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GUATEMALA - Select Birding Sites

Autumn 2006

by Daniel Schneider


- Recommended Reading


- Parque Tikal

- ARCAS Rehabilitation Center in Flores

- Biotopo del Quetzal

- Los Tarrales Private Reserve

- Monterrico and Parque Hawaii

Guide Books for Guatemala

Lonely Planet’s Watching Wildlife Central America.

$20 or so. Not a very good book for Guatemala and I don’t even think I would recommend it for Belize (which it does cover). The one nice thing about the book is that it tells you which parks (in Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama) to hit for wildlife viewing.

Belize and Northern Guatemala. Ecotravellers’ Wildlife Guide

$25 or so. If you looking for one guide for the region this is it. An all inclusive wildlife guide, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. It doesn’t give all that much information about each specific species but it does give the meat: range maps, illustrations, and a bit of the biology.


A Guide to The Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America.

$25 or so. A very good guide book in my opinion, some of the range maps were a bit off but for the most part it was a great book. I thought the illustrations were adequate and there was a ton of information on each bird. That being said, the book is huge! It is not ideal for in the field use. This book does not have the illustrations for many of the migrant breeders.

While traveling I believe I saw a field guide of much smaller size, with smaller, but all of, the illustrations and no other information other than the range maps. It very well might have been an updated field guide version. It was orange and white.

A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Mayan World.

$35 or so. A great book that has photos and not illustrations, a downfall in my opinion. It does have range maps for all species in addition to the hundreds of drawings. The range maps only show the Mayan World.


Lonely Planet - Central America on a Shoestring

In our opinion the better of the two guides for Guatemala. We ended up getting the Central America on a Shoestring edition along with 75% + of the other travelers, its only downfall in my opinion. If they were to put out an updated Guatemala specific edition, I would recommend it. It’s a fun guide, that centers around nature based travels on the cheap.

The Rough Guide to Guatemala: Includes Copan and the Honduran Bay Islands

A much more thorough guide, partly because it was a Guatemala specific guidebook. My first, and probably the last time we will buy a Rough Guide. Unlike the Lonely Planet it didn’t give the times the buses were leaving, which is very important when it is you r only means of travel and your trying to plan out your week.



109; in 1 and 1/2 days (no guide)

94; 1 day high tally


***** This was humid lowland birding at its best. With several ponds, a drier scrubbier area, and the lush jungle you can see why there are so many birds here. As with many of the places we visited, we only saw a fraction of what was actually out there, but a great day none the less.


Great. You can easily walk the them for days, don’t get lost though!


El Peten in Northeastern Guatemala, 2 1/2 hours from Belize border.

How Do I get there:

By far the most common way to get there is on a tour package from Flores or Belize. It wasn’t terribly expensive, $7 or so, with a return ride the next day included.

You might be able to take a (chicken) bus to the entrance of the Reserve and then hitch(?) your way the remaining 17kms to the actual park entrance itself. I suppose you could if need be rent a car as well.


There are several nice places to stay right outside the entrance to park some a bit cheaper than others but all considerably more than outside this touristy area.

We tented it for about $5 a night for the both of us at the Jaguar Inn. They have a nice shower and bathrooms for the tenters. You can also leave your stuff at the front desk if need be.

What to bring:

Good flashlight/headlamp, it gets very dark in the jungle and its about 300m to the cheaper places to eat.

Food, if we were to do it again we would probably bring more food in that we did. There are no descent tiendas within walking distance and the food at the restaurants was around $6-8 a meal. Beers for about $2.

Tent, it worked out great.


1. Neotropical Cormorant                               Phalacocorax brasilianus


2. Pied-billed Grebe                                       Podilymbus podiceps


3. Anhinga                                                      Anhinga Anhinga


4. Great Egret                                                 Ardea alba


5. Black Vulture                                             Coragyps atratus

6. Turkey Vulture                                           Carthartes aura


7. Gray Hawk                                                 Asturina nitida

8. Ornate Hawk-eagle                                    Spizaetus ornatus

9. Short-tailed Hawk                                      Buteo brachyurus


10. Bat Falcon                                                Falco rufigularis

11. Orange-breasted Falcon                            Falco deiroleucus

12. Barred Forest-Falcon                                Micrastur ruficollis


13. Great Currasow                                        Crax rubra

14. Crested Guan                                           Penelope purpurascens

15. Plain Chachalaca                                      Ortalis vetula


16. Ocellated Turkey                                      Meleagris ocellata


17. Grey-necked Wood-rail                            Aramides cajanea


18. Limpkin                                                    Aramus guarauna


19. Ruddy Ground-dove                                 Columbina talpacoti


20. Mealy Parrot                                             Amazona farinosa

21. Red-lored Parrot                                       Amazona autumnalis

22. Brown-hooded Parrot                               Pionopsitta haematotis


23. Squirrel Cuckoo                                       Piaya cayana


24. Black-and-white Owl                                Strix nigrolineata

25. Mottled Owl                                             Ciccaba virgata


26. Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift                      Panyptila cayennesis

