Macaw Mountain, Honduras 4


On the outskirts of the tiny town of Copán Ruinas, in western Honduras (less than 10 kilometres from the border with Guatemala), lies the privately operated Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve. 

Yellow-crowned Amazon, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Yellow-crowned Amazon. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

Macaw Mountain

Macaw Mountain cares for hundreds of tropical birds, including 20+ species endemic to Central America.

Blue and Gold Macaw, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Blue and Gold Macaw. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

Most of the birds in the park have been donated by owners who no longer wished to look after their birds (if you think this is coldhearted, remember that macaws can live for 80 years or more – that’s five times longer than a cat or dog – it’s a serious commitment owning a macaw).

Keel-billed Toucan, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Keel-billed Toucan. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

Other birds were confiscated from animal smugglers, or are slowly rehabilitating from injuries suffered and psychological disorders acquired from lifetimes spent in ungenerously small cages.

Toucanet, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Emerald Toucanet. Photo credit: Benjamin White

Some of the species that can be found in the park include the Emerald Toucanet (photo above).

Buffon's Macaw, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

Buffon’s Macaw. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

The Buffon’s Macaw.

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

And the Chestnut-mandibled Toucan.

White-crowned Parrot, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The White-crowned Parrot. Photo credit: Benjamin White

All of these birds can be spotted in the wild with a little perseverance and patience.

Keel-billed Toucan, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Keel-billed Toucan. Photo credit: Benjamin White

But even when I have had the perseverance to travel to remote locales, and had the patience to sit in the forest, and been lucky enough to spot a bird or two, they’ve always been high up in the canopy, silhouetted by the early morning sun, obscured by at least a dozen tree limbs.

Juvenile Great Horned Owl, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

Juvenile Great Horned Owl. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

A visit to Macaw Mountain might be your only chance to admire some of these highly sought after birds up close and personal. And your walk through the macaw and toucan enclosures will certainly be that (the toucans might even peck at your toes).

Collared Aracari, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Collared Aracari. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

And while keeping birds in cages is never ideal, the aviaries here are spacious, the birds are healthy and well-looked-after, and the facility makes a significant contribution towards public education and conservation.

Scarlet Macaws, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

Scarlet Macaws. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

Scarlet Macaw Breeding Program

Macaw Mountain also plays a crucial role in the Scarlet Macaw Breeding Program, which has been breeding and releasing Scarlet Macaws into the grounds of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mayan city of Copán.

Scarlet Macaws used to be common around Copán, but they are becoming increasingly difficult to find due to habitat loss and capture for sale on the black market.

Keel-billed Toucan, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Keel-billed Toucan. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit

Ordinarily I wouldn’t promote private enterprises on my website, but I had such a positive experience at Macaw Mountain, and the work they are doing there is so beneficial to the local community – in terms of education, conservation, and sustainable tourism – that I have no qualms doing so.

Visit Honduras. Go to Macaw Mountain. Help save the Macaw.

Scarlet Macaw, Macaw Mountain, Honduras

The Scarlet Macaw. Photo credit: Amrita Ronnachit


More on Honduras:

The Mayan city of Copán

Lago de Yojoa – sleepy, serene, and safe


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

4 thoughts on “Macaw Mountain, Honduras