Parque Nacional Tikal

29 March 2017

Before leaving the wonderful country of Guatemala, I visit Tikal National Park in Petén. Harboring ancient Mayan Ruins, Tikal is also home to an incredible array of birds. Following is a selection of my favorite images . . .

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Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii)
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Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius)
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Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae)
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Black-throated Shrike-Tanager (Lanio aurantius)
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Black Catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris)
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White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica)
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Brown Jay (Psilorhinus morio)
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Yellow-olive Flycatcher (Tolmomyias sulphurescens)
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Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus)

Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas

13-24 March 2017

As my time in Guatemala comes to an end, I return to Petén and travel back up the Río San Pedro to the Estación Biológica Las Guacamayas (EBG) in Laguna del Tigre National Park. Last December, I participated in a Christmas Bird Count at this same biological station (click here for the blog post). Situated on the edge of the river within the vast Mayan Biosphere Reserve, EBG is the hub of important conservation work, including biological research, community development, and environmentally and socially responsible tourism. Thanks to Cornelio Chablé, Jeovany Tut Rodríguez, and the rest of EBG’s staff, I have the privilege of photographing birds for the station’s database. Following are a selection of my favorite photographs . . .

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Red-capped Manakin (Ceratopipra mentalis)

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Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris)
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American Pygmy Kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea)
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Green-backed Sparrow (Arremonops chloronotus)
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Agami Heron (Agamia agami)

Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii)

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Gartered Trogon (Trogon caligatus)

Black-headed Trogon (Trogon melanocephalus)

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Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus)

Left to right, top to bottom: Scaly-breasted Hummingbird (Phaeochroa cuvierii), White-bellied Emerald (Amazilia candida), Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl), and Wedge-tailed Sabrewing (Campylopterus curvipennis).

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Spider monkey silhouetted in the canopy.
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White-eyed Vireo (Vireo griseus)

Yellow-throated Euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea)

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Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata)
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Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
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A small bat clings to an overhanging snag above the river.
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Rufous-tailed Jacamar (Galbula ruficauda)
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Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)
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Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus)
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Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga)
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Crimson-collared Tanager (Ramphocelus sanguinolentus)
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View of Estación Biológica las Guacamayas from the Río San Pedro
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The local Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) named Bobby.
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The wonderful EBG staff and a few local students.

Bird Banding with FUNDAECO

14 February – 11 March 2017

The Foundation for Ecodevelopment and Conservation (FUNDAECO) in Guatemala runs the longest continuous bird banding and monitoring program in Latin America. For nearly two decades, Guatemalan biologists have been banding birds in the Izabel province. Thanks to FUNDAECO’s banding crew, I join local field researchers for nearly a month. Most days consist of ten hours of banding in mature forests, camping in remote locations, swimming in pristine rivers, laughing together, and snacking on corn tortillas with hot sauce.

Thank you Alexis, Miguel, Obdulio, Antonio, Yaquelin, and Thelma for a truly remarkable and memorable experience!

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White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis). These elusive birds inhabit Central American rainforests and consume all sorts of interesting prey including spiders, frogs, and snakes.
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Red-capped Manakin (Ceratopipra mentalis), on of the most abundant birds at the field sites.
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Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher (Terenotriccus erythrurus), a flycatcher smaller than a kinglet (8 cm).

A Tawny-winged Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla anabatina) that was banded a previous season.

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Ruddy Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla homochroa)
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Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster), one of the largest woodcreepers (23 cm).
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Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (Glyphorynchus spirurus), one of the smallest woodcreepers (15 cm).

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Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania colombica) and Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris)

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Orange-billed Sparrow (Arremon aurantiirostris)
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Blue-black Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia cyanoides)
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Female Dot-winged Antwren (Microrhopias quixensis)
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Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (Mionectes oleagineus)
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Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus)

Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus)

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Lousiana Waterthrush (Parkesia motacilla)
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Worm-eating Warbler (Helmitheros vermivorum), one of the most abundant North American migrants captured.
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Swainson’s Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii), an incredibly rare North American migrant.
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Sunset on the Guatemala/Belize border.
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Hooded Warbler (Setophaga citrina)
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Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus)
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White-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucosticta)
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Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus)
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Northern Schiffornis (Schiffornis veraepacis)
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The FUNDAECO Banding Crew in Action
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We used waterways and boats to access our field sites near the Belize border.

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