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Noteworthy bird observations in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

  • Eisermann & Avendaño Bird Studies Guatemala
Noteworthy bird observations in Alta Verapaz,
by Knut Eisermann
Received 11 November 2002; revision received 20 January 2005
Basic studies of the avifauna in previously unsurveyed areas of dpto. Alta Verapaz,
Guatemala, were conducted between August 1997 and March 2002, with long-term
bird monitoring based on monthly point counts established in December 2001. The
principal results of the research will be published elsewhere. Here I provide distri-
butional data for rare and little-recorded species, and records that represent
altitudinal range extensions.
Study areas and methods
Alta Verapaz, in Guatemala, is characterised by the transition from cloud forest
(<2,500 m) to lowland rainforest. The observations described herein were made in
the following areas (see Fig. 1).
Ik’bolay region (midpoint 15°51’N, 90°35’W): a small montane area in the north-
ernmost foothills of the Sierra de Chamá, 170–700 m, at the north edge of the
floodplain of the río Ik’bolay; humid evergreen broadleaf forest. Study periods:
26 August–5 September 2001, 14–25 January 2002, and December 2001–July
2004 (monthly point counts).
Cerro Peyán in Laguna Lachuá National Park (midpoint 15°50’N, 90°40’W): part
of the northern foothills of the Sierra de Chamá, 170–700 m; humid evergreen
broadleaf forest. Study periods: 23 July 2001, 25 May 2002, and December
2001–July 2004 (monthly point counts).
Sierra Sacranix (midpoint 15°30’N, 90°30’W): part of the Sierra de Chamá, large-
ly uninterrupted transition from humid evergreen broadleaf forest at 400 m to
cloud forest at 1,800 m; primary forest covers c.200 km2, largely undisturbed
owing to absence of human infrastructure. Study periods: 12–19 October 2001,
11–20 March 2002, and December–June 2004 (monthly point counts).
Pampajché (15°25’N, 90°35’W): humid evergreen broadleaf forest at 1,300–1,500
m (low-altitude cloud forest). Study period: 30 May–2 June 2000.
Yalijux (15°20’N, 90°05’W): (1) humid evergreen broadleaf forest at 2,000–2,500
m (high-altitude cloud forest), study period: 7–8 November 2000; and (2) humid
evergreen forest at 600–1,000 m, study periods: September 2001, February
2002, 21 February 2002 and 31 March 2002.
Guaxac (15°20’N, 90°09’W): (1) humid evergreen broadleaf forest at 1,000–2,000
m (low-altitude cloud forest), study periods: 22–30 September 2001 and 26
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February 2001; (2) pine forest at 700–1,000 m, study periods: 22–30 September
2001 and 18–27 February 2002; and (3) shade-coffee plantation under Inga sp.
at 1,100–1,500 m, study periods: 22–30 September 2001 and 18–27 February
Caquipec (15°20’N, 90°9’W): humid evergreen broadleaf forest at 2,000–2,400 m
(high-altitude cloud forest), study period: September 1997–October 1998.
The records described herein are results of casual observations and audio-visu-
al point counts (Bibby et al. 1992) with a duration of ten minutes at each point and
a minimum distance of 200 m between points. Censusing was conducted under the
Bull. B.O.C. 2005 125(1)Knut Eisermann
Figure 1. Location of the study sites, altitudinal zones, major rivers and the towns of Cobán and San
Cristóbal Verapaz. The inset map shows the location of the study area in Guatemala. Study sites:
A–Ik'bolay region, B–Cerro Peyán, C–Sacranix range, D–Pampajché, E–Yalijux, F–Guaxac,
G–Caquipec. Altitudinal zones: black 1,800–2,500 m, dark grey 1,000–1,800 m, pale grey 500–1,000 m,
dotted 250–500 m, white <250 m.
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most favourable weather conditions (no rain, no or light wind), between 0545 h and
0930 h. Point counts were conducted, in part, as fixed-radius counts, and in part
with distance estimates (distance sampling, Buckland et al. 2001). From the latter,
densities were calculated with software Distance 3.5 (Thomas et al. 1998). I fitted
half-normal and hazard rate models to the data and used the Akaike Information
Criterion (AIC) to select the model with the best fit (Buckland et al. 2001).
