Of our four days at Tikal, one day was devoted exclusively to searching for birds and other animals. There were two birds that I especially hoped to find. They were the Emerald Toucanet and the American Pygmy Kingfisher. The toucanet is similar to a toucan but smaller and mostly green. I was thrilled to find one for my 500th bird species sighted.
Ocellated Turkeys were everywhere and very tame. I found a Crested Guan which is another large ground bird but I saw it sitting in a tree. It is brown with white spots and has a red throat. Saw one once before in Belize.
We saw a large tree with several nests of a bird called the Montezuma Oropendola. Their nest is like a large bag hanging from a branch. Orioles make a similar nest, but much smaller. The Oropendola makes a strange noise that sounds like a ray gun from a science fiction movie.
The Ridgeway’s Rough-winged Swallow lives inside some of the ruins. They are difficult to photograph as they fly away whenever anyone enters the room. I did manage to find one that sat still long enough for one photo.
I saw several different kinds of flycatchers including the Social, Sulpher-bellied, Royal and Piratic Flycatchers.
We saw some Swallow-tailed Kites flying overhead. This is a large, magnificent, black-and-white raptor with a split tail. I rushed up the stairs of Temple Two to get closer for a photo. While up on the temple I also saw an Orange-breasted Falcon and a Plumbeous Kite.
I had seen the Keel-billed Toucan a few times before but was really happy to get a nice close look at one. Didn’t have any Fruit Loops handy to feed him.
I also found a bird called a Strong-billed Woodcreeper which is a scarce bird.
No sign of the Pygmy Kingfisher. I had been looking for this bird since November.
We were lucky to find a huge Walking Stick. They are really difficult to find.
We also saw a tarantula.
Spider Monkeys were fairly common but they were always in the dark places where it is difficult to get a nice photo. It can be quite dark in the jungle even on a sunny day.
I searched the lagoon several times for the Pygmy Kingfisher but no sign of one. We did find a few small crocodiles.