It has been several weeks since I wrote an article for my blog and that is because, as you may know, I was in Honduras. I was there for a week in late January/early February. I traveled there as part of a small group of wonderful people on a trip planned, organized and led by Expedition Travel, an ecotourism firm based in Gainesville, Florida. I traveled to the Galapagos Islands with them a couple of years ago, and both expeditions were led by highly experienced and knowledgeable experts, conducted flawlessly in every aspect. If you have ever considered traveling to unique worldwide locations to experience wildlife and local cultures, I highly recommend Expedition Travel.
(The above image was taken from Cuero y Salado mangrove estuaries of a view of the mountains in Pico Bonito National Park, and below is Mermaid Falls within the park.)
We stayed at the Lodge at Pico Bonito in Honduras, which is located at the foot of Pico Bonito National Park. The lodge provides luxury accommodations with a restaurant that serves outstanding food and is maintained and operated by a warm, friendly staff. Highly experienced local guides are provided by the lodge when hiking on the lodge’s property or within the park. I owe much of my success in seeing and photographing Honduras’ tropical rainforest wildlife to two outstanding guides: Elmer Escoto and German Martinez. I would not have seen one-tenth of what I saw and photographed without their help.
Pico Bonito National Park is located near the north coast of Honduras and consists of pristine rainforests and cloud forests, mountains and rivers covering an area of over 600 square miles with mountain peaks that exceed 8,000 feet. It is the second largest and least explored park in Honduras. The park and its forests are home to a tremendous variety of birds and other wildlife that includes jaguars, armadillos, wild pigs, tepezcuintles, squirrels, monkeys, toucans, white tailed deer, mountain lions, river otters, motmots and many more species. While there, members of our group saw or heard over 150 species of birds, many very unique to Honduras and Central American rainforests. (Below is a view of Pico Bonito with a White Hawk in a tree.)
Not knowing exactly what to expect at Pico Bonito, I traveled with a lot of camera gear (almost 50 pounds), that included two camera bodies, five lenses, to include a macro lens (105mm) and a super telephoto lens (600mm), two teleconverters, a speedlight (flash), and of course a tripod with two different heads. As it turned out, I used everything, but mostly the 600mm lens with the speedlight and a Better Beamer to photograph the park’s incredible birds. I considered not bringing the speedlight, but ended up using it much of the time, since most of the birds were either hidden in the shade of the thick trees or backlit, requiring fill light. I was concerned about traveling to Miami and then to Honduras with so much gear, but as it turned out, I did not have any problems and was able to carry it all onboard the aircraft with two camera bags designed for such travel (ThinkTank’s Airport Security travel roller case and Glass Limo backpack). (Below is a Keel-billed Toucan.)
I have been struggling with how to write this blog article and subsequent articles to describe what I saw and photographed in Honduras, and decided to organize the articles based on types or groups of birds and other wildlife, with the exception of this article, which has a variety to provide examples of what I photographed. As you can see from the images in this article, Honduras is a nature photographer’s paradise teaming with a tremendous variety of birds and wildlife.
Above is an Aracari, which is related to the Keel-billed Toucan, and below is a male Lovely Cotinga.
Above a bee can be seen approaching a Passion flower, which was growing wild not far from the lodge. As you can see from the example images in this article, I was able to capture (digitally) some of Pico Bonito’s incredible beauty. I am concluding this article with an image of a Rufus-tailed Hummingbird. I was able to photograph six different species of hummingbirds.
I also want to mention that I reached a blog milestone with over 50,000 views as of today. Thank you for taking the time to follow and read my blog.