Conteo Navideño de Aves – Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas  

17-19 December 2016

For the past eight years, I have participated in a myriad of Christmas Bird Counts in my home state of Colorado. Birding from dawn to dusk, we brave frigid temperatures as we scour rugged terrain for mountain birds and wade through icy waters counting American Dippers. This Christmas season, however, I find myself dripping with sweat in the humid broadleaf forests of Petén, Guatemala.

While I happen to be out of the country this winter, that doesn’t stop me from participating in Christmas Bird Counts. Shortly after departing Belize, I join the Christmas Bird Count at Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas (EBG). Stationed 45 minutes up the Río San Pedro by boat, EBG is an ecotourism lodge and research station surrounded by the vast forests and wetlands of Laguna del Tigre National Park. With a six year count history, the EBG Christmas Bird Count has rapidly grown in popularity within the Guatemala birding community. This year’s count doubles as a book launch for the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America with authors Oliver Komar and Jesse Fagan.

After an evening of socializing and looking for Northern Potoos along the river, we divide into groups to conquer tomorrow’s count day. I join a group poised for a long day of hiking. After a boat ride to our starting point, we begin trekking through the jungle in the early morning darkness. Twelve hours, eighteen kilometers, and 160 species later, my group completes the 2016 Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas Conteo Navideño de Aves. Many incredible birds were seen and it was the perfect introduction to the Guatemala birding community.

For the day’s ebird list, check out http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S33275875

_E1A1611
Early morning vista of Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre
_E1A1684
Queen (Danaus gilippus)
_E1A1707
Dark morph Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus)
_E1A1807
White-bellied Emerald (Amazilia candida)
ManakinRedcapped-15
Red-capped Manakin (Ceratopipra mentalis)
15541318_1170226329680232_5599316058810813981_n
My fearless count companions included Cornelio Chablé (EBG tourism manager and wildlife guide), Luke Seitz (guide for Wings Birding Tours), and Daniel Aldana Schumann (guide for Quetzal Birding Tours). Photo courtesy Cornelio Chablé.

2 thoughts on “Conteo Navideño de Aves – Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s