southwestern CHIAPAS, MEXICO, and especially El Triunfo

This is an annotated list and daily logs of my two trips to El Triunfo, Chiapas, Mexico. Both trips were tours with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT).  The first trip was 30 Mar-9 Apr 1986 with about a dozen participants, including leaders Victor Emanuel and Kevin J. Zimmer. The second trip was 18-28 Mar 2002 with 19 participants, including leaders Victor Emanuel, Greg Lasley, and Brad Boyle. Both were hiking and camping trips but in 1986 we hiked up the Pacific side to El Triunfo  for three days and came back down the same way. The trip began and ended at Tapachula. We visited some lowland scrub woodland near Mapastepec for Giant Wren and other lowland species (this habitat was essentially gone by 2002). We began and ended the 22 mile hike (each way) at Tres de Mayo (900' elevation) with overnight stops in foothill deciduous woods at Paval (1300' elev), the subtropical Canyon Honda (4800'), and then El Triunfo cloud forest (6800' elev.; we crossed the crest at 7000' elev. to get there). At El Triunfo, one hikes various trails daily (Palo Gordo trail, Finca Prusia trail, various loop trails) as well as birding around the clearing.
    The tour had arranged for local women to cook for us, and we had surprising good meals each trip at El Triunfo. And they were so sweet to do sin carne, sin cebolla for me once they found out that's was I needed. In 1986, the tour leaders cooked some tasty dinners during the hike up and back (away from El Triunfo) but in 2002 we had freeze-dried meals (just add hot water!) that were just okay. Our horsemen always had coffee and hot water available, and their horses carried all our food and our luggage. There is now a limited supply of electricity at El Triunfo through solar panels that permit one to have a hot shower during sunny weather. During our 2002 visit, the hot shower was a great treat on several days but during the two days of rain, we made do with cold showers.
    In 2002, we did a 30 mile hiking transect of the Sierra de Chiapas. We met in Tuxtla Gutiérrez in interior Chiapas, birded the next morning in Sumidero Canyon, and then drove up a dry interior valley to Jaltenango. The next day we trucked from Jaltenango to Finca Prusia, a coffee farm at 4450' elev. on the east slope of the Sierra de Chiapas. From there we hiked 8 miles uphill (6 hours) over the 7000' crest to El Triunfo (6800'). After three full days at El Triunfo we hiked down the Pacific side for four days, traversing zones with pines to the overnight stop at Canyon Honda, a subtropical canyon with huge fruiting fig trees (4800'). Short hike the next day to Limonal (4200') at the upper end of an oak zone. Then down to Paval (1300') whose woodland is now much disturbed, and where a family now lives (no one was there in '86). Then on down to Tres de Mayo (900') where met by trucks and taken to Tapachula. The grounds of the Travelodge in Tapachula still have small patches of lowland woods with Giant Wren and White-bellied Chachalaca, replacing the prior stops at Mapastepec.
    In 1986, I recorded 204 species of which 58 were lifers. The '86 group listed another 28 that I missed (these are either at the end of this list, or in brackets in the main list). In 2002, I recorded 230 species of which 10 were lifers. The '02 group listed another 53 that I missed (also at end of this list, or in brackets in the main list). Obviously, the 2002 trip visited more habitats (i.e., Sumidero Canyon) and had more observers spread out daily. I also didn't try very hard this second trip to track down every species that I'd seen before. I spent a lot more time alone, often trying to take photos.
 Almost all the species listed below were seen. I've included only a few "heard only" birds, and only those that I know (not included are those pointed out by voice by the leaders). A couple of these "heard only" birds would still be lifers for me if ever seen (e.g., Thicket Tinamou, Mottled Owl).
    I used Peterson's Mexico field guide (1973) both trips; many others also carried Howell & Webb's (1995) tome on the 2002 trip. VENT leaders had very fine tape-recordings of difficult species both trips but I rarely was with the leaders and only saw a few birds with tapes (noted in the list below). Combined, the main list has 258 species that I personally recorded on the two El Triunfo trips.

    18 March -- after overnighting at L.A. airport, early morning Mexicana flight to Mexico City, connecting to Mexicana flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Taxi to Hotel Flamboyant, arriving 4 p.m. and met my roommate Greg Osland. All of the tour was there by dinner.
    19 March -- morning in Sumidero Canyon (but not very early with a slow breakfast and loading the vans with luggage) and a picnic lunch there. It was hot and dry, and birding rather slow. After a stop at the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve office in Tuxtla (and meeting Sonja, the ecotourism manager who helped with arrangements and who came with us to El Triunfo), we did a three-hour drive to Jaltenango. It took longer as we stopped various places for birds, including roadside ponds and fields at the little town of Independencia. A stop at a river just before Jaltenango was productive for riparian edge species and some migrants. The town was very crowded with a festival in the central piazza, so some of us drank beer and relaxed while accommodations got sorted out. Greg & I and a few others were eventually shuffled over to a different hotel off the square (and much quieter!).
    20 March -- a dusty drive in two trucks from Jaltenango to Finca Prusia (7-11 a.m.) with various birding stops for Russet-crowned Motmot in the lower valley, a mid-elevation stop that had a surprise Black-headed Siskin, a higher stop in pines (heard but did not see Pheasant Cuckoo), and a nesting colony of Black-capped Swallows just below Finca Prusia. We met our horsemen at the start of the El Triunfo trail and were off in various subgroups by 11:30. The 8 mile hike up was strenuous but the trail wide and easy. We spent a lot of time early on trying to see a Tody Motmot and Green Shrike-Vireo (I managed great views of both). Late in the afternoon, just over the crest at 7000' elev., I heard a Horned Guan giving its humming call. Ismael eventually located the bird high in a tree well up the ridge, and many of us got to see it. Our prize bird almost immediately! We stumbled into the El Triunfo clearing right before dusk (5:45 p.m.), and set up our tents.
    The weather had been clear and lovely to this point, but it clouded up and began to rain after dark, and continued to pour all night long (very unusual for the 'dry' season; usually there are only  afternoon showers if any rain at all). My little tent kept out the rain above but flooded from below, getting everything I had wet.
    21 March -- a rainy day all day at El Triunfo. I moved all my stuff into a new bunkhouse to try to dry it out, and was permitted to stay there for next three nights. Alas, I had come down with a bad cough from the damp and that lasted the whole trip. But birding was still quite good in the gloom and wet. Many of us retraced portions of the Prusia trail and were rewarded with more views of Horned Guan, this one feeding in a ridgeline canopy tree.
    22 March -- a very wet and windy day, sometimes almost gale winds. I spent most of the time alone, bundled up against the rain, walking quietly through the cloud forest. I did join a subgroup which called up a pair of Fulvous Owls in the morning. After seeing an odd hummer yesterday, spent a fair bit of time at a flowering Fuschia near camp in hopes it would return (but it didn't; it was a birdy spot, though).
    23 March -- finally, a glorious sunny and calm day! I joined Victor, Ismael, and Jerry in a hike up the Palo Gordo trail to a fruiting mulberry tree where Horned Guans were yesterday. Today, four of them were feeding in the tree and we spent over an hour watching and trying to photograph [see Horned Guan page]. I went back that direction alone in the afternoon to photograph a Resplendent Quetzal nest from a distance, and also photographed a number of other birds (best was an adult feeding a young Black-throated Jay). Just a fabulous day!
    24 March -- after a final early morning at El Triunfo, we hiked over the western crest (7000' elev.) and down to Canyon Honda (4800' elev.), passing through a more arid upper zone with cypresses, and then a pine zone, enroute. A highlight was great views of a Blue-throated Motmot called in with a tape. The hike was hot and therefore a dip in the creek at Canyon Honda was very refreshing!
    25 March -- morning around Canyon Honda, mostly looking in tall fruiting fig trees and the surrounding subtropical forest. We had very fine views of Azure-rumped Tanager, and I found a calling Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo that eventually everyone who wanted to got to see. The hike to Limonal was fairly short (3-4 miles max) and leisurely; we were in by mid-afternoon. In late afternoon I wandered down the trail a ways, and found a coral snake crossing the path! [see Herps page] The group tried owling after dusk and although we heard 3 Mottled Owls, none could be coaxed in for views.
