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Honduras’ Birding Highlights

5based on 1 review
Honduras 14 Days
Starting From USD 3,850 / per person
Starting From USD 2,700 / per person

Honduras Hummingbird Photo Quest

4.83based on 4 reviews
Honduras 13 Days
Starting From USD 3,800 / per person
Honduran Emerald
Honduras’ only known endemic bird so far. Considered to be one of the ten rarest birds in the world. A beautiful medium-sized (4 in/10.2 cm) hummingbird with a glittering blue throat and upper chest, pale grey underparts, green upperparts, a bronze-green tail, a black upper and red lower mandible with black tip. Qualified as endangered by Wildlife International due to its restricted range and fragmented populations. Inhabits dry forest and scrub.
Ocellated Quail
The master of camouflage. Male has a distinctive black and white “harlequin” facial pattern with a coppery crown, grayish-brown upperparts with a complex pattern allowing him to disappear into the surrounding pine needles and ferns, dull grey flanks with buffy spots and reddish brown underparts with a black vent and thighs. Female is more cryptic and lacks the black and white facial pattern. Considered vulnerable by Wildlife International because of the expected population decline due to loss of habitat. Inhabits grassy understory of open pine and pine-oak woodland and brushy fields at elevations of 750-3,050 m.
Keel-billed Motmot
Probably the most sought after of Honduras’ seven (!) Motmot species. Medium-sized motmot with dark green upperparts, greenish-brown throat and chest with a black spot, brown underparts and a blue-green tail with blue rackets tipped black. Considered vulnerable by Wildlife International because of its fragmented populations in some of the most endangered habitats in Central America. Inhabits subcanopy and mid-story of mature humid rainforest. Digs burrows in river banks, ravines and crevices.
Bushy-crested Jay
A regional endemic to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Metallic blue upperparts, black head and yellow eyes. Inhabits pine-oak forest, mixed forest, wooded plantations and locally humid broadleaf forest. Usually observed in loud flocks, either same-species flocks or as nucleus of mixed flocks with orioles, saltators or other jays.
Agami Heron
A spectacular heron of Central America's lowland primary forest. Prefers dense vegetation near small streams and lagoons where it stands still for great lengths of time, making it extremely difficult to find away from the very few known rookeries. This highly secretive bird is certainly one of the most brilliant herons on earth, and the fact that so little is known about it only contributes to its enigmatic status. The combination of light and dark blue and green on chestnut provide a background for electric blue feathers on the side of the neck, which can appear to glow unto themselves in a the low-light understory.
Fulvous Owl
A highland owl occurring from southern Mexico to central Honduras and thus considered a regional endemic. A large wood owl with a round warm brown head without ear tufts, a yellow bill in a buffy face with a black rim, deep brown upperparts with white spots and bars, and buffy brown underparts with brown streaking. Inhabits highland pine-oak and broadleaf forest.
Wine-throated Hummingbird
A tiny but extravagant hummingbird. The male has a spectacular bright pink gorget that opens up when displaying. The female’s throat is speckled with green dots and bordered by a white band along the upper chest. Has a short straight bill, small white postocular spot, green back, light rufous flanks, a white belly and rufous outer tail feathers with a black band and a white tip. Occurs in highland humid to semi-humid forest, forest borders, clearings and semi-open areas where nectar sources are available.
Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)
An aptly named bird that many consider among the world's most beautiful. These brilliant blue, green, and red colored animals live in the humid forests of the Central American highlands and foothills where they eat fruit, insects, lizards, and other small creatures. During mating season, male Resplendent Quetzals grow beautiful tail feathers that form an amazing train of up to three feet (one meter) long.
Blue-and-white Mockingbird
A highly distinctive bird within its relatively small range, the Blue-and-white Mockingbird is just that. The entire upperparts are deep blue, except for the black mask, while below the bird is all white, with the exception of the blue gray flanks and vent. This species occurs from southeastern Mexico over Guatemala to Honduras, where it occupies a variety of wooded vegetation types, from semi-arid areas to highland pine-oak forest. Blue-and-white Mockingbird is a largely insectivorous, but also feeds on small fruits, for which it forages mainly on the ground.
Blue-throated Motmot
Another interesting Motmot found in Honduras. This one lacks the raquets that characterize most Motmot species (another Motmot species that does not have raquets is the Tody Motmot, which can also be found in Honduras). Overall green with a bright blue throat, orange orbital skin and black ear patch. Blue-throated Motmots in Honduras do not have a black dot on the chest. Inhabits highland forests and lower elevation dry pine and pine-oak forests.