27. Vaux’s Swift                                            Chaetura vauxi


28. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird                       Amazilia tzacatl

29. Purple-crowned Fairy                               Heliothryx barroti

30. Canivet’s Emerald                                    Chlorostilbon canivetii

31. Little Hermit                                             Pygmornus longuemareus


32. Violaceous Trogon                                    Trogon violaceus

33. Black-headed Trogon                               Trogon melanocephalus


34. Tody Motmot                                           Hylomanes momotula

35. Blue-crowned Motmot                             Momotus momota


36. Ringed Kingfisher                                     Ceryle torquata


37. Keel-billed Toucan                                   Sulfuratus sulfuratus

38. Collared Aracari                                       Pteroglossus torquatus


39. Smokey-brown Woodpecker                    Veniliornis fumigatus

40. Golden-fronted Woodpecker                    Melanerpes aurifrons

41. Golden-olive Woodpecker                       Piculus rubiginosus

42. Chestnut-colored Woodpecker                 Celeus castaneus

43. Lineated Woodpecker                              Dryocopus lineatus

44. Pale-billed Woodpecker                           Campephilus guatemalensis


45. Olivaceous Woodcreeper                         Sittasomus grisicapillus

46. Ivory-billed Woodcreeper                        Xiphorhynchus flavigaster


47. Plain Xenops                                            Xenops minutus


48. Barred Antshrike                                      Thamnophilus doliatus


49. Least Flycatcher                                       Empidonax minimus

50. Ochre-bellied Flycatcher                           Mionectes oleaginus

51. Great Crested Flycatcher                          Myiarchus crinitus

52. Dusky-capped Flycatcher                         Myiarchus tuberculifer

53. Brown-crested Flycatcher                         Myiarchus tyrannulus

54. Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher                       Myiobius sulphureipygius

55. Vermillion Flycatcher                                Pyrocephalus rubinus

56. Royal Flycatcher                                      Onychorhychus coronatus

57. Boat-billed Flycatcher                               Megarynchus pitangua

58. Social Flycatcher                                      Myiozetetes similes

59. Couch’s Kingbird                                     Tyrannus couchii

60. Great Kiskadee                                         Piangus sulphuratus

61. Eye-ringed Flatbill                                     Rhynchocyclus brevirostris

62. Stub-tailed Spadebill                                 Platyrinchus cancrominus

63. Cinnamon Becard                                     Pachyramphus cinnamomeus

64. Slate-headed Tody-flycatcher                   Todirostrum sylvia

65. Masked Tityra                                          Tityra semifasciata


66. White-collared Mannakin                          Manacus candei         

67. Red-capped Mannakin                              Mentalis mentalis


68. Yellow-throated Vireo                              Vireo flavifrons

69. White-eyed Vireo                                     Vireo griseus

70. Red-eyed Vireo                                        Vireo olivaceus

71. Warbling Vireo                                         Vireo gilvus

72. Lesser Greenlet                                         Hylophilus 73. decurtatus


73. Brown Jay                                                 Cyanocorax morio


74. Tree Swallow                                           Tachycineta bicolor

75. Gray-breasted Martin                               Progne chalybea

76. Northern Rough-winged Swallow             Stelgidopteryx serripennis


77. White-bellied Wren                                  Uropsila lieucogastra

78. White-breasted Wood-wren                     Henicorhina leucosticte


79. Long-billed Gnatwren                               Ramphocaenus melanurus

80. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher                              Polioptila caerulea


