by James Barton
On the very strong recommendation of a person responding to an RFI Honduras, four of us went to the Lago de Yohoa, two hours south of San Pedro Sula (SPS) by car.
Lacking time, a guide and a proper vehicle for going up into the mountains, we had to restrict ourselves largely to the grounds of Las Glorias, a coffee plantation whose owners have converted a part of their holding into a facility for small conventions and family vacations. Go there. Fax in San Pedro Sula: 56-0461.
"Un Entorno Natural a su Alcance," says their business card. You probably won't find "entorno" in any of your dictionaries. It's sometimes used to mean "environment" or "surroundings." I'd translate it here as "world,"--"un entorno natural a su alcance"--"a world of nature within your reach." And there sure is one within your reach here (including beautiful butterflies and obnoxious horse flies).
The following list resulted from two days observation July 23 and 24 at Las Glorias (except where indicated). Species are listed by habitat, beginning with the freshwater marsh and going up a steep road several kilometers through the tree-shaded coffee plantation up to the *paved* road to the small town of Pena Blanca. IMPORTANT travel details on request to the email address below.
* Mosquero des Balsas *Xenotriccus mexicanus* Pileated Flycatcher
I expect this bird to be controversial because it's said to be endemic to SW Mexico. Nesting pair observed at length, feeding young. Prominent spiky crest, wing-bars, teardrop-shaped eyering. Highly satisfactory resemblance to the birds portrayed in Howell and Webb and in Peterson and Chalif. Nest appeared to satisfy description in HW.
* Golondrina Azuliblanca *Notiochelidon cyanoleuca [patagonica??]* Blue-and-White Swallow
We went on a powerboat ride out on the lake, not bringing HW. Mangrove Swallows (see below) were evident by their white rumps. What were these dark Tree Swallows (*Tachycineta bicolor*}? Probably they belonged to a dark, sedentary local race, we thought. We appear to have been quite wrong.
Southern populations of Blue-and-White Swallow are austral migrants, say HW. They give its range as Costa Rica to Tierra del Fuego, report Mesoamerican sightings only from Chiapas, Mexico and from Guatemala, but say "probably more regular, should be looked for." In "Birds of Panama," Ridgely reports sightings from Honduras but cites no sources. In "Swallows & Martins," Turner and Rose note only the same two Mesoamerican sightings as HW.
Tree Swallows are white below the tail, Blue-and-White Swallows dark.
Before proceeding I will again make the disclaimer posted in my very brief report on Copan Ruinas: I give the Spanish and scientific names as presented in Howell and Webb's "A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America without any confidence that the Spanish names are necessarily those used by anyone in Honduras. Some do appear to be commonly used names, others do not. I will want to return to the subject of Spanish names in a later posting.
* Garza-tigre Gorjinuda *Tigrosoma mexicanum* Bare-throated Tiger Heron
* Garza Grande *Egretta alba egretta* Great Egret
* Garza Azul *Egretta caerulea* Little Blue Heron
* Golondrina Manglera *Tachycineta a. albilinea* Mangrove Swallow
* Golondrina Azuliblanca (see above)
* Zambullidor Piquipinto *Podylimbus podiceps* Pied-billed Grebe
* Jacana Mesoamericana (yech) it's Pollo de Agua *Jacana s. spinosa* Northern Jacana
* Milano Caracolero *Rosthramus sociabilis* Snail Kite
* Pijiji Aliblanco *Dendrocygna a. autumnalis* Black-bellied Whistling Duck
* Zorzal Pardo *Turdus grayi* Clay-colored Thrush (Robin)
* Semillero Collarejo *Sporophila torquela* White-collared Seedeater
* Mosquero de Balsas (see above)
* Pibi Occidental *Contopus sordidulus* Western Pewee (Wood-Pewee)
* Trepatroncos Olivaceo *Sittasomus gresiecapillus* Olivaceous Woodcreeper
* Titira Enmascarada *Titiria semifasciata* Masked Tityra
* Titira Piquinegra *Tityra inquisitor fraserii* Black-crowned Tityra
* Momoto Gorjiazul *Aspatha gularis* Blue-throated Motmot
* Momoto Coroniazul *Momotus momota* Blue-crowned Motmot
* Oropendula de Moctezuma *Psarocolius montezuma* Montezuma Oropendula
* Cacique piquiclaro *Amblycercus h. holosericeus* Yellow-billed Cacique (seen)
* Carpintero Olivaceo *Piculus rubiginosus* Golden-olive Woodpecker
* Chara Papan (yech, it's Pe:a--"PAY-uh") *Cyanocorax morio* Brown Jay
* Trogon Cabecinegro *Trogon m. melanocephalus* Black-headed (Citreoline) Trogon
* Trogon Violaceo *Trogon violaceus braccatus* Violaceous Trogon
* Perico Pechisucio *Aratanga aztec or A. nana (in part)* Aztec Parakeet
* Loro Frentiblanco *Amazona albifrons* White-fronted Parrot
* Loro Cachete-amarillo *Amazona autumnalis* Red-lored
The following two species were observed from the covered deck at the Agua Azul cabin complex on the shore of the lake not far from Las Glorias.
* Cotinga Azuleja *Cotinga amabilis* Lovely Cotinga
* Cabezon Aliblanco *Pacyramphus polychopterus cinereventris* White-winged Becard
The above two birds appeared to be nesting
Copan Archaelogical Museum
by James Barton
Several of you requested that I give you an update on the new archaelogical museum at Copan when I returned. Herewith. Information of more general interest to birders will follow in a few days.
The official inauguration of the truly magnificent new museum is now scheduled for August 3rd, hence, if you're planning to visit in mid-August you may find it open to the public. On the other hand, you may not, for the place may still be full of people directing and completing work.
The museum was not open to the general public on July 21, when it was supposed to be inaugurated. We were given a tour by a friend. We noted small groups coming into the museum from the park headquarters, apparently being led by park staff. We were given to understand that you can arrange such a tour by request to Oscar Cruz of the Asociacion Copan at the park headquarters. I don't know if there is a special charge.
The price for general admisssion to non-residents of Central America has been raised very sharply. Our Mexican friends paid 100 Lempiras each, while we paid 135. (The Lempira was 11.5 to the dollar when we arrived, 12 to the dollar when we left Honduras.) I don't object to the price. I'm just just letting you know that the guide books are way out of date.
If you want to pay top dollar, I can recommend the remodelled Marina Copan at $65.00 double. We stayed at a very fine bed and breakfast, the Case de Cafe, for $38.00. Phone: (504) 52-7254. Fax: (504) 52-0523. Address: Apartado Postal 3753, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, C.A.
For the latest information, I suggest you contact the excellent specialized bi-lingual tourist magazine **Honduras Tips**, edited by John Dupuis and friend of Howard Rozenzweig, who, with his Honduran wife, Angela, is co-owner of the Casa de Cafe. Phone: (504) 56-8567. Fax (504) 56-7762. Address: A.P. 2699, San Pedro.
The birding at Las Supulturas along the Copan River proved better than at the ruins, perhaps not surprisingly. A female Slaty Finch **Haplospiza rustica** called Fringilo Plomizo by Howell and Webb responded to my poor imitation of a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. H&W describe the species as **rare and local**. I was able to study the bird at length. It was the only bird that did respond.
Cambridge Conservation Commission