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.
As you can easily tell, the birds were incredibly colored and beautiful.
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.
Exquisite photography, extraordinary photographer. Pricelss photographs.
Congratulations on going over 50,000 viewers! Your blog is worth taking the time to read because in addition to the beautiful photographs, it is very informative! Honduras Travel Department should be giving you money for the beautiful photos and descriptions of its country and wildlife! Can’t wait to read more about your trip.
Read your very well written blog. One word escapes me “tepzuintles”. I know its not Italian. Welcome back to civilization.
A tepezcuintle is a large nocturnal burrowing rodent of the genus Cuniculus, found in South and Central America and similar to the agouti (image on my website under Pico Bonito), that lives on plants and fruit and is hunted for its edible flesh.
six different hummingbirds–wow! great pics. Loved the toucans!
Great to hear from you Donnie. Apparently, you found the hummingbird images on my website, but if not, they are in the Honduras gallery under the Recent Images menu item. Hope all is well up there in Vermont.
Wow, just like being there! Only better. Thanks for sharing!
Fabulous Steve, I can’t think of enough adjectives to descibe your expertise in catching and especially defiing, the places, birds, animals,etc that you capture on film. Keep having fun and sharing it with us. Dot
Amazing photos, Steve. It’s almost like being there, seeing these sights through your eyes and lens. I’m looking forward to more (and more)!
And congratulations on so many visitors to your blog — a testament of appreciation from all of us who view your work.
Thank you for following my blog and very positive feedback. Such comments are inspirational.
STEVE http://www.stabone.com http://www.stevetaboneblog.com Sent from iPad (typos included)
I’m super mario logde Pico Bonito, I saw the photos that are tomastes pretty well and I’m happy as what you did in your visit here in Honduras and hope you come back to keep you seeing the beauty we have here in our country and all restaurant employees are happy with the fact that as thanks for everything. from super mario, danilo, orlando, hadwar, carlos and jorel. I hope to see you again here in Honduras we wait again
Great to hear from you, Mario! I miss the staff, the Lodge and Pico Bonito. I loved my short stay at the Lodge. Everything was perfect. I have MANY great memories. I do hope to return this time next year. I want to see and photograph more. I now know what to expect and how to prepare. I will have very specific goals. Please say hello to Danilo, Orlando, Hadwar, Carlos, and Jorel, as well as German and Elmer.