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Field Guides Tour Report
Guatemala: Shade-grown Birding 2013
Feb 17, 2013 to Mar 2, 2013
Jesse Fagan

The runaway favorite bird of the trip for many, the flamboyant Pink-headed Warbler is restricted to the highlands of Guatemala and southern Mexico. (Photo by guide Jesse Fagan)

A relatively short trip that offers excellent birding and several interesting cultural experiences. We saw well over 300 species this year (332!) including many northern Central American (NCA) specialities like Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, and Belted Flycatcher, but also visited Tikal National Park, the historic colonial town of Antigua, and, of course, we crossed the "world's most beautiful lake," Lake Atitlan. The finca experience will not soon be forgotten; learning about coffee production from Mario and experiencing the warm finca hospitality from Olga.

Birding highlights included that responsive Pheasant Cuckoo at Tikal (a lifer look even for the guide!). We could have seen that one from the pool sipping a margarita with a small umbrella! Also, the Fulvous Owl at Las Nubes, our Orange-breasted Falcon on Temple IV, and the male Resplendent Quetzal with its long streamers in flight; they all shared top honors. Not surprisingly, that lovely red warbler with a frosty head, was the group's favorite.

Thanks to everyone for making this a truly memorable trip. I hope to see you again very soon.

--Jesse aka Motmot (from Lima, Peru)

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Tinamidae (Tinamous)
GREAT TINAMOU (Tinamus major) [*]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – A few on Lake Peten-Itza.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – I counted six individuals on Lake Atitlan.
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
PLAIN CHACHALACA (Ortalis vetula) – Fairly common around Tikal.
WHITE-BELLIED CHACHALACA (Ortalis leucogastra) – A pair at Finca Patrocinio and again at Tarrales. Endemic to the Pacific slope.
CRESTED GUAN (Penelope purpurascens) – Heard on both slopes, but not seen until we got to Tarrales.
HIGHLAND GUAN (Penelopina nigra) – Heard a bunch of days on the Pacific slope (very vocal this time of year, along with some cool wing rattles), but four were seen well at Finca El Pilar above Antigua. [E]
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
BUFFY-CROWNED WOOD-PARTRIDGE (Dendrortyx leucophrys) – Several coveys were heard and a few individuals seen crossing the paths several times at Cayala.
SPOTTED WOOD-QUAIL (Odontophorus guttatus) – We flushed a pair coming down from the forest at Finca Los Andes. Very fortunate to see them so well.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
OCELLATED TURKEY (Meleagris ocellata) – Pretty common (and tame) around the grounds at Tikal NP.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – One near Peten-Itza.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – Peten-Itza and again on the drive to Tarrales from Finca Las Nubes.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias) – A couple on both Peten-Itza and Atitlan.

It's always a battle trying to call in a Vermiculated Screech-Owl; they rarely respond right away. But persistence sometimes pays off with looks like this! (Photo by guide Jesse Fagan)

GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Singles throughout the trip.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – One on Peten-Itza.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea) – A pair on Peten-Itza.
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – A surprise to find one on Peten-Itza.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Common.
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – Singles on different days; both slopes.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus) – Every single day.
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura) – Nearly as common as the previous species.
KING VULTURE (Sarcoramphus papa) – Three over Finca Tarrales was a treat. Fairly local and rare on Pacific slope.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – A trio over the forest at Tikal NP.
BLACK HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus tyrannus) – One calling and soaring above the forest at Finca Las Nubes
ORNATE HAWK-EAGLE (Spizaetus ornatus) – A pair seen briefly over the forest at Finca Las Nubes. A very good bird on the Pacific slope, or anywhere.
PLUMBEOUS KITE (Ictinia plumbea) – Most likely this species (a pair) seen from the lookout at Finca Las Nubes.
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (WHITE-BREASTED) (Accipiter striatus chionogaster) – Seen a few times during our travels in the Pacific slope highlands. This is the endemic subspecies (split by some authorities) found in NCA.
CRANE HAWK (Geranospiza caerulescens) – One soaring through the steep valley at Fuentes Georginas where it is not normally found. Rare on Pacific slope.
ROADSIDE HAWK (Rupornis magnirostris) – Fairly common raptor found on both slopes.
WHITE HAWK (SNOWY) (Pseudastur albicollis ghiesbreghti) – This subspecies was seen soaring above Finca Los Tarrales.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – A common wintering species to NCA; seen several times on this tour.
GRAY-LINED HAWK (Buteo nitidus) – Singles over a couple of days. Formerly known as Gray Hawk.
SHORT-TAILED HAWK (Buteo brachyurus) – Equal numbers of both light and dark morphs seen on the trip.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – Seen several times in the Pacific slope highlands.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RUDDY CRAKE (Laterallus ruber) [*]
GRAY-NECKED WOOD-RAIL (Aramides cajaneus) – A cooperative pair were at the visitor's center pond at Tikal NP.
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinicus) – One on lake Peten-Itza.
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana) – Numerous on Peten-Itza and Atitlan.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
COLLARED PLOVER (Charadrius collaris) – One was spotted on the tarmac at Flores airport. Nice!
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
NORTHERN JACANA (Jacana spinosa) – Several around the edges of Peten-Itza and again at the small pond in Tikal.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – Peten-Itza and Lake Atitlan.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Pretty good find to see this bird on Lake Atitlan.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
PALE-VENTED PIGEON (Patagioenas cayennensis) – A couple in the Tikal area.
SCALED PIGEON (Patagioenas speciosa) [*]
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris) – Found on both slopes in pretty good numbers.
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata) – Flocks were seen most days in the Pacific highlands.
SHORT-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas nigrirostris) – One responsive bird flew right at the group and perched above us for excellent scope views.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – Around the Guatemala City area.
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca) – Seen at Finca El Pilar among other sites.
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina) – This species is uncommon throughout NCA, but seen well at Finca El Pilar.
RUDDY GROUND-DOVE (Columbina talpacoti) – Just a few at Tikal and one on the Pacific slope.
BLUE GROUND-DOVE (Claravis pretiosa) – Three were at Tikal NP. A sharp looking dove, especially the males.
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – The most common (and frequently seen or heard) Leptotila on the tour.
WHITE-FACED QUAIL-DOVE (Geotrygon albifacies) [E*]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
SQUIRREL CUCKOO (MIDDLE AMERICA) (Piaya cayana thermophila) – Seen most days.