    26 March -- while the rest of the group heading off toward Paval (above 8 long miles away), I waited for the sun to hit the fruiting trees just up the trail, and was rewarded by several more Azure-rumped Tanagers. Today was a very long and very hot hike; it kept getting hotter and dustier and was near 100 degrees by mid-afternoon when some of us finally arrived (others didn't trickle in until much later). The initial tent site was full of ticks so we all moved to the concrete platform (built for drying coffee beans) or just off it. Unlike 16 years ago when we had the place to ourselves, a family was now living in the house consisting of, as Jessica Jenner wrote in her diary: "as far as I could figure out, one man, several women, two of them pregnant, a host of kids, a pig, a strutting tom turkey and his family, ducks, chickens, a goat, several dogs one skin and bones." It was so hot that it didn't make much difference to me; the only thing that helped was a very long time immersed in the stream, especially some small rapids that were like a jacuzzi. Great on the aching feet.....
    27 March -- Paval was very birdy in the morning. The habitat is much more chopped up than years ago, but a Striped Cuckoo was still easily called up, the Prevost's Ground-Sparrows were cooperative, and the Turquoise-browed Motmots sat in the sun. After packing up the tents a final time, we were off for the six mile hike to Tres de Mayo. The floods of 1998 washed out much of the trail and it has been reorganized (sometimes rocky handholds about the river plain); the lowland woods which were so bird-filled in 1986 were mostly gone. We walked from shady spot to shady spot, but there was a lot of time in the sun and by mid-day I was getting some heat exhaustion. Another full-body dip in the river was required to cool off at the end.
    Trucks then took us to a horseman's home where we had a leisurely homemade lunch of rice, beans, and fresh corn tortillas prepared by the extended family's women.... really good food. Even beer to drink. Then we paid our respects to Don Rodrigo's widow enroute to Mapastepec. There we switched from trucks to taxis for the hour plus ride to Tapachula, checking into the Travel Lodge by mid-afternoon. Late in the day we birded the adjacent patches of lowland woods for White-bellied Chachalaca and others, and, on the motel grounds itself, a cooperative Giant Wren.
    28 March -- up at 4 a.m. for a very early flight Tapachula to Mexico City. I had a long lay-over there until my Mexicana flight to Los Angeles. There I had the most lengthy and pointless security search of the trip, almost making me miss the early evening flight home to Monterey.

    30 March -- after overnighting in Mexico City, an early a.m. flight to Tapachula that briefly stopped at Oaxaca. After the tour group gathered, we took 3 VW vans to some scrub woodland 50 mi. north of Tapachula, and just east of Mapastepec. Here we had Giant & Rufous-naped Wrens, Spot-breasted Oriole, and Torquoise-browed Motmot among others. "The dusty road continued interminably, becoming rougher past Colonia Guadeloupe where we met Senor Don Rodrigo (our lead horseman), to road's end at Tres de Mayo, a small strung-out village;" to quote my original daily journal. We started hiking for Paval at 3 p.m., generally following the Rio Novilleros, though nice patches of woods, reaching Paval at dusk. My field notes have a sketch of a pair of Pale-billed Woodpeckers seen on this hike.
    31 March -- after a little birding around Paval, we left on the longest hike of the trip: to Canyon Honda. To quote my journal: "As it turns out, this expedition is not an 18 mi. hike as advertised, its more like 22 or so (36 km). So today we walked about 12 miles uphill. By midday I'd reached my limit, but we trudged on with aching thighs and calves. This was amongst the most miserable days I've ever had. Aspirin and a 10-hour sleep that night helped."
    1 April -- we birded the huge trees at Canyon Honda until the sun hit them and the flocks appeared, with Azure-rumped Tanagers! Allan Keith and I had a surprise Green-fronted Hummingbird, a bit out of range. Then we hiked from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. over the western ridge into El Triunfo. Near the "strikingly beautiful ridge (tree fern, epiphyte forest)" we saw "a Coatimundi on a mossy horizontal limb." We set up camp and birded some of the trails into the cloud forest.
    2 April -- it turns out to be a very dry year at El Triunfo. We hiked various trails and began seeing many of the special birds, but no Horned Guan. I did some walking alone, and had fine views of both Singing Quail and Scaled Antpitta. After dark we called up a Fulvous Owl with the tape for good views at the edge of the clearing; also saw a Cacomistle (Ring-tailed Cat) whose howling cries would be heard every night.
    3 April -- I was an hour and a half out the Palo Gordo trail when I heard that Allan & Ben had seen two Horned Guans on the Finca Prusia trail. Hustled over there and spent much of the rest of the day, but never found them. That night we sent a runner to find Ismael Valdez-Valdez (who grew up in this montane valley); he is said to be the best guan tracker in the world.
    4 April -- followed Ismael on long, fruitless hikes on all the trails to the north -- but no Horned Guan. The clouds came in at 2 p.m., and by 4 p.m. visibility was very poor.
    5 April -- a pleasant full day at El Triunfo, catching up on the remaining species not yet seen (e.g., Unicolored Jay) but no guan. I spent several hours alone in the afternoon watching what came in to bathe at a little stream; nice set of birds, including many Neotropical migrants from the north.
    6 April -- a final hike out the Finca Prusia trail where we spent a lot of time trying to see Blue-throated Motmot (and were only partially successful). We packed up camp and left at 11:30 a.m. for Canyon Honda, arriving there 3 p.m. My notes say we "had a good dinner of spaghetti, and had very very sore tired feet."
    7 April -- the long, long hike from Canyon Honda down to Paval, including the long ridge through the oaks from 3500' to 3000' elev., and the many switchbacks above Paval. This is perhaps 12 miles.
    8 April -- To quote my journal: "After an early morning (6:30-8 a.m.) hike in a hopeless quest for Great Curassow, Kevin Zimmer and I went above Paval and finally called out, with the tape, a wonderful Tody Motmot." Then we gathered the group and Victor called out a Lesser Ground-Cuckoo in some awful cut-over scrub. We then hiked down to Tres de Mayo and were met by our 3 VW vans. A stop again in woods near Mapastepec found that a huge Turkey Vulture/Swainson's Hawk migration was underway. "We counted 85/minute, about 80% Turkey Vultures, 20% Swainson's Hawk, one Mississippi Kite. This represents about 5000/hr., or if it had been going 6 hours, some 30,000 birds!" Overnight in Tapachula.
    9 April -- brief birding around Hotel Tampico in Tapachula, then to the airport for the flights home.


Thicket Tinamou Crypturellus cinnamomeus
 1986: Heard dawn & dusk around and above Paval, but none seen despite much effort by me alone
 2002: Heard dawn & dusk at and below Limonal, and one was seen by Kent near dusk, but efforts by some of us to repeat his success were fruitless although we were very close to calling individuals
Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus
 1986: None
 2002: One seen at a river crossing near Jaltenango; others had another at river at Paval
Great Egret Ardea alba
 1986: A few in the Pacific lowlands
 2002: Several flying over Grijalva River way down in Sumidero Canyon; others at roadside puddles enroute to Jaltenango
Snowy Egret Egretta thula
 1986: A handful near Mapastepec
 2002: A few in roadside pond at Independencia, and another over river at Paval
Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea
 1986: One near Mapastepec
 2002: Two adults in roadside pond at Independencia
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
 1986: Widespread in Pacific lowlands, one at El Triunfo clearing
 2002: Widespread in interior lowlands; flock of 3 roosted daily by river at Paval
Green Heron Butorides virescens
 1986: [Others saw one near Tapachula]
 2002: One along a roadside stream below Jaltenango, another along creek below Finca Prusia
Black Vulture Coragyps atratus
 1986: Common and widespread throughout, fewer in mountains
 2002: Common and widespread throughout, fewer in mountains
Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura
 1986: Common and widespread throughout, fewer in mountains; we also hit a spectacular migration flight (see under Swainson's Hawk)
 2002: Common and widespread throughout, fewer in mountains
Mississippi Kite Ictinia mississippiensis
 1986: One with dramatic hawk flight on 8 April
 2002: None
Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus
 1986: None
 2002: I had nice views of one circling over eastern ridgeline above El Triunfo; it was of the white-breasted race chionogaster, considered a separate species ("White-breasted Hawk" or "White-bellied Hawk") by some (but not by A.O.U.)