Coordinates of locations were obtained using a hand-held GPS. Details concerning
relevant methodologies are indicated in the species accounts, as they differ between
species. Species nomenclature follows AOU (1998).
Species accounts
HIGHLAND GUAN Penelopina nigra
Common (daily observations) at all sites with humid evergreen broadleaf forest
above 900 m (Sacranix, Pampajché, Guaxac, Caquipec and Yalijux). Never
observed in coffee plantations or secondary scrub. In Caquipec and Yalijux, obser-
vations were made in low-canopy (15 m) secondary forest, adjacent to primary
cloud forest. Highland Guan is commonest above 1,000 m (Andrle 1967b, Howell
& Webb 1995, González-García et al. 2001, Komar 2002). An observation of three
females at the unusually low altitude of 700 m was made on 31 March 2002, in
Yalijux. Several low-altitude observations are available from Mexico: at 460 m in
Oaxaca (Hoffmeister 1951), at 300 m in El Triunfo (González-García et al. 2001),
and at 500 m (Álvarez del Toro 1980), who did not mention an observation site.
Further research is needed to determine if Highland Guan is, in part, an altitudinal
Breeding was observed at two study sites. In Pampajché a nest with one egg was
found on 31 May 2000 (photographed), c.3 m above ground in a small tree. The
female was incubating. In Sacranix a pair was seen together with a mid-sized juve-
nile, already able to fly, on 30 June 2003. Although there are historic reports from
Alta Verapaz (Salvin & Godman 1897–1904), more recent accounts did not men-
tion the region as being within the species’ range (Baepler 1962, Vannini &
Rockstroh 1997). My data close a gap in our knowledge of the modern distribution
of Highland Guan in central Guatemala.
SOLITARY EAGLE Harpyhaliaetus solitarius
Rare in northern Middle America (Howell & Webb 1995). I observed the species
very well in the Sierra Sacranix (15°31’N, 90°30’W). On 13 October 2001 I saw
two adults flying together, 40 m above ground over a small clearing; shortly after-
wards, they began to ascend while soaring. Howell & Webb (1995) emphasised the
difficulty in distinguishing Solitary Eagle from either of the black hawks,
Buteogallus anthracinus and B. urubitinga, and consequently doubted some records
from southern Mexico and Guatemala published since the 1980s. However, the long
head in comparison to the body and the heavy bill distinguished those I observed
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from Common Black Hawk B. anthracinus, which also occurs in Sacranix.
Additionally, I am very familiar with both Buteogallus through frequent observa-
tions on the Guatemalan Atlantic coast, at Punta de Manabique in the same year. I
believe that the individuals I saw were Solitary Eagles, but I am aware that even
observers experienced with raptors erroneously identify this species in the field.
Together with Claudia Avendaño, Victor Xi Poou, Efraín Pop Chub and Ernesto Col,
I made a further observation in Sacranix on 27 May 2003. At a small forest clear-
ing we observed a raptor of the colour and shape of Solitary Eagle or Common
Black Hawk, flying straight and fast, 200 m above the canopy. It called ple-ple-
ple..., similar to the transcription in Howell & Webb (1995) for Solitary Eagle. I
have never heard a similar call from Common Black Hawk, making me believe that
it was a Solitary Eagle. Formal documentation of this species from Sacranix, either
with photographs or sound recordings, is nonetheless required.
RESPLENDENT QUETZAL Pharomachrus mocinno
Common (daily observations) at all sites with humid broadleaf forest above 900 m
(Pampajché, Sacranix, Guaxac, Caquipec, Yalijux), and also seen in low-canopy (15
m) secondary forest, adjacent to primary cloud forest. On 19 March 2002, quetzals
were observed at an unusually low elevation in Sierra Sacranix, where intensive dis-
play (flights, song and calls) of at least ten birds was observed at 950 m. In north-
ern Central America the species is considered resident at 1,400–3,000 m (Howell &
Webb 1995). Records at low elevations are known only from the non-breeding sea-
son, due to altitudinal migration (Wheelwright 1983, Loiselle et al. 1989, Powell &
Bjork 1994, Solórzano 1995, Paiz 1996). In Guatemala breeding is reported in
March–June (Unger 1988, LaBastille et al. 1972, Paiz 1996, pers. obs.).