81. Wood Thrush                                            Catharus mustelina


82. Gray Catbird                                             Dumetella carolinensis


83. Yellow Warbler                                        Dendroica petechia

84. Western Palm Warbler                             Dendroica palmarum

85. Magnolia Warbler                                    Dendroica magnolia

86. Black-throated-green Warbler                  Dendroica virens

87. Chestnut-sided Warbler                            Dendroica pensylvanica

88. Yellow-rumped Warbler                           Dendroica coronata

89. Tropical Paurla                                         Parula pitiayumi

90. Kentucky Warbler                                    Oporornis formosus

91. Hooded Warbler                                      Wilsonia citrina

92. Black-and-white Warbler                         Mniotilta varia

93. American Redstart                                    Setophaga ruticilla

94. Worm-eating Warbler                               Helmitheros vermivorus

95. Ovenbird                                                  Seiurus aurocapillus

96. Golden-crowned Warbler                         Basileuterus culicivorus

97. Common Yellowthroat                             Geothlypis trichas

98. Yellow-breasted Chat                               Icteria virens


99. Black-throated Shrike-tanager                  Lanio aurantius

100. Red-crowned Ant-tanager                      Habia rubica

101. Olive-backed Euphonia                          Euphonia gouldi

102. Scrub Euphonia                                      Euphonia affinis

103. Summer Tanager                                    Piranga rubra


104. Blue Bunting                                           Passerina caerulea

105. Indigo Bunting                                        Passerina cyanea


106. Green-backed Sparrow                          Arremonops chloronotus 


107. Black-cowled Oriole                              Icterus dominicensis

108. Montezuma Oropendula                         Psarocolius montezuma

109. Melodious Blackbird                              Dives dives


ARCAS Rehabilitation Center in Flores


96; in 6 and 1/2 days (no guide)

65; 1 day high tally


*** Quite a diverse little parcel of land this was with a little lagoon off of Lago de Peten Izta that was surrounded by 25 year old 2nd growth forest. This was less a birding destination as we were eco-volunteering with ARCAS again, this time doing wildlife rehabilitation and some personal avian research.


Quite nice, enough for several good days of birding.


Northeastern Guatemala, on the far northeastern side of Lago de Peten Izta, near Flores.

How Do I get there:

To get to the ARCAS facility you must first get to the island of Flores, this is easily done by bus from anywhere in Guatemala and Belize. Then you must take a boat taxi to the facility ($5 or less), or if you arrange it ARCAS will pick you up for free, that is if you are going to be volunteering there.


At the ARCAS facility you are given a bunk with up to 3 others in your room, (but this isn’t likely) and a shared bath. You are required to participate in the 3 daily feedings and daily cleaning of the animal cages, which totals maybe 1 and 1/2 hours of total work. There is a $100 a week fee to cover food and housing expenses, this money is also used to provide for the injured animals.

What to bring:

Good flashlight/headlamp, it gets very dark and its about 100m to the cocina. They had to kill a 1.5m Ferd-de-lance the week we were there.

<>Food, is provided but a snack or two is a good idea. They kind of shun alcohol. Mosquito spray and net if you have one, there are tarantulas and scorpions.

