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Honduras

Honduran Emerald Amazilia luciae ©Gábor Orbán Website

Honduras, may be Central Americas best kept natural secret. A mid 1990s estimate put Honduras at having the largest percentage of forest covered land in all of Central America, more even than our famous neighbours Costa Rica and Belize. The Honduras geography means that these forest areas cover a wide range of eco systems. Over 30 cloud-forest areas can be found in Honduras, more than in any other Central American country. Honduras is also home to many areas of tropical rainforest, pine forest, savannas, mangroves and coastal lagoons. A lot of the larger forested areas of Honduras have been made into National Parks or Protected Areas over the last 10 years.

Honduras is home to 725 bird species that cover 58 families, and we are still counting. The wide range of forested areas in Honduras offer something for the novice, experienced birders or even the most adventurers. There are though, a few hot spots that should not be missed and these are set out below.

Not only is the birding good, but tourist facilities and services in Honduras provide something for everyone. Honduras is also home to some top rate birding guides. For more information on birding, birding tours and accommodation in Honduras visit the Mesoamerica Travel website www.mesoamerica-travel.com or email - info@mesoamerica-travel.com They are a Honduran based company, that can help you with all your travel and birding needs.

Top Sites

**Latest Sightings

Sightings

Click 'Get Birds Seen' to see a map with map pins on locations of the latest recorded sightings of rare or unusual birds.

La Tigra National Park

Webpage

Satellite View

La Tigra National Park is one of the most popular cloud-forests in Honduras. The park is home to 171 species, 42 of which only live in cloud-forests and 27 migratory species. Some of these species are endangered or threatened, as is the case with the great curassow and numerous species of the trogon family, which includes the Resplendent Quetzal. Visitors interested in viewing the Quetzal will have better luck in the breeding season between March and May. They are normally completely hidden in the dense vegetation of the cloud forest, but, during this time both the males and females are very active.

Pico Bonito National Park

Webpage

Satellite View

Pico Bonito National Park is one of the most visually spectacular places in Honduras, in recent years tourist developments, which haven`t affected the surrounding environment, have made this area one of the most comfortable and enjoyable places to visit in Honduras. A large variety of species are found in and around Pico Bonito including hawks, eagles, kites, doves, parrots, motmots, hummingbirds, wood-creepers, swallows and loons, which all inhabit the park and surrounding area. Also you will find Keel Billed Tucans, Highland Guan, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Blue-crowned Motmot, Scarlet-rumped Tanager, White-collared Manakin, Slaty-tailed trogon, and many others.

Rio Platano Biosphere

Webpage

Satellite View

On a more adventurous note the Rio Platano Biosphere offers what may be one of the best nature experiences in all Central America. The Biosphere makes up, with neighbouring national parks and forested areas, one of the largest areas of unfragmented tropical forest north of the Amazon. The Rio Platano vicinity is home to over 500 bird species. Many migratory birds are found in the area as are many rare species which are hard, if not impossible, to find in any other area of Honduras, Harpy Eagles, Aplomado Falcon, Great Green and Scarlet Macaws, Green and Rufous Kingfisher, Chestnut-mandible Toucan, Yellow-eared Toucanet, Jabiru and the Black and White Hawk Eagle are just a few of the special species found in the Biosphere.

Tela Bay

Satellite View

Tela Bay and the nearby Lancetilla Botanical Gardens are a must for all birders. Punta Sal and Los Micos Lagoon which are located on Tela Bay, offer excellent birding for lagoon, mangrove and coastal species. These wetlands are a haven for large numbers of Ibis, Herons, Gulls, Egrets, Terns, Sandpipers and the impressive Roseate Spoonbills. The Lancetilla Botancial Gardens are one of the largest tropical gardens in the world, and are home to a wide variety of trees from all over the world and a protected nature reserve. Over 300 species of birds have been recorded in the gardens and surroundings, toucans, tanagers, orioles, trogons, motmots, antbirds, ovenbirds and a variety of colourful parrots are but a sample of the rich bird diversity.