White Hawk Leucopternis albicollis
 1986: One circling over Limonal
 2002: [a pair was seen by others below Limonal]
Gray Hawk Asturina nitida
 1986: An adult at Canyon Honda, and an imm. at Paval
 2002: A couple seen from our vans while driving to Jaltenango; one adult daily at Paval
Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris
 1986: One at Tapachula airport
 2002: One adult at the hotel at Tapachula
Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus
 1986: None
 2002: One adult soaring overhead along the road from Jaltenango to Finca Prusia
Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus
 1986: One at Paval
 2002: One light-morph adult above Jaltenango, another over El Triunfo, and two more above Canyon Honda, plus a dark-morph adult over Paval
Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni
 1986: On April 8 near Mapastepec in the Pacific lowlands we hit a huge flight day for this species and Turkey Vulture. The flight was averaging about 85 birds/minute (80% vultures, 20% hawks), or about 4000 vulture/hour and 1000 Swainson's Hawk/hour. We saw no end to the flight and it seemed to have been progress some time -- if we assume six hours of mid-day flight, that's 30,000 birds!
 2002: None
Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
 1986: One adult at Paval
 2002: Several over Sumidero Canyon, and I saw one adult at El Triunfo (others had more)
American Kestrel Falco sparverius
 1986: Several in Pacific lowlands
 2002: I saw one near Independencia (others had more)
Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula
 1986: None
 2002: One seen crossing road in Sumidero Canyon; five others near Jaltenango
White-bellied Chachalaca Ortalis leucogastra
 1986: Two seen and others heard at Paval
 2002: None at Paval (habitat much degraded) but six were in trees in patch of woods at Tapachula hotel
Crested Guan Penelope purpurascens
 1986: Three heard only at Paval
 2002: [Others heard some above Paval.]
Highland Guan Penelopina nigra
 1986: Many heard daily at El Triunfo and down to Canyon Honda; their sheet-ripping flight display sound is very dramatic, and their upslurred call note (rather like male Spotted Owl) is oft-heard. I saw one male and one female on different day.
 2002: Again, many heard daily at El Triunfo and all the way down to Paval (numbers becoming fewer at lower elevations). I had fabulous views of one female being chased by a male in the mossy canopy along the Palo Gorda trail, and saw another male well the next day.
Horned Guan Oreophasis derbianus    [photos and much more on my Horned Guan page]
 1986: [None by me; Allan Keith and Ben --(?)-- had two fly across the Finca Prusia trail into the canopy below; I hiked there as soon as I heard about but by that time (1.5 hrs later) none were found. This was a very dry year with very little fruit, and the guans most have been widely dispersed. Even Ismael couldn't locate one for the group. Obviously, missing the key bird was the disappointment of the trip.]
 2002: Fabulous! A humming male seen near the eastern crest on the Finca Prusia trail the first day, and it or another male was nearby feeding in the canopy the next morning. Then on 23 March four Horned Guans -- two adults, two immatures -- were feeding leisurely in a fruiting mulberry up the Palo Gordo trail where it begins switch-backing up the ridge. We spent an hour watching them and I shot up 90 photos, a few of which actually came out....
Singing Quail Dactylortyx thoracicus
 1986: A couple one day, and one another, were seen at El Triunfo; heard daily there
 2002: Nice views of a pair running up a hillside in the cloud forest at El Triunfo; someone saw some every day there but they can be elusive
Northern Jaçana Jaçana spinosa
 1986: None
 2002: About 20 on a pond and flooded field near Independencia
Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularia
 1986: One along the river above Tres de Mayo
 2002: One along a sluggish stream near Jaltenango; others had one at Paval
Rock Dove Columba livia
 1986: Non-natives in the coastal cities
 2002: Non-natives in interior cities
Red-billed Pigeon Columba flavirostris
 1986: Common in the lowlands, and singles recorded as high as Canyon Honda
 2002: Common in the lowlands both interior and Pacific slope; some had birds at El Triunfo
Band-tailed Pigeon Columba fasciata
 1986: Scattered small flocks at El Triunfo
 2002: A few seen on hike from Finca Prusia up to El Triunfo, and then a couple at El Triunfo itself
White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica
 1986: Common below Paval
 2002: A few in the dusty interior below Jaltenango
Inca Dove Columbina inca
 1986: A few around Tres de Mayo
 2002: Common in Sumidero Canyon and elsewhere in interior lowlands; more (10/day) at Paval
Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina
 1986: A few (10) at Mapastepec
 2002: A couple inland below Jaltenango
Ruddy Ground-Dove Columbina talpacoti
 1986: A few (5) around Tres de Mayo vicinity
 2002: A few (2-3/day) in Sumidero Canyon and elsewhere in lowland interior
White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi
 1986: Rather common (3-10/day) at Paval, but mostly just heard
 2002: Commonly heard in lowlands, both interior & Pacific side, and I saw singles at Sumidero Canyon (photo) and above Paval
White-faced Quail-Dove Geotrygon albifacies
 1986: One seen above Canyon Honda, another seen very well walking on a forest log at El Triunfo (sketch and details in field notes)
 2002: I usually at least glimpsed one most days at El Triunfo when walking alone in the forest; one flushed and perched for very close views for John and I on the Finca Prusia trail on the hike to El Triunfo
Ruddy Quail-Dove Geotrygon montana
 1986: One flew across the trail past a few of us above Paval
 2002: One heard calling above Paval; none seen by anyone this trip
Green Parakeet Aratinga holochlora
 1986: None (we did not visit the east slope or interior)
 2002: Very distant views at Sumidero Canyon but small flocks seen much better around Finca Prusia. Among the 40+ seen, all were entirely green-throated  [parakeets that may have been Pacific Parakeets A. strenua were heard or glimpsed by some above Paval]
Orange-fronted Parakeet Aratinga canicularis
 1986: Rather common at Paval (20/day)
 2002: Rather common at Paval (20/day)
Barred Parakeet Bolborhynchus lineola
 1986: One seen perched at El Triunfo, and small flock of ~10 zipping overhead; others heard
 2002: None
Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis
 1986: Rather common and widespread in Pacific lowlands up to Paval (10-20/day)
 2002: None
White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons
 1986: Two east of Mapastepec
 2002: Small flocks (~10 birds) over Paval, and then scope views of perched pair at hotel in Tapachula
Mealy Parrot Amazona farinosa
 1986: None
 2002: One large all-green Amazon parrot flying past our moving truck enroute to Jaltenango must have been this species on size; two heard and glimpsed near Paval might also have been this species
Squirrel Cuckoo Piaya cayana
 1986: Two seen between Limonal and Paval
 2002: I saw singles at Sumidero Canyon and above Paval; others had more
Striped Cuckoo Tapera naevia
 1986: One seen below Paval (responded to tape)
 2002: One seen in scrub at Paval (sat boldly out in clear view after responding to tape)
Lesser Ground-Cuckoo Morococcyx erythropygus
 1986: One called up with tape by Victor at Paval for superb views
 2002: None
Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris
 1986: Very common in Pacific lowlands (50-80/day)
 2002: Just a few inland in lowlands (Sumidero Canyon, etc.) and one at Tapachula
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum
 1986: One seen at Paval, another heard at El Triunfo
 2002: A pair seen superbly (full-frame scope views) at hotel in Tapachula
Mottled Owl Ciccaba virgata
 1986: Heard at Paval and Canyon Honda, but not seen
 2002: Heard at Paval and Limonal (up to 3 birds), but not seen
Fulvous Owl Strix fulvescens
 1986: Seen the first night at El Triunfo and heard there every night thereafter
 2002: Pair called in during the day in drizzly windy conditions out Palo Gordo trail; others heard nightly at El Triunfo
Common Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis
 1986: [Recorded by others, not me]
 2002: One calling all night long at Paval, and then I flushed one the next morning in scrub
Chuck-will's-widow Caprimulgus carolinensis
 1986: One perched briefly on top of my tent pole at dusk at Canyon Honda
 2002: [Flushed and seen by some in forest at El Triunfo]
White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris
 1986: Small flocks above Paval, and one over Canyon Honda
 2002: Small flock (10) at Paval, and a couple over El Triunfo
Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi
 1986: Common (10-30/day) in mountains
 2002: Common throughout mountains and foothills, and in Sumidero Canyon
Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila cayennensis
 1986: None
 2002: One over the hotel at Tapachula
Rufous Sabrewing Campylopterus rufus
 1986: One seen nicely above Canyon Honda
 2002: A couple below Limonal in Heliconia
Violet Sabrewing Campylopterus hemileucurus
 1986: Females at Canyon Honda and Limonal
 2002: Perched female above Finca Prusia on hike to El Triunfo, another female at El Triunfo near clearing, and a male near Canyon Honda
Green Violet-ear Colibri thalassinus
 1986: Single bird at El Triunfo
 2002: Two aggressive hummers among several species in patch of flowers out Finca Prusia trail, El Triunfo
Emerald-chinned Hummingbird Abeillia abeillei
 1986: Several below Limonal
 2002: Common at mid-elevations, both slopes (e.g., 20+ below Limonal in deciduous woods)
Coquette, sp? Lophornis sp.
