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Birds of the Honduran highlands and lake Yojoa

“Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation has asked Beaks and Peaks to develop a number of tours in Honduras to help us with our conservation efforts for Missouri birds. Many of Missouri’s birds migrate south to the beautiful habitats of Honduras and other Central American countries. Over the past couple decades, Missouri ornithologists in partnership with biologists from other states and countries have worked diligently to prevent the loss of bird habitat and migratory pathways both in the United States of America and in Central America. Our partnership with Beaks and Peaks is part of our efforts to continue funding and raising awareness of the importance of this work. Each time you purchase one of these Conservation trips, you are contributing toward the ongoing protection of bird habitat. I am excited about the adventure ahead of us!” – Cynthia Hawcroft, Research/Foundation Associate, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation

This 8-day “Birds of the Honduran highlands and lake Yojoa” trip offers a quick but rich introduction to birding in Honduras. In only one week, you will visit several of our country’s top birding locations: from La Tigra National Park near the capital Tegucigalpa, through the highlands of La Paz, towards Lake Yojoa and its adjacent mountain ranges Santa Bárbara and Cerro Azul Meámbar.

This is intense trip; with a high birding pace, some long drives, and a few rather strenuous walks in La Tigra and El Cedral (think: pretty steep and potentially slippery). But if you are up to it, it will be very rewarding: thanks to the variety in habitat types you will visit during this trip, you will be going home with an impressive bird list, and a truly authentic experience in an off-thebeaten-track — yet rapidly upcoming — birding and nature destination!

DEPARTURES

March 25 – April 1st, 2017 (option*)

*min. 4 participants are needed to guarantee departure (and max. 8)

BRIEF SUMMARY

Day 1

Pickup at Tegucigalpa airport, transfer to hotel near La Tigra NP, birding around the hote

Day 2

Birding in La Tigra NP

Day 3

Transfer to Marcala, birding around the hotel

Day 4

Birding in the highlands of Opatoro-Guajiquiro

Day 5

Transfer to Cerro Azul Meámbar NP, birding around PANACAM Lodge

Day 6

Birding in El Cedral

Day 7

Birding on the canal and the lake in the morning, in Ecofinca Luna del Puente in the afternoon

Day 8

Transfer to San Pedro Sula airport

Lake Yojoa and the Santa Bárbara mountains in the backdrop

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 | Pickup at Tegucigalpa airport, transfer to hotel near La Tigra NP, birding around the hotel

We pick you up from Tegucigalpa upon your arrival and bring you to our hotel near La Tigra National Park. There will likely still be time to go for some afternoon birding near the hotel, where we will look for Blue-andWhite Mockingbirds, Bushy-crested Jays, Yellow-backed Orioles, Black-vented Orioles, White-eared Hummingbirds, Azurecrowned Hummingbirds, Blue-crowned Motmots, White-breasted Hawks and more. After nightfall we enjoy chatting and getting to know each other during a hearty welcome dinner.

Day 2 | Birding in La Tigra NP

Today we spend all day in the Opatoro and Guajiquiro highlands. We drive through patches of farmland, coffee plantations, pine-oak forest and cloud forest, making many stops along the way in search of some northern Central-American specialties such as the Blue-throated Motmot, Greenthroated Mountaingem, Black-throated Jay, Rufous-collared Thrush, Fulvous Owl and Cinnamon- bellied Flowerpiercer, Flamecolored Tanager, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird, White-faced Quail-Dove, Highland Guan etcetera.

Day 3 | Transfer to Marcala, birding around the hotel

Today will bring us to highlands of Opatoro and Guajiquiro in the department of La Paz in western Honduras. After settling into our hotel, we take the time to go birding around the hotel, where we are have good chances to encounter species such as the Black-vented Oriole, Red Crossbill, Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Whiskered Screech- Owl, Common Black Hawk, Ruddy Crake, Blue-crowned Motmot, Eastern Meadowlark, Great Horned Owl, Fulvous Owl and many more.

Bushy-crested Jay

Fulvous Owl

Resplendent Quetzal

Day 4 | Birding in the highlands of Opatoro and Guajiquiro

Today we spend all day in the Opatoro and Guajiquiro highlands. We drive through patches of farmland, coffee plantations, pine-oak forest and cloud forest in search of some northern Central-American specialties such as the Blue-throated Motmot, Green-throated Mountaingem, Black-throated Jay, Rufous-collared Thrush, Fulvous Owl and Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer, Flame-colored Tanager, White-faced Quail-Dove, Highland Guan, Slender Sheartail, Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird etcetera.

Blue-throated Motmot

Day 5 | Transfer to Cerro Azul Meámbar NP, birding around PANACAM Lodge

We leave early to the Lake Yojoa area, home to the biggest variety of bird species in Honduras. On the way, we stop at the El Consejero hummingbird garden near La Esperanza, where we can see highland hummers such as Magnificent Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Hummingbird etc.

We have lunch at a restaurant on the Lake which offers splendid view over the lake and the surrounding wetlands and marshes. Over here we have the opportunity to spot water birds such as Pale-billed Grebes, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Bare-throated Tiger- Herons, Ringed Kingfishers, Snail Kites, Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures and so on.

After lunch we drive up to our hotel PANACAM Lodge. Once we are settled, we have time for afternoon birding around the Lodge in search for the Blackcrested Coquette, Barred Forest- Falcon, Collared Araçari, Keel-billed Motmot, Blue-crowned Motmot, Masked Tityra, Crimson-collared Tanager, White-throated Thrush, Long-billed Hermit, Violet Sabrewing and more.

Day 6 | Birding in El Cedral

Today we are off for a very early start. We drive up into the Santa Bárbara mountains to a small community called El Cedral. One of the locals has been protecting a vast and stunningly beautiful patch of land that offers some of the best birding in the area. Resplendent Quetzals are almost a given here, as they come down to feed of the aguacatillo trees. Other birds of interest are Emeraldchinned hummingbird, Blue-crowned Chlorophonia, Magnificent Hummingbird, Green-throated Mountain-Gem, Black Thrush, Mountain Thrush, Golden-crowned Warbler, Bushy-crested Jay etc.

Blue-crowned Chlorophonia

Keel-billed Motmot

Green Jay

Day 7 | Birding on the canal and the lake in the morning, in Ecofinca Luna del Puente in the afternoon

Today we do some early morning birding on the canal and the north shore of Lake Yojoa. We look out for Bare-throated Tiger-Herons, Pinnated and Least Bittern, Fork-tailed Flycatcher, Black-crowned Tityra, Crimson-collared Tanagers, Sora, Green-backed Sparrow, Rufous-breasted Spinetail, Grey-breasted Crake and others.

In the afternoon we go to private reserve Ecofinca Luna del Puente. This finca produces environmentally friendly coffee and cacao, and is one of the top birding locations in Honduras. In the finca, we look for Prevost’s Ground-Sparrow, Northern Potoo, Green Jay, Blue-throated Goldentail, White-collared Manakin, and many more. Afterwards we return to PANACAM Lodge for a delicious farewell dinner

Day 8 | Transfer to San Pedro Sula airport

Depending on your departure time, we can make another quick birding stop near the lake before bringing you to San Pedro Sula airport in time for your flight.