Yojoa Lake

Information

Satellite View

The habitat of Yojoa Lake, it's surrounding tropical forest and the forested mountains of Santa Barbara and Cerro Azul Meambar are home to over 500 species of birds. The area offers some of the best accessible birding in Honduras. Once an avid bird watcher reportedly was shocked when over the time span of a few hours he was able to sight as many as 37 species in one tree, all from the comfort of his deck chair on his hotel room lake-front terrace!

Contributor

Dean Milverton

Travel-to-Honduras.com

Honduras

dean@travel-to-honduras.com

http://www.travel-to-honduras.com/

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 778

National Bird: Scarlet Macaw Ara macao

Endemics

Number of endemics: 1

Honduran Emerald Amazilia luciae

Checklist

Checklist

WebBirder Checklist

Fatbirder's very own checklists are now available through WebBirder

Useful Reading

Field Checklist of the Birds of Honduras

Dennis Beall 27 pages, tabs. American Birding Association 1997

ISBN: 81403

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guide to the Birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras

RA Ridgely and JA Gwynne 608 pages, 48 col plates, 53 line illus. Princeton University Press 1992

ISBN: 0691025126

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Seven Names for the Bellbird

Mark Bonta, Texas A&M UP 2003

ISBN: 1585442496

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal

Information

Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Coco Tours

Tour Operator

Tour operator in Honduras. Birding, trekking and rainforest packages…

ecoTOURS

Tour Operator

Focus on Nature

Tour Operator

Honduras, the second-largest country in Central America, is a land of mountains and forests, of beaches and coral, of mangroves and wilderness…

Honduran Birds

Tour Operator

alexander2084@hotmail.es Tel: 504 97511680 or 504 97515004 - Honduras is a great destination for neotropical birding, simply an essential pilgrimage for any birders wanting to enjoy the tropical birding trip of a lifetime! Boasting the second richest avifauna in Central America…

Honduras Travel & Vacation Guide

Tour Operator

You have come to the right place if you are: planning travel to Honduras on vacation; thinking of a scuba diving Honduras vacation in Roatan, a Bay Island off Honduras north coast, or simply need more Honduras travel information to decide if a Honduras vacation is right for you. I am glad you are here. Welcome…

La Moskitia Ecoaventuras

Tour Operator

Birdwatching or birding has become one of the favorite activies for outdoor enthusiasts. The rainforest jungles, secondary forests, pine forests, beaches, marshes and mangroves of Honduras provide an opportunity to see many of the hundreds of bird species that inhabit these spectacular Central American ecosystems. La Moskitia Ecoaventuras - located in La Ceiba, Honduras - can take you to the areas with the best possibilities for seeing such birds as: parrots, toucans, macaws, quetzals, oropendulas, fly catchers, trogons, motmots, jacamars, pelicans, sandpipers, ibises, frigatebirds, roseate spoonbills, storks, etc. Join us on one of our specialized birding expeditions or ecotours in the Caribbean coast of Honduras…

Mesoamerica Travel

Tour Operator

Mesoamérica Travel is an incoming Tour Operator with its head office in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. We organize and manage trips for individual travelers or small groups as well as incentive trips all tailored to service your needs. Our trips vary in length and focus, from one-day adventures and tours to longer, all-terrain and multihabitat itineraries. Our offer includes nature and adventure travel exploring one of the world`s most magnificent wildernesses: the jungles, mountains, forests, rivers, and coastlines…

Roatan Charters

Tour Operator

To be Honduran is to be a lot more than just another pretty beach. This itinerary originates in the capital city of Tegucigalpa where we tour the shops and boutiques and sample delightful tipico fare. Enroute to beautiful mountain rimmed Lago Yojoa, home to nearly 400 bird species, we visit colonial Comayagua…

