Republic of Honduras

Blue-crowned Chlorophonia Chlorophonia occipitalis ©Birding Ecotours Website
Birding Honduras

The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.Honduras spans about 112,492 km2 and has a population exceeding 9 million. Its northern portions are part of the Western Caribbean Zone, as reflected in the area’s demographics and culture. Honduras is known for its rich natural resources, including minerals, coffee, tropical fruit, and sugar cane, as well as for its growing textiles industry, which serves the international market.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 766 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 see the links below.

This page is sponsored by Caligo Ventures Nature Tours & Travel

Top Sites
  • La Tigra National Park

    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

    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

    WebpageSatellite 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

    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!
Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 776

    (As at October 2018)

    National Bird: Scarlet Macaw Ara macao

Endemics
  • Number of endemics: 1

    Honduran Emerald Amazilia luciae
Checklist

  • iGoTerra Checklist

    iGoTerra Checklist
    Fatbirder Associate iGoTerra offers the most comprehensive and up to date birds lists on the web
Useful Reading

  • Annotated Checklist to the Birds of Honduras

    | By Robert J Gallardo | Robert Gallardo | 2011 | Spiralbound | 22 pages, 1 colour map | #208650 | ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Birds of Central America

    | (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama) | By Andrew Vallely & Dale Dyer | Princeton University Press | 2018 | Paperback | 560 pages, 260 plates with colour illustrations; 1190+ colour distribution maps | ISBN: 9780691138022 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Guide to the Birds of Honduras

    | By Robert J Gallardo, John Sill, Michael DiGiorgio & Ian Griffiths | Robert Gallardo | 2015 | Paperback | 554 pages, 11 plates with 33 colour photos, 73 plates with 1000 colour illustrations; b/w distribution maps, 1 fold-out colour map | ISBN: 9789992649961 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Guide to the Birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras

    | By R S Ridgely & J A Gwynne | Princeton University Press | 1992 | paperback | 534 pages, 48 colour plates, 53 line illustrations | ISBN: 9780691025124 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Organisations
  • ASHO - Honduran Association of Ornithology

    Website
    The ASHO - Honduran Ornithology Association , was born on July 17, 2010, as an initiative of biologists, birdwatchers, photographers and conservationists, to promote scientific research and conservation of the birds of Honduras; Also seeks to encourage birdwatching tourism and encourage birding among Hondurans.
  • Birdlife Honduras

    Website
    R Sherry Thorne, c/o Cooperacion Tdcnica, Apdo 30289 Toncontin, Tegucigalpa Honduras. + 504 341869; pili@ns.unah.hondunet.net
  • Friends of Celaque National Park

    Website
    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

    Website
    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 Ecol
  • Prolansate

    Website
    Mejorar la calidad de vida de los pobladores de las cuencas hidrogr
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • BR Río Plátano

    WebpageSatellite View
    Located on the watershed of the Río Plátano, the reserve is one of the few remains of a tropical rainforest in Central America and has an abundant and varied plant and wildlife. In its mountainous landscape sloping down to the Caribbean coast, over 2,000 indigenous people have preserved their traditional way of life. Thirty-nine species of mammals, 377 species of birds and 126 of reptiles and amphibians have been recorded. Threatened species include giant anteater…
  • NP Capiro Calentura

    InformationSatellite View
    It covers an area of 50 square kilometres.
  • NP Celaque

    InformationSatellite 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…
  • NP Cerro Azul Meámbar

    InformationSatellite View
    The park covers an area of 300 square kilometres. It has an altitude of between 1,800 and 2,047 metres.
  • NP Cerro Azul de Copán

    InformationSatellite View
    The park was established on 1 January 1987 and covers an area of 154.6 square kilometres. It has an altitude of between 1,800 and 2,285 metres.
  • NP Cusuco

    InformationSatellite View
    Cusuco National Park is a 23,400 hectares (58,000 acres) protected area in the Merendon mountains of northwest Honduras. Cusuco supports exceptional biodiversity. Some of the key features of the park include the globally threatened taxa which the park protects - especially amphibians.
  • NP Jeanette Kawas

    InformationSatellite 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…
  • NP La Muralla

    InformationSatellite 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…
  • NP La Tigra

    InformationSatellite 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…
  • NP Montaña Santa Bárbara

    InformationSatellite View
    It was established on 1 January 1987 and covers an area of 121.3 square kilometres. It has an altitude of 2,777 metres.
  • NP Montaña de Comayagua

