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30 June - 28 July 1995

by Hein Prinsen

From June 30th untill July 28th I visited Guatemala with my non- birding girlfriend.  Although this trip was not primarily a birding trip we still managed to see 240 species.  We only used public transportation and visited the following 'sites'; Biotopo de Quetzal, Biotopo Choco Machacas, Tikal, Montericco Mangrove Reserve, cloud forest of Fuentes Georginas, highlands around Todos Santos and Lake Atitlan.

At Biotopo de Quetzal we had splendid views of at least 8 Resplendent Quetzals with several males, which had complete tail streamers.  I saw the birds three days in a row, and although early morning seemed to be the best time (at the wellknown Quetzal tree near the socalled youth hostal 'Los Ranchitos'), I also saw individual birds in the middle of the day as well as before dusk in a pouring rain.  Other interesting observations here where a.o.  Barred Parakeet (several flocks),Slate-colored Solitaire (common), Highland Guan (2 males, one female) and Black Robin (several).

Although Biotopo Choco Machacas has much the same to offer as Tikal (a.o. Great Currasow), it is a completely different setting, without tourists and lots of 'water trails', which you can exploit by dugout canoe.  I had several tropical rainforest species here, which I didn't see in Tikal (a.o.  a lek of White-collared manakin).  Besides, if you are lucky you can see here the Manatee (Sea Cow).  Tikal, famous for its Maya temples in the middle of the tropical rain forest, offers plenty of birding possibilities along trails through the forest.  About 400 bird species have been recorded here and in four days time we managed to see about 100 species with a.o.  female Great Currasow with two young, Crested Guan (only 2 birds), Grey-headed Kite, Scale- breasted hummingbird, Wedge-tailed hummingbird, Laughing Falcon, Bare- throated Tiger-heron, Thicket Tinamou, etc..  this is the place to go.

If you are on a low budget, I recommend you to camp in the garden of the Jaguar Inn Hotel, they also rent one three-person tent here for about $10 (a double room with private bath and three meals cost $52, which is the cheapest you can get).  The Mangrove Reserve at Montericco didn't turn up much special birds besides some Pacific Coast species.  I guess this place will be better in winter (Nov-March) with Wood Stork, Muscovy Duck and Boat-billed Heron as possibilities.  Hotel Baule Beach is the place to stay here, besides the reserve Montericco offers one of the best beaches in Guatemala.

Fuentes Georginas, near Zunill, South of Quetzaltenango, is probably the 'hot spot' of Guatemala, being one of the locations in the world where you can see Horned Guan and Azure-rumped Tanager (nearby).  We didn't see either of them and I have no information on recent recordings of these two species here (who has ?).  However, we had some nice cloud forest species such as White-faced Quail-dove, Amethyst-throated, Wine-throated and Garnet-throated hummers, Pink- headed Warbler (2), Mountain Trogon (probably), Mountain Robin, Singing Quail (up to 5 birds heard) and Blue-throated Motmot.

Another location which could be good for at least Pink-headed Warbler is the area around the beautiful highland village of Todos Santos.  I had five birds in the mountains South of the village (one bird photographed) and also recorded in this area a.o.  Goldman's Warbler (Guatemalan (sub)species of Yellow-rumped warbler), White-faced Quail-dove (two well seen), Spotted Nightingale-trush, Savannah Sparrow (3 birds, with singing male; according to Howell & Webb only unconfirmed breeding record from 1983), Black-capped Siskin (common) and White- breasted Hawk.  Finally, a visit to Lake Atitlan is a must.  Besides beautiful indian villages and markets near the lake, there are also plenty of birds.  We recorded a.o. Orange-billed Nightingale-trush, Prevost's Ground- Sparrow, Black-vented Oriole, Chestnut-collared Swift, and Rufous- capped Warbler.