 1986: None
 2002: The only coquette known from El Triunfo is Black-crested Coquette L. helenae. I had an apparent female coquette (i.e., tiny hummer with prominent complete white rump band) at a small flowering tree with purple flowers (Brad says it is Fuschia paniculata) with cinnamony underparts and thin white crescent across breast, a thinly streaked throat (like imm Selasphorus), a rufous forecrown, and rufous in tail, that better matched paintings in Peterson's Mexico guide of Rufous-crested Coquette L. delattrei. Peterson probably meant to illustrate what became Short-crested Coquette L. brachylopha (not described at the time) but apparently illustrated nominate delattrei (Costa Rica to Bolivia). I don't know what to make of this; there is apparently no Mexican record of Rufous-crested Coquette. The observation was brief and it is possible that I mistook the rump tufts of a female Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird Tilmatura dupontii for a rump band, as some of the other features are consistent (but others are not). However, my impression was a complete rump band. Many others looked for this on following days at "Don's tree" without hummer success (but lots of other birds were seen there)
Canivet's Emerald Chlorostilbon canivetii
 1986: Considered a race of Fork-tailed Emerald C. mellisugus by many authors back then, and not confidently identified although there were some "possibles"
 2002: Rather common in Sumidero Canyon; I had fine views of one male, three females (others heard)
White-eared Hummingbird Hylocharis leucotis
 1986: One above Canyon Honda, and then some "probable" females at El Triunfo
 2002: Very nice views of a male feeding at our feet near the dam at El Triunfo; others had more
Berylline Hummingbird Amazilia beryllina
 1986: Rather common from Pacific lowlands to well above Paval
 2002: Common in interior lowlands (Sumidero Cyn., Jaltenango) and the common mid-elevation hummer on Pacific slope below Limonal (50+)
Blue-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia cyanura
 1986: Not confidently identified, with a possible female near the crest above Canyon Honda
 2002: Among 75+ hummers checked in deciduous woods below Limonal, I had one male
Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila
 1986: A few singles in Pacific lowland scrub around Mapastepec
 2002: One at the hotel in Tapachula
Azure-crowned Hummingbird Amazilia cyanocephala
 1986: None
 2002: Very fine views (and photos) of male, imm. male, and prob. female (duller) at end of the road in Sumidero Canyon
Green-fronted Hummingbird Amazilia viridifrons
 1986: One perched just below Canyon Honda was studied by Allan Keith and me; sketch and description in my field notes
 2002: None
Green-throated Mountain-gem Lampornis viridipallens
 1986: The common montane hummer (2-3/typical day in forest)
 2002: The common montane hummer at El Triunfo (up to 5/day)
Amethyst-throated Hummingbird Lampornis amethystinus
 1986: A high at El Triunfo and a female at the west crest above Canyon Honda
 2002: One perched female studied near mountain-gems out the Finca Prusia trail at El Triunfo
Magnificent Hummingbird Eugenes fulgens
 1986: None
 2002: One perched male at junction of El Triunfo peak trail and the new loop trail; this patch of pines is apparently a regular locale for this species
Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris
 1986: Singles at Tapachula and Paval
 2002: Two in roadside woodlands below Jaltenango
Wine-throated Hummingbird Atthis ellioti
 1986: A female at the west crest above Canyon Honda, and a male daily at El Triunfo at his display site (photos)
 2002: [Some saw a female at the El Triunfo clearing, but not me]
Violaceous Trogon Trogon violaceus
 1986: A couple at Paval
 2002: I photographed one that Victor called up to the roadside above Jaltenango; others heard in Sumidero Canyon and around Paval
Mountain Trogon Trogon mexicanus
 1986: Pair at nest hole out Palo Gorda trail were disturbed by us during daily hikes at El Triunfo; a few others were encountered around there (photo)
 2002: I heard one or two at El Triunfo but did actually see any this trip
Collared Trogon Trogon collaris
 1986: Several seen at El Triunfo and one at Canyon Honda
 2002: Scattered birds seen above Finca Prusia and then below Limonal (1 male, 2 females)
Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno
 1986: A couple fabulously long-tailed males seen well at El Triunfo
 2002: Heard daily at El Triunfo and one male displayed for some around El Triunfo clearing; we also observed a male on a nest (long tail streamers sticking out of nest hole; photos) and I had another nice experience with a male flying over my head
Tody Motmot Hylomanes momotula
 1986: Several heard around Paval; I finally had fine views with help from Kevin Zimmer and his tape
 2002: A very obliging bird was called in to tape above Finca Prusia and remained with the group for a half-hour (allowing me to see it; I got there only after spending lots of time on the Green Shrike-Vireo). Others heard at mid-elevations, Pacific slope
Blue-throated Motmot Aspatha gularis
 1986: Heard almost daily at El Triunfo but very hard to see; I never got anything better than a glimpse of a long-tailed, appropriately sized green bird with short decurved bill dashing over the trail up in the canopy (and that was after an hour's work by Kevin with a tape)
 2002: Several heard at El Triunfo and Canyon Honda; incredibly fabulous views of one perched rather low in a pine below the west crest enroute to Canyon Honda. I surprised even myself by lying on the ground with my camera cushioned on my backpack for quite acceptable photos.
