Daily Archives: July 5, 2018

Honduran Emerald

Honduran Emerald Hummingbird, El Cajon Area, Honduras

A while ago I posted a single shot of the Honduran Emerald Hummingbird from my tour of the Honduran highlands in May, hosted by Alex Alvarado and Honduran Birds. Several years ago Alex discovered an isolated population of the Honduran Emerald, the only endemic bird in Honduras, in the area around the El Cajon hydroelectric project, where, honestly, no one expected to see it. Most people who see the Emerald, see it in or around the Honduran Emerald Reserve in the Aguan Valley…which is a long ways from El Cajon and, to be frank, a long drive from everywhere. About the same time, Alex Martinez Matute moved to the El Cajon area to start a restaurant / hotel, and got interested in birds. He contacted Alex for directions to the spot where he and seen the Honduran Emerald, and eventually relocated it. Since then Alex Martinez Matute has scoured the El Cajon region for birds and located at least two reliable populations if the hummingbird, as well as quite a number of other hard to see Honduran birds. He is the expert on the area, and a visit to his El Rancho restaurant in El Cajon is rewarding for any birder. The big deal here is that the El Cajon region is within an hour of the airport in San Pedro Sula, and practically right next door to the well known birding destination of Panacam Lodge. Anyone who has ridden in a transport van the three and a half hours from the Lodge at Pico Bonito to Honduran Emerald preserve (and three and a half hours back), will appreciate how much more accessible the Emeralds are around El Cajon. When we visited in May, we had difficult lighting, but I still managed some memorable shots. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. +2 EV for the backlight. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 320. Processed in Polarr and assembled in FrameMagic.