Eisermann & Avendaño Bird Studies Guatemala

We focus on ornithological studies in Middle America, with an emphasis on Guatemala, including evaluations of local avifaunas, the natural history of selected bird species, evaluations of the status of threatened species, and identifications of critical areas for conservation. We help to develop awareness towards nature conservation among local people and provide information for conservation initiatives. Much of our research was carried out and published under the umbrella of PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program from 2002 to 2018.

Unspotted Saw-whet Owl

News

birds of Guatemala 2018
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2018) An update on the inventory, distribution and residency status of bird species in Guatemala. Bulletin British Ornithologists' Club 138: 148-229.
  • An update on the inventory, distribution and residency status of birds in Guatemala: Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2018) An update on the inventory, distribution and residency status of bird species in Guatemala. Bulletin British Ornithologists' Club 138: 148-229.
  • Contribution to the taxonomy of Resplendent Quetzal: Schulz, U. & K. Eisermann (2017) Morphometric differentiation between subspecies of Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno mocinno and P. m. costaricensis) based on male uppertail-coverts. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 137: 287-291.
  • Contribution to the herpetology of Guatemala: Eisermann, K. (2017) A new locality and elevational range extension for Rhinophrynus dorsalis Duméril & Bibron, 1841 (Anura: Rhinophrynidae), and a noteworthy record for Hypopachus variolosus (Cope, 1866) (Anura: Microhylidae) in Guatemala. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4: 688-692.
  • First nesting record of Flammulated Owl Psiloscops flammeolus in Guatemala published in COTINGA 39: 53-59. (posted: September 2017)
  • Owls of Guatemala 2017
  • Chapter on Owls of Guatemala published: pp. 447-515 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Neotropical owls: diversity and conservation. Springer, Cham, Switzerland. (posted: August 2017)
  • Nesting evidence, density and vocalisations in a resident population of Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis wetmorei in Guatemala (posted: March 2017)
  • Two contributions to the herpetology of Guatemala: a new locality for the Endangered Brilliant Arboreal Alligator Lizard Abronia gaiophantasma and elevation range extension and new habitat for Mesoamerican Gartersnake Thamnophis fulvus (posted: Nov. 2016)
  • Paper on Owl diversity in Guatemala published as chapter "Los búhos de Guatemala", pp. 381-434 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Los búhos neotropicales, diversidad y conservación. ECOSUR, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México. (posted: Nov 2015)
  • Paper on the birds of IBA Cerro El Amay, Quiché, Guatemala, published in Cotinga 35: 81-93 (posted: Aug 2013)
  • Unspotted Saw-whet Owl (posted: Aug 2013)
  • Owls of Guatemala (posted: Dec 2012)
  • Morphology and nesting ecology of Resplendent Quetzal (posted: Sep 2012)
  • Comprehensive natural history of Highland Guan (posted: Aug 2012)
  • Bearded Screech-Owl uplisted from Near Threatened to Vulnerable in 2012 IUCN Red List (posted: July 2012)
  • Vocalizations of Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl (posted: Dec 2011)
  • Results of our studies on the Endangered Azure-rumped Tanager published in several journal articles (Aug 2011)
Natural history of birds in Guatemala

Objectives

  • Study the natural history of bird species.
  • Assess the distribution of local avifauna.
  • Assess the status of threatened species.
  • Identify critical areas for conservation.
  • Assess long-term bird population changes.
  • Conserve important habitat.
  • Build local capacity and provide public education.
  • Promote citizen science.

Summary of accomplishments

Bird diversity and distribution in Guatemala

Assessments of local avifaunas and bird distribution

  • Birds in Guatemala (Eisermann & Avendaño 2006, 2007, 2018). more
  • Distribution and conservation of owls (Strigiformes) in Guatemala. more
  • Avifauna at Cerro El Amay Important Bird Area (IBA GT006). more
  • Shorebirds on the Guatemalan Atlantic coast (Eisermann 2009).
  • Avifauna of the high-elevation cloud forest at Montaña Caquipec, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala (Eisermann & Schulz 2002, 2005).
  • Several smaller contributions to the knowledge of bird distribution in Guatemala, such as hawk migration (Heinrichs et al. 2006), Crested Eagle Morphnus guianensis in Tikal (Grijalva & Eisermann 2006), noteworthy bird records in Alta Verapaz (Eisermann 2005b), American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos in interior Guatemala (Eisermann & Avendaño 2004), noteworthy records from Punta de Manabique (Eisermann 2003c), and others.
  • Knut Eisermann served as the country coordinator to compile noteworthy bird records from Guatemala published in North American Birds from 2004 to 2015, and as editor of eBird Guatemala from 2008 to 2015.
Highland Guan Penelopina nigra

