Location of yellow-headed parrots

Hope Still Flies Over Guatemala

In November 0f 2013 I was surprised to learn from a couple of birders that the yellow-headed amazon parrot (Amazona oratrix) historically occurred in Guatemala. This surprised me because I had not seen it on any of the major lists of parrots for this area, although the species does occur right over the borders into […]

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Yellow-headed Amazon (photo by Joe Ravi, CC-BY-SA 3)

Yellow-headed Amazon Parrots in Guatemala: Are They Still There?

Despite this being an endangered bird, not much is known about current numbers and it’s ecological issues within Belize and Guatemala. In fact, we don’t know if they are still there in Guatemala. I go in search of this bird. May it still be there!

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Jaguarundi

Being Present to Birds Brings Many Presents

Observing, studying, and counting birds involves long hours of what can seem like tedious focus. Yet in those moments of being with birds, we can grow mindful of how wondrous is life, and how being present to that possibility can enrich our lives greatly. Birding is indeed mindfulness practice.

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Scarlet Macaws Flowers of the Sun and Songs that Fly

Scarlet Macaws: Flowers of the Sun and Songs that Fly

It is the time of incendios. Fires in Guatemala and indeed throughout the Maya Selva (forest) are everywhere.  What causes these fires you ask?  Perhaps the root is human desire.  Current human practices means too many people encroaching into the forest without balanced and sustainable methods.  We might also blame climate change, along with the […]

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But It's A Wet Heat

But It’s a Wet Heat

There is an unspoken code of machismo in conservation.  It’s not like anyone is keeping score, however, each is quick to discount any discomfort lest to lose esteem from others on the conservation team.When I lived in the high dessert lands of the Southwest, for example, even though the temperature really could boil an egg […]

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Rescuing the Yellow-Nape in Guatemala

Rescuing the Yellow-Nape in Guatemala: A National Treasure

I end my weeks in Guatemala with a workshop bringing together the Yellow-Naped Working Group. There are familiar friends whom I have know over the decades, as well as many new faces flushed with the possibility of preserving this treasure in their midst.  Marco Centeno, one such long term friend and leader of the National Board […]

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Standing-StonesTakalik-Abaj-Featured-Image

Standing Stones – Takalik Abaj

As we wind our way through the volcanoes in search of yellow-naped amazons, we travel along busy trade routes that have been known for thousands of years.  The Pacific Coast of Guatemala was home to both Olmec and Maya cultures, and in the place to which we are headed, both occurred: Takalik Abaj.  The name […]

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Enduring Refuges

Enduring Refuges

Though the distances are not all that great in Guatemala, the condition of the roads and the traffic, not to mention the frequent stops for refreshment, mean that there is ample time to converse about parrots and people during this recent conservation trip. To pass the time as we travel around the Pacific-facing volcanic slopes, […]

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Vulcanizing Conservation

Vulcanizing Conservation

    We drop down from the highlands near Atitalan Volcano, passing through malodorous fields of rubber trees around Mazatenango and Retalhuleu, and then rise again up to the slopes of Santa Maria and Santiaguito Volcanos to visit Patrocinio Reserve.     We are hopeful that this reserve could be a location for protecting yellow-naped […]

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Points Worth Recounting

Points Worth Recounting

From the lowlands of the south coast of Guatemala, our conservation journey now takes us up to the Boca Costa (the Pacific slope going up into the rising volcanoes).  Our first stop is Los Tarrales Reserve, a working ranch (finca) that is also an avitourism location for many a traveler in this part of the […]

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A Sweet Name, and It’s Not Sugar Cane

A Sweet Name, and It’s Not Sugar Cane

    My conservation effort for this past week centered in the south coast of Guatemala (La Costa Sur).  Together with Fernando Aldana, our range on this trip follows that of the yellow-naped amazon (Amazona auropaliata) from sea level up to about 1500 meters.  We begin at the lower altitudes and will work our way […]

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Ivory and Irony

Ivory and Irony

As illegal wildlife trade increases around the world, governance and international organizations are directing more of their energy to this situation.  They are doing this not just for the benefit of biodiversity and to decrease extinction rates, but because what is good for the environment and other species is also good for humans.  Protecting natural […]

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The Latest News on Our Central America Parrot Projects

The Latest News on Our Central America Parrot Projects

This year, Lafeber Conservation and Wildlife gave grants for parrot conservation work in Nicaragua (scarlet and great green macaws), Honduras (scarlet macaws), and Guatemala (scarlet macaws and yellow-naped amazons).  Some of the support for these conservation projects occurs throughout the year, and the majority happens when I am personally present during field research and conservation. […]

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Spreading-the-News-Vulnerable-Featured-Image

Spreading the News – Vulnerable!

Good news just broke out last week – the Yellow-naped Amazon species is now considered vulnerable to extinction!  This exclamation might appear a bit bizarre. I mean really. Who celebrates when a species’ existence on this planet becomes vulnerable to extinction?  Well I do and so do many others who contributed to the recent review […]

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Trapping Animals with Cameras

Trapping Animals with Cameras

For centuries scientists, biologists, conservationists, and artists have trapped animals so that they could study them or render their likeliness onto canvas.  Often times harm resulted to the animals, especially in the case when animals were purposely killed for skin collections.  The evidence of this method of studying animals consists of feathered, furred, and finned […]

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