Russet-crowned Motmot Momotus mexicanus
 1986: None
 2002: I saw one of a pair found in roadside dry woods enroute to Jaltenango; apparently a stakeout spot
Blue-crowned Motmot Momotus momota
 1986: Common around Paval (up to 15/day)
 2002: Heard rather frequently from below Canyon Honda down to Paval, with singles seen nicely twice (the race here is actually black-crowned with blue rim)
Turquoise-browed Motmot Eumomota superciliosa
 1986: Reasonably common (up to 6/day) in open dry woods at Mapastepec (photo)
 2002: Several heard around Paval; one seen (and photo'd) enroute to Tres de Mayo
Ringed Kingfisher Ceryle torquata
 1986: Heard below Paval, and others saw one or two
 2002: [Others had one at Paval]
Amazon Kingfisher Chloroceryle amazona
 1986: [Recorded by some on the trip; not by me]
 2002: Two along sluggish stream below Jaltenango, and another near Finca Prusia along river
Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana
 1986: None
 2002: Two were zipping up the river at Paval while we were taking a hot afternoon dip
Emerald Toucanet Aulacorhynchus prasinus
 1986: Heard daily at El Triunfo but one a handful seen
 2002: Heard daily at El Triunfo; I did actually see any this trip but others did
Collared Araçari Pteroglossus torquatus
 1986: One seen below Paval
 2002: A couple along the stream at Paval; others heard more up to Limonal
Acorn Woodpecker Melanerpes formicivorus
 1986: Two seen above Paval
 2002: [Not recorded by me this trip, but others saw some in foothills]
Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons
 1986: A few daily at Paval and below
 2002: Several seen in woods below Jaltenango, and again at hotel in Tapachula
Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus
 1986: One or two of this dark montane race (sancturum) seen daily at El Triunfo
 2002: Pair daily near El Triunfo clearing; both were carrying food near the dam (one photo'd) and must have had a nest nearby
Golden-olive Woodpecker Piculus rubiginosus
 1986: Singles at El Triunfo on two days, and a nest observed near Paval; more at Tapachula
 2002: I saw singles below Finca Prusia and at El Triunfo; others had more down to Paval
Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus
 1986: [None recorded by me, but listed as seen by others this trip]
 2002: Nice views of one in patch of woods adjacent to hotel in Tapachula
Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis
 1986: A pair studied above Tres de Mayo (field sketch and description in my notes)
 2002: None
Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner Anabacerthia variegaticeps
 1986: Singles on about half the days in the highlands (Canyon Honda to El Triunfo)
 2002: Singles seen on a couple days at El Triunfo; others had more down past Limonal
Ruddy Foliage-gleaner Automolus rubiginosus
 1986: Single birds on two days at El Triunfo
 2002: I saw two very nicely at El Triunfo; one taped in by Victor and the other pished in when alone on Palo Gorda trail
Tawny-throated Leaftosser Sclerurus mexicanus
 1986: One at Limonal (bad photo); others had a couple more in foothills
 2002: [Others had one briefly near Canyon Honda]
Ruddy Woodcreeper Dendrocincla homochroa
 1986: None
 2002: Nice views of one perched vertically low on a trunk right over an active ant swarm
Olivaceous Woodcreeper Sittasomus griseicapillus
 1986: Singles at Paval and again just above Canyon Honda
 2002: None
Ivory-billed Woodcreeper  Xiphorhynchus flavigaster
 1986: A few (3) daily around Paval, another above Tres de Mayo in low foothills
 2002: Heard several places in foothills Paval up to Limonal, but not seen by anyone this trip
Spotted Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus erythropygius
 1986: Three on one day at El Triunfo
 2002: [None seen by me; others got one on the final day at El Triunfo]
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes souleyetii
 1986: Two at Paval
 2002: A small streaky woodcreeper briefly seen above Paval was likely this species
Spot-crowned Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes affinis
 1986: The regular woodcreeper at El Triunfo (1-2/daily); nest located and young heard begging inside
 2002: The regular woodcreeper at El Triunfo (1-2/daily)
Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus
 1986: Two males seen above Paval
 2002: Young male taped in (and photo'd) at Sumidero Canyon; another heard at Paval
Scaled Antpitta Grallaria guatimalensis
 1986: One seen very well while I was walking alone slowly out Palo Gordo trail, El Triunfo (description in my notes)
 2002: [None by me; seen by a couple others at El Triunfo
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma imberbe
 1986: One at Limonal, another below Tres de Mayo
 2002: One seen nicely at Paval
Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata
 1986: None
 2002: One seen while hiking alone in Sumidero Canyon
Paltry Tyrannulet Zimmerius vilissimus
 1986: Two below Canyon Honda and one at El Triunfo
 2002: A few daily from western ridge of El Triunfo down to below Limonal; also likely seen above Jaltenango but misidentified initially
Northern Bentbill Oncostoma cinereigulare
 1986: One seen just above Paval, and others heard in vicinity
 2002: One seen just above Paval
Eye-ringed Flatbill Rhynchocyclus brevirostris
 1986: Singles seen at El Triunfo and again above Canyon Honda
 2002: [None by me; others had one above Finca Prusia]
Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens
 1986: A few around Paval and scattered up to Canyon Honda
 2002: One seen below Limonal, others heard at Paval
Tufted Flycatcher Mitrephanes phaeocercus
 1986: Fairly common (4-5/day) at El Triunfo
 2002: Fairly common (3-4/day) at El Triunfo
Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi
 1986: A few from Paval up to above 3000' elev.
 2002: [None but me; others had one at El Triunfo]
Greater Pewee Contopus pertinax
 1986: One above Canyon Honda
 2002: One calling in pine forest we traversed enroute Jaltenango to Finca Prusia
Western Wood-Pewee Contopus sordidulus
 1986: This is presumably the wintering pewee in foothills; 1 i.d.'d on calls
 2002: This is presumably the wintering pewee in foothills (1-2/day) but not confidently i.d.'s
Eastern Wood-Pewee Contopus virens
 1986: One calling and studied above Tres de Mayo by Allan Keith and me seemed to be this species
 2002:  A pewee giving "pweee" calls and chip notes above Paval (and photo'd) showed some characters of this taxa (no dark spots on undertail, some head/back contrast, much yellow to lower mandible) but it is hard to be sure. Migrants might be present by now
Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus
 1986: Several around Paval
 2002: None
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris
 1986: One studied above Tres de Mayo (description in notes)
 2002: [Others reported one above Paval]
Willow Flycatcher Empidonax traillii
 1986: None
 2002: A silent "Traill's" without an eyering along stream in El Triunfo clearing was presumably this species on wintering range
Least Flycatcher Empidonax minimus
 1986: Singles on four days at various spots from below Paval to near Canyon Honda
 2002: One nicely studied at length at Paval
Hammond's Flycatcher Empidonax hammondii
 1986: A couple near Paval and then most days around El Triunfo clearing
 2002: The common Empid around El Triunfo clearing (3-4/day; photos)
White-throated Flycatcher Empidonax albigularis
 1986: None
 2002: A very obliging Empid studied at length (including full frame scope views) along river at Jaltenango fits this species best; White-throated winters in marshes but migrates to highlands and our date (19 March) may be fine for migrants. Closest to Dusky Flycatcher but lower mandible not narrow and all-yellow (in scope views), primary extension short, and a bit paler below and grayer above than usual Dusky
Dusky Flycatcher Empidonax oberholseri
 1986: One below Paval was believed to be this species, although I now note (2002) that its status in Chiapas is uncertain (Howell & Webb). I don't have notes on this bird
 2002: None
Yellowish Flycatcher Empidonax flavescens
 1986: Rather common (3-6/day) in highlands, El Triunfo down to Canyon Honda
 2002: Common (4-6/day) in highlands, El Triunfo down to Canyon Honda; call sounds like squeaky toy
Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans
 1986: None
 2002: One along river at Jaltenango, another at Finca Prusia, and one at Paval
Vermilion Flycatcher Pyrocephalus rubinus
 1986: None
 2002: A male was at a roadside pond near Independencia
Bright-rumped Attila Attila spadiceus
 1986:One seen hanging around a wasp's nest near Paval (photo), and several heard between Paval and Limonal
 2002: A few heard between Limonal and Paval
Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer
 1986: Several between Paval and Canyon Honda
 2002: Rather common in Sumidero Canyon; scattered birds seen or heard in foothills, both slopes
Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus
 1986: One or two each day around Paval
 2002: One seen above Paval
Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus
 1986: Common in Pacific lowlands (up to 20+/day), up to Paval
 2002: Common around Tapachula and others below Jaltenango
Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua
 1986: Scattered birds above Tres de Mayo, at Paval, and at Limonal
 2002: Common in Sumidero Canyon, also birds at Jaltenango and above Paval
Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis
 1986: Common in lowlands and foothills to well above Paval
 2002: Common in lowlands and foothills (both sides) and a pair as high as Limonal (4200' elev.)
Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher Myiodynastes luteiventris
 1986: Several (2-4/day) from Tres de Mayo to Paval
 2002: Singles near Jaltenango and again below Paval (photo)
Piratic Flycatcher Legatus leucophaius
 1986: A pair at Paval
 2002: Several pairs around Paval
Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus
 1986: Common in lowlands at Mapastepec
 2002: Common in Sumidero Canyon and vicinity; one at Paval
Western Kingbird Tyrannus verticalis
 1986: One near Mapastepec
 2002: Rather common migrant/winterer inland in open fields below Jaltenango
Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus
 1986: One near Mapastepec
 2002: None
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus
 1986: Several from Tapachula  to Mapastepec, both visits
 2002: [Others had some near Jaltenango]
Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savana
 1986: None.