Travel-to-Honduras

Tour Operator

Online Success with a Proven Team - As tourism develops in Honduras we need to take business and promotion to a new level and on to a global stage. This may sound difficult and expensive, but it can be done economically with the Internet. There are many companies that have tried to promote their business on the Internet with little success. They quickly found there is a lot more involved in getting people to your website than just putting it online…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

CloudBirders

Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

2013 [02 February] - Brian Gibbons

Report PDF

…While we would see neither of these as wild individuals, we did see over 100 species of great birds. The Xukpi (Mayan for motmot) took center stage with exceptional views of both the Blue-crowned Motmot and the stunning Turquoise-browed Motmot…

2013 [02 February] - Brian Gibbons

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…That cooperative Margay that most of us enjoyed as it lounged on a limb before melting into the woods was marvelous. We watched the Great Potoo at our leisure, and enjoyed the feeder raids of the White-nosed Coati troop and the late evening appearance of the rare Highland Guan on the lodge grounds. Every day around the lodge we enjoyed the gurgling sounds of the local Montezuma Oropendolas….

2013 [02 February] - Kevin Zimmer

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…Hummingbird feeders off the back deck treated us to point-blank views of White- necked Jacobin, Violet-crowned Woodnymph, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, and Long- billed and Stripe-throated hermits. Noisy pairs of Great Kiskadees and Social Flycatchers constructed nests in plain view from the deck, and Black-cheeked Woodpeckers…

2013 [02 February] - Simon Thompson

Report

…we saw a great selection that morning, including Yellow-throated and White-eyed Vireos, Magnolia, Black-and-white and Golden-winged Warblers and lots of Gray Catbirds..

2013 [03 March] - Jesse Fagan

Report

…The Honduran Emerald also took top honors for its threatened status, unique habitat, and the experience of getting to the Aguan Valley to see it…

2013 [07 July] - Michael O'Brien

Report PDF

…Here, a tranquil boat ride on the river brought us up-close to a family of Mantled Howler Monkeys, several crocodiles, and two groups of roosting Long-nosed (Proboscis) Bats. This was a particularly good outing for birds as we also found Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Boat-billed Heron, four species of kingfishers, nesting White-necked Puffbirds, several family groups of Northern Jacanas, and even a fly-by Great Curassow….

2014 [01 January] - John Coons & German Martinez

Report

…On the morning trip we had wonderful views of several Bare-throated Tiger Herons, close looks at Boat-billed Herons, and a pair of Bat Falcon among kingfishers, Collared Aracaris, and woodpeckers….

2014 [02 February] - Brian Gibbons

PDF Report

…Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, orioles, kingbirds, and a pair of Rusty Sparrows were all seen, and the elusive Crested Bobwhite called and called…

2014 [02 February] - Brian Gibbons

PDF Report

…On our final morning we enjoyed the grounds of The Lodge at Pico Bonito again. Slaty-tailed and Gartered trogons plucked fruit from the trees and called their partners on this Valentine’s Day….

2014 [06 June] - Gary & Marlene Babic

Report

...Arriving at the park, we took a short trail and came upon noisy but skulking Singing Quail, a White-fronted Quail-dove, a confiding Rusty-capped Nightingale-thrush, and Spot-crowned Woodcreeper. While enjoying our lunch we had a nice male Green-breasted Mountain-Gem, which is a near-endemic. We then hiked the 2 km road (every step uphill) to the site for Wine-throated Hummingbird, but sadly had no luck. We took the La Esperanza trail down, and came upon two groups of Resplendent Quetzal, a male Mountain Trogon, a great view of Rufous-browed Wren, and an unexpected Black-throated Jay...

2015 [02 February] - Brian Gibbons - Copan

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...There were new birds to be seen in the Maya world too. We added such specialties as Bushy-crested Jays, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, Elegant Euphonia, and Lesser Roadrunner, and all this from our wonderful lodging at Hacienda San Lucas above Copan.

