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Casa Tangara Dowii is a small cloudforest reserve that buffers Tapanti and Los Quetzales National Parks and is an essential spot for some very specific birds.
At 2100 m / 7000 ft a.s.l. in the Talamanca Mountains, the Casa Tangara dowii boutique lodge is located in Cartago Province, along the Panamerican Highway in the Navarro Sombrero Protected Area that buffers Tapanti and Los Quetzales National Parks. It consists of a small reserve with a well maintained in site trail (over 200 species recorded, many endemic and rare birds accessible), cozy lodging and a dining room. The resident Bare-shanked Screech-Owl can be heard calling throughout the night. Birding activities include Resplendent Quetzal search, and excursions to San Gerardo de Dota, Quetzals and Tapantí National Parks, and more.
From the comfy observation sofa, I observed a feeding station attracting Slaty Flowerpiercer, Spangle-cheeked Tanager and Silver-throated Tanager, Purple-throated Mountain-gem, Prong-billed Barbet, Common Chlorospingus, Chestnut-capped Brushfinch, White-naped Brushfinch and Yellow-thighed Brushfinch. Both Mountain Thrush and Clay-colored Thrush also showed up. On the ground, spilled wheat attracted a Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, and one of the specialty birds, the elusive Buff-fronted Quail-Dove. Even the extremely elusive Buffy-crowned Wood-Partridge often makes an appearance, too, but I wasn’t so lucky.
Its position at the Panamerican Highway means that many birding groups travelling either north or south will stop by, bird the reserve trail and afterwards stay for breakfast or lunch. Species more commonly encountered while walking the trail include Black Guan, Swallow-tailed Kite, Northern Emerald-Toucanet, Hairy Woodpecker, Barred Parakeet, Silvery-fronted Tapaculo, Spot-crowned Woodcreeper, Streak-breasted Treehunter, Barred Becard, Brown-capped Vireo, Ochraceous Wren, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Black-faced Solitaire, Black-and-yellow Silky-flycatcher, Long-tailed Silky-flycatcher, Elegant Euphonia, Slate-throated Redstart and Collared Redstart. Sometimes the Resplendent Quetzal too.
Casa Tangara Dowii is located by the Panamerican Highway south from San José, in Vara del Roble, Km 47. This is a true birders’ venue, and visits are possible by previous reservation only. Click on the P in the map for directions or coordinates.