A view of Temple I in the Grand Plaza of the magnificent Tikal ruins. (Photo by guide Jesse Fagan)

STRIPED CUCKOO (Tapera naevia) [*]
PHEASANT CUCKOO (Dromococcyx phasianellus) – Amazing close encounters with these species near the lodge at Tikal and again along the trail past the old airstrip. Incredibly responsive. One was even doing an odd spread-wing display on the ground along with strange clucking/growling noises. A lifer view for even the guide!
GROOVE-BILLED ANI (Crotophaga sulcirostris) – A few different places.
Strigidae (Owls)
VERMICULATED SCREECH-OWL (GUATEMALAN) (Megascops guatemalae guatemalae) – Awesome looks at an "angry" looking bird in the dry forest at Tikal NP. We had to work on it a bit, however.
NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL (GUATEMALAN) (Glaucidium gnoma cobanense) – Heard in the predawn light above Finca El Pilar. We chased it and looked hard, but it never approached. Sigh... [*]
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – Heard at Tikal, but seen well on the Pacific slope.
MOTTLED OWL (Ciccaba virgata) – Heard lots of days, but finally caught up with seeing one at Finca Las Nubes.
BLACK-AND-WHITE OWL (Ciccaba nigrolineata) – A pair on a day roost at Finca Los Tarrales was very nice.
FULVOUS OWL (Strix fulvescens) – An exciting evening for us. The owls put on their show! Finca Las Nubes. [E]
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis) – Three at dusk over Finca Los Tarrales.
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – Fairly common at Tikal where we had a bunch in the trail during our nightwalks. Also heard on the Pacific slope.
YUCATAN POORWILL (Nyctiphrynus yucatanicus) – Good looks at a couple of birds in the light at Tikal NP. Always in flight; difficult to get this bird perched.
MEXICAN WHIP-POOR-WILL (Antrostomus arizonae vermiculatus) [*]
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHESTNUT-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne rutila) – A small group at Finca Las Nubes.
WHITE-COLLARED SWIFT (Streptoprocne zonaris) – Quite numerous in big, spiraling flocks on the Pacific side.
VAUX'S SWIFT (Chaetura vauxi) – Common over Tikal and again around Antigua.
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis) – A few around Lake Atitlan.
LESSER SWALLOW-TAILED SWIFT (Panyptila cayennensis) – A pair soaring high over the forest at Tikal, but also again at Finca Los Tarrales.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY (Heliothryx barroti) – Seen every day at Tikal, both male and female.
MAGNIFICENT HUMMINGBIRD (Eugenes fulgens) – This large hummingbird was seen around Finca El Pilar and again at Fuentes Georginas.
LONG-BILLED STARTHROAT (Heliomaster longirostris) – One at Takalik Abaj in the lowlands.
GREEN-THROATED MOUNTAIN-GEM (Lampornis viridipallens) – This NCA endemic was seen a few times at Finca Los Andes and Las Nubes, but also again at Fuentes Georginas. [E]
AMETHYST-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis amethystinus) – One female at Fuentes Georginas.
GARNET-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lamprolaima rhami) – A couple seen quite well (remember all the rufous in the wings?) at Fuentes Georginas.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – One at the feeder at Finca Los Andes.
WINE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Atthis ellioti) – One female all too briefly at Fuentes Georginas. [E]
CANIVET'S EMERALD (CANIVET'S) (Chlorostilbon canivetii canivetii) – One female seen at Cerro Cahui near Peten Itza. This is the subspecies on the Caribbean slope. There has been talk of splitting this species.
CANIVET'S EMERALD (SALVIN'S) (Chlorostilbon canivetii osberti) – One "Salvin's" Emerald was seen at Finca Los Tarrales. This population is disjunct from the Caribbean population.
EMERALD-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Abeillia abeillei) – A couple in the forest at Finca Los Andes (mainly heard), but again at Finca Las Nubes. [E]
WEDGE-TAILED SABREWING (Campylopterus curvipennis) – One at Cerro Cahui.
RUFOUS SABREWING (Campylopterus rufus) – This NCA was fairly common in the Pacific highlands including at feeders (Pilar and Los Andes). [E]
VIOLET SABREWING (Campylopterus hemileucurus) – Fairly common at a few different sites on the tour.
WHITE-BELLIED EMERALD (Amazilia candida) – Only at Tikal NP.
AZURE-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia cyanocephala) – Seen well at the feeders at Finca El Pilar.
BERYLLINE HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia beryllina devillei) – This endemic subspecies is quite different looking from northern populations. We saw a couple very well at Cabana Suiza above Guatemala City. [E]
BLUE-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia cyanura guatemalae) – Seen very well at the feeders on the grounds of Finca Los Andes. [E]
RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia tzacatl) – Just a couple in the Tikal area.
CINNAMON HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia rutila) – Finca Los Andes was where we saw them first, but also in a few other spots on the Pacific side.
BLUE-THROATED GOLDENTAIL (Hylocharis eliciae) – Two at Finca Los Tarrales.
WHITE-EARED HUMMINGBIRD (Hylocharis leucotis) – Several in the highlands around El Pilar and again at Finca Las Nubes.
Trogonidae (Trogons)
RESPLENDENT QUETZAL (Pharomachrus mocinno) – Heard really close at Finca Los Andes, we finally caught up with a male at Finca Las Nubes. It's even more impressive in flight! It was nearly the top vote getter for the trip.
SLATY-TAILED TROGON (Trogon massena) – Fairly common in the denser forest at Tikal NP.
BLACK-HEADED TROGON (Trogon melanocephalus) – Seen well at Cerro Cahui.
GARTERED TROGON (Trogon caligatus) – Seen a number of times at Tikal, but also again at Finca Los Tarrales. Was formerly known as Violaceous Trogon.
MOUNTAIN TROGON (Trogon mexicanus) – One at Fuentes Georginas. This species prefers the higher elevations and more oak habitat than the next species.
COLLARED TROGON (Trogon collaris) – Found on both slopes. It was fairly common in the mid-elevation pine-oak on the Pacific side, especially at Finca El Pilar.
Momotidae (Motmots)
TODY MOTMOT (Hylomanes momotula) [*]
BLUE-THROATED MOTMOT (Aspatha gularis) – Good looks at Finca El Pilar. An NCA endemic. [E]
BLUE-CROWNED MOTMOT (LESSON'S) (Momotus coeruliceps lessonii) – Common on both slopes.
TURQUOISE-BROWED MOTMOT (Eumomota superciliosa) – I think I had everyone convinced at the end that this is the sharpest looking of the motmots! ;-) Seen well at Takalik Abaj.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon) – Just one at Tikal.
Bucconidae (Puffbirds)
WHITE-NECKED PUFFBIRD (Notharchus hyperrhynchus) – We stumbled upon one in the forest behind the entrance to Tikal NP. It sat for us for a very long time. Not an easy one to find or see.