2015 [02 February] - Brian Gibbons - Pico Bonito Lodge

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... Our prize of the swamp had to be a very cooperative Sungrebe that everyone saw well; these birds are excellent at melting into their flooded forest homes. Also seen during our day were Northern Jacana, Gray-necked Wood-Rail, Mangrove Cuckoo, Wood Storks, and tons of herons and egrets in the flooded fields and marsh.

2015 [06 June] - Michael O'Brien - The Lodge at Pico Bonito

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...We spent our first full day, and parts of every other day, exploring the lodge area. Right from our table at meal times, we were constantly visited by seven species of hummingbirds from the diminutive Stripe-throated Hermit to the monster Violet Sabrewing, while also keeping tabs on nesting Blackcheeked Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Masked Tityra, and Clay-colored Thrush. Around the lawn of the main clearing, butterflies, such as Disturbed Tigerwing and Superb Cycadian, were always flitting by, while Central American Agoutis and Brown Basilisks wandered the grounds.

2015 [12 December] - Chris Sharpe

PDF Report

...By the time we reached the start of the pine-oak forest, our picnic breakfast stop provided an early highlight in the form of a flock of 20 Bushy-crested Jays. These gorgeous regional endemics were Joyce's 5000th world bird! At the same spot we saw one of the morning's 8 Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls and had fabulous looks at a male Collared Trogon. Our final bird of the morning, at the highest point on our trip, was Brown-backed Solitaire...

2017 [03 March] - Robert Gallardo

PDF Report

...A pair of the stately Pale-billed Woodpecker was also seen and our first Green-breasted Mountaingem made, but a brief showing as it gleaned insects amidst the thick foliage. The flute-like songs of the Slatecolored Solitaires echoed throughout the forests. Inside the forest itself, it was quiet and we got brief....

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birds and Beaches: Unique Lodgings in Honduras

Accommodation

Two unusual eco-lodges; distinctly different from each other, offer visitors a true Honduran experience…

D&D Brewery Lodge & Restaurant

Accommodation

We’re the first microbrewery in Honduras, located near picturesque Lake Yojoa in central Honduras. Our draft beer, hand-crafted on site, is a refreshing change from the bottled stuff you find elsewhere in Honduras! Our accommodations feature 3 private cabins, 6 standard rooms, a mixed dorm, and camping–all tucked away inside of lush jungle vegetation. Amenities include a swimming pool, free WiFi, netbook rental, laundry service, book exchange, full-service restaurant, and of course, our tap room!

Eco-Hacienda San Lucas

Accommodation

…a natural mystical place…

Pico Bonito Lodge

Accommodation

Honduras offers the birdwatcher, amateur and professional alike, an incredible opportunity to observe its avian fauna in a wide variety of habitats. To date, at least 740 bird species have been recorded here. The country is dotted with national parks and reserves which alone harbor most of the species at one time or another throughout the year…

Organisations

Birdlife Honduras

R Sherry Thorne, c/o Cooperacion Tdcnica, Apdo 30289 Toncontin, Tegucigalpa Honduras. + 504 341869; pili@ns.unah.hondunet.net

Friends of Celaque National Park

We hope to attract ecologists, biologists, and other scientists interested in studying the park's ecosystems, restoring degraded surrounding areas, and linking it to nearby natural areas through green corridors…

Patuca Foundation

The Patuca Foundation's mission is the conservation and sustainable development of the remaining tropical forests in Honduras, cooperating with local non-profit organization Grupo Ecológico Olancho (GEO).

Prolansate

Website

Mejorar la calidad de vida de los pobladores de las cuencas hidrográficas de la Bahía de Tela, a través de la conservación de los recursos naturales, agroforestales, el desarrollo comunitario, el ecoturismo, la concientización ambiental y el cambio de políticas en manejo sostenible de las áreas protegidas, utilizandos metodologías participativas.

