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Costa Rica: Tropical Birding in the Age of Corona or “The Savage Life Chose Us”

by Graham Gerdeman, Mike Smith and Frank Fekel

In early March 2020, three birders from Tennessee (Graham Gerdeman, Mike Smith and Frank Fekel) naively set out on a highly anticipated Costa Rica adventure, little knowing that the global Coronavirus pandemic was about to completely upend life as we know it. Arriving hours before non-resident travel into the country was halted, they experienced the highs of nearly empty epic hotspots, and the lows of hotels and national parks closing around them, an end to buffet breakfasts, and bathing in gallons of hand sanitizer at every stop. Along the way, they found 450 species of birds. This is their story.