English and Spanish names

Cormorants and Wading Birds

1. Neotropical Cormorant                              Cormaoran Neotropical

2. Little Blue Heron                                        Garza Azul      

3. Great Egret                                                Garza Grande

4. Snowy Egret                                              Garza Nivea 

5. Green Heron                                              Garza Verde 

6. Cattle Egret                                                Garza Ganadera         

7. Black-Crowned Night-Heron                     Garza-nocturna Coroninegra


8. Blue-winged Teal                                       Cerceta Aliazul           


9. King Vulture                                               Zopilote Rey 

10. Black Vulture                                           Zopilote Negro           

11. Turkey Vulture                                         Aura Cobecirroja       

Diurnal Raptors

12. Mississippi Kite                                        Milano de Misisipi

13. White-tailed Hawk                                   Aguililla Coliblanca  

14. White Hawk                                             Aguililla Blanca         

15. Ornate Hawk –eagle                                Aguila Elegante 

Chicken-like birds 

16. Plain Chachalaca                                      Chachalaca Comun    


17. Northern Jacana                                        Jacana Mesoamericana

18. Spotted Sandpiper                                    Playero Alzacolita

19. American Coot                                         Gallareta Americana  

20. Ruddy Crake                                            Polluela Rojiza           


21. Royal Tern                                                Golondrina-marina Real        

Parrots and Parakeets

22. Aztec Parakeet                                          Perico Pechisucio       

23. Mealy Parrot                                             Loro Verde     


24. Blue Ground-dove                                    Tortola Azul    

25. Ruddy Ground-dove                                 Tortola Rojiza

26. White-tipped Dove                                   Paloma Arroyera        

Cuckoos and Anis

27. Squirrel Cuckoo                                       Cuco Ardilla

28. Groove-billed Ani                                    Garrapatero Pijuy      


29. Mottled Owl                                             Buho Cafe       

30. Vermiculated Screech-owl                       Tecolote Vermiculado


31. Common Pauraque                                   Tapacaminos Picuyo  

32. Lesser Nighthawk                                     Chotacabras Menor   


33. Belted Kingfisher                                      Martin-pescador Norteno       

34. Pygmy Kingfisher                                     Martin-pescador Enano         

35. Ringed Kingfisher                                     Martin-pescador Collararejo


36. Rufus-tailed Hummingbird                        Colibri Colirrufo        

37. Wedge-tailed Sabrewing                          Fandangero Colicuna

38. White-bellied Emerald                             Esmeralda Vientre-blanco

39. Little Hermit                                             Ermitano Chico          

Trogons, Toucans and Motmots

40. Black-headed Trogon                               Trogon Cabecinegro  

41. Keel-billed Toucan                                   Tucan Pico-multicolor           

42. Blue-Crowned Motmot                            Momoto Coroniazul   


43. Golden-olive Woodpecker                       Carpintero Olivaceo

44. Lineated Woodpecker                              Carpintero Lineado


45. Olivecous Woodcreeper                           Trepatroncos Olivaceo

46. Streak-headed Woodcreeper                    Trepatroncos Corona-rayada


47. Barred Antshrike                                      Batara Barrada          


48. Slate-headed Tody-flycatcher                   Espatulilla Cabecigris            

49. Stubtail Spadebill                                      Picochato Rabon        

50. Yellow-olive Flycatcher                            Picoplano Ojiblanco  

51. Tropical Pewee                                         Pibi Tropical  

52. Couche’s Kingbird                                   Tirano de Couch 

53. Great Kiskadee                                         Luis Grande    

54. Social Flycatcher                                      Luis Piquigrueso        


55. Barn Swallow                                           Golondria Ranchera   

56. Mangrove Swallow                                  Golondria Manglera  


57. Brown Jay                                                Chara Papan  


58. White-bellied Wren                                  Saltapared Vientre –blanco

59. White-breasted Wood-wren                    Salta paredselvatico Pechiblano

60. Southern House Wren                              Saltapared-continental Sureno


61. Blue-grey Gnatcatcher                              Perlita Grisilla


62. Swainson’s Thrush                                   Zorzalito de Swainson

63. Wood Thrush                                           Zorzalito Maculado    

64. Clay-colored Robin                                  Zorzal Pardo


65. White-eyed Vireo                                     Vireo Ojiblanco          

66. Lesser Greenlet                                         Verdillo Menor           

67. Warbling Vireo                                         Vireo Gorjeador         

68. Yellow-throated Vireo                              Vireo Gorjiamarillo   

69. Rufous-browed Peppershrike                   Vireo Cejirrufo           


70. American Redstart                                    Pavito Migratorio       

71. Black-throat Green Warbler                     Chipe Dorsiverde       

72. Blue-winged Warbler                               Chipe Aliazul  

73. Black and White Warbler                         Chipe Trepador          

74. Common Yellowthroat                             Mascarita Comun       

75. Hooded Warbler                                      Chipe Encapuchado   

76. Magnolia Warbler                                    Chipe de Magnolia     

77. Northern Waterthrush                               Chipe-suelero Charquero

78. Ovenbird                                                   Chipe-suelero Coronado

79. Prothonatary Warbler                               Chipe Protonotario    

80. Swainson’s Warbler                                 Chipe de Swainson

81. Tropical Parula                                         Parula Tropical          

82. Kentucky Warbler                                    Chipe de Kentucky

83. Worm-eating Warbler                              Chipe Gusanero         

84. Yellow Warbler                                        Chipe Amarillo           


85. Blue-grey Tanager                                    Tangara Azuligris       

86. Grey-headed Tanager                               Tangara Cabecigris   

87. Red-throated Ant-tanager                        Tangara-hormiguera Gorjirroja

88. Red-legged Honeycreeper                        Mielero Patirrojo


89. Black-headed Solitaire                             Saltador Cabecinegro

90. Buff-throated Solitaire                              Saltador Gorjileonado            

Sparrows and Seedeaters

91. Green-backed Sparrow                           Gorrion Dorsiverde    

92. White-collared Seedeater                         Semillero Collarejo    

Blackbirds and Orioles

93. Baltimore Oriole                                       Bolsero de Baltimore  

94. Yellow-billed Cacique                              Cacique Mexicano      

95. Great-tailed Grackle                                 Zanate Mayor 

96. Melodious Blackbird                                Tordo Cantor 

Biotopo del Quetzal – Guatemala

Field notes from Biotopo del Quetzal:

We birded lightly on the 6th in the afternoon before it becaome too cloudy to bird, a common problem here in the afternoon.

We started at 6:00 on the 7th at our hostel (Hospedaje Ranchito del Quetzal, $13.00 a night for two in a comfy bed and private bath) and stayed there until around 8:30 because there was a male Respendent Quetzal above our breakfast table !

Bring some food along if you doing it on the cheap, its aways to town and the food is a bit pricy.

