Birding the Route of the Maya: Part 9

Birding the Route of the Maya: Part 9

Jul 25, 2014| by administrator

 Day 09: February 26, 2014

It was another early rise in the dark as we had one last day to sight the Quetzal.


In a flash Alex spotted the quetzal high in a tree 1,000 feet away, but from the scope and our binoculars, we could see the beauty of this bird.  He had his back to us soaking in the morning sunlight and, as the Mayan believed, receiving energy for the day.  This is a routine they do every day without fail before going into the forest where one has a much harder time spotting them.  We then walked into the forest where we had gone the day before and not far into the walk, we saw the other bird that was a MUST have before leaving: the Bushy-crested Jay.  So before we even had breakfast we had already reached our goal.By 6:20 a.m., we were in the bus traveling just up the highway a quarter of a mile and then out walking along the road.

We had breakfast, took a short break, and went out again along the same trail, but further in. This time we took off on another trail to see the waterfall.

After lunch we had some down time and started birding at the Nature Reserve at 3 p.m.  Alex was always up for birding and never failed to take the group out.  He often went more than what was listed on the itinerary.

This location did not have a Wi-Fi spot until 9 p.m. when the manager showed up and turned on his cell phone hotspot. It was nice to be completely disconnected for a short while.

Birds of the Day: Blue-headed Vireo, Resplendent Quetzal, Bushy-crested Jay, Black-throated Jay, Gray Silky Flycatcher, Yellowish Flycatcher, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Emerald Toucanet, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Collared Trogon and the Short-tailed Hawk.

Day 10: February 27, 2014

Today after our 6:15 a.m. breakfast, we left at 7 a.m. for Copan, Honduras and arrived there in time for lunch.

The afternoon was spent birding on the outskirts of town. This group had at least five to six very good birders and only two SOB’s – Spouses of Birders!  I have really enjoyed learning from this group and at times hanging back and talking with the two non-birders!


Our lecture tonight was given by former commercial fisherman Lloyd Davidson who was jaded by his old job, moved inland to Copan, and fell in love with the Scarlet Macaw.  He is now the founder and director of Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve which is an innovative tropical bird reserve that cares for rescued and endangered birds of the American Tropics. He now runs a large sanctuary that does a release program in conjunction with the government at the ruins of Copan.  He was a very interesting and likable fellow. He also owns a coffee roasting company.

Birds of the Day: Gray Hawk, Northern Jacana, Inca Dove, Ruddy Ground Dove, White-tipped Dover, Groove-billed Ani, Honduran Emerald, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Plain-capped Starthroat, Turquoise-browed Motmot, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Golden Olive Woodpecker, White Fronted Parrot, Yellow-bellied Elaenia and a Black Phoebe.

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