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birding Nicaragua

Sustainable Development and Wild Nature Conservation in NICARAGUA


Birdwatching in Nicaragua


 

birdwatching

Flycatchers such as this Dusky-capped Flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer) are common in the Pacific region of Nicaragua. They are often heard and seen in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Joe Taylor.

The Birds of Nicaragua


Over seven hundred forty bird species have been documented in Nicaragua. However, as a country for nature-based tourism, it is still largely uncharted territory. From the largest intact humid tropical forests north of the Amazon, to mountains, shorelines and wetlands, Nicaragua has abundant natural habitats to enjoy while contributing to the protection of its natural resource base. In addition to the seasonal migrants to be expected here, one can find many tropical specialties, including several parrot, hummingbird, woodcreeper, trogon, motmot, and flycatcher species not found in any temperate climate. Birdwatching Nicaragua is a great way to see the countryside and get to know the local people in a rural setting, as well. And with so many species of birds, chances are you will see something new and plenty of observations of birds with very difficult identification problems. A seasoned, professional bird guide can help you to find the birds and to identify them, multiplying the outcome of your birding experience.


By taking a birdwatching tour with GAIA, you are getting the most knowledgeable, professional bird field guide, and you are aiding in our efforts to protect important wildlife habitats. We are in the field studying birds weekly, so we know the local birds better than anyone. Additionally, all our birdwatching guides have experience in bird research projects in several areas in the country. No other birdwatching guide service in Nicaragua can provide bird guides with as much experience, knowledge, or accomplishment. Our staff and collaborators at GAIA have co-authored several scientific publications on the birds of Nicaragua.


manakin
Long-tailed manakin (Chiroxiphia linearis) males perform an elaborate dance and song in tandem to attract females. The senior male bird gets the girl, and the junior male learns the mating ritual through years of practice, assuming complete sexual maturity at four years age. Photo Jesse Bickley and Anna James.


Birdwatching Tours in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve


At Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo, we have trained, capable, professional birding guides available to help you learn the most while birdwatching. Our guides know the birds, plants and geography of the area. Our knowledge comes from professional training and from work on bird monitoring throughout Nicaragua. We are in the field studying birds weekly, so we know the local birds better than anyone. Additionally, all our guides have experience in bird research projects in several other areas in the country. No other bird guide service in Nicaragua can provide guides with as much experience, knowledge, or accomplishment. Members of the Gaia staff have co-authored several scientific publications on the birds of Nicaragua. We can take you birdwatching in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Managua, and several other locations in the country.


Birdwatching Nicaragua

Every birdwatching tour in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve includes views of the Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superiliosa), among the more common and prominent birds there. Both motmot species found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve nest in horizontal holes carved into steep dirt banks, which are plentiful in the steeply sloped crater interior. Photo Joe Taylor.


Birdwatching Tours in Managua


A visit to Nicaragua invariably means time in Managua, its capital. Our expert bird researchers at GAIA can take you to see birds without leaving the city. We have great bird habitats in sites with dense forest in the center of the city. Along the shoreline of Lake Managua, there are locations frequented by shorebirds that provide great views. We are in the field studying birds weekly, so we know the local birds better than anyone. Additionally, all our guides have experience in bird research projects in several other areas in the country. Our bird guide service at Gaia can provide guides with the most experience, knowledge, or accomplishment. Our Gaia staff have co-authored several scientific publications on the birds of Nicaragua.

Birdwatching Nicaragua

Birdwatching tours with our GAIA bird experts can be made in accordance with the physical capacity of each person participating, from strenuous hikes on steep hillsides to flat, paved surfaces. Photo Lesley Eisenberg.

Reserving a Birdwatching Tour


Our expert birders at GAIA would be happy to take you to observe birds anywhere in Nicaragua. Contact us to arrange a professional, knowledgeable birdwatching guide for you. In addition to the birding opportunities that we offer in Managua and Laguna de Apoyo, Gaia conducts birding tours and expeditions to all parts of Nicaragua. The following locations are a sampling of locations included in birding and nature tours organized by Gaia:


Volcano Mombacho Nature Reserve (highland and coffee farm)


Volcano Masaya National Park (parakeet nesting colony)


Granada wetlands (freshwater wetlands)


Banderas (raptor migration)


El Tisey (highland pine-oak forests, Golden-cheeked Warbler habitat)


Laguna Moyúa (wetlands)


Laguna de Tisma (wetlands)


