Seeing pelagic birds in Guatemala
with CAYAYA BIRDING

Pink-footed Shearwater in Guatemala during a CAYAYA BIRDING pelagic tour
Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus on the Pacific Ocean off Guatemala.

Guatemala borders two oceans, the Pacific and the Atlantic, with 260 km of coastline along the Pacific and 150 km of coastline along the Caribbean. Although there are no islands off the Guatemalan coasts as potential breeding sites for marine birds, about 40 of these species use Guatemalan off-shore waters for feeding and molting.

Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala during a CAYAYA BIRDING pelagic tour
Galapagos Shearwater Puffinus subalaris over the Pacific Ocean off Guatemala.

Among them are Arctic breeders such as Pomarine Jaeger, Sabine's Gull, and Red Phalarope, breeding birds of the north-eastern tropical and sub-tropical Pacific such as Black Storm-Petrel and Least Storm-Petrel, breeding birds of the southeastern tropical Pacific such as Galapagos Shearwater, Pink-footed Shearwater, and Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, as well as wide-ranging seabirds such as Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Parkinson's Petrel, and Red-billed Tropicbird.

Nazca Boobies in Guatemala during a CAYAYA BIRDING pelagic tour
Nazca Boobies Sula granti on the Pacific Ocean off Guatemala.

The relatively cool Pacific waters off Guatemala are richer in food than the Caribbean. Vertical sea currents along the Middle American Trench at the subduction zone between the Cocos tectonic plate and the Caribbean and North American plates, as well as horizontal ocean currents (Humboldt Current, California Current, Equatorial Counter Current) provide food sources for pelagic birds on the ocean surface off Guatemalan Pacific coast. The northern edge of the Middle American Trench runs between 50 and 80 km in front of the Guatemalan coastline.

Least Storm-Petrel in Guatemala during a CAYAYA BIRDING pelagic tour
Least Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma microsoma over the Pacific Ocean off Guatemala..

Many seabirds can be seen in this belt over the continental shelf including shearwaters, storm-petrels, boobies, jaegers, tropicbirds, gulls, terns, and frigatebirds. Gadfly petrels of the genus Pterodroma, Parkinson's Petrel Procellaria parkinsoni, and White Tern Gygis alba do usually not fly over the continental shelf off Guatemala, but stay over the deep Pacific. Get in touch to organize your pelagic birding trip in Guatemala .

Photographs of pelagic birds seen during CAYAYA BIRDING tours in Guatemala

Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwaters in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala flock of Galapagos Shearwaters in Guatemala Galapagos Shearwaters with Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Guatemala Wedge-tailed shearwater and Galapagos Shearwaters in Guatemala Wedge-tailed shearwater allopreening a Galapagos Shearwater in Guatemala Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Guatemala Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Guatemala Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Guatemala Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Guatemala Wedge-tailed Shearwater in Guatemala Pink-footed Shearwater Pomarine Jaeger in Guatemala Pink-footed Shearwater in Guatemala Pink-footed Shearwater in Guatemala Pink-footed Shearwater in Guatemala Black Storm-Petrel in Guatemala Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel in Guatemala Sabine's Gull in Guatemala Sabine's Gull in Guatemala Franklin's Gull in Guatemala Common Terns with Black Terns in Guatemala Bridled Tern in Guatemala adult Pomarine Jaeger in Guatemala adult Pomarine Jaeger in Guatemala immature Pomarine Jaeger in Guatemala immature Pomarine Jaeger in Guatemala immature Pomarine Jaeger in Guatemala adult Pomarine Jaeger in Guatemala adult and immature Pomarine Jaegers in Guatemala Brown Booby in Guatemala Brown Booby on sea turtle in Guatemala Brown Booby in Guatemala Brown Booby and Nazca Booby in Guatemala adult Nazca Booby in Guatemala adult Nazca Booby in Guatemala adult Nazca Booby in Guatemala juvenile Nazca Booby in Guatemala juvenile Nazca Booby in Guatemala adult Nazca Boobies in Guatemala Red-billed Tropicbird in Guatemala Red-necked Phalarope in Guatemala

Start here planning your birding trip to Guatemala:


Nazca Booby in Guatemala.
Nazca Booby Sula granti on the Pacific Ocean off in Guatemala.

Contributions by Knut Eisermann and Claudia Avendaño of CAYAYA BIRDING to the knowledge about pelagic birds in Guatemala

  • Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2018) An update on the inventory, distribution and residency status of bird species in Guatemala. Bulletin British Ornithologists' Club 138: 148-229.
  • Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2007) Lista comentada de las aves de Guatemala - Annotated checklist of the birds of Guatemala. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2006) Diversidad de aves en Guatemala, con una lista bibliográfica. Pp. 525-623 In: E. Cano (ed.) Biodiversidad de Guatemala, Vol. 1. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala.
  • More about our bird research in Guatemala.

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