KEEL-BILLED MOTMOT Electron carinatum
Recorded at Cerro Peyán and in the Ik’bolay region. On 24 August 2001, two were
observed (KE, Efraín Caal), c.8 m above ground, in the lower canopy of humid ever-
green forest bordering the floodplain of the río Ik’bolay at 250 m (15°50’N,
90°35’W). Our attention was drawn by their short call. They were easily recognised
by their broad bill, which is much wider than in Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus
momota (the most abundant motmot at Ik’bolay and Cerro Peyán), and we also
observed the large chest spots and different face pattern. Additionally, the bare
shafts in the central rectrices were much shorter than in Blue-crowned Motmot. On
25 May 2002 two were heard in humid evergreen forest in the foothills of Peyán, at
250 m (15°50’N, 90°39’W, KE, Claudia Avendaño, Efraín Caal, Roberto Caal,
Javier Caal). The distance between these observations is 7 km. On each of the fol-
lowing dates during monthly bird counts a calling bird was recorded at Cerro Peyán
and the Ik’bolay region by E. Caal, R. Caal and J. Caal: 2002 (20 July, 4 August,
6–7 October); 2003 (8 January, 5 April, 13 April, 12 June, 6 October); 2004 (5
January, 11 April, 12 June). All observations were within a radius of 2 km of the
first sighting.
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The species is considered Vulnerable due to the small size of its fragmented pop-
ulations (Hilton-Taylor 2000, BirdLife International 2004). Recently, there has been
an increase in the number of observations of Keel-billed Motmot (Howell & Webb
1992, 1995, Miller & Miller 1996). In Guatemala, Keel-billed Motmot has been
recorded at Laguna Perdida and Tikal, Petén (Smithe 1966, Collar et al. 1992), and
at Cerro San Gil, Izabal (Howell & Webb 1992, Robbins & Dowell 1996). Miller &
Miller (1996) mentioned an ‘anecdotal historical’ record near the río Chixoy, but
provided no specifics. This record is probably based on an uncertain observation
mentioned in Salvin & Godman (1888–1904) at Santa Ana, presumably 10 km
south of San Cristóbal Verapaz (Godman 1915, Collar et al. 1992) (Fig. 1). Our
recent observations confirm that the species is present in the northern foothills of
the Sierra Chamá. It was not recorded in foothills with humid evergreen forest or at
higher elevations in the Sierra Sacranix.
Inhabits montane humid evergreen and pine–oak forest at 800–2,700 m (Howell &
Webb 1995, Stotz et al. 1996), and is an altitudinal migrant, reaching close to sea
level in winter (Howell & Webb 1995). Andrle (1967a) reported the species at 400
m and S. N. G. Howell (pers. comm.) near sea level in the Sierra de los Tuxtlas,
Mexico, in November–February.
At Cerro Peyán singing individuals were recorded on 23 July 2001 and on 7
October 2004, at 400 m. In the Ik’bolay region, two singing birds were recorded on
30 August 2001, at 500 m. No other observations were made at these sites in
December 2001–October 2004. In the Sierra Sacranix it was common between 500
and 1,800 m. During a fixed-radius (40 m) point count survey in mid-March 2002
(28 points at 520–650 m, 12 at 850–1,350 m), I recorded a mean 0.4 ± 0.6 (SD)
individuals per point at low elevation, and 1.6 ± 0.8 individuals at high elevation.
The solitaire was recorded on 39% of the points at low and on 92% of the points at
high elevation.
The following nesting data are from Sacranix: (1) nest with two eggs, adult incu-
bating on 28 May 2003, at 1,480 m; (2) nest with two eggs, adult incubating on 28
July 2003, at 1,300 m; (3) juvenile with scalloped head and breast (see Howell &
Webb 1995) in forest midstorey on 30 July 2003; (4) completed nest without eggs
on 22 July 2004, nest with two eggs and incubating adult on 7 August 2004, at 1,450
m. No nests were found at lower elevations.