The day’s highlight had to be at the highest pint of the trail (the long loop) were we found a huge fruiting tree containing 20 or so species, including at least 7 male Resplendent Quetzals. Lauren had 3 in her view at once ! It was also a very thrushy day with 6 turdidae species being seen, none more than a few time though. The most common species were the Common Bush-tanager, Golded-browed, Wilson’s and Black-throated-green Warblers. Shinning Honeycreepers were in good sized flocks (20+). Had great looks at the Highland guans near the top of the trail.


48; in one afternoon and 1 morning (no guide)

48; 1 day high tally


**** Cloud-forest birding is always a real treat. It was so mystical and the birds were amazing. We actually had 7 Resplendent Quetzals males in one tree ! The nightingale-thrushes were also a real treat.


They do have one really nice trail at the Biotopo but I didn’t see many others; meaning anything more than a day and your doing circles.


Central Guatemala, between Guatemala City and Coban.

How Do I get there:

3 or so hours from Guatemala City by bus. Make sure you tell the bus driver to let you of at the entrance of the Biotopo ! I believe there are also direct shuttles from Antigua and Guatemala City. You could also probably take a rent-a-car .


No tenting is available, or at least that we found. Hospedaje Ranchito del Quetzal, $13.00 a night for two in a comfy bed and private bath. This is the closest place to the Biotopo and the only one that I saw in walking distance.

Special Note: There was a male Resplendent Quetzal eating its breakfast in the trees above as we were eating ours.

What to bring:

Good flashlight/headlamp

Food, there are no tiendas within walking distance (besides the snack shop in the biotope). The food at the Hospedaje Ranchito was around $4-5 a meal.

Camera with a descent zoom, to get the great shots of the Quetzals (take a look at the photo on the right).

The following list was compiled on evening of November 6th and morning and early afternoon of the 7th, 2006.


1. Highland Guan                                           Penelopina nigra


2. Band-tailed Pigeon                                     Columba fasciata


3. Green-throated Mountain-Gem                  Lampornis viridipallens


4. Resplendent Quetzal                                   Pharomachrus mocinno


5. Emerald Toucanet                                      Aulacorhychus prasinus


6. Hairy Woodpecker                                     Picoides villosus

7. Golden-olive Woodpecker                         Piculus rubiginosus


8. Black-banded Woodcreeper                       Dendrocolaptes picumnus

9. Spotted Woodcreeper                                 Xiphorhynchus erythropygius


10. Tufted Flycatcher                                     Mitrephanes phaeocercus

11. Yellowish Flycatcher                                Empidonax flavescens

12. Greenish Elaenia                                      Myiopagis viridicata

13. Grey-collared Becard                               Pachyramphus major

14. Eye-ringed Flatbill                                    Rhynchocyalus brevirostris


15. Brown-capped Vireo                                Vireo salitarius

16. Blue-headed Vireo                                    Vireo leucophrys


17. Azure-hooded Jay                                     Cyanolyca cucullata

18. Unicolored Jay                                         Aphelocoma unicolor


19. Southern House Wren                              Troglodytes musculus

20. Gray-breasted Wood-wren                       Henicorhina leucophrys


21. Clay-colored Robin                                  Turdus grayi

22. Mountain Robin                                        Turdus plebejus 

23. Black Robin                                              Turdus infuscatus

24. Slate-colored Solitaire                              Myadestes unicolor

25. Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush             Catharus frantzii

26. Black-headed Nightingale-thrush              Catharus mexicanus


27. Townsend’s Warbler                                Dendroica townsendi

28. Black-throated-green Warbler                  Dendroica virens

29. Black-and-white Warbler                         Mniotilta varia

30. Wilson’s Warbler                                     Wilsonia pusilla

31. Slate-throated Redstart                             Myioborus miniatus

32. Chestnut-capped Warbler                         Basileuterus delattrii

33. Golden-browed Warbler                           Basileuterus belli

34. Chestnut-chested Warbler                        Vermivora superciliosa

35. Golden-winged Warbler                           Vermivora chrysoptera

36. Tennessee Warbler                                   Vermivora peregrine


37. Blue-crowned Chlorophonia                    Chlorophonia occipitalis

38. Flame-colored Tanager                            Piranga bidentata

39. Common Bush-tanager                             Chlorospingus ophthalmicus

40. Shinning Honeycreeper                            Cyanerpes lucidus


41. Chestnut-capped Brush-finch                   Atlapetes brunneinucha

42. Blue Seedeater                                         Amarospiza concolor


43. Painted Bunting                                        Passerina ciris

44. Black-headed Saltator                              Saltator atriceps

45. Rose-breasted Grosbeak                          Pheucticus ludovicianus


46. Chestnut-headed Oropendola                   Psarocolius wagleri

47. Baltimore Oriole                                       Icterus galbula


48. Hooded Grosbe

Los Tarrales Private Reserve – Guatemala

Los Tarrales Private Reserve is a world class birding preserve located on the Pacific slope of Vulcan Atilan in Guatemala. With 3 life zones and a huge elevation gain of nearly 13, 500 ft, the bird diversity is amazing with 22 species of hummingbird possible.

