Pink-headed Warbler (Ergaticus versicolor) in the forest at Rincón Suizo.
Forest at Rincón Suizo.
Birding at Rincón Suizo, Cerro Tecpán. Rincón Suizo is a restaurant at km 94 of the Panamerican highway, north of the city of Tecpán, at an elevation of 2,500 m (8,200 ft). The forest reserve behind the restaurant is family-owned. It is part of the Atitlan Important Bird Area (IBA GT015).
The forest at Rincón Suizo is an interesting birding spot because you can see several endemics of the north Central American highlands, including Pink-headed Warbler, Blue-throated Motmot, and Rufous-browed Wren. At times the forest is very quite but sooner or later you will hit one of the mixed flocks. During winter you will find the migratory Townsend's, Wilson's, Black-and-White, and Red-faced Warblers together with the resident Slate-throated Redstart, Pink-headed, Crescent-chested, and Olive Warbler, as well as Hutton's Vireo. The flocks are often accompanied by Spot-crowned, and sometimes by Spotted Woodcreepers, and also Brown Creepers. With some good luck you may see a Chestnutsided Shrike-Vireo within the flock. Bushtit dwells through the forest in large flocks of sometimes more than 30 birds.
While walking along the trails you cross territories of Tuftet Flycatcher, Greater Pewee, and Mountain Trogon. In the understory live Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush, Golden-browed Warbler, and Chestnut-capped Brushfinch. The most common hummer is the White-eared Hummingbird, but also Amethyst-throated and Magnificent Hummingbird, as well as Green-throated Mountain-gem occur. In the open areas you may find Yellow-eyed Junco, Spotted Towhee, and Rufous-collared Robin.
How to get there and accommodation: The restaurant Rincón Suizo is located on km 94 directly on the Panamerican highway. Car parking is available at the restaurant. Hotels are available in the city of Tecpán. Get in touch for advice on birder-friendly hotels in town.
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Best season for birding at at Rincón Suizo: Any time of year.
How you support forest conservation at Rincón Suizo: Birders are welcome to walk along the trails. With your visit you help to raise an environmental awareness in this corner of Guatemala. Your visit to the Restaurant Rincón Suizo after your birding walk would be much appreciated.