 2002: One in open fields below Jaltenango
Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae
 1986: One at pair and a couple pairs at El Triunfo, including one pair nest-building
 2002: I saw a male at El Triunfo and a female at Paval; others had more
Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata
 1986: A few around Paval
 2002: A pair at river by Jaltenango, more above Jaltenango, and others had some at Paval
Long-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia linearis
 1986: Common around Paval and above, but only a couple seen
 2002: Heard commonly from Limonal to Paval but only two males seen (but well!) by me
Cassin's Vireo Vireo cassinii
 1986: None separately identified (see next species)
 2002: One in dry forest above Paval was my only one; others reported a few more
Blue-headed Vireo Vireo solitarius
 1986: Two "Solitary Vireos" at El Triunfo were probably this taxa
 2002: Singles at El Triunfo, Canyon Honda, and below Finca Prusia were this bright eastern species; others had more. This seems the most common of the 'Solitary Vireo' complex wintering in the highlands
Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus
 1986: Common in the lowlands and foothills of Pacific slope up to Paval
 2002: Common in the lowlands and foothills of Pacific slope up to Paval, plus 8+ in fruiting tree with many vireos enroute to Finca Prusia
Brown-capped Vireo Vireo leucophrys
 1986: None recorded by me but others reported some
 2002: A singing male was near Canyon Honda (photo'd); another was well-studied in a fruiting tree with many vireos enroute to Finca Prusia
Red-eyed Vireo Vireo olivaceus
 1986: Singles at Paval and near Tapachula were wintering migrants
 2002: None
Yellow-green Vireo Vireo flavoviridis
 1986: A few daily at Paval
 2002: One at Paval, another below Finca Prusia
Lesser Greenlet Hylophilus decurtalus
 1986: Two below Paval
 2002: One in mixed flock below Limonal
Chestnut-sided Shrike-Vireo Vireolanius melitophrys
 1986: This fabulous bird was heard daily around Canyon Honda but seen only with tape-playback by Kevin Zimmer there
 2002: Several heard on the hike from El Triunfo to Canyon Honda (and a few actually saw one at El Triunfo itself); I found a singing male below Canyon Honda when alone and got photos -- it stayed in the same area and eventually many of the group got to see this individual
Green Shrike-Vireo Vireolanius pulchellus
 1986: None
 2002: Two were calling vigorously along the lower portion of the trail from Finca Prusia to El Triunfo (so at about 4800' elev.) but were extremely hard to see in the tall canopy despite tape playback. Eventually everyone else left to chase a Tody Motmot reported farther up the trail and I stayed behind. Eventually the birds quit calling and then I saw both of them vigorously scolding and chasing each other lower down in the tree (but still 50' off the ground) -- must have been two males at the edge of their territory. I had very fine views but, despite shouting as loud as I could, no one heard me and no one else saw this species this trip.
Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis
 1986: Heard daily in lowlands, seen once
 2002: Heard in Sumidero Canyon (and one seen) and again at Paval
White-throated Magpie-Jay Calocitta formosa
 1986: Common in Pacific lowlands (8+/day)
 2002: Fairly common around Jaltenango (5/day); others had more below Paval
Green Jay Cyanocorax yncas
 1986: Common (~10/day) in dry foothill woods up to Paval
 2002: Several seen in Sumidero Canyon and around Jaltenango; others had more at Paval
Black-throated Jay Cyanolyca pumilo
 1986: Heard most days at El Triunfo but only a small group seen on one day
 2002: This rather secretive endemic montane jay was elusive at El Triunfo, but I had the good fortune to watch an adult feeding a full-sized youngster for quite a long period (and take photos)
Unicolored Jay Aphelocoma unicolor
 1986: Singles seen well on two days at El Triunfo
 2002: A larger jay than the preceding species, small groups (2-3) were seen on two days at El Triunfo and heard on the other days
Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea
 1986: [Recorded by others, not by me]
 2002: Three were over Jaltenango at dusk while we were drinking beer in the plaza
Violet-green Swallow Tachycineta thalassina
 1986: Small flock (~15) on one day over El Triunfo
 2002: None
Black-capped Swallow Notiochelidon pileata
 1986: [Seen by others, not by me]
 2002: Several pairs were nesting in burrows on a road-cut below Finca Prusia; we stopped for very close views (but the swallows were too flighty for photos)
Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis
 1986: None
 2002: Widespread in the lowlands, both interior and on Pacific side (e.g., at Tapachula)
Ridgway's Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx ridgwayi
 1986: None
 2002: Several of this taxa were seen in Sumidero Canyon; compared to Northern Rough-wings they look a bit darker, have darkish undertail coverts, and give quite different calls. The A.O.U. does not currently split as a separate species but others (e.g., Howell & Webb) do
Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva
 1986: A couple at Limonal were i.d.'d as this species but I'm not sure how Cliff Swallow was eliminated (it is apparently the more usual species here), and more Caves were at the Oaxaca airport where the plane to Tapachula briefly stopped
 2002: None
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
 1986: Very common (100+) in Pacific lowlands around Mapastepec, others at Limonal
 2002: A few around Tapachula and others had more in the interior lowlands
Giant Wren Campylorhynchus chiapensis
 1986: A dueting pair taped up in thornscrub near Mapastepec; the world's largest wren is an endemic to the Pacific lowlands of Chiapas
 2002: One or two at the hotel in Tapachula; large nest also seen
Rufous-naped Wren Campylorhynchus rufinucha
 1986: A pair in thornscrub near Mapastepec
 2002: None
Spot-breasted Wren Thryothorus maculipectus
 1986: Two seen at Paval with help from the tape
 2002: [Others heard some at Paval and vicinity, and some glimpsed one]
Rufous-and-white Wren Thryothorus rufalbus
 1986: Several in undergrowth between Paval and Canyon Honda
 2002: Fair numbers heard between Canyon Honda and Paval; two nicely seen in thick undergrowth (once with a tape, once without)
Plain Wren Thryothorus modestus
 1986: A couple seen between Paval and Limonal
 2002: Rather common at Paval, where 3 seen and others heard
House Wren Troglodytes aedon
 1986: None
 2002: One in Sumidero Canyon. This is the "Southern House-Wren T. musculus" if one splits House Wren into several species.