Beaks and Peaks supports a number of conservation and development projects in Honduras by including those programmes into our wildlife tours.

One of the projects we work with is Montaña de Vida, an ecotourism and conservation project in the Santa Bárbara mountains near Lake Yojoa. It is aimed at providing the local communities with an alternative source of income based on ecotourism. This means they no longer solely depend on coffee production and can start protecting the mountain forest instead of cutting it down for coffee growing. The communities offer several trip packages, serve food, offer accommodation and have created trails to show visitors the natural beauty of their local environment.

Furthermore, Beaks and Peaks also works with birdwatching clubs such as the Tanunas and Caciques from Gracias in order to show children and youngsters the importance and beauty of their environment and hope that some of them may even take an interest in guiding themselves to pass on the legacy.

Beaks and Peaks also organizes, promotes and supports bird counts and other birding-related events in Honduras such as the Lake Yojoa Birding Blitz, Conteo de Aves Celaque, Lancetillo Conteo Navideño etc.

As the first institutional member of the Honduran Ornithology Association (ASHO), Beaks and Peaks is proud to continue working with the Association and alongside its many individual and institutional members to promote the scientific study as well as the leisurely enjoyment of birds in and of course bird-related travel to Honduras.

On our tours, Beaks and Peaks also goes to significant lengths to reduce our non-recyclable waste. Where possible, we will bring reusable bottles, plates, cups and cutlery, so we can cut down on the amount of plastic, paper and styrofoam.

Beaks and Peaks also makes sure to work with local communities, individuals and businesses as much as possible, so that the money you pay for your tour actually stays in the country and in those communities. That way, tourism can contribute to the empowerment of local people, the conservation of resources and the much-needed sustainable growth of the local economy.

