“The protection of habitat is crucial to reducing the threat to extinction”, says Lincoln Fishpool from Birdlife International. “Regions with dense bird populations, especially in migratory routes, should focus on conservation and educating people about the area’s importance. We need to remind the world that these regions are not only important to birds, but to the entire ecosystems they support.”
With parks and operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, guests have the opportunity to witness conservation in action with many bird centric tours and attractions:
With more than 403 unique species of birds in their Costa Rica Atlantic park alone, Rainforest Adventures is a true birders destination. With the world’s bird population being threatened it is critical to educate travellers about the importance of birds not only on a regional level, but internationally as well.
The Costa Rica Pacific park is home to tanagers, warblers, euphoni, toucans and scarlet macaws, all of which Rainforest Adventures has committed to help protect. The birding tours start at 5 a.m., just before sunrise, to take advantage of the silence of the transitional tropical rainforest. At 7 a.m., expert guides bring guests to the aerial tram to get a view of the canopy dwelling birds.
At Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain Jamaica, near Ocho Rios, guests can walk through the hummingbird gardens where the species are free to fly. While walking in this sanctuary guests can learn about the different species such as the Jamaican Mango, Eastern and Western Streamertail, and Vervain Hummingbird (the second smallest bird in the world).
Bird watching at St. Lucia is one of the attractions designed to engage everyone from casual hikers to birding enthusiasts. The experienced guides lead an interpretive tour through the forest departing just after dawn. The hike takes four hours, but is suitable to hikers of all levels as there are plenty of places to enjoy a water break.
On the Gatun Lake River cruise offered by Panama Excursions, guests will be able to hear the songs of many different birds as they travel through the back channels, islands and bays that make up this unique ecosystem. The area surrounding Gatun Lake has remained free of development due to the extremely dense rainforest that surrounds it. Gatun Lake is one of the only accessible areas on Earth that various native Central American animal and plant species can be observed undisturbed in their natural habitat.
During Migration season the Hidden Worlds park in Tulum, Mexico is thriving with bird activity. Alongside common hummingbirds and ocean birds are unique bird species including the great curassow, which can live up to 25 years. While guests are taking part in the canopy zipline tours they’re advised to keep their eyes to the sky and they might spot some crested guans on high tree branches.
“Not only are birds an attraction, but they are vital to the eco-system of the region,” says Annika Bratt, director of sales for Rainforest Adventures. “Assisting in the protection of the biodiversity where we operate is one of the founding principles of our organization and also our duty as a tourism operator.”