e l c o m e t o M a y a n
i r d i n g
Last updated 22nd November 2006 (List
of recent updates)
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news and coming events
Mesoamerica is a major destination for foreign birdwatchers. It
forms the bridge between the largely temperate species of North
America and the tropical species of South America. It is home to
a large number of endemics, many of which are much sought after
by the bird watching connoisseur, such as the Resplendent Quetzal
and the Horned Guan. However, the majority of birders visiting Mesoamerica
confine their birding to Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica and Panama,
leaving Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua as relative
birding backwaters. This is a terrible shame as there is some fantastic
birding to be had. Throughout the 1980s three of these countries
suffered from civil wars which put off many visitors, but now the
countries have stabilized it is time for birders to return and find
out what they have been missing.
Im a British birder who moved to El Salvador in 1999. This is a non-commercial website based on information that I have built up about the birds of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. I would love to have had the chance to cover Nicaragua as well, but I simply do not have enough personal experience. My intention is to share this information with other people and to help open up this top quality and little known region to more of the worlds birders. It is mostly aimed at people traveling to the area for a birding vacation, but I want to include as much information as possible for people who want to do research in these three countries, as there is so much that still needs to be done and because research is often so difficult to organize from abroad. I am certainly not the best birder in the region and I have many limitations to my knowledge, but I have tried my best to make this website as thorough and accurate as I can. If you see any mistakes, or if there are site details that have changed since my last visit, please let me know.
Many of the pages provide information about sites to visit in each
of the three countries. Click on the button above to select the
country of your choice and a list of sites will appear. Alternatively,
check the map for each country and you will see the locations of
each site, with a link to the respective page. Each page includes
a bit of background about the site, a section on access which includes
directions and some details about accommodation and also a list
of species that Ive seen there personally. Some of these sites
have huge published lists, whilst many have nothing published about
them at all. By only including in the list the birds that I have
seen there myself, I can give you a more reliable assessment of
what you might realistically be able to see when you visit. It also
means that I can be more confident about what I am reporting. I
have not included any species that were seen briefly or for which
I am uncertain. Of course I make mistakes just like any other birder,
but I have tried my best only to include confirmed records. However,
much of the information about abundance is little more than an educated
guess on my part, especially at sites that I have only visited once
or twice. I hope this will be of some use to visiting birders, but
I want to make it clear that it is far from accurate and should
not be used in any academic reference. Where possible, I will also
include information in the background about important birds that
have been reported by other people or links to where such information
can be found.
Planning a Trip includes pages that may help you to decide where
and when to visit. The summary table may be of use to find the sites
that most appeal to you. Im not going to repeat what has already
been written in guidebooks by people with far more experience and
knowledge than me. I will concentrate on advice and information
that is needed by birders and which may not be available elsewhere.
This section also includes information on resources that could be
of use to birders, such as books, bird recordings, websites etc.
'The Birds' section is the latest section to be added and it may
be a while before it is completed. My intention is to write a page
for each species that has been recorded in the region, with, if
possible, a photograph. Keep checking to see which new ones have
been added. I have already written a more detailed page for each
of the 44 regional endemics. By this I mean any species that has
around half or more of its entire world range falling within the
area of this website. These are included in the main species database,
but I have also prepared a separate list called 'endemics' to enable
people to look for these species, which are often most sought after
by visiting birders.
There are many sections that I am still working on and which I hope to add before too long. What I feel is most lacking is a map for each site. I have a lot of rough sketches and GPS points, but it will be a while before they are ready to be added to the website. I also want to add more sites when I get time to visit them. I would like to add trip reports, so please write-up your visits and send them to me. There is also additional information about planning a trip and birding in the tropics that I have not had the chance to write yet. Keep checking to see what is new and please send me any information that could be of use.
When visiting any of the three countries described here, visitors should be aware that there are security and health risks. I include sections on security and health and I try to give relevant information in the site pages wherever I can, but I am not an expert and I have only provided the little I know in the hope that it may be of some use. Anyone using the information on this website must be aware that I cannot be held responsible for any harm or problems that may occur from its use. You use this information entirely at your own risk.
Please check my requests section. In particular, I am interested in any information that you can give me on the White-breasted Hawk, which is a little known species that I have been studying for the last four years. If you have a request about birds or birding in the region, send it to me and I will add it.
Thanks for visiting my website. I hope it has been useful and that you will
be back to use it again.
.: Copyright Tom Jenner - Please do not use any photos without permission :.