A Birder’s Paradise in Honduras

A Birder’s Paradise in Honduras

The colorfully marked, big billed, tropical toucan was the highlight of our trip to #Honduras. But the bird didn't make itself easy to find. We spent an #active day tracking them down, and found some other wonderful birds in the process. Spending time out in #nature may have just turned me into a proper birder.


On our last day at Pico Bonito, we awoke before dawn, determined to carry out our mission: to search for and find the famous toucan.

The Pico Bonito National Park is home to a myriad of wildlife, ranging from the world famous toucan bird to the Central American aguti, the elusive jaguar, and ocelot (a type of big cat). Out of the 750 species of birds that inhabit Honduras, 500 of them are found here in Pico Bonito. New species continue to be found each year. Head naturalist of the Lodge at Pico Bonito, James Adam, even goes so far to call this, “the toucan capital of the world.” Undoubtedly, we made it our mission to catch a glimpse of the toucan bird while we’re here.

from  $215.4

Hotel The Lodge at Pico Bonito

 Aldea El Pino Km 175, La Ceiba, Honduras
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Over the weekend, we had hiked around the surrounding rainforest, hopped on a boat to see howler monkeys on the Salado River, and even gone on a night hike in the jungle – but the toucan bird had eluded us. It was now our last opportunity to see one.

from  $1,979

Birder's Paradise

Active
 Pico Bonito National Park, Atlantida, Honduras
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Blurry eyed, we wandered through the lodge’s ground finding our way through the early morning mist. Even before leaving the grounds, the birds were already circling overhead. My excitement heightened with each bird we saw –- the yellow social flycatcher that perched on its nest, the cute crested chestnut colored woodpecker working away on a tree, the beautiful cotinga with its psychedelic blue feathers, and the famous motmot with its long self-trimmed tail.

The keel-billed toucan finally shows upPhoto credit: Head Naturalist James Adam

Elmer eventually led us up to the top of an observation tower that opened up to sweeping views of the Nombre de Dios mountain range. The minute I stepped foot on the platform, Elmer called out to me, “Quick, look!”

Beautiful blue colors of the blue cotinga

I turned to my right, and there it was: a rainbow-colored keel-billed toucan perched on the top of a tree right beside the tower. It wasn’t close enough for us to snap a good photo and didn’t even stay long enough – but through the binoculars, I got a glimpse of its gorgeous pointed beak, big eyes, yellow feathers, and brown back. It was indeed a very special moment.

The famous motmot makes an appearance too

Our mission was now complete but I felt as though my love affair with birding had just begun.

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