Macaw Mountain opened in December 2001 as a bird park and a nature reserve focused on preserving and presenting to the public the stunning beauty of Honduran flora and avian fauna. By rescuing and rehabilitating the country’s parrots, toucans, raptors, and several other interesting species and displaying them in a very natural setting we added a significant element to tourism in Copan Ruinas while making a statement for avian conservation. A good percentage of the work at Macaw Mountain involves the feeding and care of over 300 birds, maintaining the park’s grounds and installations, and providing a consistently interesting and educational experience for our guests.
During the bird park’s more than 6 year existence our work has come to include a strong element of “rescue, rehabilitation, and release”. This evolved gradually as the park’s reputation increased within the country and we developed strong cooperative ties with Honduran wildlife authorities. The dynamics changed drastically in 2011 when we undertook an effort to restore free-flying scarlet macaws to Copan’s famous Mayan archaeological park in conjunction with the World Parrot Trust, The Asociacion Copan (a local NGO), and several government agencies. Scarlet macaws are the National Bird of Honduras and the project’s success, coupled with its high visibility from tourism at the “Ruins” has accelerated bird donations and placed new demands on our staff and resources. A significant amount of time now goes to receiving birds from both individuals and confiscating authorities, evaluating and rehabilitating them, and directing them into tracks that will result in their release into the wild when they are physically capable. The reintroduction model developed during the scarlet macaw program in Copan is now being expanded to other regions of the country where the birds once flew. With the continued help of the World Parrot Trust we are modifying the model as necessary to effect the release of smaller parrot species and toucans and to hopefully expand the program to neighboring Central American countries.
Macaw Mountain will continue to maintain its important tourism contribution to Copan Ruinas (currently the #2 activity on Trip Advisor). In addition to providing the visitor a truly memorable encounter with “natural Honduras”, the park makes a strong argument for the appreciation and preservation of the country’s spectacular avian resources and their lush habitat. Receipts from our visitors have allowed us to move into serious conservation programs and develop the needed skills to effect those efforts. In short Macaw Mountain is a gorgeous immersion in the beauty of Honduran nature, that also supports an increasingly important conservation outreach regionally.
Macaw Mountain operates under a permit from the Honduran Department of Forestry as an educational zoological park.
The Park and Reserve is privately funded supported solely by admission fees and purchases made by our local and international visitors.