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Field notes from Biotopo del Quetzal Guatemala. November 2006 ,
We birded lightly on the 6th in the afternoon before it becaome too cloudy to bird, a common problem here in the afternoon.
We started at 6:00 on the 7th at our hostel (Hospedaje Ranchito del Quetzal, $13.00 a night for two in a comfy bed and private bath) and stayed there until around 8:30 because there was a male Respendent Quetzal above our breakfast table !
Bring some food along if you doing it on the cheap, its aways to town and the food is a bit pricy.
The day’s highlight had to be at the highest pint of the trail (the long loop) were we found a huge fruiting tree containing 20 or so species, including at least 7 male Resplendent Quetzals. Lauren had 3 in her view at once ! It was also a very thrushy day with 6 turdidae species being seen, none more than a few time though. The most common species were the Common Bush-tanager, Golded-browed, Wilson’s and Black-throated-green Warblers. Shinning Honeycreepers were in good sized flocks (20+). Had great looks at the Highland guans near the top of the trail.
48; in one afternoon and 1 morning (no guide)
**** Cloud-forest birding is always a real treat. It was so mystical and the birds were amazing. We actually had 7 Resplendent Quetzals males in one tree ! The nightingale-thrushes were also a real treat.
They do have one really nice trail at the Biotopo but I didn’t see many others; meaning anything more than a day and your doing circles.
Central Guatemala, between Guatemala City and Coban.
How Do I get there:
3 or so hours from Guatemala City by bus. Make sure you tell the bus driver to let you of at the entrance of the Biotopo ! I believe there are also direct shuttles from Antigua and Guatemala City. You could also probably take a rent-a-car .
No tenting is available, or at least that we found. Hospedaje Ranchito del Quetzal, $13.00 a night for two in a comfy bed and private bath. This is the closest place to the Biotopo and the only one that I saw in walking distance.
Special Note: There was a male Resplendent Quetzal eating its breakfast in the trees above as we were eating ours.
What to bring:
Food, there are no tiendas within walking distance (besides the snack shop in the biotope). The food at the Hospedaje Ranchito was around $4-5 a meal.
Camera with a descent zoom, to get the great shots of the Quetzals (take a look at the photo on the right).
The following list was compiled on evening of November 6th and morning and early afternoon of the 7th, 2006.
1. Highland Guan Penelopina nigra
2. Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata
3. Green-throated Mountain-Gem Lampornis viridipallens
4. Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno
5. Emerald Toucanet Aulacorhychus prasinus
6. Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
7. Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus
8. Black-banded Woodcreeper Dendrocolaptes picumnus
9. Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius
10. Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus
11. Yellowish Flycatcher Empidonax flavescens
12. Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata
13. Grey-collared Becard Pachyramphus major
14. Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyalus brevirostris
15. Brown-capped Vireo Vireo salitarius
16. Blue-headed Vireo Vireo leucophrys
17. Azure-hooded Jay Cyanolyca cucullata
18. Unicolored Jay Aphelocoma unicolor
19. Southern House Wren Troglodytes musculus
20. Gray-breasted Wood-wren Henicorhina leucophrys
21. Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi
22. Mountain Robin Turdus plebejus
23. Black Robin Turdus infuscatus
24. Slate-colored Solitaire Myadestes unicolor
25. Ruddy-capped Nightingale-thrush Catharus frantzii
26. Black-headed Nightingale-thrush Catharus mexicanus
27. Townsend’s Warbler Dendroica townsendi
28. Black-throated-green Warbler Dendroica virens
29. Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
30. Wilson’s Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
31. Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
32. Chestnut-capped Warbler Basileuterus delattrii
33. Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli
34. Chestnut-chested Warbler Vermivora superciliosa
35. Golden-winged Warbler Vermivora chrysoptera
36. Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrine
37. Blue-crowned Chlorophonia Chlorophonia occipitalis
38. Flame-colored Tanager Piranga bidentata
39. Common Bush-tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
40. Shinning Honeycreeper Cyanerpes lucidus
41. Chestnut-capped Brush-finch Atlapetes brunneinucha
42. Blue Seedeater Amarospiza concolor
43. Painted Bunting Passerina ciris
44. Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps
45. Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
46. Chestnut-headed Oropendola Psarocolius wagleri
47. Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
48. Hooded Grosbeak Coccothraustes respertinus