If you need a guide, Josue de Leon knows this area very well and will be a great benefit on your birding adventure. He can be contacted by visiting the Las Tarrales website.


113; in 1 and 1/2 days (1/2 day with guide;$10)

98; 1 day high tally


***** It really doesn't get any better than Las Tarrales. With a huge elevation gain and great trails that aren’t that hard to hike it is a birder’s paradise.


The Reserve has a great trail system that cut their way through the shade-grown coffee and surrounding forest.


Western Central Guatemala. Between Cocales and San Lucas Toliman

How Do I get there:

There are many buses and several trucks that go in-between Cocales and San Lucas Toliman. You could also probably take a rent-a-car.


Las Tarrales offers nice rooms for around $20. Or you can pitch a tent next to the lagoon for $6 (recommended). You can leave your valuables at the office if you need to. They also have furnished tree houses for around $20.

Not much else in the vicinity besides these choices.

What to bring:

Good flashlight/headlamp, it gets pretty dark in town and on the walk to the lagoon.

Food, it’s a bit pricey there ($8 average), but is largely organic. There are a few tiendas in the neighboring village but it would be easiest to bring from the get-go.

Tent (there are actually quite a few places to camp in Guatemala) But bring a lock.

Field notes from Las Tarrales:

Tennessee Warblers were by far the most common warbler from the states but as you went higher in elevation it became more diverse with several Worm-eating warblers seen at the highest/ steepest portions of the trail. Mixed flocks dominated by North American migrants were common with Red-legged honeycreepers being the most frequent resident within the flocks. Swainson’s thrushes were found equally on the ground and in the trees and were by far the most frequent turdidae, besides Clay-colored robins (resident) which were seen at the lower elevation levels. Saw many more Baltimore Orioles on the 1st than the 2nd.

Flycatchers favored newly planted, less shade grown coffee, while few other birds were seen in non-shade grown coffee (except a few Magnolia and Chestnut-capped warblers). Heavily shaded coffee was generally very good birding with very high diversity.

The following list was compiled on November 1-2, 2006. 113 species seen.


1. Little Blue Heron                                        Egretta caerulea

2. Cattle Egret                                                Bubulcus ibis


3. Black Vulture                                             Coragyps atratus

4. Turkey Vulture                                           Carthartes aura

5. King Vulture                                               Sarcoramphus papa


6. Blue-winged Teal                                        Anas discors


7. Gray Hawk                                                 Asturina nitida

8. Broad-winged Hawk                                  Buteo platypterus

9. Short-tailed Hawk                                      Buteo brachyurus


10. Collared Forest-falcon                              Micrastur semitorquatus

11. Northern Crested Caracara                       Caracara cheriway


12. Crested Guan                                            Penelope purpurascens


13. Red-billed Pigeon                                     Columba flavirostris

14. Band-tailed Pigeon                                   Columba fasciata

15. Inca Dove                                                 Columbina inca

16. White-tipped Dove                                   Leptotila verreauxi


17. Pacific Parakeet                                        Aratinga strenua

18. Orange-fronted Parakeet                           Aratinga canicularis

19. Orange-chinned Parakeet                         Brotogeris jugularis


20. Squirrel Cuckoo                                       Piaya cayana

21. Groove-billed Ani                                    Crotophaga sulcirostris


22. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl                          Glaucidium brasilianum