Point counts with distance estimation were conducted in December 2003–July
2004 at 520–650 m and 1,200–1,700 m. To calculate densities repetitions of points
were pooled taking into account number of visits (Buckland et al. 2001). Based on
nesting dates, I assume that May–July is the main breeding season. I calculated den-
sities for both altitudinal classes during the assumed breeding and non-breeding
seasons (December–March). At low elevation, 22 points were sampled 2–4 times in
December–March and 3–4 times in May–July. At high elevation, 55 points were
sampled 2–4 times during the non-breeding and 1–4 times in the breeding season.
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Number of individuals detected, encounter rate of individuals or flocks per point count (95% confi-
dence level), and density of individuals or flocks respectively (95% confidence level) of Slate-coloured
Solitaire Myadestes unicolor and Common Bush-tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus during the
breeding and non-breeding seasons at two different altitudes in the Sierra Sacranix. Sample size (num-
ber of individuals or flocks) and effort (number of point counts) are indicated.
Parameter Non-breeding Breeding
Slate-coloured Solitaire Myadestes unicolor
18 December 2003– 3 May–22 July 2004
6 April 2004
520–650 m No. of individuals detected 104 52
No. of count points 22 22
No. of counts 71 71
Density (individuals/ha) 6.0 (4.3–8.3) 2.2 (1.4–3.3)
Encounter rate 1.5 (1.2–1.7) 0.7 (0.6–0.9)
10 December 2003– 6 May–23 July 2004
31 March 2004
1,200–1,700 m No. of individuals detected 515 548
No. of count points 55 55
No. of counts 208 195
Density (individuals/ha) 6.9 (6.1–7.8) 9.3 (6.1–14.4)
Encounter rate 2.5 (2.3–2.7) 2.8 (2.6–3.0)
Common Bush-tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
18 December 2003– 4 April–22 July 2004
5 March 2004
520–650 m No. of flocks detected 28 8
No. of count points 22 22
No. of counts 67 87
Density (flocks/ha) 4.6 (2.8–7.6)
Density (individuals/ha) 11.9 (7.1–19.7)
Encounter rate (flocks) 0.4 (0.3–0.6)
10 December 2003– 25 March–23 July 2004
7 March 2004
1,200–1,700 m No. of flocks detected 191 229
No. of count points 55 55
No. of counts 167 250
Density (flock/ha) 10.1 (8.7–11.8) 8.2 (7.0–9.5)
Density (individuals/ha) 26.1 (22.2–30.6) 22.7 (19.4–26.6)
Encounter rate (flocks) 1.1 (1.0–1.3) 0.9 (0.8–1.0)
8Bull. B.O.C. 2005 125(1)Knut Eisermann
At high elevation density was higher in the breeding season and at low elevations
density was higher during the non-breeding season (Table 1), supporting the
assumption that birds move to lower elevations in the non-breeding season.
However, density was also relatively high (2.2 birds/ha) at low elevations in the
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breeding season, perhaps indicating that Slate-coloured Solitaire breeds below 700
m in Sacranix, although no nest was found at this altitude. In further studies mist-
netting should be conducted to investigate breeding condition of adults (brood
patch, cloacal protuberance; see Mason 1938).
COMMON BUSH-TANAGER Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
The most abundant species in the bird community of high-altitude cloud forest in
Caquipec, at 2,000–2,400 m (Eisermann 1999). In the Sierra Sacranix it was record-
ed at the unusually low elevation of 550 m, on 14 March 2002. Fledged juveniles
were observed on 2 May 2004 in the Sierra Sacranix, and on 15 May 1998 on
Caquipec (Eisermann 1999). In Costa Rica incubation and nestling time occupies
c.27 days (Skutch 1967). Taking into account pair formation and nest building, the
low-elevation record falls immediately prior to the start of the nesting season.
Common Bush-tanager is common above 1,000 m in northern Middle America,
with altitudinal migration to near sea level noted in Los Tuxtlas, Mexico, in winter
(Howell & Webb 1995).
Point counts with distance estimation were conducted in the Sierra Sacranix
from December 2003 to July 2004, at 520–650 m and at 1,200–1,700 m. At low ele-
vation, 22 points were sampled 2–4 times in December–March, and 3–5 times in
April–July. At high elevation, 55 points were sampled 1–4 times during the non-
breeding and 2–5 times during the breeding season. Late March–July was assumed
to be breeding season.