A Cecropia tree gives a female White-whiskered Puffbird a nice perch from which to soak up some sun along Tikal's entrance road. (Photo by guide Jesse Fagan)

WHITE-WHISKERED PUFFBIRD (Malacoptila panamensis) – Excellent looks at a female along the entrance road to Tikal.
Galbulidae (Jacamars)
RUFOUS-TAILED JACAMAR (Galbula ruficauda) – Good looks at both sexes while at Tikal. Quite vocal, too.
Ramphastidae (Toucans)
EMERALD TOUCANET (EMERALD) (Aulacorhynchus prasinus stenorhabdus) – This is the subspecies we saw on the Pacific side. Their croaking growls were heard a lot.
COLLARED ARACARI (Pteroglossus torquatus) – Feeding on the palm fruits near our cabins at Tikal NP.
KEEL-BILLED TOUCAN (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – These large omnivores were seen every day at Tikal NP.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
ACORN WOODPECKER (ACORN) (Melanerpes formicivorus lineatus) – Seen in the highlands around Finca El Pilar.
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (EAST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons dubius) – This subspecies was common around Tikal NP. It has the all red crown and nape.
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (EAST MEXICO) (Melanerpes aurifrons santacruzi) – This subspecies was found on the Pacific side. It differs from dubius by having orange/yellow bases to the nape along with yellow at the base of the bill. The back pattern is slightly different, too.
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus varius) – A couple at Finca El Pilar. Not seen every winter.
SMOKY-BROWN WOODPECKER (Picoides fumigatus) – One female at Tikal NP.
HAIRY WOODPECKER (SOUTH MEXICAN) (Picoides villosus sanctorum) – Singles on both days at El Pilar above Antigua.
GOLDEN-OLIVE WOODPECKER (Colaptes rubiginosus) – Seen and heard throughout the trip.
NORTHERN FLICKER (GUATEMALAN) (Colaptes auratus mexicanoides) – This distinctive subspecies is endemic to NCA. We saw it well a bunch of different times. [E]
CHESTNUT-COLORED WOODPECKER (Celeus castaneus) – A couple of different birds were seen well at Tikal. A nice looking woodpecker.
LINEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus lineatus) – This big guy was seen on both slopes.
PALE-BILLED WOODPECKER (Campephilus guatemalensis) – An even bigger guy, but less common than the previous species, it was seen well at Tikal.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
BARRED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur ruficollis) [*]
COLLARED FOREST-FALCON (Micrastur semitorquatus) – We called one in quite close near the main house at Finca Los Andes. It was an immature. An incredible view and experience.
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – A few on the drives in the Pacific lowlands.
LAUGHING FALCON (Herpetotheres cachinnans) [*]
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius) – A couple of different sightings in the Pacific lowlands.
BAT FALCON (Falco rufigularis) – One at Finca Los Tarrales.
ORANGE-BREASTED FALCON (Falco deiroleucus) – A very rare raptor that we saw pretty well on Temple IV at Tikal NP. They have been breeding at this site for the last few years.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – One was over Finca Patrocinio.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
PACIFIC PARAKEET (Aratinga strenua) – Fairly common in large flocks througout on the Pacific side. Difficult to see perched, however. [E]
OLIVE-THROATED PARAKEET (Aratinga nana) – Small numbers at Tikal NP.
BARRED PARAKEET (Bolborhynchus lineola) – Seen flying very high over us at the Las Nubes lookout. We heard them perched in a distant tree, but could never locate them. These birds are nomadic and difficult to observe.