At this moment I am completing a trip report.  People interested can contact me on the following address:

Follows the list of bird species recorded in Guatemala during our trip from 30/6/1995 - 28/7/1995
(nomenclature follows Howell & Webb 1995)

[] = species not positively identified

1. Great tinamou (Tinamus major)
2. Thicket tinamou (Crypturellus cinnamomeus)
3. Pied-billed grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)
4. Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
5. Neotropic cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
6. Magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)
7. Least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)
8. Bare-throated tiger-heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)
9. Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)
10. Great egret (Egretta alba)
11. Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)
12. Green heron (Butorides virescens)
13. Black vulture (Coragyps atratus)
14. Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura)
15. Osprey (Pandion haliaeutus)
16. Grey-headed kite (Leptodon cayanensis)
17. Hook-billed kite (Chondrohierax uncinatus)
18. Swallow-tailed kite (Elanoides forficatus)
19. Plumbeous kite (Ictinia plumbea)
20. White-breasted hawk (Accipiter chionogaster)
21. Roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris)
22. Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
23. Laughing falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans)
24. American kestrel (Falco sparverius)
25. Bat falcon (Falco rufigularis)
26. Plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula)
27. Highland guan (Penelopina nigra)
28. Crested guan (Penelope purpurascens)
29. Great curassow (Crax rubra)
30. Ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata)
31. Singing quail (Dactylortyx thoracicus)
32. Grey-necked wood-rail (Aramides cajanea)
33. Common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
34. Wilson's phalarope (Steganopus tricolor)
35. Laughing gull (Larus atricilla)
36. Royal tern (Sterna maxima)
37. Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis)
38. Common tern (Sterna hirundo)
39. Black tern (Chlidonias niger)
40. Rock dove (Columba livia)
41. Pale-vented pigeon (Columba cayennensis)
42. Scaled pigeon (Columba speciosa)
43. Red-billed pigeon (Columba flavirostris)
44. Band-tailed pigeon (Columba fasciata)
45. Short-billed pigeon (Columba nigrirostris)
46. White-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica)
47. Inca dove (Columbina inca)
48. Common ground-dove (Columbina passerina)
49. Ruddy ground-dove (Columbina talpacoti)
50. White-tipped dove (Leptotila verreauxi)
51. Grey-headed dove (Leptotila plumbeiceps)
52. White-faced quail-dove (Geotrygon albifacies)
53. Pacific parakeet (Aratinga (holochlora?) strenua)
54. Aztec parakeet (Aratinga astec)
55. Barred parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola)
56. Brown-hooded parrot (Pionopsitta haematotis)
57. White-crowned parrot (Pionus senilis)
58. Red-lored parrot (Amazona autumnalis)
59. Mealy parrot (Amazona farinosa)
60. Squirrel cuckoo (Piaya cayana)
61. Groove-billed ani (Crotophaga sulcirostris)
62. Mottled owl (Strix virgata)
63. Black swift (Cypseloides niger)
64. Chestnut-collared swift (Cypseloides rutilus)
65. White-collared swift (Streptoprocne zonaris)
66. VauxAEs swift (Chaetura vauxi)
67. White-throated swift (Aeronautes saxatalis)
68. Lesser swallow-tailed swift (Panyptila cayennensis)
69. Long-tailed hermit (Phaethornis superciliosus)
70. Little hermit (Pygmornis longuemareus)
71. Scaly-breasted hummingbird (Phaechroa cuvierii)
72. Wedge-tailed sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis)
73. Rufous sabrewing (Campylopterus rufus)
74. White-necked jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)
75. Green-breasted mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)
76. Green violet-ear (Colibri thalassinus)
77. White-eared hummingbird (Basilinna leucotis)
78. White-bellied emerald (Amazilia candida)
79. Azure-crowned hummingbird (Amazilia cyanocephala)
80. Rufous-tailed hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl)
81. Green-throated mountain-gem (Lampornis viridipallens)
82. Amethyst-throated hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus)
83. Garnet-throated hummingbird (Lamprolaima rhami)
84. Magnificent hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens)