Common Bush-tanager was more abundant at higher than lower elevations
(Table 1). At low elevation it was more abundant in the non-breeding than in breed-
ing season, suggesting downslope migration. With only eight records during 87
point counts in breeding season, calculation of reliable density estimates was
impossible. Nesting at low elevation cannot be precluded and should be investigat-
ed using mist-netting in future studies. At high elevation, density was found to be
slightly higher in the non-breeding than in the breeding season (Table 1).
This is a contribution of the PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program. I thank the Mayan Q’eqchi’
communities of Chicacnab, Rocjá Pomtilá, Faisán Dos, Sanimtacá, Xalabé, Sacmoc, as well as Roger
Ardébol and Carlos Victoria for their hospitality. Field assistants Raúl Choc, Efraín Caal, Javier Caal and
Roberto Caal contributed to the field work. Some point count data were gathered by the following mem-
bers of the bird monitoring program of PROEVAL RAXMU: Efraín Pop Chub, Victor Xi Poou and
Ernesto Col (December 2003 to July 2004; Sacranix), Efraín Caal, Javier Caal and Roberto Caal (April
2002–July 2004; Ik’bolay and Cerro Peyán). Mark Herzog and Jeff Laake provided helpful advice for
the distance analysis. I appreciate critical comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript by Steve
Howell and Chris Feare, and improvements to English usage made by Chandler Robbins through the
Association of Field Ornithologists’ programme of editorial assistance. I appreciate final editorial assis-
tance from Guy Kirwan. The results presented here are part of projects supported by National Fish and
Wildlife Foundation, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Quetzal e.V. (‘Association Quetzal, Germany’), Verein
Sächsischer Ornithologen (‘Association of Saxon Ornithologists, Germany’), NABU Regionalgruppe
Erzgebirge (‘Regional Group Erzgebirge of the Nature Conservation Union, Germany’), Idea Wild, and
the School of Biology of San Carlos University, Guatemala.
Bull. B.O.C. 2005 125(1)Knut Eisermann
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Address: Asociación PROEVAL RAXMU, Cobán, Guatemala. Postal address: P.O. Box 098 Periférico,
Guatemala Ciudad, Guatemala.
© British Ornithologists’ Club 2005
Bull. B.O.C. 2005 125(1)Knut Eisermann
Notes on breeding of Salvadori’s Teal Anas
waiguiensis and other birds in Crater Mountain
Wildlife Management Area, Papua New Guinea
by Craig T. Symes & Stuart J. Marsden
Received 15 September 2003; revision received 26 November 2004
The breeding biology of many New Guinea bird species is little known (Beehler et
al. 1986, Coates 1985, 1990, Mack 1994). For many principally Australian species
information on breeding has been inferred from studies and records there (Mack
1994). Coates (1985) noted that the breeding seasons of New Guinea birds can be
generally classed as: a) hawks—dry season; b) granivorous grassland and savanna
species—wet season; c) insectivores and mixed feeders—late-dry to early-wet
season; d) frugivores—all year; and e) waterbirds—late-wet to mid-dry season.
However, such generalisations may not be applicable to regions experiencing no
distinct seasonal variation in rainfall, such as occurs in the area of this study.
Breeding of birds was recorded in the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management
Area (CMWMA), in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, during a study
of the importance of home-gardens (hereafter gardens; any cleared or historically
altered land, principally for agricultural purposes) for insectivorous and nectivorous
species. This paper serves to augment information on the breeding biology of some
Papua New Guinea birds; in particular that of Salvadori’s Teal Anas waigniensis.
Breeding records, in this area with seasonally unpredictable rainfall, may be of
significance to a future understanding of avian breeding biologies in the tropics.
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... 5.10) (González- García et al. 2001). Highland guans occupy a variety of forest types in Chiapas and Oaxaca, including deciduous cloud, pine-oak, and coniferous forests at 900-3,300 m (2,953-10,827 ft) (Delacour andAmadon 1973, Eisermann et al. 2006), but they may also occupy adjacent low-canopy secondary forests (Eisermann 2005). In Mexico, the crested guan occurs in tropical forests of northern Sinaloa and central Tamaulipas, southward toward the forests of Chiapas and the Yucatán Peninsula. ...