Reserves

Celaque National Park

Information

Satellite View

Many bird species, particularly migratory ones, reside in the pine-oak forest between September and May. These include several species of warbler, woodpeckers, vultures, vireos, the American swallow-tailed kite…

Jeanette Kawas National Park

Information

Satellite View

You step off the boat over the seaweed-filled water and onto the sandy beach of Punta Sal. With every step you take, crabs scatter away, trying to avoid being stepped on…

La Muralla National Park

Information

Satellite View

Nature abounds and if you're lucky you'll see a great diversity of wildlife. The most common bird life are the local Central American species, but the area also attracts North American migrants. The resplendent quetzal is a year-round resident. Some people say quetzals are more abundant and more easily observed here than in the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. Quetzals are most observable February-April when they are breeding and raising their chicks…

La Tigra National Park

Information

Satellite View

The magic of the cloud forest, combining the complexity of a mixed pine, oak and liquidambar forest, is the main attraction in this unique protected area. The park has a wide variety of flora and fauna and plays a major role in water production for the capital city and surrounding communities…

Macaw Mountain

Website

Satellite View

At Macaw Mountain, visitors are immersed in the natural beauty of Honduras as they walk on trails and wooden pathways through the lush, stream-cut valley. In addition to interacting with parrots and toucans, Macaw Mountain has excellent wild bird watching and a wealth of native butterflies, beetles, orchids and mature, native trees. Well-informed bilingual guides enforce the park`s strong ecological focus by providing visitors with in-depth information about birds, vital links between coffee farming and bird populations, and the importance of certain species within the cosmology of the ancient Maya of Copán.

National Parks of Trujillo

Website

This wildlife refuge is home to many species of waterbirds, as well as crocidiles, turtles, white faced monkeys, iguanas, and hundreds of species of fish.

Pico Bonito National Park

Webpage

Satellite View

Pico Bonito National Park is a bird watcher's paradise. Nearly 200 species of birds have been identified. Who can ever forget the hanging nests of the Montezuma Oropendola. Giant black cowbirds are often seen around oropendola colonies. The bright red and black of the Scarlet-Rumped Tanager is a sight never to be forgotten. When you hear a loud wing-snapping noise strain your eyes to see the White-Collared Manakin.

Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve

Webpage

Satellite View

Thirty-nine species of mammals, 377 species of birds and 126 of reptiles and amphibians have been recorded. Threatened species include giant anteater…

Wetlands of International Importance

Webpage

Honduras currently has nine sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 270,224 hectares.

Other Links

Checklist - Birds of Honduras

Checklist

Community Cloud Forest Conservation

Website

In traditional Q'eqchi' Maya expression it is said "the forest catches the clouds (li kiche' naxchap li choq)." This is exactly what a cloud forest does. Cloud forests catch clouds. Or in the parlance of biologists, cloud forests filter clouds in a process called lateral cloud filtration. Clouds blow in among the trees as moisture from the ocean moves inland, encountering mountains. Water droplets (like the one pictured below) collect on the leaves of the trees of these forests through the process of lateral cloud filtering. In many cases, cloud filtration accounts for more than half of the annual precipitation in cloud forests.

Hondubirding

Website

Some sightings in Honduras…

Honduran Birds

Website

We are the first official Honduran nature travel company for Birding, the leading birding and nature specialists for Honduras.

Mayan Birding

Website

Mesoamerica is a big destination for foreign birdwatchers. It forms the bridge between the largely temperate species of North America and the tropical species of South America. It is home to a large number of endemics, many of which are much sought after by the bird watching connoisseur, such as the Resplendent Quetzal and the Horned Guan. However, the majority of birders visiting Mesoamerica confine their birding to Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama, leaving Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua as relative birding backwaters. This is a terrible shame as there is some fantastic birding to be had. Throughout the 1980s three of these countries suffered from civil wars which put off many visitors, but now the countries have stabilized it is time for birders to return and find out what they have been missing.