Sea Birds of Cocos Island

Cocos Island and its islets are important nesting sites for seabirds, especially bobos (booby birds), frigate birds, and white terns (Gygis alba).  It is the only nesting site in the entire Eastern Tropical Pacific, with the exception of Malpelo Island where a few pairs nest.

New registries have been made in 2018 (1), 2015 (4), and 2016 (1), which have been already included in the number of species of the Costa Rican Ornithological Association (AOC), for a total of 150 species by 2017. Of these, there is one unofficial species, 29 have no supporting evidence, and 2 are doubtful.

  • For marine/oceanic/pelagic birds, there are 28 species that are migratory visitors and 8 migratory residents.
  • Coastal visitor birds comprise 40 species.
  • The land birds are 56 visitor species and 5 residents, and one was introduced.
  • There are 3 common, 9 rare, 8 plentiful, 39 casual, and 82 accidental.

Birds of the Cocos Island National Park

Find here the Official List of Birds of Cocos Island. This list was drawn up in its origins in 1990 by Michel Montoya, and since then, it has been reviewed and updated several times by the same author. It has served as a basis for studies on the biodiversity of Cocos Island and as a material to establish and update bird lists in global databases.

Endemic species

In Costa Rica, there are three species and one sub-species of birds that are found only in Cocos Island National Park: 

  1. Coccizus ferrugineus (Cocos Cuckoo).
  2. Nesotriccus ridgwayi (Cocos Flycatcher)
  3. Pinaroloxias inornata (Cocos Finch)
  4. Setophaga petechia aureola (Yellow -“Cocos”- Warbler).
  1. AOCR (Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica). 2018.  Sitio web consultado el 07 set 2018. Disponible en
  2. Garrigues, Richard., M. Araya-Salas, P. Camacho-Varela, J. Chaves-Campos, A. Martínez-Salinas, M. Montoya, G. Obando-Calderón, O. Ramírez-Alán. Zeledonia 19-2. Noviembre 2015. Boletín de la Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica.
  3. Montoya, M. 2003. Aves de la Isla del Coco. Lista de especies/Birds of Cocos Island. Species List/Aiseaux de l´Ile de Cocos. Liste des Especes. Zeledonia. Boletín de la Asociación Ornitológica de Costa Rica. 7(2):29-37.
  4. Montoya, M. 2016. Chapter 8: Isla del Coco. Terrestrial ecosystems.p.192-244. In: Kapelle, M. (Ed). Costa Rican Ecosystems. The Chicago University Press, Chicago and London. 744 p.
  5. SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación, CR). 2016. Diagnóstico para la actualización del Plan General de Manejo del Parque Nacional Marino Isla del Coco. Eds: H. Acevedo, V. Obando y Y. Villalobos. San José, Costa Rica. 147 p.