23. Mottled Owl                                            Ciccaba virgata


24. Lesser Nighthawk                                     Chordeiles acutipennis


25. White-collared Swift                                Streptoprocne zonaris

26. Vaux’s Swift                                            Chaetura vauxi


27. Violet Sabrewing                                     Campylopterus emileucurus

28. Berylline Hummingbird                             Amazilia berylline

29. Blue-tailed Hummingbird                         Amazilia cyanura

30. Cinnamon Hummingbird                          Amazilia rutila

31. Long-billed Starthroat                              Heliomaster longirostris

32. Ruby-throated Hummingbird                    Archilochus colubris

33. Magnificent Hummingbird                        Eugunes fulgens

34. Blue-throated Sapphire                            Hylocharis eliciae


35. Violaceous Trogon                                   Trogon violaceus

36. Collared Trogon                                       Trogon collaris


37. Tody Motmot                                           Hylomanes momotula

38. Blue-crowned Motmot                             Momotus momota


39. Green Kingfisher                                      Chloroceryle Americana


40. Collared Aracari                                       Pteroglossus torquatus


41. Golden-fronted Woodpecker                    Melanerpes aurifrons

42. Golden-olive Woodpecker                       Piculus rubiginosus

43. Lineated Woodpecker                              Dryocopus lineatus

44. Pale-billed Woodpecker                           Campephilus guatemalensis


45. Rufous-breasted Spinetail                         Synallaxis erythrothorax


46. Barred Antshrike                                      Thamnophilus doliatus


47. Greenish Elaenia                                      Myiopagis viridicata

48. Common Tody-flycatcher                        Todirostrum cinereum

49. Yellow-olive Flycatcher                           Tolmomyias sulphurescens

50. Tropical Pewee                                        Contopus cinereus

51. Western Wood-pewee                             Contopus sordidulus

52. Least Flycatcher                                       Empidonax minimus

53. Yellowish Flycatcher                                Empidonax flavescens

54. Buff-breasted Flycatcher                          Empidonax fulvifrons

55. Pacific-sloped Flycatcher                         Empidonax difficillis

56. Dusky-capped Flycatcher                         Myiarchus tuberculifer

57. Great Kiskadee                                        Piangus sulphuratus

58. Boat-billed Flycatcher                              Megarynchus pitangua

59. Social Flycatcher                                      Myiozetetes similes

60. Rose-throated Becard                               Pachyramphus aglaiae

61. Grey-collared Becard                               Pachyramphus major

62. Masked Tityra                                          Tityra semifasciata


63. Cassin’s Vireo                                          Vireo cassinii

64. Yellow-throated Vireo                              Vireo flavifrons

65. Warbling Vireo                                         Vireo gilvus

66. Rufous-browed Peppershrike                   Cyclarhis gujanensis


67. White-throated Magpie-Jay                      Calocitta formosa


68. Gray-breasted Martin                               Progne chalybea

69. Northern Rough-winged Swallow             Stelgidopteryx serripennis


70. Rufous-naped Wren                                 Campylorhynchus rufinucha

71. Rufous-and-white Wren                           Thryothorus rufalbus

72. Spot-breasted Wren                                 Thryothorus maculipectus

73. Plain Wren                                               Thryothorus modestus

74. Gray-breasted Wood-wren                       Henicorhina leucophrys

75. White-breasted Wood-wren                     Henicorhina leucosticte


76. Long-billed Gnatwren                               Ramphocaenus melanurus

77. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher                              Polioptila caerulea


78. Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush               Catharus aurantiirostris

79. Swainson’s Thrush                                   Catharus ustulatus

80. Clay-colored Robin                                  Turdus grayi

81. White-throated Robin                               Turdus assimilis


82. Tennessee Warbler                                   Vermivora peregrine

83. Bay-breasted Warbler                               Dendroica castanea

84. Yellow Warbler                                        Dendroica petechia

85. Magnolia Warbler                                    Dendroica magnolia

86. Townsend’s Warbler                                Dendroica townsendi

87. Blackburnian Warbler                              Dendroica fusca

88. Black-throated-green Warbler                  Dendroica virens

89. Black-and-white Warbler                         Mniotilta varia

90. American Redstart                                    Setophaga ruticilla

91. Worm-eating Warbler                              Helmitheros vermivorus

92. Ovenbird                                                   Seiurus aurocapillus

93. Wilson’s Warbler                                     Wilsonia pusilla

94. Slate-throated Redstart                             Myioborus miniatus

95. Fan-tailed Warbler                                    Euthlypis lachrymose

96. Golden-crowned Warbler                         Basileuterus culicivorus

97. Chestnut-capped Warbler                         Basileuterus delattrii


98. Summer Tanager                                      Piranga rubra

99. White-winged Tanager                             Thraupis episcopus

100. Yellow-winged Tanager                         Thraupis abbas

101. Yellow-throated Euphonia                     Euphonia hirundinacea

102. Red-legged Honeycreeper                     Cyanerpes cyaneus


103. White-eared Ground-sparrow                 Melozone leucotis


104. Painted Bunting                                      Passerina ciris

105. Black-headed Saltator                            Saltator atriceps

106. Rose-breasted Grosbeak                        Pheucticus ludovicianus


107. Melodious Blackbird                              Dives dives

108. Great-tailed Grackle                               Quiscalus mexicanus

109. Spot-breasted Oriole                               Icterus pectoralis

110. Altamira Oriole                                       Icterus gularis

111. Baltimore Oriole                                     Icterus galbula

112. Yellow-billed Cacique                            Amblycercus holosericeus


113. Lesser Goldfinch                                    Carduelis psaltria

Monterrico and Parque Hawaii


50; in 1 day (no guide)

50; 1 day high tally


*** I was a bit disappointed with Monterrico and Parque Hawaii. The countless hectares of sugarcane on the drive in were nearly devoid of birds. The mangroves and sea offer a great chance though to pick us some extra species. Get a kayak, you’ll want it.


