Updated: July 2012
Los Tarrales birding guides Josué de León Lux, Aaron de León Lux, and Everilda Buchán.
Azure-rumped Tanager. PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program studied the ecology of Azure-rumped Tanager, in collaboration with Los Tarrales.
Adult Horned Guan walking on a branch of a Kanak tree (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon) in the cloud forest of Los Tarrales.
|"Tarrales is great. In my relaxed morning simply birding on trails that led off from the cabins I found over 100 species of birds, including five species of parrots, three motmots, White-bellied Chachalaca, Highland Guan, Long-tailed Manakin, Rufous Sabrewing, and Prevost's Ground-Sparrow. I can't wait to get back and spend more time in such a birdy and hospitable setting."
Steve N. G. Howell, March 2008,
author of A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America
Christmas Bird Counts
in Los Tarrales
Preening White Hawk (Leucopternis albicollis) mobbed by a White-throated Thrush. Rufous-and-white Wren and Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush singing at close range.
A Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl observing birds at the fruit feeder at the Tarrales Lodge.
A Striped Cuckoo, spotted at the edge between forest and coffee plantation.
Altamira Oriole at the nest.
Dark morph Red-tailed Hawk.
Cinnamon Hummingbird is the dominant hummer at Tarrales Lodge.
Dark morph Short-tailed Hawk.
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at the Tarrales pond.
Light morph Red-tailed Hawk.
Crested Guan at dusk.
Pair of Singing Quail at the nocturnal roost.
Los Tarrales reserve ranges from the lowlands at 750 m elevation to the top of the volcano at 3500 m, providing different bird habitats. More than 340 bird species have been recorded in Los Tarrales. The preserve is part of the Atitlán Important Bird Area (IBA GT015), designated by BirdLife International.
The entire altitudinal range is accessible on trails of different difficulty, from easy to walk to very tough hikes. Los Tarrales lodge is located at 750 m and surrounded by the small village, the coffee processing plant, coffee and ornamental flower plantations, and secondary growth. Several Cinnamon Hummingbirds defend their territories around the lodge and flocks of Pacific, Orange-fronted, and Orange-chinned Parakeet do often rest in nearby trees. White-bellied Chachalacas are often seen in secondary scrub.
Fruit feeders at the lodge are visited by Yellow-throated Euphonia, Yellow-winged Tanager, Spot-breasted and Altimira Oriole, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Rufous-naped Wren, Black-headed Saltator, Summer Tanager, White-throated Magpie-Jay, Clay-colored Thrush and others.
La Rinconada trail is a 1200 m long loop through shade coffee plantation at about 800 m elevation. This is our most productive birding trail; skilled birders can observe more than 100 bird species on good days. The trail offers views over the canopy of Inga trees, which are visited by foraging tanagers (White-winged, Western, Yellow-winged), and several nectar feeding birds like Baltimore Orioles, Red-legged Honeycreeper, and several hummingbirds like Blue-tailed and Ruby-throated Hummingbird*, White-bellied Emerald and Blue-throated Goldentail. Dense patches of secondary growth scrub are the habitat of White-eared Ground-Sparrow, Rufous-(Chestnut)-capped Warbler, and Plain Wren. Long-tailed Manakins can be seen year-round.
To access the cloud forest on the upper volcano slope you may reserve a hike with the reserve's own 4-wheel-drive vehicle, which will bring you to an elevation of 1400 m (4260 ft), where the Azure-rumped Tanager can be seen. From there you will ascend with your guide the steep slope of the volcano to search for Horned Guans, Green-throated Mountain-gems, Black-throated Jays, and other cloud forest birds. This is a very tough hike for which it is recommended to stay in the Tarrales Lodge the night before, to be able to start early in the morning. Reservation in advance is required to access the cloud forest, since the number of visitors is limited.
Birding guides Josué de León Lux, Everilda Buchán, and Aaron de León Lux at Los Tarrales learned their craft with Cayaya Birding and the PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program. They are keen birders and have reported several species for the first time at Los Tarrales, many of them with proof photograph and reported in the journal North American Birds. Josué founded a young-birder club at Los Tarrales, involving local youngsters into birding.
It follows an updated list of bird species reported in Los Tarrales. We thank all observers who have contributed their records (see end of this page). Nomenclature of this list according to AOU (1998): Check list of the North American birds. Seventh Edition, American Ornithologists’ Union, Lawrence, KA. and supplements, published in "The Auk" (www.aou.org). A printed checklist of the birds of Los Tarrales with information on habitat and status is available in Los Tarrales.
Genus Incertae Sedis
Checklist compiled by Knut Eisermann, PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program
Contributing observers: Knut Eisermann, Claudia Avendaño, Josué de León Lux, Everilda Buchán, Gerardo López, Ismael Mateo, Edward Lammer, Andy Burge, Jean-Michel Fenerole, Tom Jenner, David Arsenault, Alejandro Sagone, Tim Barksdale, Hugo Enríquez, Jeff Gordon, Alexis Cerezo, Alvaro Jaramillo, Peter Burke, Chris Benesh, Jesse Fagan; Rob, Tara and Nathan Cahill; Abel Anzueto, Aaron de León Lux, Lester de León Lux, Chris Wood, Olivier Barden, and Peter Colasanti.