Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bulletin 296 - Guatemala 2017 #2 - Warblers and Vireos

I went for a second visit to Guatemala at the end of May. Once again, I used the wonderful local guide Knut Eisermann of Cayaya Birding. On this visit, we concentrated on the western highlands and Pacific lowlands along the Mexican border, as several Mexican species just make it into Guatemala here. I had a list of 10 species in particular I wanted to see and we got 9 of the 10 and saw the other, but I was not able to get a photo of the bird.

There were 3 target warbler species for the trip. The first was the absolutely stunning 5" Golden-browed Warbler (Basileuterus belli). It is hands down the most beautiful warbler I have seen so far.

Golden-browed Warbler
The second was the 5.5" Goldman's Warbler (Setophaga goldmani). If you are not familiar with this bird yet, it is part of the split of Yellow-rumped Warbler, but the AOU hasn't accepted it yet, although the IOU has. It is shown in current guide books. It has a black head, back and breast with a yellow throat.

Goldman's Warbler - male
The female is streaked below rather than solid black.

Goldman's Warbler - female
The third was the Fan-tailed Warbler. But despite chasing it for an entire day and seeing it flying around, it never alighted long enough to get a photo.

We also saw several other warblers. The 4.5" Crescent-chested Warbler (Oreothylpis superciliosa) is olive with a white eye stripe, yellow breast and rufous spot in yellow.

Crescent-chested Warbler
We again saw the fabulous 5" Pink-headed Warbler (Cardellina versicolor). It has a pink head and bright red body.
Pink-headed Warbler

The last was the 5" Grace's Warbler (Setophaga graciae). This bird is a target bird for southeast  Arizona, but its range extends south to Nicaragua

Grace's Warbler
We also found 3 vireo species, 2 of which I had seen and but had poor photos. The 5" Mangrove Vireo (Vireo pallens) is similar to our White-eyed Vireo with yellow spectacles and wing bars, As his name suggests, he inhabits mangroves on both coasts in Middle America from Mexico to Costa Rica.

Mangrove Vireo

And another photo of the same bird.

Mangrove Vireo

The 5" Brown-capped Vireo (Vireo leucophyrs) has a light brown back and dark brown cap. His range is Mexico to Bolivia.

Brown-capped Vireo
We also saw a 7" Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo (Vireolanius melitophrys). .This bird is very distinctive with a yellow green back, gray cap, black line through the eye and yellow stripe above the eye. He also has a chestnut collar and streaking on his flanks. He stays in the canopy of the trees. His range is in mountains from central Mexico to Guatemala. He was a lifer for me. The first shows his head pattern.

Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo
And this shows his back.

Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo
I have put the different bird families in single folders for easy perusal.

I have photos of 73 of the 120 New World warblers.

And I have photos of 23 of the 63 worldwide vireos.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2017 David McDonald

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