Birding in Panajachel

Near my hotel just outside of Pana, there were two birding attractions, aside from the many trees surrounding my own hotel, which were full of warblers, hummingbirds, tanagers, orioles, and grosbeaks. First was the botanical gardens at the neighboring hotel, which also had a very nice restaurant with an excellent view of the volcanoes – perfect for a sunset dinner, especially since the restaurant at my own hotel was closed for lack of guests (!).

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Second was the nature reserve (above), which was just down the road and a little different from what I was expecting. As it turns out, most of Guatemala is very dry, at least on this side of the mountains. So hiking up there, especially in the oak forest part, felt a lot like hiking in California. However, other areas were quite different, like the shade-grown coffee plantations with monkeys and coatis in the trees and suspended bridges over streams and waterfalls. Here are some of the cool birds I saw there (and before you ask, sadly no, these are not my pictures):

Grey Hawk
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I got a great look at this handsome bird, which I have only seen once before from a distance in Arizona.

Rufous Sabrewing
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This picture hardly does this giant hummingbird justice. One of the largest ones I have ever seen, brilliantly colored green along the back and cinnamon underneath.

Yellowish Flycatcher
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Now you might not think this anything much, but it has a very limited range and I was happy to see it :)

Long-Tailed SilkyFlycatcher
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This one is prettier, I admit.

White-Faced Ground-Sparrow
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Also one with a very limited range, but easily one of my favorites as he looks just like a little clown-face :) Found him feeding peacefully in the grass at the botanical gardens.

Slate-Throated Redstart
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A pretty little bird that continuously fans his tail feathers, flashing the white spots on them.