& Hummingbirds of
Tikal's Residents |
Migrant Species of Tikal |
The anhinga is probably the aquatic and fishing
bird you can see at the Tikal Aguadas.
It swims under water until it sights its prey. It usually feeds on small
fish or frogs and it is sometimes called a “Snake Bird” because in its habit
of swimming, it submerges its body and only its head and neck are gliding
sinuously along the water’s surface. Its
eyes are red and its bill yellow to yellow-orange dusky culmen and tip better
characterize the anhinga. The bare facial skin is bluish and its feet are
yellow-olive. It is black overall with green gloss. It lives in lakes, marshes, slow-moving rivers, and
mangroves. It flies with an
extended neck, and its deep wing beats are interspersed with glides; often
soars, wings held flattish. Migrates
in flocks, soaring on thermals, at times mixing loosely with hawks.
Jacana j. spinosa
The jacana has such large feet with the toes
spread so wide, it can almost walk on water, although it does need a lily pad or
two. This delicate bird can be seen
as it wades about foraging in the Aguada.
An interesting fact about the jacana is that the male sits on the nest
while the female brings home the “groceries”.
When the Jacana alights for a flight, its wings are extended straight up
in the air and are held that way for a few seconds.
The underside of the wing is bright yellow and its display is very
This is a close relative...
Orange Breasted Falcon
Tikal is one of the finest places in which to
observe this bird. This bird has a white throat the sides of its neck are washed
cinnamon, its belly is black with coarse whitish and cinnamon bars and spots.
It has a bright orange
breast. Although slightly smaller, this falcon closely resembles the
much more widely distributed peregrine falcon.
Its voice is a hard, often insistent screaming “kyowh-kyowh-kyowh”…
it may suggest a rapid Brown Jay screaming but more clipped.
Also, if it is single more barking screams.
Its habitat is humid evergreen forest, edges and clearings especially
near cliffs. It perches
conspicuously on tall dead snags. Its flight is fast and powerful, recalling the Peregrine;
they are small to fairly large raptors with long, pointed wings and longish
tails. It nests in cavities in
Boat Billed Heron
Cochlearius cochlearius phillipsi
A large bird, never found far from water, the Boat-Billed Heron
is colored black above and white below.
A look at the bill, that can be four inches long and nearly
as wide, accounts for its name.
Looking carefully among the trees that line the Tikal Aguada
sometimes reveals one of these unique herons.
Its nests are platforms of vegetation, often sticks; its
eggs are bluish white, faintly speckled cinnamon. They live in
mangroves, freshwater marshes, and riverside trees. It
is strictly nocturnal, more so than night herons, unlikely seen
during the day away from roosts or colonies. They are solitary
feeders at night; the function of its bill still is not fully
understood. Boat Billed Herons fly with their necks retracted
in a deep neck bulge, its legs projecting beyond the tail.
It feeds on varied food, mostly eating fish and sometimes
their diet includes amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, insects,
small mammals, and nesting birds.
They are under protection at The Tikal National
Park. The Limpkin has become a more frequent visitor at the Aguadas,
or water holes. It is a large,
superficially ibis-like New World bird with a long slightly decurved bill, long
neck, and long legs. Its wings are
fairly long and broad, the tail is short and covered by its wings at rest.
Limpkins inhabit marshy areas and walk with a high-stepping gait, picking
and probing for food. It feeds mostly on freshwaters snails, also mussels,
crustaceans, frogs, and insects. Its
voice is a loud wailing and screaming cries, especially at dawn and disk: a
drawn-out “kyaoh kyaoh”… Its nest is a platform of marsh grasses at low to
midlevels in the vegetation over the water, this bird is most active at dawn and
dusk, and is partly nocturnal. Its
eggs are buff and marked with browns and grays.
It has a very distinctive pattern across the back and wings of white
spots, like droplets of paint. Its
long curved beak is used to extract snails from their shells on which the bird
feeds almost exclusively.
Bare Throated Tiger Heron
Its name derives from its physical appearance
rather than any tiger-like ferocity. In
frequent sightings you will find them standing quietly in the weeds or rushes,
with its bills pointed straight up and swaying with any surrounding vegetation,
trying to look like plants. Very
confident are they when assuming this attitude, when they can be approached
closely. Its voice when flushed may
give a deep and throaty woh, woh, woh… In
breeding season, especially at dusk or night, gives far carrying, deep, hoarse
grunts or roars, at times paired ohrrr, ohrrr, ohrrr…
Its habitat is varied; freshwater habitats and mangroves, typically with
wooded edges or trees nearby but rarely inside heavy forest.
Usually it is a solitary bird, but several may gather in small areas,
often in fairly open situations at marsh edges.
If it is disturbed, takes a flight heavily and usually perches in trees.
It hunts by waiting or slow wading.
It is partly nocturnal. Its
nests are in trees and its eggs are greenish white, rarely flecked brown.
Wouldyou like to came birding with us?
For more information on responsible tours to the natural and archaeological World of the Maya, birding adventures and other outdoor experiences contact: Ecotourism & Adventure Specialists email@example.com or visit our website at http://www.ecotourism-adventure.com