ORANGE-CHINNED PARAKEET (Brotogeris jugularis) – A few in the scope at Finca Los Tarrales.
BROWN-HOODED PARROT (Pyrilia haematotis) [*]
WHITE-CROWNED PARROT (Pionus senilis) – Pretty common at Tikal NP.
WHITE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona albifrons) – Fairly common at Tikal NP, but also again in small flocks at Finca Patrocinio.
RED-LORED PARROT (Amazona autumnalis) – Very common (the big Amazons) at Tikal NP.
YELLOW-NAPED PARROT (Amazona auropalliata) – We had these in flight at Finca Los Tarrales one early evening.
Thamnophilidae (Typical Antbirds)
BARRED ANTSHRIKE (Thamnophilus doliatus) – One female at Cerro Cahui and again at Cayala. Found on both slopes. I like how their tails shake when they are calling.
DOT-WINGED ANTWREN (Microrhopias quixensis) – A small group of three birds along the entrance road to the ruins at Tikal NP. Missed on some tours.
Furnariidae (Ovenbirds and Woodcreepers)
TAWNY-THROATED LEAFTOSSER (Sclerurus mexicanus) – One was a surprise (and new for the property) at Finca Los Andes.
OLIVACEOUS WOODCREEPER (Sittasomus griseicapillus) – Fairly common at Tikal NP.
RUDDY WOODCREEPER (Dendrocincla homochroa) – One at Tikal NP.
STRONG-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus) – We lucked out finding this at Tikal NP along the entrance road near out hotel. It is local and uncommon in the forest.
IVORY-BILLED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster) – Fairly common on both slopes.
SPOTTED WOODCREEPER (Xiphorhynchus erythropygius) – One at Finca Los Andes.
SPOT-CROWNED WOODCREEPER (Lepidocolaptes affinis) – This highland woodcreeper was seen well at Finca El Pilar above Antigua.
PLAIN XENOPS (Xenops minutus) – One was at Tikal.
SCALY-THROATED FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Anabacerthia variegaticeps) – Seen a couple of different times at Finca Las Nubes and Los Andes. It liked to forage in the dead leaf clusters.
RUDDY FOLIAGE-GLEANER (Automolus rubiginosus) – Heard at Los Andes, but we finally saw one at Finca Las Nubes. It flew back and forth across the trail several times in front of us.
RUFOUS-BREASTED SPINETAIL (Synallaxis erythrothorax) – We were fortunate to find this bird in the open foraging along the edge below us (at Finca Los Tarrales). It is a skulker, often staying well hidden in the deep vegetation.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – One seen at Cerro Cahui and heard again on the Pacific side.
GREENISH ELAENIA (Myiopagis viridicata) – Uncommon on both slopes.
OCHRE-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Mionectes oleagineus) – A couple at Tikal and a couple more at Finca Patrocinio.
SEPIA-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Leptopogon amaurocephalus) – A few times in the forest at Tikal NP.
PALTRY TYRANNULET (Zimmerius vilissimus) – Fairly common on the Pacific side. One person even voted this one of their top three birds of the trip. I'm not saying who! ;-)
NORTHERN BENTBILL (Oncostoma cinereigulare)
COMMON TODY-FLYCATCHER (Todirostrum cinereum) – A pair seen at Finca Los Tarrales.
EYE-RINGED FLATBILL (Rhynchocyclus brevirostris) – At Tikal and again at Finca Las Nubes.
YELLOW-OLIVE FLYCATCHER (Tolmomyias sulphurescens) – Both slopes.
STUB-TAILED SPADEBILL (Platyrinchus cancrominus) – This tiny chunky flycatcher was seen well at Cerro Cahui. It is fairly common in the understory at Tikal, but can be difficult to locate.
ROYAL FLYCATCHER (NORTHERN) (Onychorhynchus coronatus mexicanus) [*]
RUDDY-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Terenotriccus erythrurus) – We lucked out finding this one at Tikal NP.
SULPHUR-RUMPED FLYCATCHER (Myiobius sulphureipygius) – One was at Tikal NP.

