Forest Habitat: In 2012 El Nisperal became a Private Wildlife Reserve, an official designation of the Nicaraguan system of protected areas. The 90+ Reserves in the system are essential to the conservation of Nicaragua’s ecosystems, guaranteeing good stewardship of thousands of hectares of strategically located wild land.
El Nisperal dedicates only one quarter of its land to shade coffee production; the rest is covered with secondary forest in various stages of regeneration. Animals move freely between forest patches and shade coffee plantations, via a continuous forest canopy. More than 40 mantled howler monkeys call the farm home. Jaguarundi cats, kinkajous, coatis, weasels, collared forest falcons and other raptors top the food chain, and breeding resident manakins, parrots and parakeets feed in fruiting trees.
Birds: El Nisperal lies at 600-800 m above sea level in the Sierritas de Managua, a small mountain range to the southwest of Managua. The habitat at El Nisperal is characterized by Costa Rican seasonal moist forest, although it’s avifauna is representative of both seasonal moist forest and the Central American dry forest. In addition, it receives a seasonal influx of Neartic-Neotropical migrants, including a rich assortment of Warblers, Thrushes and Tanagers.
Seventeen species of wood warblers and vireos, 5 species of flycatchers, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Wood and Swainson’s thrushes, 8 species of tanagers and orioles, Broad-winged Hawks, and American Kestrel, return from breeding in North America beginning in late August and stay with us feeding in the forest until spring. The neotropical migrants are present to be censused every winter during our Christmas Bird Count, continuous for 10 years.
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