  • Chasing Hummingbirds and more
    Honduras’ Birding Highlights
    Joe Church4 Mar 2019
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    I went to Honduras with Beaks and Peaks particularly with hopes of seeing three species of hummingbirds. Katinka is a fantastic guide who was able to not only show me the three hummers but many, many more species of both hummers and other birds. She has great eyes and ears and can get you on the birds quickly. She knew the best locations and the easiest ways to get to them. Katinka is very friendly and makes a great traveling companion as well. Would I recommend traveling with Beaks and Peaks? Most certainly, and I am hoping to travel with them again in the future.
  • Time of my Life
    Honduras Hummingbird Photo Quest
    Carole Turek, MD9 Jul 2018
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    If I had to list the best 100 days of my life, I would put all eleven days I spent with William Orellana on the 2018 Hummingbird Quest on that list. I will qualify that with the admission that I am an absolute hummingbird fanatic. My very well-planned tour of Honduras in search of birds to photograph was nothing less than phenomenal. I was able to capture many species, four of which are very difficult to find much less photograph. William knows the various Honduran territories so well that he was able to take me to areas where I was almost guaranteed to find a certain species. He has an impressive ability to spot perched hummingbirds, and he once even knew where a particular bird would land on a particular tree. This is an unbelievable advantage to a photographer and allowed me to obtain some of the finest photographs of the female Wine-throated Hummingbird in existence. The rare Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird is actually a regular visitor to the garden he planted at his own home! I met some incredible people in Honduras that love hummingbirds and are doing everything they can to preserve their habitat. These people are trying to teach both the children and adults of Honduras how important it is to conserve the beauty of their country for the birds and ultimately for themselves. The people are warm and friendly, and I always felt welcome everywhere I was taken. Both William Orellana and Katinka Domen love Honduras and will do anything and everything to send their clients home with the memories of a lifetime. Would I go back? Is tomorrow too soon?
  • Private birding tour - April 2017
    Honduras Hummingbird Photo Quest
    Dawn Brooks13 Apr 2017
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    We visited Honduras last year for a hummingbird photography tour and were left with the feeling that there was much more to see and do. So we soon signed up for another, longer tour with Beaks and Peaks this year. We wanted to visit some different places as well as visiting a couple of our favourites from last year. Our tour started in Tegucigalpa and we then worked our way west to Copan and then north to the Caribbean coast where we stayed on Guanaja. We visited various different birding habitats and saw some great birds. This year we managed to get much better views of the wine throated humming bird, and saw a whole range of mot mots and trogons, American migrants and local rarities. We enjoyed every place we stayed for different reasons. We enjoyed our breakfasts with local families, views of migrating swallows, swifts and hawks, walking round the town of Gracias with William, and visiting the ruins of Copan. At no point did we feel threatened or unsafe, and neither did we see any trouble or experience any issues. The security issues in Honduras seem to be vastly overstated. Honduras is a great birding destination, with friendly people who have a passion and enthusiasm for their country. We stayed in some truly excellent accommodation, particularly La Villa de Soledad as an example. Once again we enjoyed Guanaja both birding and snorkelling – the island really is like paradise and there are some great people who looked after us well. It was a great way to finish holiday. I would highly recommend Beaks and Peaks as a birding tour operator. Whilst we stuck to our overall itinerary William took account of local conditions and how we felt to ensure that we got the best out of every day. William was keen to show us his country of which he is immensely proud and share his absolute passion for the birds. He always tried his best to get us onto a bird .... but there is always one to go back for. We enjoyed each and every minute of our holiday and will always remember it
  • Hummingbird Photography Tour July 2016
    Honduras Hummingbird Photo Quest
    Dawn and Craig Brooks16 Jul 2016
    4.33
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    We took part in a 10 day tour starting in Tegucigalpa and ending in Pico Bonito Lodge, nr La Ceiba. From start to finish the tour worked as planned. Accommodation was generally very good with just one night where the accommodation was basic - we were told about this - and some nights where the accommodation was very good - at Panacam Lodge and Pico Bonito. Throughout the tour our guides William and Katinka were attentive to detail and very easy to get along with - nothing was too much trouble. We particularly enjoyed early morning breakfasts in the field, often with local food which was a nice touch, it was very good. We even had one day when in the middle of nowhere we had take out pizza - I'm not sure how they did it, but it was lovely, a nice change. We had no upset tummies as there was always hand cleaning gel available. From a bird watching perspective this tour is exactly as per the title, and we went to some lengths to see different and more specialised birds in more challenging locations, as well as some easier feeder visits. Of the just over 40 hummingbird species available in Honduras the trip recorded 31 in 10 days! We really enjoyed visiting Guanaja - the whole experience of the flight, short boat ride and laid back feel on the island. The whole experience was so good we have already booked to go back to do some more general birding!! Cannot wait.
  • Glorious Birding, Brilliant Guide
    Honduras Hummingbird Photo Quest
    Jenny Grewal - Mythic Hippo Photography11 Jul 2018
    5
    Tours
    Wildlife
    Guides
    Conservation
    Location
    Value
    I joined William from Beaks and Peaks for a Hummingbird Photography Quest. I arrived and departed from Honduras on slightly different days to the other guests for various reasons, and William could not have been more helpful in making sure I was immediately made to feel safe and welcome when I arrived. The hummingbirds we saw were incredibly beautiful, and there was ample time allowed to get used to the habitat and behaviour of each species, and to photograph them in different lights. I am a birder as well as a photographer, and William made sure that I saw (and photographed!) plenty of other species as well as the hummingbirds we were searching for. Both William and Katinka are wonderful, highly skilled and friendly guides who do their utmost to make you feel welcome in Honduras, and to ensure that each individual on the trip gets what they want out of the tour. I cannot recommend Beaks and Peaks highly enough, and Honduras is an unexpected delight to visit.
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