In Nicaragua bird watching has not yet been embraced on a broad scale, despite having the same conducive conditions as Costa Rica where the activity has flourished. It is, however, becoming more and more popular and bird watching has been identified as a potential major ecotourism initiative in the future. In addition to job creation (tourist guides, park guards, ecologists etc.), the development of bird watching as a tourist attraction will hopefully also stimulate the legislative protection of natural reserves, endangered rivers and wetlands and important ecological habitats.

The official registry of identified birds in Nicaragua lists 703 different species and this list is not exhaustive. There have been approximately 50 new species added to the list over the past decade. As more research is conducted and bird watching is expanded throughout the country, the list of identified birds will continue to grow. There are currently 850 different species of bird identified in Costa Rica and it seems likely that Nicaragua will eventually have a similar number. At that rate Nicaragua would be home to approximately 10% of the world’s bird population. This enormous variety of birds demonstrates the high biodiversity of Nicaragua.

Many birds can be seen year-round and there are large numbers of bird species in every region of Nicaragua. There are certain forested areas that are home to extraordinary numbers of different bird species. Nicaragua boasts a number of excellent bird watching sites that are not too far away or difficult to access. Likely the most spectacular sites are the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve and the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve. Visiting these sites is possible although require more time and planning.