Welcome to Birdquest
Wednesday 19th February - Friday 28th February 2014
Mark Van Beirs
Our first ever El Triunfo tour was a mega milestone for Birdquest as we managed to hit the fabled 10,000 mark on Birdquest’s lifelist. The honour went to the rare and almost mythical, glorious Horned Guan. This incredible number was finally reached in the wilderness of El Triunfo after several thousands of tours to more than a hundred countries. The rarity and aura of the Horned Guan, the perfect, superb views, the magical untouched surroundings and the magnificent scenery made for a truly special and much cherished moment for our selected party. No other bird tour company has ever reached this astonishing number and no other tour company is even close. The Biosphere Reserve of El Triunfo, situated in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, in the extreme south of the country, is the largest remaining wilderness in Mexico. It was established in 1990 and covers c120,000 hectares (288,00 acres). It forms part of Endemic Bird Area 018 (the North Central American highlands), as defined by BirdLife International and consists of a mixture of humid montane and lower montane semi deciduous forest, cloud forest dominated by evergreen oaks, pine-oak forest, cypress forest and on the lower slopes tropical deciduous forest and oak scrub. It has very high levels of plant endemism. The bird of the trip was without a doubt the legendary Horned Guan, but other contenders for distinction were the tremendous Resplendent Quetzal, the extraordinary Fulvous Owl and the remarkable Cabanis’s (or Azure-rumped) Tanager. Other rare or outstanding species seen on the tour were Highland Guan, Singing Quail, White-breasted Hawk, White-faced Quail-Dove, Rufous Sabrewing, Emerald-chinned Hummingbird, Sparkling-tailed Woodstar, Slender Sheartail, Wine-throated Hummingbird, Tody and Blue-throated Motmots, Paltry Tyrannulet, Belted Flycatcher, Black-throated Jay, Black-capped Swallow, Giant Wren, Blue-and-white Mockingbird, Hooded Grosbeak, Prevost’s Ground Sparrow and Red-breasted Chat. An unexpected extra outing at the end of the tour added exquisite Orange-breasted and Rose-bellied Buntings to the list. Mammals were rather scarce on the ground, but we observed Central American Spider Monkey and White-nosed Coati.