With the exception of one species, the family Cracidae comprises forest and brushland bird species (ie, chachalacas, curassows, and guans) endemic to the Neotropics of Mexico and Central and South America. Mexico is the northernmost distributional range for many of these species groups, except for the plain chachalaca (Ortalis vetula), which extends into the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas (Peterson 2000). Cracids, especially chachalacas and guans, are primarily arboreal, whereas other galliforms (eg, turkeys, pheasants, and quails) are ground dwellers. This chapter focuses on the biology and management of three cracid groups that occur in Mexico: chachalacas, curassows, and guans. Eight species and five genera of cracids occur in Mexico: the plain chachalaca, rufous-bellied chachalaca (O. wagleri)(fig 5.1), west Mexican chachalaca (O. poliocephala)(fig 5.2), white-bellied chachalaca (O. leucogastra)(fig. 5.3); highland guan (Penelopina nigra), crested guan (Penelope purpurascens), horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus), and great curassow (Crax rubra)(figs. 5.4 and 5.5)(Leopold 1959). Only the horned guan is typically found in the temperate uplands of Chiapas, Mexico (González-García 2001).
... Muchas especies de bosques nublados de Mesoamérica han sido reportadas como migratorias altitudinales (Wheelwright 1983, Loiselle et al. 1989, Powell & Bjork 1994, Solórzano 1995, Paiz 1996, Howell & Webb 1995, Solórzano et al. 2000, Eisermann 2005). Después de la época reproductiva las poblaciones bajan hacia áreas menos elevadas. ...
... KE & CA sampled the avifauna using audiovisual counts (diurnal and nocturnal intensive searches) along transects 3,24 . Census workers were familiar with bird vocalisations from previous studies 9,10,14 . Diurnal counts were conducted at 05h00-10h00 h, although on days with exceptionally high bird activity this was extended until 11h50, and on nocturnal counts, 17h45-23h00 and 04h30-6h00, under optimal weather conditions (no rain, wind speed <4 Beaufort scale). ...
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El Área Importante para la Conservación de Aves Cerro El Amay (IBA GT006) en el departamento de Quiché, Guatemala, incluye más de 250 km2 de bosque húmedo latifoliado, lo que representa el segundo bosque nuboso más extenso en Guatemala. La avifauna del bosque nuboso en la altitud de 1.000-2.600 m, así como de áreas agrícolas en esta elevación y de bosque de pino, fue investigada usando búsquedas intensivas diurnas y nocturnas a lo largo de transectos con estimación de distancia perpendicular, de octubre 2010 a abril 2011. Durante los conteos y observaciones casuales se registraron 265 especies de aves, representando un 89% de las especies esperadas según patrones generales de distribución de aves en Guatemala. La riqueza de especies de aves residentes y de aves migratorias neotropicales fue mayor en bosque nuboso de 1.000-1.800 m de altitud comparado con bosque nuboso de 1.800-2.600 m. De acuerdo a la tasa de detección a lo largo de los transectos con una truncación de datos en la distancia perpendicular de 40 m, las especies más abundantes en bosque nuboso de 1.000-1.800 m fueron Cardellina pusilla, Henicorhina leucosticta, Chlorospingus ophthalmicus, Basileuterus culicivorus y Myadestes unicolor, y en bosque nuboso de 1.800-2.600 m fueron C. ophthalmicus, C. pusilla, H. leucophrys, Zimmerius villisimus y Turdus infuscatus. Para las especies comunes se calculó la preferencia de hábitat según el promedio de la tasa de detección en los transectos. Para las cinco especies más abundantes, se calculó la densidad de población y abundancia absoluta. La densidad de la migratoria C. pusilla fue 3,7 individuos / ha (95% intervalo de confianza: 2,2-6,2) en bosque nuboso de 1.800-2.600 m, y de 4,4 individuos / ha (2,9-6,7) en bosque nuboso de 1.000-1.800 m. Según la extensión de ambos tipos de bosque, se estimó la población total de esta especie con 68.330 individuos (43.580-107.500). Considerando los individuos adicionales en áreas abiertas, áreas <1.000 m, y el recambio de individuos durante la migración, se asume que el IBA Cerro El Amay apoya >1% de la población global de C. pusilla. Los búhos (Strigiformes) más comunes de 1.000-1.800 m fueron Ciccaba virgata y Megascops guatemalae, y de 1.800-2.600 m fueron Strix fulvescens y Megascops barbarus. En el siglo XIX, Oreophasis derbianus fue registrado como poco común en el Cerro El Amay. En un esfuerzo de búsqueda de 18 días en hábitat apropiado de 2008-11 la especie no pudo ser reconfirmada para este IBA. La especie seguramente ya no es poco común en el área, pero es posible que todavía exista en secciones del bosque nuboso aún no investigadas. Este estudio identifica el Cerro El Amay como uno de los IBAs más importantes en Guatemala por el número de especies claves que alberga.
