Sunday, August 30, 2015

Honduras Birding, Day 4: Continued

After a couple of hours wandering around in Honduran dry forest, we were feeling pretty toasty. There's not a lot of shade under scrub and cacti, and the sun wasn't shy like it had been back at the lodge. As we were about to pile back into the van, exactly one sunburn later, we came across a scene striking enough for us to postpone the air conditioning just a minute longer. We all know woodpeckers can be feisty and territorial; I can't count the number of times I've seen a Pileated Woodpecker refuse to play nicely with a Red-bellied. Now we got to watch the Honduran analog play out, when this Lineated Woodpecker wouldn't dream of letting a Golden-fronted Woodpecker share his utility pole.

Lineated (top) and Golden-fronted (bottom) Woodpeckers

We made only one more stop before returning to Pico Bonito, and it wasn't for the birding. It was arranged that we would swing by a local's house for a home-cooked meal of fried chicken, pork, rice, tortillas, cheese, and fresh-squeezed pineapple juice -- everything made from scratch, and the chickens running around the yard was a testament to just how fresh it all was. What (non-poultry) birds there were had put their nesting abilities on display, with a Spot-breasted Oriole's pendulous chamber dangling away, and a Clay-colored Thrush making repeated trips to feed a hungry brood fully of fledglings.

Spot-breasted Oriole

Spot-breasted Oriole nest

Clay-colored Thrush

A small patch of yard, maybe 10' x 10', was incredibly rich was butterflies, and Maureen and I eagerly tried to chase them all down to try and keep from falling into a food coma. There was really good diversity of species, attracted to nothing more than grass blades and dandelions, including metalmarks, skippers, and blues.

Central American Checkered-skipper
Duskywing sp.
Metalmark sp.

And what's a little birding without… even more birding. Sure, we'd picked up a cool dozen lifers before lunch, but we weren't just going to rest on our laurels. Back at the lodge we kicked around the trails by ourselves for a couple of hours. We nabbed good looks at Groove-billed Anis, Black-cheeked Woodpeckers, Red-billed Pigeons, and more.

Groove-billed Ani

Red-billed Pigeon

Black-cheeked Woodpecker

Chestnut-colored Woodpecker has been one of our target birds for the trip and we were seeing them practically every time we walked the path in front of the lodge's reception. Our guide German has assured us the first time we met him that it was "in the pocket" he was so sure we'd see one.

Chestnut-colored Woodpecker

The path leading up to the lodge's reception area was great for Chestnut-colored Woodpeckers

Macro shot of an (arrowhead?) orb weaver

I think it's fair to say this was another successful day, and we were in desperate need of a power nap. After all, there was plenty more exploring to do once the sun set

Turquoise-browed Motmot

Collared Aracari


  1. Damn. Words like Favorite and Best can't really apply here.

    Isn't it odd that Red-billed Pigeon is such a tough bird?

    1. It's true - there really was a lifetime's worth of spectacle and beauty shoehorned into so short a time. Maybe we should have given each species its very own post.

      Red-billed Pigeons were vocal pretty much the whole trip, but we barely got to see them. Even so, the Red-billed could practically be called flamboyant compared with the Gray-chested Doves, or Short-billed or Pale-vented Pigeons!