AGUAN VALLEY- THE ENDEMIC HONDURAN EMERALD HUMMINGBIRD
The beautiful, but critically endangered Honduran Emerald Hummingbird survives in remaining pockets of tropical dry forest to the south of Pico Bonito National Park.
Descending the “rain shadow”, or southern side of the Park, cloud forested peaks and pine studded slopes give way to an arid, almost desert-like plain, once dominated by tropical thorn or dry forest.
Today, much of this vast Rio Aguan Valley has been converted to cattle ranch and agriculture. However, important areas of the hummingbird’s habitat have been set aside and preserved. Happily, within these critical protected areas, Honduras’ brilliant green jewel, the endemic Honduran Emerald, continues to thrive.
Although endangered, the Honduran Emerald is considered common within its habitat. As such, regardless of season, our chances of seeing the Honduran Emerald are very good. In fact, the birds can usually be photographed and filmed at close range with little to no impact.
The ride into “Emerald country” can be equally exciting, as a surprising number of bird species inhabit dry forest. Along the way, we’ll also visit localized wet areas within this arid region. These sites can be magnets for wading birds and other species. We’ll go after such as; Double-striped Thick-knee, Lesser Roadrunner, Lesser Ground-cuckoo, Beardless Tyrannulet, White-lored Gnatcatcher, White-throated Magpie-jay, Banded Wren, White-bellied Wren, and Stripe-headed Sparrow among others.
A guided day of birding into Honduran Emerald habitat leaves at 4:00 AM. Guests normally return to Rio Santiago by 4:00 PM. At mid-day, we’ll take a break for lunch in the nearby town of Olanchito.