Orange-breasted Falcons have nested on Tikal's Temple IV for several years now. Who wouldn't want to nest up here, with this spectacular view to wake up to each day? (Photo by guide Jesse Fagan)

BELTED FLYCATCHER (Xenotriccus callizonus) – We had to really work hard for this one. A fairly steep climb up the sides of Lake Atitlan and more searching up top, but we eventually pulled one bird out for good looks. An NCA endemic that is fairly rare and local in its distribution. [E]
TUFTED FLYCATCHER (Mitrephanes phaeocercus) – A couple in the taller forest at Finca El Pilar.
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi) – One northbound migrant at Finca Los Tarrales.
GREATER PEWEE (Contopus pertinax) – Common in the Pacific highlands.
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – Heard at Tikal, but migrants were around Los Andes and Las Nubes.
TROPICAL PEWEE (Contopus cinereus) – This resident pewee was fairly common at Las Nubes and Los Tarrales. It prefers more open, second-growth habitat.
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flaviventris) – Common at Tikal, but again at Patrocinio and a few other sites.
LEAST FLYCATCHER (Empidonax minimus) – Seen throughout the trip. Both slopes.
HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER (Empidonax hammondii) – Singles in the Pacific highlands.
YELLOWISH FLYCATCHER (Empidonax flavescens) – Seen again throughout the Pacific highlands where common.
BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHER (Empidonax fulvifrons) – One at Finca El Pilar.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – One around Finca Los Tarrales.
BRIGHT-RUMPED ATTILA (Attila spadiceus) – Just one in the forest at Tikal NP. It wasn't very cooperative, however.
RUFOUS MOURNER (Rhytipterna holerythra) – Another seen in the tall forest along the entrance road at Tikal NP.
YUCATAN FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus yucatanensis) – I was surprised to find these so common around Tikal NP this year. We had several over our three days in the park. A Yucatan endemic.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tuberculifer) – One of the more common Myiarchus flycatchers (at least by voice).
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – Just at Tikal NP where common.
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus) – Found on both slopes, but we only saw them at Tikal NP.
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Seen more than a few times on tour. Always near water.
BOAT-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Megarynchus pitangua) – Seen or heard every day of the tour except the day we went to Fuentes Georginas.
SOCIAL FLYCATCHER (Myiozetetes similis) – Ditto above.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – Nearly as common as Boat-billed and Social flycatchers. Most often sitting on powerlines along side the road.
COUCH'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus couchii) – A couple along the clearings at Tikal. Identified by voice as their are nearly identical to TKs.
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis) – Several groups around Las Nubes and Los Tarrales.
Pipridae (Manakins)
LONG-TAILED MANAKIN (Chiroxiphia linearis) – Four in the coffee finca at Finca Los Tarrales.
RED-CAPPED MANAKIN (Pipra mentalis) – One female was seen at Cerro Cahui.
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
MASKED TITYRA (Tityra semifasciata) – A few on both slopes.
NORTHERN SCHIFFORNIS (Schiffornis veraepacis) – "Hey therrrrre, Ricky!" Its explosive song was heard several times along the entrance road. We eventually got it to sit still long enough for decent views. This is a recent split from Thrush-like Schiffornis.
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – We saw just females on this trip.
Vireonidae (Vireos)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus) – Very common wintering bird on the Pacific slope. We saw a bunch at Tikal and Cerro Cahui.
MANGROVE VIREO (Vireo pallens) – A couple along the dry forest trail at Tikal.
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – Singles on different days.
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Vireo plumbeus montanus) – Jesse was very excited to find this resident subspecies in the forest above Finca Los Tarrales. A candidate for future splits.
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius) – Good numbers around this winter. This species winters to NCA.
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni) [*]
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – Pretty common on the Pacific side.
BROWN-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo leucophrys) – Seen well at Finca El Pilar.
TAWNY-CROWNED GREENLET (Hylophilus ochraceiceps) – This was seen near eye level at Cerro Cahui, but also again in the taller forest at Tikal.
LESSER GREENLET (Hylophilus decurtatus) – Common at Tikal, but again in the taller forest at Finca Patrocinio.
CHESTNUT-SIDED SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius melitophrys) – We really lucked out seeing this one perched for so long from our breakfast picnic spot at Finca El Pilar. Incredible. A highlight of the trip for several people. It was around again with the Belted Flycatcher at the end of the trip.
GREEN SHRIKE-VIREO (Vireolanius pulchellus) – Very rare and local on the Pacific side. There were a number singing at Finca Los Tarrales where we saw it so so well.
RUFOUS-BROWED PEPPERSHRIKE (Cyclarhis gujanensis) – Mainly heard, but eventually seen well at Finca Los Tarrales where fairly common.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLACK-THROATED JAY (Cyanolyca pumilo) – A bit of hard looking paid off. We had a pair on the road down from Fuentes Georginas. They were very quiet however and not very cooperative. Still a good bird to find. An NCA endemic! [E]
WHITE-THROATED MAGPIE-JAY (Calocitta formosa) – Numerous in the Pacific lowlands. Seen a bunch of times.
BROWN JAY (Psilorhinus morio) – Very common (and loud) on the Caribbean slope.
BUSHY-CRESTED JAY (Cyanocorax melanocyaneus) – This sharp looking NCA endemic is thankfully quite common in the Pacific highlands. Our first were at Finca El Pilar. [E]
STELLER'S JAY (CENTRAL AMERICAN) (Cyanocitta stelleri ridgwayi) – The NCA populations are very different looking from northern birds. Short crests with lots of white around the eye. Seen well at Finca El Pilar. [E]
UNICOLORED JAY (Aphelocoma unicolor) – A pair performed well at Fuentes Georginas.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
BLACK-CAPPED SWALLOW (Atticora pileata) – This NCA endemic was seen a few times. Our first over the oak forest at Finca El Pilar. [E]
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (RIDGWAY'S) (Stelgidopteryx serripennis ridgwayi) – This subspecies was flying around the ruins at Tikal.
GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN (Progne chalybea) – A few around Flores and Tikal NP.
MANGROVE SWALLOW (Tachycineta albilinea) – Four on Peten-Itza.
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW (Tachycineta thalassina) – At least 50 or so were flying over Lake Atitlan during our boat crossing.
BARN SWALLOW (AMERICAN) (Hirundo rustica erythrogaster) – One also at Lake Atitlan.
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – These were seen from above as we scanned from the lookout at Finca Las Nubes. They were feeding on insects over the coffee plants.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (SOUTHERN) (Troglodytes aedon musculus) – Pretty common througout the trip.
RUFOUS-BROWED WREN (Troglodytes rufociliatus) – A couple at Finca El Pilar and again at Fuentes Georginas. This Winter Wren-like species is an NCA endemic. [E]
CAROLINA WREN (WHITE-BROWED) (Thryothorus ludovicianus albinucha) – A potential split from northern populations. It is more brown above with different calls. Seen well at Tikal NP.
BAND-BACKED WREN (Campylorhynchus zonatus) – Loud and raucous. Seen throughout the Pacific highlands.
RUFOUS-NAPED WREN (WEST MEXICO) (Campylorhynchus rufinucha nigricaudatus) – Seen at Los Andes and Tarrales.
SPOT-BREASTED WREN (Pheugopedius maculipectus) – Fairly common on both slopes though more often heard than seen.
RUFOUS-AND-WHITE WREN (Thryophilus rufalbus) – Seen well at Los Andes where one was active in the scrub below the main house. Their sweet whistled song was heard a few other times.
PLAIN WREN (Cantorchilus modestus) – Heard heard heard. Difficult to see, but we managed good views near the main house at Finca Los Andes.
WHITE-BELLIED WREN (Uropsila leucogastra) – This small arboreal wren was fairly common in the dry forest at Tikal.
WHITE-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucosticta) – Seen well at Tikal and heard again on the Pacific side.
GRAY-BREASTED WOOD-WREN (Henicorhina leucophrys) – This more highland wren was heard a bunch of times (beginning at Finca El Pilar) and we eventually saw it well at Finca Los Andes. Skulky.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
LONG-BILLED GNATWREN (Ramphocaenus melanurus) – Seen very well at Cerro Cahui where we had one approach us close.
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – Not many, but a couple in Tikal and again at Takalik Abaj.
TROPICAL GNATCATCHER (Polioptila plumbea) – Heard at Cahui, but seen in the forest at Tikal. This one likes to stay in the canopy.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis) – Seen well on the fence posts at Finca El Pilar.
BROWN-BACKED SOLITAIRE (Myadestes occidentalis) – Common in the Pacific highlands. Their voice is an ethereal, cascading chimes-like sound that is one of the first true "tropical" sounds one finds in Mexico and further south.
ORANGE-BILLED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus aurantiirostris) – Heard mainly, but finally seen at Lake Atitlan.
RUDDY-CAPPED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus frantzii) – Seen at Fuentes Georginas and again at Las Nubes.
SPOTTED NIGHTINGALE-THRUSH (Catharus dryas) – A tough one that we struggled with at Finca Las Nubes. Just glimpsed really.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – A common wintering bird on the Pacific side.
WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina) – Singles around Tikal where it winters in pretty good numbers.
MOUNTAIN THRUSH (Turdus plebejus) – A tough one to find. We had one at Fuentes Georginas. Good bird.
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – Every day of the tour. Common. Very common.
WHITE-THROATED THRUSH (Turdus assimilis) – Heard a few times, but seen at Finca Patrocinio in the taller forest and again at Finca Los Tarrales in the coffee plantation.
RUFOUS-COLLARED ROBIN (Turdus rufitorques) – Especially easy at Finca El Pilar. [E]
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis) – Common wintering bird at Tikal.
BLUE-AND-WHITE MOCKINGBIRD (Melanotis hypoleucus) – This is a favorite of mine. This NCA endemic was seen at El Pilar and heard again at Fuentes Georginas. Sister to the Mexican endemic, Blue Mockingbird. [E]
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – A few wintering in NCA this year. Not annual to the region, however.
Ptilogonatidae (Silky-flycatchers)
GRAY SILKY-FLYCATCHER (Ptilogonys cinereus) – Seen well, perched in the scope, at Finca El Pilar.
Peucedramidae (Olive Warbler)
OLIVE WARBLER (Peucedramus taeniatus) – A couple in the pine trees at Finca El Pilar.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla) – One at Tikal NP.
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum) – Singles seen foraging in the dead leaf clusters at Tikal NP.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – Encountered every day while at Tikal NP.
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora cyanoptera) – Seen a couple of times at Tikal NP in the mixed-species flocks.
GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora chrysoptera)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – A very common wintering warbler on both slopes.
CRESCENT-CHESTED WARBLER (Oreothlypis superciliosa) – Seen at Finca El Pilar. Though similar to Northern Parula, it is more closely related to the drab Tennessee Warbler.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Common on the Pacific side.
NASHVILLE WARBLER (WESTERN) (Oreothlypis ruficapilla ridgwayi) – A few around in the Pacific highlands.
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei) – Two seen well at Finca El Pilar. Heard again at Fuentes Georginas.
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa) – Fairly common in the understory at Tikal NP.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – One male in the small visitor's center pond at Tikal. Another pair along the marsh at Lake Atitlan.
HOODED WARBLER (Setophaga citrina) – Nice to see this striking warbler so common in the forest at Tikal NP where they winter in good numbers.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – Mainly at Tikal, but a male also at Finca Los Tarrales.
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia) – Pretty common throughout the tour, especially at Tikal.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia) – Singles at Tikal and again at Takalik Abaj and Lake Atitlan.
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi) – Common in the Pacific highlands.
HERMIT WARBLER (Setophaga occidentalis) – Just one female at Finca El Pilar. Not a common wintering bird this far south.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – Numerous throughout the trip especially so at Tikal NP.

