Birding Laguna Lachuá, March 2007

We gave a presentation about the PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program to the forest rangers of the Laguna Lachuá National Park. We have collaborated with many of them since 1998. This National Park has a 4.5 km long trail through primary rain forest. Unfortunately, this time our schedule was too tight to enter the park. However, after our meeting we had some remarkable observations right on the edge of the forest.

Laguna Lachuá experienced in March 2007.

A pair of Violaceus Trogons was close by, apparently searching for a nesting site within dead material on a trunk of a Corozo palm. Used to the presence of people around the installations of the park entrance, the trogons perched on branches and wires, observing attentively their surrounding turning slowly their heads.

The strong smell of monkey feces called our attention to a group of Mexican Black Howler Monkeys, which ate fresh leafs in the canopy. A female carried a young on her belly. Both observed us distrustful. A half-grown climbed acrobatically to the outer twigs of a small tree to reach the young tips of a vine.

In the understory a female Hooded Warbler and a Wood Thrush were searching for food. From deeper inside the forest we heard the wing-clapping of White-collared Manakin and the call of a Rufous Piha. A Banaquit was singing high in the tree top. A pair of Rufous-tailed Jacamars called excited in the understory.

The drive between Cobán and Lachuá often brings good sightings. This time we saw a Snail Kite in the Rubelsanto Swamps. The kite perched on a snag, gasping under the burning noon sun. In the vegetation left around we found a Common Tody-Flycatcher and some Social Flycatchers, and we heard a Ruddy Crake calling from far. Closer to the Ik'bolay river we also saw a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (only occasionally recorded on the Guatemalan Atlantic slope) flying by.
        Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño


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