Birding in Nicaragua
While visiting the beauty of Nicaragua, it is recommended that time be put aside for the diverse and unique bird life that is located here. The majorities of the species that are found in Nicaragua are unique to the Central America region and can therefore only be viewed here, in their natural habitat.
The bird life species is estimated at approximately 688, but as bird watching is a relatively new industry and point of interest for Nicaragua, it can be said with almost certainty, that there could be more species to be discovered and recorded. Nature Reserves are the best locations to visit to view birds, as these areas are less likely to be affected by human activity and visitors have a greater chance at being able to view nesting and a wider variety of birds. The Cocibola Foundation is responsible for a number of nature reserves around the country, and leading ornithologists and scientists are recruited by the Foundation to research and protect the diverse ecosystems and birds of Nicaragua.
As with most countries, vegetation, food supply and water resources play a vital role in the location of different species, according to their dietary needs. In reserves like Laguna de Apoyo which is established in a crater and has a dry tropical forest as vegetation, bird watchers will be able to see Black-Headed Trogons, Boat-Billed Flycatchers and a healthy population of Collard Aracari. This area is also famous for having a large population of approximately 133 butterfly species and very curious howler monkeys!
The Los Gautuzos Reserve gives visitor’s access to reptiles, mammals and a diverse population of bird species. Wood Storks and Roseate Spoonbills are most commonly seen in this area, which is rich in migratory songbirds. Other destinations such as Lake Nicaragua and Isla de Ometepe have wonderful ecosystems to explore and offer hiking trails, which get you a lot closer to the birds, and the opportunity to wait for that perfect picture.
Exotic birds such as a variety of parrots and macaws decorate the skies in vibrant colors and if you are patient and lucky, you might be able to see a quetzal. Toucans and Guardabarrancoes are also native to the region, as well as Rancheros. Egrets, cranes, fish hawks and herons can be seen near water expanses and visitors are warned that the combination of these birds will literally give you sleepless nights, as they do so enjoy a song and a dance in the evenings!