Birds of Guatemala
More than 770 bird species have been recorded in Guatemala. Of the bird species breeding in the highlands, about 10% are endemic to the North Central American Highland (northern Central America and southern Mexico), including species such as Highland Guan, Green-throated Mountain-gem, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Rufous-browed Wren, Blue-and-white Mockingbird. The range of some species is even more restricted to only western Guatemala and the south Mexican state of Chiapas, such as Horned Guan, Bearded Screech-Owl, Black-capped Siskin, Pink-headed Warbler, Goldman's Warbler, and Azure-rumped Tanager (seeing endemic birds).
The Guatemalan lowlands are less distinct and have many birds in common with southern Central America. However, the Atlantic slope is Guatemala's region with the highest species richness. More than 500 species have been recorded there.
The highlands are also home to Guatemala's national bird, the Resplendent Quetzal. It lives mainly in cloud forests between 1000 and 3000 m.
Some highland forests harbor extensive populations of Chusquea bamboo, which temporarily attract birds specialized on bamboo such as Blue Seedeater, Slaty Finch, and Maroon-chested Ground-Dove.
Nocturnal birding and pelagic birding belong to the most enigmatic birding realms. Guatemala harbors 20 species of owls, 11 species of nighthawks, and two species of potoos. Many of them are regularly seen during CAYAYA BIRDING tours. Of the birds of Guatemala, more than 40 are mainly pelagic including tubenoses, tropicbirds, frigatebirds, boobies, jaegers, as well as some gulls and terns.
Pelagic trips to the Guatemalan Pacific Ocean can be rewarding with breeding birds from the south-eastern Pacific such as Galapagos Shearwater, Pink-footed Shearwater, and Nazca Booby, from the sub-tropical northeastern Pacific Ocean such as Black Storm-Petrel and Least Storm-Petrel, as well as Arctic breeders such as Sabine's Gull and Pomarine Jaeger.
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