Birding Honduras; A Checklist and Guide By Mark Bonta and David L.
By Lowri Gilbert
The handbook all zealous bird watchers have been awaiting is now
readily available, "Birding Honduras; A Checklist and Guide."
This book, written by two devoted birders and admirers of Honduras,
has been dedicated solely to the bird life of Honduras.
Honduras, located in Northern Central America, is barely known to
the international world, however the country has a considerable amount
to offer both travelers and ecologists. Honduras is one of the least
developed countries in Central America, and its outstanding beauty
makes it a haven for many enthusiasts, who are seeking the opportunity
to get away from the confines of established tourist destinations.
Honduras contains many unique natural habitats. It has an extensive
Caribbean coast line, and a slightly smaller pacific coast. Three-quarters
of Honduras consists of rugged hills and mountains that range from
300 to nearly 2850 meters. The country contains cloud forests, lagoons,
tropical rivers and is the home of the famous Mosquitia region. This
area is of huge interest to ecotourism, people are attracted to its
well-preserved wilderness and plentiful flora and fauna.
Both Mark Bonta and David L. Anderson arrived in Honduras as Peace
Corps Volunteers in 1991, working on inventories in different regions
of the country. Mark Bonta went on to receive a graduate degree in
geography. His thesis focused on the people and the birds of the Central
Olancho region of Honduras. Anderson also themed his masters around
the birds of Honduras. Both Bonta and Anderson whose extensive interest
in Honduras and birds combined to write "Birding Honduras; A
Checklist and Guide." They also wanted to try and publicize under
valued Honduras, because the book also provides other details which
might be of interest to a bird lover. For example the book contains
a section called 'Birds in Honduras Culture; Tradition and Conservation'.
Bonta and Anderson's intention was not only to appeal to birders,
but also to ecotourists and conservation planners.
Honduras has often been overlooked by many ornithologists. Numerous
books have been written on countries such as Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama
and Columbia. However before "Birding Honduras" there was
no text which contained a full directory of the birds of Honduras.
The book catalogues all 701 known species of birds in Honduras, and
these are described in this one volume. "Birding Honduras"
is the only publication that contains thorough information on species,
including altitudes, biogeographic regions, habitats and migration
For many people, Honduras may seem like a difficult country to visit
and explore. In the past few years a few birding tours have begun
to be offered in the country, due to this the vast amount of National
Parks might seem a bit daunting to the regular birder. The abundance
of forest and tropical flora in Honduras provides much for the novice,
experienced birder or even for adventurers. The authors of "Birding
Honduras" have produced a book that along with other texts will
help any one intending to visit the extensive wildlife of the country.
In the chapter titled 'Why and How to Bird Honduras' the authors attempt
to lure birders to Honduras with a summary of the most prominent birds
present specifically, Motmots which populate Honduras more than any
other Central American country.
The 'Birding Routes' section of the book describes many sites and
recommended itineraries. These routes will suit different levels of
experience, varying lengths of stay; from a single day of birding
to one month. Within, the authors provide detailed accounts and suggestions
regarding the plethora of birds as well as the local niches and habitats.
In some areas one might be able to sight 400 species of birds; including
the most sought after species; Resplendent Quetzal, Harpy Eagles,
Scarlet and Great Green Macaws, Golden Cheecked Warbler, Jabiru and
the rare and endemic Honduran Emerald.
'How to use the Annotated Checklist' will help the reader comprehend
the codes which will be presented in the "Annotated Checklist'
for each species for their altitude range, frequency, local range,
population status and habitat. Mark Bonta has also developed a new
biogeographical classification system in order to characterize the
local ranges. This has been achieved by dividing Honduras into marine,
aquatic, terrestrial lowland, and terrestrial highland biogeographic
provinces. These provinces have been further separated into regions
and sub regions. This has been done in order to allow the reader to
appreciate the diversity of bird life as well as the abundance of
Birding Honduras; A Checklist and Guide is a must read for all lovers
of tropical nature and for all visitors to Honduras who decide to
explore the countries natural wonderland. You can purchase this wonderful
book online by Clicking
By Lowri Gilbert
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