BIRDING THE LANCETILLA BOTANICAL GARDEN
Just west of Tela, amidst a coastal valley flanked by low, rain-forested hills, The United Fruit Company founded Lancetilla Botanical Gardens. Lancetilla was started as a station where tropical fruit and wood trees were studied for commercial value. The Gardens were founded in 1925, and some of that work continues. However this diverse tropical treasure, composed of a mosaic of forest and edge habitats, is today best known for its superb birding.
Lancetilla has become a hot spot for tropical birders due to its diversity of forest and habitat types, and associated mix of bird species. Over 350 species have been documented from the Gardens to date.
Honduras ‘annual Christmas Bird Count is held at Lancetilla, and every December, bird watchers flock to confirm, and add, to the Garden’s growing list of colorful, tropical species. The current bird list reads like a who’s who of tropical birds, and includes Motmots and Manakins, Woodcreepers and Warblers, Woodpeckers, Toucans, Tanagers, and scores of others.
Among this diversity, three popular target species are; Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Orange-billed Sparrow, and Ruddy Crake.
A morning of birding at Lancetilla gets going along the Garden’s productive entrance road, and leads into the main arboretum/garden area with its diverse collection of tropical plant and tree species. Depending on our group’s wishes, we may also bird the surrounding slopes in search of the forest interior species that inhabit this part of the preserve.
This birding tour leaves Rio Santiago at 6:00 AM, and includes lunch in the sea-side town of Tela. We typically return to The Resort by late afternoon.