The Mayan temples and pyramids of Tikal are on the itinerary of virtually every visitor to Guatemala and the area is also the most important and popular birding site in the country.
More than 300 species have been recorded at the ruins and in the surrounding area of forest. There is more open habitat around the airfield and a few ponds and wetland areas. The pyramids offer excellent opportunities to view raptors, and the Caoba Gigante Trail provides easy access to a range of forest birds.
Wetter areas have Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Limpkin, Russet-naped Wood Rail, Ruddy Crake and Green Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher and American Pygmy Kingfisher and raptors of the area include King Vulture, Great Black Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle and Bat Falcon and Orange-breasted Falcon.
Hummingbirds are numerous and include Canivet's and White-bellied Emeralds, Little Hermit, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing and Purple-crowned Fairy and other colourful forest birds include a range of trogons, motmots, toucans and woodpeckers.
Birds you can see here include:
Great Tinamou, Little Tinamou, Slaty-breasted Tinamou, Pied-billed Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Anhinga, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Green-backed Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Bare-throated Tiger Heron, Boat-billed Heron, Wood Stork, Blue-winged Teal, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, King Vulture, Hook-billed Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Double-toothed Kite, Plumbeous Kite, Bicoloured Sparrowhawk, Crane Hawk, White Hawk, Common Black Hawk, Great Black Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Roadside Hawk, Gray Hawk, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk-Eagle, Laughing Falcon, Barred Forest-Falcon, Collared Forest-Falcon, American Kestrel, Bat Falcon, Orange-breasted Falcon, Plain Chachalaca, Crested Guan, Great Curassow, Spotted Wood-Quail, Singing Quail, Ocellated Turkey, Limpkin, Russet-naped Wood Rail, Ruddy Crake, Sora, American Purple Gallinule, Sungrebe, Northern Jacana, Black-necked Stilt, Killdeer Plover, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Wilson's Snipe, Pectoral Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper, Scaled Pigeon, Short-billed Pigeon, Ruddy Ground-Dove, Blue Ground-Dove, Gray-headed Dove, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Olive-throated Conure, Brown-hooded Parrot, White-capped Parrot, White-fronted Parrot, Red-lored Parrot, Mealy Parrot, Squirrel Cuckoo, Groove-billed Ani, Pheasant Cuckoo, Vermiculated Screech-Owl, Mottled Wood-Owl, Black-and-white Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Common Potoo, Common Nighthawk, Common Pauraque, Yucatan Poorwill, Chuck-will's-widow (recorded in Oct), Vaux's Swift, Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift, Long-tailed Hermit, Little Hermit, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Wedge-tailed Sabrewing, White-necked Jacobin, Green-breasted Mango, Canivet's Emerald, White-bellied Emerald, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Purple-crowned Fairy, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Black-headed Trogon, Collared Trogon, Gartered Trogon, Ringed Kingfisher, Belted Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Tody-Motmot, Keel-billed Motmot, Lesson's Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, White-necked Puffbird, White-whiskered Puffbird, Guatemalan Emerald Toucanet, Collared Aracari, Keel-billed Toucan, Golden-Olive Woodpecker, Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Smoky-Brown Woodpecker, Pale-billed Woodpecker, Tawny-winged Woodcreeper, Ruddy Woodcreeper, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Northern Barred Woodcreeper, Ivory-billed Woodcreeper, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Scaly-throated Leafscraper, Plain Xenops, Barred Antshrike, Russet Antshrike, Plain Antvireo, Dot-winged Antwren, Dusky Antbird, Black-faced Antthrush, Yellow-bellied Tyrannulet, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Greenish Elaenia, Northern Bentbill, Eye-ringed Flatbill, Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, Sepia-capped Leptopogon, Yellow-Olive Flycatcher, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Royal Flycatcher, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Sulphur-rumped Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Eastern Wood Pewee, Tropical Pewee, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Least Flycatcher, Bright-rumped Attila, Rufous Mourner, Yucatan Flycatcher, Olivaceous Flycatcher, Great Crested Flycatcher, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Piratic Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Cinnamon Becard, Grey-collared Becard, Rose-throated Becard, Masked Tityra, Black-crowned Tityra, Northern Schiffornis, White-bearded Manakin, Red-capped Manakin, Rufous Piha, Purple Martin, Gray-breasted Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Cedar Waxwing, Spot-breasted Wren, Carolina Wren (white-browed Yucatan form), White-breasted Wood Wren, White-bellied Wren, Gray Catbird, Veery, Gray-cheeked Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Wood Thrush, Clay-coloured Thrush, White-necked Thrush, Long-billed Gnatwren, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Chipping Sparrow, Blue-black Grassquit, Morelet's Seedeater, Thick-billed Seedfinch, Orange-billed Sparrow, Green-backed Sparrow, Dickcissel, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Northern Cardinal, Black-faced Grosbeak, Black-headed Saltator, Blue-black Grosbeak, Blue Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Painted Bunting, Grey-headed Tanager, Black-throated Shrike-Tanager, Red-crowned Ant Tanager, Summer Tanager, Rose-throated Tanager, White-winged Tanager, Yellow-winged Tanager, Scrub Euphonia, Olive-backed Euphonia, Yellow-throated Euphonia, Golden-masked Tanager, Green Honeycreeper, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Bananaquit, Black-and-white Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Prothonotary Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Golden-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Gray-throated Chat, Yellow-breasted Chat, Green Shrike-Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, Mangrove Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-green Vireo, Philadelphia Vireo, Tawny-crowned Greenlet, Gray-headed Greenlet, Montezuma Oropendola, Yellow-backed Oriole, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, Black-cowled Oriole, Melodious Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, Giant Cowbird, Bobolink, Yucatan Jay, Green Jay, Brown Jay
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
Tikal can be reached by road from Guatemala City on Highway 5 via Coban then Highway 13 from Modesto Mendez or on Highway 9 to La Ruidosa then Highway 13 to Flores. There are hotels and campsites at Tikal and it is preferable to spend at least a week birding the area.
Content and images originally posted by Steve