    InformationSatellite View
    The park is home of many waterfalls. The Río Gavilán has a 50 metre high water fall called the Cascada de los Ensueños.
  • NP Montaña de Yoro

    InformationSatellite View
    t was established on 1 January 1987 and covers an area of 154.8 square kilometres. It has an altitude of between 1,800 and 2,245 metres.
  • NP Montecristo Trifinio

    InformationSatellite View
    The Montecristo massif is an area where the borders of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador meet, and its protection was a joint initiative of these three countries, which resulted in the creation of the national parks in Honduras and El Salvador, as well as the Guatemalan Trifinio biosphere reserve.
  • NP Patuca

    InformationSatellite View
    The park covers an area of 3755.84 square kilometres.
  • NP Pico Bonito

    InformationSatellite 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.
  • NP Pico Pijol

    InformationSatellite View
    Pico Pijol covers an area of 122.1 square kilometres. It has an altitude of between 1,800 and 2,282 metres.
  • NP Punta Izopo

    InformationSatellite View
    This is a national park located in the municipality of Tela, on the northern Caribbean coast of the Atlántida department of Honduras. It has an altitude of 118 metres.
  • NP Sierra de Agalta

    InformationSatellite View
    Sierra de Agalta National Park covers an area of 207.85 square kilometres. It has an altitude of between 1,800 and 2,354 metres.
  • NR Macaw Mountain

    WebsiteSatellite View
    Located on ten acres of forested terrain in a stream-fed valley, our multifaceted eco-tourism project is only 10 minutes away by vehicle from the central square of Copán Ruinas, Honduras. Our mission is to educate and to connect our visitors with the rescue, rehabilitation and release programs for the birds under our care, to promote the conservation of our cultural and natural heritage and to lobby for an environmentally responsible society.
  • WII IBA Lake Yojoa

    InformationSatellite View
    The west side of the lake is bordered by steep mountains and Santa Bárbara National Park while the east side is adjacent to Cerro Azul Meambar National Park. Lake Yojoa is a popular fishing destination and the surrounding area has a rich biodiversity—almost 400 species of birds and 800 plant species have been identified in the region. However, it also is threatened by deforestation, cattle ranching, and development.
  • Wetlands of International Importance

    WebpageSatellite View
    Honduras currently has 10 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites), with a surface area of 271,767 hectares.
Guides & Tour Operators


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  • Coco Tours

    Tour Operator
    Tour operator in Honduras. Birding, trekking and rainforest packages…
  • Honduran Birds

    Tour Operator
    We are the first official Honduran nature travel company for Birding, the leading birding and nature specialists for Honduras.
  • 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
    Mesoam
Trip Reports


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  • 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…
  • 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 [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 [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...
  • 2016 [01 January] - Diego Calderon

    PDF Report
    ...Euphonias coming to the melastome fruits on the garden. Brown Jays (locally known as “bush police”) were everywhere as well as Melodious Blackbirds, Montezuma Oropendolas, and the lovely medium size rodents known as Central American Agouti in the garden offering great photo opportunities for Alan and Sheila...
  • 2017 [03 March] - Robert Gallardo

    PDF Report
    This year BirdQuest launched its groundbreaking tour to Honduras and it turned out to be an outstanding trip. This little known country, located in northern Central American, is visited by very few bird watchers.
  • 2018 [03 March] - Erik Bruhnke

    PDF Report
    Every day of our Honduras Pico Bonito tour was a unique birding adventure from the moment we arrived until the end of the last afternoon. The staff at Pico Bonito welcomed us with open arms andfruitful drinks. In addition to delectable dining experiences every day, our top-notch local guide, Olbin Benjarano, took extraordinarily good care of us. The entire visit to Honduras was above and beyond, andit all started with our first footsteps at the lodge entrance.
  • 2018 [04 April] - Robert Gallardo

    PDF Report
    This year marked Naturalist Journeys’ inaugural buBerfly and bird tour to Honduras with four spirited adventurers from Canada. The slow paced tour included visiting only two areas: the Lake Yojoa region and the north coast centered around a large river abuJng Pico Bonito N.P.
  • 2019 [05 May] - Ann Duff

    PDF Report
    Our tour to Honduras was booked with Alexander Alvarado who had been recommended by Michael Carmody of Legacy Tours with whom Stuart Keenan, Ann and Andrew had travelled previously. Consequently their target lists were shorter than Sonia’s and Stuart White’s lists.
Places to Stay


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  • 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
  • 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…
Other Links
  • 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.

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