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“What an amazing place! From it’s centralized location between the airport in Coxen Hole and West End/West Bay to the relaxing, yet never boring family-friendly atmosphere. They are also great scuba instructors! I cannot swim and have a bit of a fear of water, but Eric and Diana had me out there in 30 feet of water in no time (after the proper prep and instruction of course). I cannot wait to go back to get certified! My stay could have only been better if it could have been longer. I will be back!”
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Roatan island style website featuring articles and stories of adventures, yarns and photography, this is how we invite you to experience the island. Roatan readers grasp a sense of what it means to escape to pristine beaches, coral reefs and participate in the islands culture.

Saving Birds Macaw Mountain
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For the past decade, the Macaw Mountain Bird Park & Nature Reserve has rescued and rehabilitated many of Central America's incredible tropical birds, from keel-billed toucans and scarlet macaws to emerald tucanets and red-throated parakeets. Located just outside of Copn Ruinas, the 3.6-hectare (9-acre) park comprises tumbling old-growth forest, a pristine mountain stream, freshwater springs, slopes of shade-grown coffee, towering cliffs, and elevated trails and decks that provide spectacular views of it all. A visit to the bird park is a must for anyone traveling to Copn or on Roatan.
The parks original collection of birds came from the Bay Island of Roatan, where conservationist and bird-lover Mandy Wagner rescused parrots and toucans in the 1980s. A decade later, Lloyd Davidson inherited the birds. I had come to Roatan Honduras in 1986 to establish a fish export company on Roatan. I have a background in biology, but the birds were really just a nice gesture that got out of control. I agreed to temporarily care for Mandy's Roatan collection, fell heir to it, and accidentally became the Roatan Bird Man. Almost overnight, the collection's size exploded with donations from expats disenchanted with the demands of bird care or with life on Roatan.

To accommodate his expanding flock, a small park was created on Roatan before the larger Copn park was purchased. We opened the parks as a way to generate funds for the birds long-term care (macaws can live up to 100 years in captivity). As more and more people started visiting, though, we realized the impact the birds had on people and their potential for educating the public about the importance of conservation.

Macaw Mountain has been raising awareness about the need to protect Central America's tropical birds ever since. The birds we have are so visually fascinating that they get the message across without us having to preach much, says Lloyd. Today, visitors to Macaw Mountain learn about the birds and the organizations work and also enjoy a fully interactive experience. Theres an area where guests encounter close to 25 parrots, macaws, Roatan yellow napped and toucans that they can hold, photograph, and get to know in a very real way. It makes a lasting impression.


In addition to educating the public, Macaw Mountain has taken on other projects, too one of which is called Macaws in Freedom and is on display at the Copn archaeological site. Here, with the assistance of the World Parrot Trust, two releases of scarlet macaws plus a third release planned for this Septembe rwill have introduced 20 new birds to an already existing flock at the ruins.

What is interesting is that were using previously captive birds and their offspring as the resource to reestablish a free-flying population, says Lloyd.  If this is successful, it could be an important model for other sites in Honduras and surrounding countries.

So far, it seems to be working. Flocks of five to 15 macaws now fly noisily overhead as tourists move about the ruins, says Lloyd. These birds have really brought the site to life. The scarlet macaw is the national bird of Honduras and was sacred to the Maya, and the birds were seeing today really are becoming a source of pride.

Contributed by:  Viaventure Central America and Macaw Mountain Bird Park & Nature Reserve

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