Lake birds of Nicaragua

Nicaragua is home to over 700 bird species, ranging from waterbirds to tropical forest dwellers. Many of these birds can be found around Lake Cocibolca, the largest lake in Central America and the shoreline of Harmonia. Here are some of the birds you might encounter on a visit to our farm:

Herons and Egrets
The shores of Lake Cocibolca are home to a number of heron and egret species, including the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, and Great Egret. These birds wade in the shallow waters along the lake’s edge, hunting for fish and other prey.

The colorful Kingfisher can be seen perched on branches or hovering over the lake before diving in to catch fish.

These birds of prey can often be seen diving into the lake to catch fish.

Northern Jacana
These small, colorful birds walk on lily pads and other aquatic vegetation, using their long toes to distribute their weight and avoid sinking.

One of the most striking birds found in the forests of Nicaragua is the Oropendola, a large blackbird with a bright yellow tail. Oropendolas build hanging nests that can be several feet long, and their distinctive calls can often be heard echoing through the forest.

Guardabarranco (Eumomota superciliosa)

The Guardabarranco (Eumomota superciliosa), also known as the Turquoise-browed Motmot, is the national bird of Nicaragua. This medium-sized bird is known for its striking appearance, with a bright blue-green head, back, and wings, a rust-colored belly, and a long, graduated tail with distinctive turquoise feathers. The Guardabarranco is highly regarded for its beauty and distinctive call, which is often described as a deep, resonant hooting sound. It is a solitary bird that is known for its ability to catch insects on the wing and its distinctive habit of using its tail as a “racket” to knock insects out of the air.

White-throated Magpie-Jay
Another distinctive bird is the White-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta formosa), a large bird with a long, graduated tail, a broad, blue crest, and a white throat and belly. White-throated Magpie-Jays are social birds that live in large groups and are known for their raucous, noisy calls. They are also intelligent and have been observed using sticks to extract insects from tree bark.

White-throated Magpie-Jay (Calocitta formosa)

The Keel-billed Toucan and the Collared Aracari are known for their colorful bills and vibrant plumage. Keel-billed Toucans are a large, colorful bird with a distinctive bill that ranges in color from yellow to orange to green. Collared Aracaris are a smaller toucan with a distinctive red and yellow collar around their necks.

Two species of trogons populate the forest: the Black-Throated Trogon, also known as Yellow-Bellied Trogon, (Trogon rufus) and the Slaty-Tailed Trogon (Trogon massena). The yellow-breasted trogon is a stunning bird with a bright yellow belly and breast, a red undertail, and a green and blue upper body. They are found in the tropical forests of Nicaragua, often perched on high branches in the canopy. The slaty-tailed trogon, on the other hand, has a blue-gray upper body, a red belly, and a distinctive slaty-black tail.

Male Slaty-tailed trogon (Trogon massena)

Harmonia’s tropical forest provides a rich habitat for a diverse range of birdlife, making our farm a beautiful destination for birdwatchers.