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[Birds Check List]


These hurried travelers, the first migratory birds begin to appear in forests, plains and fields, and even en gardens and yards in Guatemalan homes, the first few days of August. They don’t even wait for the Fall, which should start around the 21st of September. In the beginning they are few, later larger and larger populations arrive. None comes here to stay. Generally they leave again, together and in the winter, the cool and windy season here which ends around the 20th of march.

Some come at the onset of spring and stay until late May. The range is then established: from August to May. During the time they stay here, they seem like messengers that bring new sounds, more colors and graceful movement to the countryside as well as to urban spaces.

Their log travels begin in the icy boreal lands of the continent. Some as far north as Alaska and Canada, others in less cold areas of The United States . Boasting a marvelous sense of orientation the apparently fragile creatures overcome major obstacles, such as deserts, mountain ranges and long stretches over the sea to get the south. Some, among then the marine swallows and peregrine falcons do it in sustained flights, others by hops, like doves and the grebes; the sand pipers seem to have done it running from dune to done on the beaches.

The colorful and graceful movements are distributed in all the ecosystems, and become truly plumed jewels. The Guatemalan highlands, cold, bathed in fog and the pungent aroma of herbs, unquestionably are spaces to enjoy. Accessible in a way that combines adventure and 
excitement of exploring the little known, the lovely summit of Maria Tecun (totonicapan, Solola), The reserve of Las Minas Biosphere, The Quetzal Biotopo (Baja Verapaz), The reserve if Bisis Cava Biosphere (Quiche), and many other mountains guard gems such as these.

The Estuaries, rivers, swamps and Lagoons of Lowlands, on the other hand, become the temporary habitats of the long legged water birds. The herons, mostly immaculate white herons, place and indelible stamp of beauty on the shores of the wetlands. The Great Chiquimulilla Canal along the southern seashore, the jungle guarded mysterious Lagoons in the northern Petén, and the majestic bodies of water in Izabal are only some of the many destinations to share with 
them. And the extraordinary Landscape of small volcanic lakes as in Jutiapa, are the autumnal frame for various species of ducks and grebes. They put on a show, they dive and they are reflected in the shiny smooth lake lets, and then they noisily rise in flight, but in any case...What a great spectacle!

Different, but not less spectacular are the Sandpipers. On the seashore they play with the waves sweeping up on the beach and with their food in the wet zone that serves as a corridor.
It is so nice to enjoy their presence on the white beaches of Punta de Manabique in de Caribbean saturated with magic and color. It is the same Caribbean that forms the Amatique Bay, monumental, half lake half sea which sets the stage for the cavorting of the seagulls and other unique winged travelers that visit us yearly. They are like plumed tourists; these birds become part of the nature treasure of the country and it is worth mentioning that the birdwatchers 
are in the thousands here, and every day the number of people enjoying it 
grows. This activity not only calms the spirit but also offers another opportunity to learn from Nature, to understand our role within it, to come closer to the miracle of creation, to find reason to express our artistic, poetic and literary talents. And it is good that our beaked and feathered friends help us to do this.

By: Mr. Luis Villar Anleu

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