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Costa Rica Wildlife

We recently spent just 10 days in the Nosara area of Costa Rica. We did not go out seeking wildlife, but the wildlife is so abundant. These are the ones that came across our path walking around in those ten days.

Photographing the wildlife

Being a primarily landscape photographer, wildlife is a challenge for me! All of the below images were shot on my Nikon Z7 using the FTZ adaptor and Nikon 200-500mm lens. I used my 3 Legged Thing Winston tripod on all that I could. I would carry the tripod around town with me just so I could be ready! It is a very difficult lens to hand-hold. Also, using the tripod allowed me to capture video of these scenes, which I otherwise would not have been able to do!

Enjoy this video and see my comments below!


Howler Monkeys

The howler monkeys were my favorite! The babies ride on their mother's backs and play with each other. They are known for their "howls". Often the passing motorcycles would really rile them up. Apparently, they are the loudest mammal in the world!

This troop "hung" around long enough that I was able to run and grab my tripod. The most difficult thing about photographing them was that they are so dark in color and also shadowed by the shade of the trees.


There were two little owls that sat in the bamboo next to the villa all day long. The kids named them "Owlfred" and "Owlivia". This is Owlfred. Owlivia was camera shy.

Luckily they sat in the tree all day, so I had plenty of time to compose a shot. The most difficult part was that they would leave at night and sleep all day, so it was hard to catch him with his eyes open!


When it comes to spiders, I'm a big "nope"! I do enjoy photographing spiders as they are beautiful, but I do it with a long lens so I don't have to get too close! The spiders were everywhere in Costa Rica so you had to watch out not to walk right into one.


I had never heard of coatimundi before seeing them in Costa Rica. To me, they were like a cross between a raccoon and a lemur. They were curious little fellows and not afraid of people.

This is one of my favorite photos I took. We came upon him unexpectedly so I didn't have my tripod! Luckily I was able to bump my ISO enough to get a sharp shot handheld. I even got a little bit of handheld video.


The Iguanas were larger than I've ever seen. They would scurry around on the rooftops and make all kinds of noise! They moved quickly on the ground and were hard to get photos of. This guy was headed away from me and stopped just for a moment to look back at me. It was another handheld situation. I got a little bit of video, but you can tell in the video that it was only a few brief seconds!

I hope you have enjoyed these images and have the opportunity to one day travel to Costa Rica. I really enjoyed stretching my photography muscles and doing something out of my wheelhouse!

Love & Light!

Mandy Lea

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