85. Purple-crowned fairy (Heliothryx barroti)
86. Broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus)
87. Wine-throated hummingbird (Selasphorus ellioti)
88. Black-headed trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)
89. Violaceous trogon (Trogon violaceus)
[Mountain trogon] (Trogon mexicanus)
90. Resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)
91. Blue-throated motmot (Aspatha gularis)
92. Blue-crowned motmot (Momotus momota)
93. Turquoise-browed motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)
94. Ringed kingfisher (Ceryle torquata)
95. Pygmy kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea)
96. White-necked puffbird (Notharchus macrorhynchos)
97. Rufous-tailed jacamar (Galbula ruficauda)
98. Emerald toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus)
99. Collared aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus)
100. Keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus)
101. Acorn woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)
102. Golden-fronted woodpecker (Centurus aurifrons)
103. Smoky-brown woodpecker (Veniliornis fumigatus)
104. Golden-olive woodpecker (Piculus rubiginosus)
105. Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus)
106. Chestnut-colored woodpecker (Celeus castaneus)
107. Lineated woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)
108. Pale-billed woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis)
109. Ruddy foliage-gleaner (Automolus rubiginosus)
110. Tawny-throated leaftosser (Sclerurus mexicanus)
111. Olivaceous woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus)
112. Buff-throated woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)
113. Ivory-billed woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster)
114. Streak-headed woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes souleyetii)
115. Spot-crowned woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes affinis)
116. Barred antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus)
117. Slaty antshrike (Thamnophilus punctatus)
118. Dot-winged antwren (Microrhopias quixensis)
119. Mexican antthrush (Formicarius moniliger)
120. Greenish elaenia (Myiopagis viridicata)
121. Yellow-bellied elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster)
122. Ochre-bellied flycatcher (Mionectes oleaginus)
123. Sepia-capped flycatcher (Leptopogon amaurocephalus)
124. Slate-headed tody-flycatcher (Todirostrum sylvia)
125. Eye-ringed flatbill (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris)
126. Yellow-olive flycatcher (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)
127. Stub-tailed spadebill (Platyrinchus cancrominus)
128. Royal flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus)
129. Ruddy-tailed flycatcher (Terenotriccus erythrurus)
130. Greater pewee (Contopus pertinax)
131. Western pewee (Contopus sordidulus)
132. Yellowish flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens)
133. Black phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)
134. Bright-rumped attila (Attila spadiceus)
135. Dusky-capped flycatcher (Myiarchus tuberculifer)
[Brown-crested flycatcher] (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
136. Great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus)
137. Boat-billed flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua)
138. Social flycatcher (Myiozetetes similis)
139. Streaked flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus)
140. Sulphur-bellied flycatcher (Myiodynastes luteiventris)
141. Tropical kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)
[Couch's kingbird] (Tyrannus couchii)
142. Rose-throated becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae)
143. Masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata)
144. Black-crowned tityra (Tityra inquisitor)
145. Rufous piha (Lipaugus unirufus)
146. White-collared manakin (Manacus candei)
147. Red-capped manakin (Pipra mentalis)
148. Grey-breasted martin (Progne chalybea)
149. Mangrove swallow (Tachycineta albilinea)
150. Black-capped swallow (Notiochelidon pileata)
151. Northern rough-winged swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
152. Ridgway's rough-winged swallow (Stelgidopteryx ridgwayi)
153. Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)
154. White-throated magpie-jay (Calocitta formosa)
155. Brown jay (Cyanocorax morio)
156. Bushy-crested jay (Cyanocorax melanocyaneus)