A trail system wasn’t really developed that we could tell. We birded the roads and beach while on land. There was a nice mangrove kayak/canoe tour though.


Far southeastern Guatemala. The Parque leads right out into the Pacific.

How Do I get there:

There are several buses going into Monterrico from Puerto San Jose. Escuintla, a major hub, is 2 1/2 hrs by bus. There are also direct shuttles from Antigua and Guatemala City. You could also probably take a rent-a-car .


We stayed at the ARCAS—Monterrico Turtle station which was about $8 a night in a bunkhouse with mosquito nets with a commitment to hike 8km a night looking for eggs, minimum 1 week stay (negotiable). As far as I know, not much else in the vicinity of Parque Hawaii besides this though.

Note: Monterrico is atleast 8km away from Parque Hawaii!Monterrico has a variety of cheap and nice places to stay.

What to bring:

Good flashlight/headlamp, You’ll want it when you’re hiking the beaches at night.

Food, they make a community meal at the ARCAS bunkhouse that they take turns cooking .

Mosquito spray and sun screen.

Kayak and dry bag, we got our kayak from ARCAS and we brought our dry bags.


1. Neotropical Cormorant                               Phalacocorax brasilianus


2. Least Grebe                                               Tachybaptus dominicus


3. Magnificent Frigatebird                              Fregata magnificens


4. Brown Pelican                                            Pelecanus erythrorhynchos


5. Great Egret                                                 Ardea alba

6. Snowy Egret                                               Garza Nivea 

7. Green Heron                                               Garza Verde

8. Reddish Egret                                             Egretta rufescens

9. Yellow-crowned Night-heron                     Nyctanassa violacea


10. Wood Stork                                              Mycteria americana


11. Black Vulture                                           Coragyps atratus

12. Turkey Vulture                                         Carthartes aura


13. Broad-winged Hawk                                Buteo platypterus

14. Short-tailed Hawk                                    Buteo brachyurus

15. Mangrove Black Hawk                             Buteogallus sutilis

16. White-tailed Kite                                      Elanus leucurus


17. Osprey                                                     Pandion haliaetus       


18. Merlin                                                       Falco columbarius

19. American Kestrel                                     Falco sparverius


20. Grey-necked Wood-rail                            Aramides cajanea


21. Black Tern                                                Chlidonias niger

22. Royal Tern                                                Sterna maxima


23. Ruddy Ground-dove                                 Columbina talpacoti

24. Plain-breasted Ground-dove                     Columbina minuta

25. Inca Dove                                                 Columbina inca

26. White-tipped Dove                                   Leptotila verreauxi


27. Orange-chinned Parakeet                         Brotogeris jugularis


28. Mangrove Cuckoo                                    Coccyzus minor

29. Squirrel Cuckoo                                       Piaya cayana

30. Groove-billed Ani                                    Crotophaga sulcirostris


31. Pacific Screech-owl                                  Otus cooperi


32. Common Paraque                                     Nyctridromus albicollis


33. Green Kingfisher                                      Chloroceryle Americana

34. Pygmy Kingfisher                                     Chloroceryle aenea

35. Belted Kingfisher                                     Ceryle alcyon


36. Great Kiskadee                                        Piangus sulphuratus

37. Tropical Kingbird                                     Tyrannus melancholicus

38. Rose-throated Becard                               Pachyramphus aglaiae


39. Gray-breasted Martin                               Progne chalybea

40. Barn Swallow                                           Hirundo rustica

41. Mangrove Swallow                                  Tachycineta albilinea


42, Rufous-naped Wren                                  Campylorhynchus rufinucha


43. Tennessee Warbler                                   Vermivora peregrine

44. Prothonotary Warbler                               Protonotaria citrea

45. Mangrove (yellow) arbler                         Dendroica erithachorides

46. Yellow Warbler                                        Dendroica petechia

47. Northern Waterthrush                               Seiurus noveboracensis

48. Black-and-white Warbler                         Mniotilta varia

49. American Redstart                                    Setophaga ruticilla


50. Altamira Oriole                                        Icterus gularis

Daniel Schneider


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