The very local Azure-rumped Tanager is another endemic of the mountains of Guatemala and adjacent Mexico. We had pretty nice views on a couple of occasions. (Photo by guide Jesse Fagan)

FAN-TAILED WARBLER (Basileuterus lachrymosus) – Seen quite well at Finca Las Nubes. Local and uncommon on the Pacific slope of NCA.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (SOUTH MEXICO) (Basileuterus rufifrons salvini) – A few at Cayala in Guatemala City and again at Lake Atitlan.
RUFOUS-CAPPED WARBLER (CHESTNUT-CAPPED) (Basileuterus rufifrons delattrii) – This southern form was seen at Los Andes and Finca Los Tarrales.
GOLDEN-BROWED WARBLER (Basileuterus belli) – Good numbers at Finca El Pilar.
GOLDEN-CROWNED WARBLER (Basileuterus culicivorus) – A sweet song that reminds me a little of the song of Magnolia Warbler. Seen (and heard) a bunch of days, but our first at Finca Los Andes.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – One of the most common wintering warblers in the highlands. Oh, just another Wilson's Warbler!
PINK-HEADED WARBLER (Cardellina versicolor) – The bird of the trip! A favorite of most everyone in the group. Indeed, this is a beautiful warbler. We saw it very well and close at Fuentes Georginas. [E]
SLATE-THROATED REDSTART (Myioborus miniatus) – A striking colorful warbler. I love the orange underparts.
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens) – One at Finca Los Tarrales was a bit of a surprise.
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
GRAY-HEADED TANAGER (Eucometis penicillata) – A pair in the forest at Tikal NP. This one is missed some tours.
BLACK-THROATED SHRIKE-TANAGER (Lanio aurantius) – Good looks at Tikal NP.
BLUE-GRAY TANAGER (Thraupis episcopus) – Singles on both slopes, but surprisingly not many.
YELLOW-WINGED TANAGER (Thraupis abbas) – Again on both slopes, but more common than the previous species.
AZURE-RUMPED TANAGER (Tangara cabanisi) – We saw them pretty well (but high in the trees!) at Finca Los Andes; again at Finca Las Nubes. A rare and local NCA endemic. [E]
RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER (Cyanerpes cyaneus) – Great looks near the cabins at Finca Las Nubes where they were very interested in the pygmy-owl tape.
CINNAMON-BELLIED FLOWERPIERCER (Diglossa baritula) – One male at Fuentes Georginas.
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (WHITE-COLLARED) (Sporophila torqueola morelleti) – The ones seen in Tikal (with the cinnamon underparts) were this subspecies. Found only on the Caribbean slope.
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (WHITE-COLLARED) (Sporophila torqueola mutanda) – The individuals with white underparts and dark throats were seen on the Pacific side (at Finca Los Andes).
GRAYISH SALTATOR (Saltator coerulescens) – Singles on a couple of days.
BLACK-HEADED SALTATOR (Saltator atriceps) – Common (and loud) on both slopes.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
GREEN-BACKED SPARROW (Arremonops chloronotus) – Several in the dry forest scrub along the old airstrip at Tikal. Endemic to southern Mexico and the Yucatan, disjunct into Honduras.
WHITE-NAPED BRUSH-FINCH (YELLOW-THROATED) (Atlapetes albinucha gutturalis) – Our first at El Pilar, but again below Fuentes Georginas. Populations in Mexico have all yellow underparts.
RUSTY SPARROW (Aimophila rufescens) – Nice looks at a perched bird above Finca El Pilar (as we were looking for the pygmy-owl).
WHITE-EARED GROUND-SPARROW (Melozone leucotis) – Seen very low in the dark understory within the tall forest at Finca Los Andes.
RUFOUS-COLLARED SPARROW (Zonotrichia capensis) [*]
COMMON BUSH-TANAGER (MIDDLE AMERICA) (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus postocularis) – Seen a few times in the Pacific highlands.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Very common on both slopes as a wintering bird.
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana) – Only in the Pacific highlands where quite common.
FLAME-COLORED TANAGER (Piranga bidentata) – Seen well (a pair) at Finca Las Nubes.
WHITE-WINGED TANAGER (Piranga leucoptera) – A pair at Finca Patrocinio and again at Finca Los Tarrales. The males are especially striking.
RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER (Habia rubica) – The next two species were seen together in the forest at Tikal NP. Their calls are a good way to separate them in the field.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – Numerous on the Pacific side where they winter in large numbers.
GRAY-THROATED CHAT (Granatellus sallaei) – A lovely male was seen in the dry forest at Cerro Cahui. This species is endemic to the Yucatan of Mexico and northern Guatemala/Belize. [E]
BLUE BUNTING (Cyanocompsa parellina) – One male in the forest at Cerro Cahui.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – One female was seen in the open edge at the entrance to Tikal NP.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Seen a few times at various places on both slopes.
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris) – Two males at Finca Los Andes and again at Los Tarrales.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
MELODIOUS BLACKBIRD (Dives dives) – Joe got his Melodious Blackbird. Seen most every day of the tour.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus) – Common throughout the tour, but doesn't penetrate the tall forest at Tikal NP.
GIANT COWBIRD (Molothrus oryzivorus) – A pair as flybys at Tikal NP.
BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE (Icterus wagleri) – Seen well at Finca El Pilar above Antigua.
BAR-WINGED ORIOLE (Icterus maculialatus) [E*]
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – Numerous at Tikal NP (in large gregarious flocks) and less common on the Pacific side.
YELLOW-BACKED ORIOLE (Icterus chrysater) [*]
SPOT-BREASTED ORIOLE (Icterus pectoralis) – A pair was seen well at Finca Los Andes. We could make out the spots in the scope!
ALTAMIRA ORIOLE (Icterus gularis) – One at Finca Los Tarrales.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – A common wintering bird on this tour. Seen most days.
YELLOW-BILLED CACIQUE (Amblycercus holosericeus) – One seen extremely well in the viny tangles at Cerro Cahui.
MONTEZUMA OROPENDOLA (Psarocolius montezuma) – Fairly common at Tikal NP.
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, and Allies)
SCRUB EUPHONIA (Euphonia affinis) – At Finca Patrocinio and again at Tarrales. The only euphonia in our travels with yellow underparts and a dark throat.
YELLOW-THROATED EUPHONIA (Euphonia hirundinacea) – On both slopes. Seen a few different times.
ELEGANT EUPHONIA (Euphonia elegantissima) – This nicely patterned euphonia wass first seen at El Pilar, but heard at a few other spots.
OLIVE-BACKED EUPHONIA (Euphonia gouldi) – One male in the forest at Tikal.
BLUE-CROWNED CHLOROPHONIA (Chlorophonia occipitalis) – Excellent looks at Finca Los Andes.
BLACK-CAPPED SISKIN (Spinus atriceps) – A secret spot below Fuentes Georginas paid off again as we had one male come in close and call. Very nice. A local and rare NCA endemic. [E]
BLACK-HEADED SISKIN (Spinus notatus) – Seen nicely perched in the tall cypress trees at Finca El Pilar.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria) – A couple here and there on the Pacific side. They are all the dark-backed variety.
HOODED GROSBEAK (Coccothraustes abeillei) – A male at Finca El Pilar, but it was strange to see a flock of about 40 (!!) fly over us at Finca Los Tarrales. I have never seen that before!
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Yep.

YUCATAN HOWLER MONKEY (Alouatta pigra) [*]
CENTRAL AMERICAN SPIDER MONKEY (Ateles geoffroyi) – Tikal NP where fairly common.
MEXICAN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus aureogaster) – One at Finca El Pilar.
YUCATAN SQUIRREL (Sciurus yucatanensis) – At Tikal NP. The only large squirrel at this location.
VARIEGATED SQUIRREL (Sciurus variegatoides) – One at Finca Patrocinio.
DEPPE'S SQUIRREL (Sciurus deppei) – Found on both slopes. On the Pacific side it is found more in the highlands.
CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI (Dasyprocta punctata) – Found on both slopes.
GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) – Several at Tikal NP. They seem smaller and leaner than individuals found further north.
NORTHERN RACCOON (Procyon lotor)
WHITE-NOSED COATI (Nasua narica) – Numerous large groups at Tikal NP.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – A pair at Finca Los Tarrales.


Totals for the tour: 332 bird taxa and 11 mammal taxa