Sunday, September 13, 2015

Honduras Birding, Day 3 Continued

There was so much to share from our trip to Rio Santiago in my last post (especially with all of those amazing hummers), that I didn’t have room to squeeze in some other highlights of the day. When we pulled up to the resort, right away we noticed a “moth sheet” set up with a mercury vapor lamp much like the one back at our lodge.

Conchylodes nolckenialis

Nope, not a bumble bee. Megalopyge opercularis.

Sosxetra grata

As we were more focused on our birding at the time, we only got to OOOooo and Aaaahhhh just for a short while before we hit the trail. But as you can see, this sheet was quite awe worthy.

Schausiella santarosensis

Copaxa rufinans

Eacles masoni

Gonodonta species

Some of these moths were bigger and even more spectacular than the ones we had seen back at our lodge. There were more cool and different types of Sphynx Moths. And who couldn’t be impressed by the large and lovely Rothschild Moth, otherwise known as “cuatro ventanas” or four windows for its beautiful clear “pane” on each wing.
Clockwise from top left: Xylophanes ceratomioides; Xylophanes undata; Eumorpha species?; Xylophanes chiron

Xylophanes undata and Madoryx pluto

Left to right: Unknown; Callionima species; Eacles imperialis (Imperial Moth); Other unknown moth below imperial moth

Rothschildia lebeau (Rothschild Moth or "Cuatro Ventanas")

Another impressive creature has an impressive name to match – the Hercules Beetle. That spunky owner of the resort introduced him as his little friend. One of the resort guests chuckled as he told us the story of how he woke up his teenage daughter with this big guy. Hahaha. That beetle was glorious, indeed.

Hercules Beetle

Katydid species

Dobson Fly

After we left the Rio Santiago Nature Resort, we got back to our lodge exhausted but oh so thrilled about our encounter with the gorgeous Spectacled Owls and all of the fun grass birds, hummers and kingfishers. But our birding for the day didn’t quite end there. As we got back to our lodge to have lunch, a small swarm of hummingbirds swooshed by in quite a fuss. Our guide German yelled out, “Did you see that? Ferruginous Pygmy Owl!” And sure enough, in a nearby tree sat this little owl with a bit of lunch of his own. It was a lizard, but the hummers were still not happy about him being around.

Ferruginous Pymy Owl with a lizard

Ferruginous Pymy Owl

Ferruginous Pymy Owl

After refueling and a little cat nap, we roamed the grounds of our lodge and took in the beautiful landscape among the rain clouds. We had some lovely views of our friends the Chestnut-colored Woodpeckers as well as Blue-crowned Motmot. 

Blue-crowned Motmot

Chestnut-colored Woodpecker

And I can't forget to mention picking up this list of birds and more: Red-billed Pigeon, White-collared Swift, White-crowned Parrot, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Rose-throated Becard (which apparently don't have a rose throat in Honduras). And because having two awesome raptors wasn’t quite enough in one day with the Spectacled Owl at the Rio Santiago Nature Resort and then the Ferruginous Pygmy Owl right when we got back to our lodge, we also picked up a juvenile Gray Hawk! This was quite a day, and the trip was just still less than halfway through. My goodness.

Juvenile Gray Hawk


  1. Wow! I love those moths --really spectacular! That Pygmy Owl must have been a real treat.

    1. Thanks! Yes, those moths were something else. And the Pygmy Owl was so amazing!