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Se registran 59 especies de aves acuáticas en el lago de Guija, un humedal que comparten las repúblicas de Guatemala y El Salvador. Las especies mas abundantes fueron la Cerceta Aliazul (Anas discors), Pijiji Canelo (Dendrocygna bicolor), Gallareta Americana (Fulica americana), Pijiji Aliblanco (D. autumnalis), Pato-boludo Menor (Aythya affinis). La mayoría de especies son nuevos registros de distribución para Guatemala (Land 1970). Para El Salvador, es en el lago Güija donde existe el único registro de la Garza Agami (Agamia agami).
Von September 1997 bis Oktober 1998 wurden in der Nebelwaldzone der Sierra Caquipec, Provinz Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, avifaunistisch-ökologische Untersuchungen durchgeführt mit dem Ziel, das Arteninventar weitgehend vollständig zu erfassen, die Auswirkungen anthropogener Einflüsse zu bewerten sowie Zielarten und Störungsindikatoren für das Management des im Gebiet aktiven Entwicklungshilfe- und Naturschutzprojektes „Eco Quetzal“ zu ermitteln. Es wurden 135 Vogelarten aus 31 Familien nachgewiesen. Nearktische Migranten hatten einen Anteil von 27% (37 Arten). Die Turnover-Rate zwischen Wald und Offenland betrug 40% bei 87 waldnutzenden und 94 offenlandnutzenden Arten. Zur Quantifizierung der Avizönose des Waldes wurden Linientransektzählungen mit rechtwinkliger Entfernungsschätzung der registrierten Individuen während der Hauptbrutzeit von März bis August durchgeführt. Für die 37 häufigsten Arten wurde eine Gesamtdichte von 379 Individuen pro 10 ha ermittelt. Dies liegt weit über den Werten amazonischer Tieflandsregenwälder und entspricht Vogeldichten in Wäldern gemäßigter Breiten. Desweiteren wurde die räumliche Verteilung der Arten und nahrungsökologischen Gilden untersucht. Im Kammlagen lag die relative Dichte deutlich unter der von Tal- und Hanglagen. Bei der Stratenverteilung der Avizönose bestehen deutliche Unterschiede zwischen herbivoren und insektivoren Arten. Bei Frugivoren, Omnivoren und Nektarivoren wurde in der Kronenschicht die höchste Artenzahl in Verbindung mit der größten relativen Dichte festgestellt. Insektivore Arten entwickeln dagegen im Unterwuchs die größten Dichten, während in der Kronenschicht eine größere Artenzahl mit weit geringeren Dichten festgestellt wurde. Ein Vergleich zwischen anthropogen gestörten und ungestörten Waldflächen erbrachte relativ geringe Unterschiede. 89% der Arten ungestörter Waldflächen waren auch in gestörten festzustellen, bei einem Arten-Turnover von 12%. Aus der negativen oder positiven Präferenz für ungestörte Waldflächen werden 24 Indikatorarten selektiert unter Berücksichtigung ihrer Stellung in der Rangliste der relativen Abundanz, ihrer Gleichverteilung unabhängig von der Exposition sowie der Größe des Unterschiedes in der relativen Dichte. Aus Daten zu Endemismus, Habitatspezialisation, regionaler Seltenheit sowie dem Gefährdungsgrad nach einer offiziellen Roten Liste werden in Verbindung mit Daten zur Ökologie sechs Zielarten für das Naturschutzprojekt ausgewählt. Abschließend werden Vorschläge für den Aufbau eines Biomonitoringprogrammes, in dem Zielarten und Störungsindikatoren integriert werden sollen, abgeleitet.