Rufous-browed Wren Troglodytes rufociliatus
 1986: Fairly common in undergrowth at El Triunfo, several seen
 2002: [None seen or even heard by me this trip although others had several; they weren't singing in the rain]
White-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucosticta
 1986: One seen in lowlands near Mapastepec
 2002: Heard from Paval to Limonal, but I didn't see any (Victor saw one at Limonal)
Gray-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucophrys
 1986: Common in highlands Canyon Honda to El Triunfo (20/day typical)
 2002:  Common in highlands El Triunfo to Canyon Honda; fair numbers actually seen scurrying about in undergrowth and even feeding with ant swarms
Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus
 1986: One between Paval and Canyon Honda
 2002: None
Brown-backed Solitaire Myadestes occidentalis
 1986: Common in forest from Canyon Honda & above; ~20 daily at El Triunfo, but seen only a few times
 2002: Commonly heard daily at El Triunfo, and some courtship flights witnessed; two flushed from trailside nests (holes in banks where trail cut through) on hike to Canyon Honda
Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush Catharus aurantiirostris
 1986: Four in dry forest from Canyon Honda to Limonal
 2002: Singles seen in Sumidero Canyon (on my noon walk) and below Limonal in dry woods, others heard
Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush Catharus frantzii
 1986: One or two daily on trails in forest around El Triunfo
 2002: A handful seen around El Triunfo, most often in ant swarms crossing trails
Spotted Nightingale-Thrush Catharus dryas
 1986: A couple seen daily around El Triunfo, including the edge of the clearing
 2002: Seen daily at El Triunfo (up to 5/day), including at ant swarms but also solitary birds
Swainson's Thrush Catharus ustulatus
 1986: Up to 10/day at mid-elevations but only a handful in the cloud forest of El Triunfo
 2002: Common daily, and especially at mid-elevations below Canyon Honda (up to 50+/day, mostly heard), but also at fruiting trees at El Triunfo, including trees with Horned Guans
Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina
 1986: One at Canyon Honda
 2002: [One seen by others near El Triunfo clearing on trail to dam]
Rufous-collared Robin Turdus rufitorques
 1986: One at El Triunfo clearing
 2002: None
Black Robin Turdus infuscatus
 1986: Common from El Triunfo to Canyon Honda but many more heard than seen
 2002: Common from El Triunfo to Canyon Honda but many more heard than seen
Mountain Robin Turdus plebejus
 1986: One at Canyon Honda and usually 1/day at El Triunfo
 2002: I saw only one (Palo Gorda trail) but recorded daily by the group at El Triunfo
Clay-colored Robin Turdus grayi
 1986: A handful seen in lowlands of Pacific slope from Tapachula to Paval
 2002: Common in Pacific lowlands (Tapachula, Paval) and interior (e.g., Sumidero Cyn); others recorded one daily up at El Triunfo
White-throated Robin Turdus assimilis
 1986: Reasonably common around Paval (5/day)
 2002: I saw birds only at ant swarms in dry woods below Limonal (up to 3/day) but others had more
Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis
 1986: One at El Triunfo
 2002: [Others had one above Finca Prusia]
Blue-and-white Mockingbird Melanotis hypoleucus
 1986: One in thickets at edge of El Triunfo clearing was hard to see (but I finally did)
 2002: None; these have apparently disappeared from El Triunfo
Gray Silky-flycatcher Ptilogonys cinereus
 1986: Scattered birds from Canyon Honda up to El Triunfo (up to 15/day)
 2002: I saw only one although more were seen by others; numbers were down this year
Tennessee Warbler Vermivora peregrina
 1986: Recorded daily but in small numbers except at Paval, where common
 2002: Singles on a few days at El Triunfo but very common from Limonal to Paval (up to 40/day)
Nashville Warbler Vermivora ruficapilla
 1986: A few scattered birds here and there throughout
 2002: I saw singles at Sumidero Canyon and below Limonal; others had more
Crescent-chested Warbler Parula superciliosa
 1986: Heard rather commonly from El Triunfo to Canyon Honda but only one actually seen well
 2002: A few heard around El Triunfo but I didn't actually see one this trip
Yellow Warbler Dendroica petechia
 1986: A few scattered birds, mostly at lower elevations; one at El Triunfo
 2002: Rather common in Sumidero Canyon, and one at hotel in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, but I did not see the few reported by others elsewhere
Magnolia Warbler Dendroica magnolia
 1986: Scattered individuals, mostly in Pacific lowlands, and up to Canyon Honda
 2002: One to three in the interior lowlands at Sumidero and enroute to Finca Prusia
Yellow-rumped Warbler Dendroica coronata
 1986: I saw one at El Triunfo
 2002: [Others had a few singles at El Triunfo and below; I did not]
Black-throated Green Warbler Dendroica virens
 1986: A few scattered birds, mostly in highlands
 2002: Rather common in interior (e.g., Sumidero and above Jaltenango) but only a handful at El Triunfo or during hike down Pacific side
Townsend's Warbler Dendroica townsendi
 1986: A few daily at El Triunfo and down to Canyon Honda
 2002: Common daily in mountains from El Triunfo to Limonal; often
feeding on the ground like sparrows in the El Triunfo clearing during stormy weather
Hermit Warbler Dendroica occidentalis
 1986: One in oak woods below Limonal
 2002: One bright adult male in El Triunfo clearing, feeding on the ground during rainstorm
Yellow-throated Warbler Dendroica dominica
 1986: None
 2002: I had one in flowering tree near hotel in Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Grace's Warbler Dominica graciae
 1986: [One reported; not seen by me]
 2002: Fairly common (some singing) in pine forest traversed enroute Jaltenango to Finca Prusia
Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia
 1986: A few at mid-elevations Paval to Canyon Honda
 2002: Recorded almost daily by someone; I had birds from Sumidero to El Triunfo
Worm-eating Warbler Helmitheros vermivorus
 1986: One at El Triunfo
 2002: Singles watched foraging low at El Triunfo and below Canyon Honda
Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapillus
 1986: Up to four/day on hike up Pacific side to Canyon Honda; one at El Triunfo
 2002: None by me this trip [others had one at El Triunfo]
Northern Waterthrush Seiurus noveboracensis
 1986: One along stream above Paval
 2002: [Others had one along stream at El Triunfo]
Mourning Warbler Oporornis philadelphia
 1986: One at Paval and another male at El Triunfo
 2002: None this trip
MacGillivray's Warbler Oporornis tolmiei
 1986: One seen daily around Paval
 2002: One on both days birding around Paval
Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas
 1986: None
 2002: One along river at Jaltenango in interior
Wilson's Warbler Wilsonia pusilla
 1986: Very common in highlands but recorded daily throughout
 2002: Very common in highlands (20+ every day from C. Honda to El Triunfo)
Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus
 1986: Common throughout in woodlands at all elevations  (15/day typical)
 2002: Common throughout in woodlands at all elevations  (10-20/day typical)
Painted Redstart Myioborus picta
 1986: None
 2002: One in the pine forest traversed enroute Jaltenango to Finca Prusia
Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens
 1986: [One seen by others]
 2002: One nicely seen in scrub at Paval
Fan-tailed Warbler Euthlypis lachrymosa
 1986: Singles on several days between Paval and Canyon Honda
 2002: I saw one on the hike up from Finca Prusia, and then saw 8+ at an ant swarm below Limonal (others had up to 30 at another ant swarm below Canyon Honda)
Golden-crowned Warbler Basileuterus culicivorus
 1986: A few around Canyon Honda
 2002: A few daily from Canyon Honda to Limonal
Rufous-capped Warbler Basileuterus rufifrons
 1986: A few daily in the lowlands, mostly Paval vicinity
 2002: One at Paval (and others had one near Finca Prusia)
Golden-browed Warbler Basileuterus belli
 1986: Fairly common daily at El Triunfo (2-5/day typical)
 2002: Fairly common daily at El Triunfo (2-5/day typical) where quite tame when encountered
Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus
 1986: Common in mountain forests Canyon Honda to El Triunfo (15/day typical)
 2002: Common in mountain forests Canyon Honda to El Triunfo (10-20/day typical)
Red-throated Ant-Tanager Habia fuscicauda
 1986: Daily (1-3/day) at Paval
 2002: One male briefly visited a fruiting tree at Limonal
Hepatic Tanager Piranga flava
 1986: None
 2002: One male in the pine forest traversed enroute Jaltenango to Finca Prusia
Summer Tanager Piranga rubra
 1986: One at Limonal
 2002: One male in riparian stand along river at Jaltenango; others had more on Pacific side
Western Tanager Piranga ludoviciana
 1986: Common (up to 25/day) in foothill woodlands up to Limonal
 2002: A few daily at mid-elevations (Paval to Canyon Honda) plus a female in Sumidero Cyn
Flame-colored Tanager Piranga bidentata
 1986: A few most days at El Triunfo (1-3/day); heard down to Canyon Honda
 2002: The group recorded it daily at Triunfo and down to Canyon Honda; I had a few up there. This race (sanguinolenta) is much redder than the orangey northern Mexico birds which are vagrants to Arizona.
White-winged Tanager Spermagra leucoptera
 1986: One photo'd below Limonal
 2002: About 3 were in loose flock in oaks below Limonal (backlit photos); this is a very small tanager (not much bigger than a goldfinch) and cherry-red in color
Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus
 1986: None
 2002: Two in scrub above Jaltenango, and two at hotel in Tapachula
Yellow-winged Tanager Thraupis abbas
 1986: Two in scrub below Paval
 2002: Rather common (3-10/day) in scrub & fruit trees at Jaltenango, and again around Paval
Scrub Euphonia Euphonia affinis
 1986: Seen daily in Pacific lowlands up to about 3000' elev.
