Birding the Chixoy

Fan-tailed Warbler (Basileuterus lachrymosus)

By John Cahill and Michelle Tapasco

Thinking that it would be a good idea to get out of the house for some socially distanced birding, we headed down to the Chixoy River, in the southwest corner of Alta Verapaz.

The arid landscape along this portion of the river is a great area for birding. The weather was just perfect. Despite being down near 800 meters above sea level, the day was not too warm. A casual stroll along the rocky riverbank produced some real highlights: a pair of Fan-tailed Warblers, numerous Turquoise-browed Motmots, a male Elegant Trogon and several Carolina Wrens belonging to the incredibly local subfulvus subspecies.

Most unexpected was a beautiful Tyra that materialized out of the dense brush. Cautiously making his way to the water’s edge for a drink, he stopped to look around, allowing for great views and the ideal photo opportunity.

The Chixoy River, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
The Chixoy River, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala
Turquoise-browed Motmot (Eumomota superciliosa)
Carolina (Verapaz) Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus subfulvus)
Carolina (Verapaz) Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus subfulvus)
Tayra (Eira barbara)
Tayra (Eira barbara)

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