The Most Beautiful Birds in Guatemala

The keel-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize, and can also be seen in Guatemala
The keel-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize, and can also be seen in Guatemala | © cuatrok77 / Flickr
Jack Guy

Guatemala boasts incredible biodiversity, and the country’s bird life is a major component of this. Here are some of the most beautiful birds that you can see here.

A quetzal, Guatemala’s national bird

Quetzal

The Guatemalan national bird is famous for its striking blue-green colour and long tail feathers. It’s getting increasingly difficult to see in the wild, as numbers are declining as a result of deforestation, but you might be lucky.

Guatemalan pygmy owl

Some experts believe this small owl to be a distinct species, while others say that it’s a subspecies of the northern pygmy owl. Despite the name, it can be found in mountainous areas of southern Mexico and Honduras, as well as Guatemala.

The pink-headed warbler is found in Guatemala and the southern Mexican state of Chiapas

Pink-headed warbler

Another species that is sadly threatened by deforestation, it is estimated that there are only around 50,000 pink-headed warblers left in Guatemala and southern Mexico. Both males and females are largely red in colour, and they live mainly in high areas, at around 2,000 metres (6,562 feet) above sea level.

Keel-billed toucan

This striking bird has an oversized bill and incredible colourings. With a largely black plumage offsetting its yellow breast feathers and brightly coloured bill, the national bird of Belize is a wonderful sight. The birds are generally 42–55 centimetres (17–22 inches) long, with a bill that’s about 12–15 centimetres (5–6 inches) in length.

Ocellated turkey in Guatemala

Ocellated turkey

Turkeys aren’t generally considered the most glamorous of birds, with many of them ending up on dinner plates around Christmas. However, seeing an ocellated turkey might make you change your mind. With iridescent feathers and large spots on the tail, this is one beautiful bird. Look out for the bright-blue head and red rings around the eyes. They are easy to spot at Tikal.

Orange-breasted falcon

These birds of prey are incredibly majestic in flight, and boast a distinctive orange chest plumage that makes them fairly easy to spot. With a wingspan of around 83 centimetres (33 inches) the birds are pretty big, and they have unusually large beaks for falcons. Populations are declining and the birds are becoming rare, although sightings of these, too, have been reported at Tikal.

Wine-throated hummingbird

These small hummingbirds measure around just seven centimetres (three inches) in length, but their distinctive neck plumage makes them quite a sight to behold. A number of red-pink feathers spread out from the breast, lending the bird a regal air.

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