157. Azure-hooded jay (Cyanolyca cucullata)
158. Black-throated jay (Cyanolyca pumilo)
159. Unicolored jay (Aphelocoma unicolor)
160. Bushtit (Psaltriparus minimus)
161. Brown creeper (Certhia americana)
162. Band-backed wren (Campylorhynchus zonatus)
163. Rufous-naped wren (Campylorhynchus rufinucha)
164. Rock wren (Salpinctes obsoletus)
165. Spot-breasted wren (Thryothorus maculipectus)
166. Banded wren (Thryothorus pleurostictus)
167. Plain wren (Thryothorus modestus)
168. White-bellied wren (Uropsila leucogastra)
169. Southern house wren (Troglodytes aedon)
170. Rufous-browed wren (Troglodytes rufociliatus)
171. White-breasted wood-wren (Henicorhina leucosticta)
172. Grey-breasted wood-wren (Henicorhina leucophrys)
173. Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis)
174. Brown-backed solitaire (Myadestes occidentalis)
175. Slate-colored solitaire (Myadestes unicolor)
176. Orange-billed nightingale-trush (Catharus aurantiirostris)
177. Ruddy-capped nightingale-trush (Catharus frantzii)
178. Spotted nightingale-trush (Catharus dryas)
179. Black trush (Turdus infuscatus)
180. Mountain trush (Turdus plebejus)
181. Clay-colored trush (Turdus grayi)
182. Rufous-collared trush (Turdus rufitorques)
183. Blue-and-white mockingbird (Melanotis hypoleucus)
184. Tropical mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)
185. Grey silky (Ptilogonys cinereus)
186. Brown-capped vireo (Vireo leucophrys)
187. Yellow-green vireo (Vireo flavoviridis)
188. Tawny-crowned greenlet (Hylophilus ochraceiceps)
189. Lesser greenlet (Hylophilus decurtatus)
190. Rufous-browed peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis)
191. Goldman's warbler (Dendroica (coronata) goldmani)
192. Pink-headed warbler (Ergaticus versicolor)
193. Slate-throated redstart (Myioborus miniatus)
194. Golden-crowned warbler (Basileuterus culicivorus)
195. Rufous-capped warbler (Basileuterus rufifrons)
196. Golden-browed warbler (Basileuterus belli)
197. Blue-crowned chlorophonia (Clorophonia occipitalis)
198. Yellow-throated euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea)
199. Blue-hooded euphonia (Euphonia elegantissima)
200. Olive-backed euphonia (Euphonia gouldi)
201. Blue-grey tanager (Thraupis episcopus)
202. Yellow-winged tanager (Thraupis abbas)
203. Red-crowned ant-tanager (Habia rubica)
204. Red-throated ant-tanager (Habia fuscicauda)
205. Scarlet-rumped tanager (Ramphocelus passerinii)
206. Common bush-tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus)
207. Black-headed saltator (Saltator atriceps)
208. Black-faced grosbeak (Caryothraustes poliogaster)
209. Blue-black grosbeak (Cyanocompsa cyanoides)
210. Blue bunting (Cyanocompsa parellina)
211. Yellow-throated brushfinch (Atlapetes gutteralis)
212. Chestnut-capped brushfinch (Atlapetes brunneinucha)
213. Prevost's ground-sparrow (Melozone biarcuatum)
214. Rufous-sided towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)
215. Blue-black grassquit (Volatinia jacarina)
216. Variable seedeater (Sporophila aurita)
217. White-collared seedeater (Sporophila torqueola)
218. Ruddy-breasted seedeater (Sporophila minuta)
219. Yellow-faced grassquit (Tiaris olivacea)
220. Cinnamon-bellied flowerpiercer (Diglossa baritula)
221. Stripe-headed sparrow (Aimophila ruficauda)
222. Rusty sparrow (Aimophila rufescens)
223. Savannah sparrow (Ammodramus sandwichensis)
224. Rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)
225. Yellow-eyed junco (Junco phaeonotus)
226. Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
227. Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna)
228. Melodious blackbird (Dives dives)
229. Great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)
230. Bronzed cowbird (Molothrus aeneus)
231. Giant cowbird (Scaphidura oryzivora)
232. Black-cowled oriole (Icterus dominicensis)
233. Black-vented oriole (Icterus wagleri)
234. Altamira oriole (Icterus gularis)
235. Chestnut-headed oropendola (Psarocolius wagleri)
236. Montezuma oropendola (Psarocolius montezuma)
237. Black-capped siskin (Carduelis atriceps)
238. Black-headed siskin (Carduelis notata)
239. Lesser goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria)
240. House sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Hein Prinsen
Van Lynden Van Sandenburglaan 38
3571 BC Utrecht
The Netherlands
tel: +31 30 722182 (from October 1995 onwards +31 30 2722182)
fax: +31 20 5257431