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20 February - 2 March 1998

by Howard Youth

I just returned from a 10-day trip to Honduras.  While it was not a full-time birding trek, I was able to visit a good number of natural areas and squeeze in a good bit of birding.  I found seeing Neotropical migrants in subtropical and tropical settings as much a highlight as spotting many interesting resident species.  Honduras is a sleeper when it comes to ecotourism.  Belize and Costa Rica have received the lion's share of U.S.  press, but Honduras has wonderful potential.  For one thing, the country, though growing rapidly, still has many wild places.  It has a wonderful park system--at least on paper--but the core areas of most parks remain intact.  The problem for the eco-traveler is that most parks lack infrastructure (that includes trails).  Getting to many parks requires some work before hand.  For example, to get to the mangroves at Cuero y Salado, you need to arrange to get a railroad car ride to the dropoff point for boat rides (which also have to be arranged).  Nonetheless, Honduras promises many thrills for the birder.

Outside Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, the largest cities (where normal urban caution is required), and eastern frontier areas (where some carjacking has taken place), the country seems to be as safe as anywhere in Central America (including Belize and Costa Rica).  Belated thanks to Mark Oberle for his fine Birdchat trip report from his September 1996 journey to Honduras.

Below is a list of birds sighted between Feb. 20 and March 2.

Areas visited:

Tegucigalpa                      T (outskirts)
La Tigra National Park           LT
Cuero y Salado                   CS
Pico Bonito NP foothills         PB
Lancetilla Botanical Garden      L
Punta Sal                        PS
Punta Isopo                      PI
La Ceiba                         LC
Lake Yajoa                       LY


1.  Little Tinamou              heard L
2.  Brown Pelican               PS
3.  Neotropical Cormorant       PS, Tela
4.  Anhinga                     CS
5.  Magnificent Frigatebird     PS
6.  Bare-throated Tiger-heron   L
7.  Great Blue Heron            CS, PS, LY
8.  Little Blue Heron           common in all wetlands
9.  Great Egret                 CS, PS, LY
10. Snowy Egret                 PS
11. Cattle Egret                most common heron; common roadside, etc.
12. Tricolored Heron            CS, PS
13. Green Heron                 CS, PS
14. Black-crowned Night-Heron   PS
15. Yellow-crowned Nigh-Heron   PS, PI
16. Boat-billed Heron           CS
17. Wood Stork                  CS
18. Fulvous Whistling-Duck      LY
19. Black-bellied Whistling-DuckLY
20. Blue-winged Teal            LY
21. Masked Duck                 LY
22. Black Vulture               omnipresent, one of the commonest birds
23. Turkey Vulture              common to fairly common most places
24. Osprey                      CS
25. Swallow-tailed Kite         LT
26. White-tailed Kite           T, LY
27. Snail Kite                  LY
28. Common Black Hawk           PS
29. Gray Hawk                   road between Tela and La Ceiba
30. Roadside Hawk               CS
31. Zone-tailed Hawk            T
32. Laughing Falcon             L
33. American Kestrel            road between T and LT
34. Plain Chachalaca            heard L
35. Purple Gallinule            LY
36. Common Gallinule            LY
37. American Coot               LY
38. Limpkin                     LY
39. Black-bellied Plover        PS
40. Semipalmated Plover         PS
41. Northern Jacana             LY, CS, PI
42. Spotted Sandpiper           PS
43. Whimbrel                    PS
44. Sanderling                  PS
45. Laughing Gull               PS
46. Royal Tern                  PS, Tela
47. Sandwich Tern               PS
48. Black Skimmer               PS
49. Rock Dove                   T, Tela, roadside towns
50. Red-billed Pigeon           L, Tela
51. White-winged Dove           T
52. Inca Dove                   La Ceiba, roadside
53. Ruddy Ground-dove           T, roadside
54. White-crowned Parrot        PB
55. White-fronted Parrot        L
56. Red-lored Parrot            L
57. Squirrel Cuckoo             L
58. Groove-billed Ani           CS, L, La Ceiba
59. Ferruginous Pygmy-owl       L
60. Vaux's Swift                LY
61. Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift CS
62. Long-tailed Hermit          L
63. White-eared Hummingbird     LT
64. Green-breasted Mountain-gem LT
65. Cinnamon Hummingbird        T
66. Black-headed Trogon         L
67. Mountain Trogon             LT
68. Collared Trogon             PB
69. Turquoise-browed Motmot     PB
70. Blue-crowned Motmot         LY
71. Ringed Kingfisher           CS, PB
72. Amazon Kingfisher           PB (Rio Congrejal)
73. White-necked Puffbird       CS
74. Rufous-tailed Jacamar       L
75. Emerald Toucanet            LT
76. Keel-billed Toucan          CS, L
77. Golden-fronted Woodpecker   T, L, La Ceiba, Valle de Angeles
78. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker    L
79. Chestnut-colored Woodpecker L
80. Pale-billed Woodpecker      h. L
81. Spotted Woodcreeper         LT
82. Black Phoebe                PB (Rio Congrejal)
83. Great Kiskadee              common throughout lowlands, North Coast
84. Social Flycatcher           common La Ceiba, L
85. Tropical Kingbird           fairly common roadside North Coast
86. Rose-throated Becard        L
87. Masked Tityra               common L
88. White-collared Manakin      L
89. N. Rough-winged Swallow     near LT, PB (Rio Congrejal)
90. Brown Jay                   L, CS
91. Bushy-crested Jay           near LT
92. Southern House Wren         T, L
93. Rufous-naped Wren           T
94. Blue-grey Gnatcatcher       PS
95. Slate-colored Solitaire     LT (beautiful song!)
96. Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush     LT
97. Grey Catbird                L
98. Tropical Mockingbird        h. T
99. White-eyed Vireo            h. CS 100. Blue-headed Vireo          LT
101. Tennessee Warbler          LT
102. Crescent-chested Warbler   LT (common)
103. Yellow Warbler             T, LY
104. Magnolia Warbler           T
105. Townsend's Warbler         LT
106. Black-thr. Green Warbler   fairly common LT
107. Black-and-white Warber     LT
108. Prothonotary Warbler       one each at CS, PS, PI--all in mangroves
109. American Redstart          one male, mangroves PI; one female brush PB
110. Northern Waterthrush       one PB
111. Common Yellowthroat        LY
112. Wilson's Warbler           very common LT, in cloud forest and brush
113. Slate-throated Redstart    LT
114. Blue-grey Tanager          LC, LY
115. Yellow-winged Tanager      LC
116. Hepatic Tanager            LT
117. Crimson-collared Tanager   L
118. Scarlet-rumped Tanager     L
119. Common Bush-tanager        indeed common at LT
120. Greyish Saltator           LY
121. Blue-black Grosbeak        L
122. White-collared Seedeater   LC, L, roadside North Coast
123. Melodious Blackbird        L, PB, LC
124. Great-tailed Grackle       most widespread bird of trip
125. Giant Cowbird              sev. at oropendola nest tree L
126. Montezuma Oropendola       L, CS, PS
127. Black-cowled Oriole        PB
128. Orchard Oriole             LY and LC, feeding on wisps of eucalyptus
129. Yellow-backed Oriole       road out of LT (Rosario entrance)
130. Baltimore Oriole           L (just one male)
131. Spot-breasted Oriole       LC
132. House Sparrow              T
133. Clay-colored Robin         T, LT, Tela, etc.

Howard Youth

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