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The sun is just rising beside Atitlán Volcano. It is 5:30 in the morning and you can still feel the cold brought by the morning mist. Cozy in bed, you think twice before getting up, even though you know the forest awaits you with all its activity, and plenty of birds to see. Suddenly you hear a noise in your window and you realize that is a small group of White-eared Ground-Sparrows waking you up . . . this is not a joke, but just one of the magnificent experiences that await you during your visit to Guatemala. Here the birds beckon you to come to the forest in their early morning avian chorus!
Although Guatemala is a rather small country, it is nevertheless full of surprises, from colored landscapes, birds, diverse fauna and flora, to a multicultural indigenous population composed of twenty-two ethnic groups (Maya, Xinka and Garifuna) that form part of the ancestral culture of this country. In only 42050 square miles you’ll enjoy beautiful landscapes, volcanoes (three of them active), beaches, native coniferous forest, exuberant tropical forests, and a great variety of habitats for watching birds, some of which are unique to this region. The geological peculiarities and the geography of Guatemala create diverse vegetation and highly variable climatic conditions, which in turn influence avian diversity from one region to the next. Don’t be surprised if in less than an hour you travel from a warm and humid climate on the Pacific Coast to a cold and rainy climate up in the cloud forests of the volcanoes; for the same reason birds rapidly change from one place to another. If you really plan your visit to Guatemala, you will leave feeling fully satisfied by watching the representative birds of the different biomes in the country.
Guatemala opens its doors to birdwatchers and all tourists that enjoy nature and culture to come and enjoy this beautiful kaleidoscopic country through its birds. This is a country where cultural richness, history, archaeology, diverse fauna and flora form a unique mosaic in the world. Following, you will find a brief introduction to the birds and biomes of Guatemala, with an explanation of how to use this guide. We hope it will help you plan your visit and observe at least some, if not all, of the splendid birds that are unique from this part of the world.
|© Photos: Left & Middle Ronny Mejía; Right: CONAP photo stock||Birds of Guatemala >>|