rica.

Day 2 (March 7th) - Morning (after breakfast) go to Zoo Ave for a few hours. Afterwards go to La Paz waterfalls for lunch and the afternoon. Evening dinner together and additional lectures on the parrots and macaws of Costa Rica.

Day 3 (March 8th) - After breakfast, go to the Great Green Macaw project site. Check into hotel, eat lunch, and then spend the entire afternoon at Great Green Macaw active nest sites. We will also tour the private reserve to do birding. Evening lecture on the Great Green Macaw Conservation and Research Project.

Day 4 (March 9th) - After breakfast, early morning birding and monitoring of the active Great Green Macaw nests during the day and evening. Meet people from the local community who are part of the project and are dedicated to the conservation of one of Costa Rica's most endangered birds.

Day 5 (March 10th) - After breakfast, early morning Great Green macaw nest monitoring and bird watching. Head to Carara National Park. Meet Fiona Dear in Carara and learn about the Scarlet Macaw project, the largest in Costa Rica. Fiona Dear will give a lecture on the project and her research.

Day 6 (March 11th) - Early morning birding and Scarlet Macaw counts. Breakfast afterwards. Meet up with Fiona Dear to have her show us active macaw nests. In the evening, additional counts as the Scarlet Macaws return to their roosting area.

Day 7 (March 12th) - Early bird watching and macaw counts, have breakfast, and then head to Curu National Wildlife Refuge. Check into hotel in the small town of Paquera, have lunch, and then head to Curu to do late evening bird watching and Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot counts. See the very successful reintroduction project for the Scarlet Macaws. Lecture at Curu regarding the three-year study Greg Matuzak, M.Sc. has implemented since 2002 in the wildlife refuge.

Day 8 (March 13th) - After breakfast, early morning Scarlet Macaw and parrot walks. Take boat trip to Tortuga Islands and have lunch on the islands. Afternoon hiking on the island. We will have time to snorkel at the local reef, where there are some corals and many beautiful tropical fish. In the evening, conduct Yellow-naped Amazon Parrot counts. Return to Curu by late evening and have dinner in Paquera.

Day 9 (March 14th) - After breakfast, spend morning in Curu to see the Scarlet Macaws and all the other plentiful wildlife. Greg will give a lecture at Curu regarding the research he has conducted there. Have lunch in Curu. Everyone will meet the owners of Curu, including Frederico, Julietta, and Luis Schutt. In the afternoon, return to the hotel in San Jose. End the trip with a nice dinner together and have one last lecture regarding what we saw during the trip. We will make it participatory for everyone.

Day 10 (March 15th) - Parrot Tour over after breakfast and a farewell! Everyone will either go to the airport or they will continue on their own to see more of Costa Rica.

Tour Cost and Essential Information
The cost for the tour will be $1500 per person. The tour price includes the following:

* Lodging
* Food (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
* Local Transportation (including picking up the group from the San Jose, Costa Rica airport)
* Park Entrance Fees (including entrance to Zoo Ave, the best Zoo in Costa Rica)
* All Guiding Services provided by Greg Matuzak, M.Sc. and local Costa Rican Naturalists
* Daily Lectures on Parrot and Macaw Ecology and Conservation by Greg Matuzak, M.Sc. and Dr. Janice Boyd

This price does not include the following:

* International Airfare to/from Costa Rica
* Airport Taxes (including the Exit Tax when leaving Costa Rica)
* Soft Drinks or Alcoholic Beverages
* Phone Calls or Internet Use
* Tips
* Gift Shopping
* Single Rooms (all rooms will be shared with 1 - 2 other people and an additional charge will be added for those who wish to have a single room)

How to join the tour:

* A non-refundable deposit of $400 is due by November 1, 2005 to guarantee a place on the tour. The deposit will be sent to The Amazona Society (address shown below).

* Final payment is due January 15, 2006.

* Please forward your plane itinerary once you get it and any questions you may have to:

 The Amazona Society
235 North Walnut Street, Bryan, Ohio, U.S.A. 43506
or E-mail Greg Matuzak.

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