Natural history of bird species more

  • Comprehensive natural history of the Highland Guan Penelopina nigra (Eisermann et al. 2006, Eisermann 2012). more
  • Nesting of Horned Guan at Atitlán volcano (Eisermann et al. 2007). more
  • Breeding records of Ocellated Quail more
  • Natural history of the Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno (Eisermann 2013, Schulz & Eisermann 2012). more
  • Coloration anomaly in the Collared Trogon Trogon collaris (Eisermann & Omland 2007).
  • Foliage-bathing behavior of an Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus (Eisermann 2005a).
  • Vocalizations of Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium cobanense (Eisermann & Howell 2011, Howell & Eisermann 2011). more
  • Vocalizations of Unspotted Saw-whet Owl Aegolius ridgwayi (Eisermann 2013). more
  • Breeding of Flammulated Owl Psiloscops flammeolus more
  • Breeding of Bearded Screech-Owl Megascops barbarus more
  • Breeding records of Fulvous Owl Stix fulvescens more
  • Nesting of Belted Flycatcher Xenotriccus callizonus more
  • First nesting record of Western Wood-Pewee Contopus sordidulus more
  • Nesting of White-throated Flycatcher Empidonax albigularis more
  • Indication of altitudinal migration of Slate-colored Solitaire Myadestes unicolor and Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus in the Montaña Sacranix (Eisermann 2005).
  • Noteworthy nesting records of several species, including the first nesting record for the Azure-hooded Jay Cyanolyca cucullata in Guatemala (Eisermann & Brooks 2006).
  • Nesting of Black-capped Siskin Spinus atriceps more
  • Re-discovery and first nesting records of resident wetmorei subspecies of Savannah Sparrow more
  • Nesting of Bar-winged Oriole Icterus maculialatus more
  • Distribution and breeding records of Goldman's Warbler Setophaga goldmani more
  • Breeding and distribution of Blue Seedeater Amaurospiza concolor more
  • Nesting ecology, juvenile plumage, and vocalizations of Azure-rumped Tanager Tangara cabanisi (Eisermann et al. 2011a,b,c). more
Bearded Screech-Owl, vulnerable
Bearded Screech-Owl Megascops barbarus (Vulnerable).

Threatened species status assessments more

  • Evaluation of the status of the Bearded Screech-Owl Megascops barbarus which led to the species being upgraded from Near Threatened to Vulnerable on the BirdLife/IUCN Red List of globally threatened bird species in 2012.
  • Evaluation of the status of the endangered Azure-rumped Tanager Tangara cabanisi in Guatemala (Eisermann 2011a,b, Eisermann et al. 2011a,b). more
  • Evaluation of the status and recent sightings of the Ocellated Quail Cyrtonyx ocellatus (Eitniear & Eisermann 2009).
  • Evaluation of the status of the Highland Guan Penelopina nigra (Eisermann et al. 2006); the Great Curassow Crax rubra in Punta de Manabique, Izabal, Guatemala (Eisermann 2004); and the Yellow-headed Parrot Amazona oratrix on the Guatemalan Atlantic coast (Eisermann 2003 a, b).
  • Contributions to IUCN/BirdLife International's Red List assessments of the Highland Guan, Horned Guan Oreophasis derbianus, Ocellated Quail, Yellow-headed Parrot, Keel-billed Motmot Electron carinatum, Pink-headed Warbler Cardellina versicolor, Azure-rumped Tanager, Bearded Screech-Owl, and Belted Flycatcher Xenotriccus callizonus.

Identification of critical areas for conservation

  • Our data on bird distribution were one of the main sources for identifying Important Bird Areas in Guatemala (Eisermann 2007a,b, Eisermann & Avendaño 2009a,b,c). more

Habitat conservation:

  • We raised funds for the expansion of the private nature reserves protecting cloud forest in the Yalijux Important Bird Area, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala (Eisermann 2008). more
  • We provided data to PROEVAL RAXMU and other conservation projects. more
Capacity building by PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program
Research team with local assistants in the cloud forest of Montaña Yalijux.

Local capacity building and public education

  • Farmers in Maya Q'eqchi' villages along an altitudinal gradient from 300 to 2500 m learned how to identify birds by voice and sight and how to conduct bird counts. more
  • We reanimated Christmas Bird Counts in Guatemala and support them since 2006 (Eisermann 2010, 2011c). more
  • We publish regularly in non-technical popular magazines (Eisermann 2003b, 2007a,b, 2008, 2010, 2011a,c, Eisermann & Avendaño 2009c, Howell & Eisermann 2011, Schulz & Eisermann 2001).
  • We inform local villages about our study results in public slide presentations and posters. more

Books and book chapters

Neotropical Owls
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2017) The owls of Guatemala. 447-515 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Neotropical owls: diversity and conservation. Springer, Cham, Switzerland.
Búhos Neotropicales
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2015) Los búhos de Guatemala. 381-434 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Los búhos neotropicales: diversidad y conservación. ECOSUR, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México.
birds of Guatemala
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2007) Lista comentada de las aves de Guatemala - Annotated checklist of the birds of Guatemala. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Cover painting by Albert Earl Gilbert
Biodiversidad de Guatemala
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2006) Diversidad de aves en Guatemala, con una lista bibliográfica. Pp. 525-623 In: E. Cano (ed.) Biodiversidad de Guatemala, Vol. 1. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala.
Conserving Cracids
Eisermann, K., N. Herrera & O. Komar (2006) Highland Guan (Penelopina nigra). Pp. 85-90 In: D. M. Brooks (ed.) Conserving Cracids: the most threatened family of birds in the Americas. Miscellaneous Publications of the Houston Museum of Natural Science 6.

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