Solentiname (colonial nesting birds and aquatic birds)


San Juan River (humid tropical forest)


Chocoyero (endemic parakeet nesting colony)


Lake Managua (wetlands)


Peñas Blancas (highlands)


Padre Ramos Nature Reserve (mangrove and estuary)


Musún Nature Reserve (highlands)

Bosawas (humid tropical forest)



Additionally, we are eager to discuss our biodiversity research program with scientists, science students, and potential longer-term volunteers who want to study and protect the birds of Nicaragua with us. Volunteers interested in mist-netting can learn the birds and help us protect the wildlife of the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve by collecting valuable field data. Whether you are a scientist or a passionate bird lover, please contact us! Would you like to arrange a birdwatching tour in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve or elsewhere in Nicaragua? Please contact us to arrange a birdwatching excursion or tour.



Animals of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve


Birding in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve


Birdwatching in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua I


Birdwatching in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua II


Birdwatching in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua III


Woodcreepers


Bird Population Monitoring in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua


Hummingbirds


Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua


Nesting Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis)


Aquatic birds in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua


Terrestrial birds in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua


Bird monitoring in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve


Resident Birds in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua


Tropical Kingbird


Shorebirds in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve


Our blog entry 1 on variegated squirrels


Our blog entry 2 on variegated squirrels


birdwatching Nicaragua


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birdwatching
The Lesser Ground-Cuckoo inhabits brushy areas, but is heard more often than seen. It tends to remain in tall grass. It is known locally as the "pájaro reloj" or clock-bird; according to legend, it keeps time with its calls, which suggest a police whistle. Photo Joe Taylor.

 

birdwatching tour
Hummingbirds abound in the forests of Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua. Photo Joe Taylor.

 

birds
The Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve harbors a poorly documented population of Olive Sparrows, which the Gaia staff are studying. Photo Joe Taylor.

 

birdwatching Nicaragua
The most common bird species captured in our mist netting studies in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve is the Long-tailed Manakin (Chiroxiphia linearis). Photo Joe Taylor.

 

birdwatching Nicaragua
Bird populations are monitored in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve by the staff and volunteers of Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo. Photo Joe Taylor.

 

birdwatching
The Rufous-naped Wren is among the more common birds in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. This species can be found in both cities and in small clearings in forests. In natural settings it may nest in a bulls-thorn acacia, to aid in the defense of its nest from predators. It is commonly seen in social groups of up to a dozen birds. Photo Joe Taylor.

 

 Nicaragua
Two motmot species-the Turquoise-browed Motmot and the Blue-crowned Motmot-are found in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Both take over burrows made by lizards in vertical banks and amplify them to make nests. Photo Joe Taylor.

 

birds
Pacific Screech-Owl is common and is heard every evening in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Occasionally that can be spotted during the daytime, where they may permit an extended view. Photo Ineke van Beek.

 

birdwatching Nicaragua
Scientists at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo conduct surveys of wildlife, including resident and migratory birds. Photo Wendy van Kooten.

 

Nicaragua
Low in the forest near Estación Biológica, the Chestnut-capped Warbler (Basileuterus delattrii) can always be found. This is the only resident warbler found in the Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Romaine de Jaegere.

 

birdwatching
Animal rescue at Estación Biológica Laguna de Apoyo. Gaia Director Jeffrey McCrary is accompanied by a rapidly healing variegated squirrel that was severely injured by illegal poachers. Photo Anne Sutton.

 

Nicaragua
The Grey-headed Tanager is an uncommon treat for birders in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. Photo Joe Taylor.

 

birdwatching tour Nicaragua
Laguna de Apoyo is the best place in Nicaragua for swimming, day and night. The water is always warm and clear. It's a great place for a swim after a birdwatching excursion. Photo Jeffrey McCrary.

 

birding
Gaia experts support wildlife studies important to the economy of Nicaragua, such as the impacts of windmills on raptors and other birds. A major wind farm in Rivas is located along an important bird migration corridor. Photo Pablo Somarriba.

 

birdwatching Nicaragua
Students at Apoyo Spanish School learn Spanish and lots about the Nicaraguan culture and environment, through volunteer activities such as reforestation, recycling, and care of rescue animals. Photo Jen Moran.

 

nature
Everyone takes a break to enjoy the water at Laguna de Apoyo, the best water in Nicaragua. Photo Aaron Teasdale.