 2002: One male in scrubby edge to fields near Independencia, and then rather common (3-8/day) in dry woods from about 3000' elev. on Pacific side and below (photos)
Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea
 1986: [Recorded by others on Pacific slope]
 2002: Common in Sumidero Canyon (male photo'd eating fruit)
Elegant (Blue-hooded) Euphonia Euphonia elegantissima
 1986: A pair at El Triunfo and another near Limonal
 2002: Scarce around El Triunfo (I saw one male plus one pair) but someone recorded it daily there, and then a few down to Limonal
Blue-crowned Chlorophonia Chlorophonia occipitalis
 1986: Daily around Canyon Honda; a few scattered birds at El Triunfo
 2002: Small numbers daily at El Triunfo and down to Limonal (photos); likes mossy limbs and epiphytes
Azure-rumped Tanager Tangara cabanisi
 1986: One or two pairs seen each visit to Canyon Honda; singing male tape-recorded by Zimmer (and distantly photo'd by me). Obviously, this is one of the ultimate prize birds of the trip
 2002: Small flock of 5 at Canyon Honda (photo) plus a pair just above Limonal in early morning; all coming to fruiting trees when the sun first hits the trees
Red-legged Honeycreeper Cyanerpes cyaneus
 1986: Common daily (10/day typical) from lowlands to Canyon Honda
 2002: A few in fruiting tree enroute to Finca Prusia, and then a few daily around Paval
Blue-black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina
 1986: One at Paval
 2002: A small flock in scrubby open roadside fields near Independencia
White-collared Seedeater Sporophila torqueola
 1986: One male singing at Tapachula airport
 2002: Pair in roadside scrub near Independencia, and female about Jaltenango in scrub
Variable Seedeater Sporophila aurita
 1986: None
 2002: Two all-black males in roadside scrub near Independencia
Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer Diglossa baritula
 1986: I saw singles at El Triunfo and Canyon Honda; others had more
 2002: [I didn't see any this trip but others reported it almost daily at El Triunfo]
Yellow-throated (White-naped) Brush-Finch Atlapetes guttarallus
 1986: Pair seen at El Triunfo; a secretive bird
 2002: [Others saw birds at El Triunfo, although I didn't make an effort this trip. The A.O.U. currently considers these yellow-throated birds to be a subspecies of A. albinucha (White-naped Brush-Finch) although others (e.g., Howell) disagree.]
Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch Buarremon brunneinuchus
 1986: Fairly common in highlands; 2-6/day at El Triunfo and down to Canyon Honda
 2002: Fairly common in highlands; 3-4/day in undergrowth at El Triunfo, sometimes at ant swarms
Prevost's Ground-Sparrow Melozone biarcuatum
 1986: Several daily at Paval
 2002: Common in thickets (6/day in minimal efforts) at Paval
White-eared Ground-Sparrow Melozone leucotis
 1986: I saw a pair above Canyon Honda and another near Paval
 2002: I saw two pairs in dense undergrowth above Paval
Lincoln's Sparrow Melospiza lincolnii
 1986: Singles at Paval and a couple days at El Triunfo
 2002: One bird in a thicket at Paval
Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
 1986: A few (3-5/day) at El Triunfo, esp. around the clearing
 2002: [I didn't actually see any this trip although they were regular at El Triunfo clearing by others]
Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens
 1986: Singles on both visits to Paval
 2002: [None by me; others had birds at Paval and near Jaltenango]
Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps
 1986: Fairly common (up 10/day) in foothills at Paval and below
 2002: Two at Paval
Yellow Grosbeak Pheucticus chrysopeplus
 1986: A few daily at El Triunfo around clearing
 2002: Several pairs daily at El Triunfo around clearing; they like streamside and forest edge
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus
 1986: Recorded daily except in cloud forest (1-5/day, more at lower elevations)
 2002: I saw a young male at Canyon Honda; others had more, mostly at lower elevations
Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea
 1986: Two below Paval
 2002: Several in open country of interior both above and below Jaltenango; others had more at Paval
Painted Bunting Passerina ciris
 1986: Single males at Paval and at El Triunfo clearing; female also near Canyon Honda
 2002: [Others had one at Paval]
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
 1986: None
 2002: Small flocks in wet fields in interior on drive to Jaltenango
Melodious Blackbird Dives dives
 1986: Singles daily at El Triunfo clearing, and a few more at Paval
 2002: Singles daily at El Triunfo clearing, and a few more at Paval
Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus
 1986: Abundant in lowlands, a few as high as Paval
 2002: Abundant in lowlands, a few as high as Paval
Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus
 1986: [Recorded by others, not me]
 2002: Huge dense flocks in agricultural land below Jaltenango; one at Paval
Black-vented Oriole Icterus wagleri
 1986: One male in thornscrub near Mapastepec
 2002: [Others had one or two in Sumidero Canyon and near Jaltenango]
Orchard Oriole Icterus spurius
 1986: Singles near Paval both visits
 2002: I had a half-dozen at a flowering tree in Tuxtla Gutiérrez; others had a few more near Jaltenango
Streak-backed Oriole Icterus pustulatus
 1986: None
 2002: Common in Sumidero Canyon (photos); a couple more above Jaltenango
Spot-breasted Oriole Icterus pectoralis
 1986: One near Paval
 2002: A couple at Paval
Altamira Oriole Icterus gularis
 1986: Rather common (6-8/day) below Paval
 2002: Fairly common (8/day) at Paval plus one nest-building at hotel in Tapachula
Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula
 1986: Several (2-5/day) in lowlands around Paval each day
 2002: A dozen at my flowering tree in Tuxtla Gutiérrez (including full ad. males) plus scattered birds on the hike down the Pacific slope
Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii
 1986: One in Tapachula
 2002: None
Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus
 1986: One or two on each visit to Paval
 2002: One seen immediately above Paval
Yellow-winged Cacique Cacicus melanicterus
 1986: A few in the vicinity of Mapastepec
 2002: One in flight while in transit below Jaltenango
Lesser Goldfinch Carduelis psaltria
 1986: None
 2002: Pair near Independencia
Black-headed Siskin Carduelis notata
 1986: None
 2002: One male perched and viewed in the scope above Jaltenango was a surprise

Recorded by others but missed by me in 1986: Great Black-Hawk, Barred Forest-Falcon, Laughing Falcon (heard), Pacific Screech-Owl (heard at Paval), Lesser Nighthawk, Garnet-throated Hummingbird, Common Tody-Flycatcher, Stub-tailed Spadebill, Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Golden-winged Warbler (one by Allan Keith at El Triunfo), Blackburnian Warbler, American Redstart, Kentucky Warbler (one reported), Red-faced Warbler, Red-crowned Ant-Tanager (one reported below Paval), Blue Grosbeak (Paval).

Recorded by others but missed by me in 2002 (and not seen by me in 1986, either): King Vulture, White-tailed Kite, Great Black-Hawk, Black Hawk-Eagle, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Laughing Falcon (heard), Crested Caracara, Bat Falcon, Pheasant Cuckoo (heard by others), Lesser Roadrunner (seen at Sumidero by everyone else when I was off by myself), Black-and-white Owl (seen by some pre-dawn at Paval), Ruby-throated Hummingbird (females by some at Sumidero), Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Belted Flycatcher (one heard in Sumidero Canyon, but this potential lifer not seen), Plumbeous Vireo, Banded Wren (heard in Sumidero Canyon, but this potential lifer not seen), Blue-winged Warbler (one by Greg Osland above Finca Prusia), American Redstart, Kentucky Warbler (one reported), Gray-crowned Yellowthroat (one near Jaltenango by some), Olive Sparrow (seen by some at Sumidero Canyon; I only heard the 'tic' notes), Blue Grosbeak (Paval), Eastern Meadowlark (inland fields), Hooded Grosbeak (seen by a few at El Triunfo; I heard some in flight but did not see them).


Bats -- unknown small bats overhead at dusk at various places, both trips.
Cacomistle ("Ring-tailed Cat") Bassariscus sumichrasti
    1986: One seen at edge of El Triunfo clearing at night with spotlight; others heard nightly there. This is a different species than the Ringtail B. astutus that ranges to w. United States.
    2002: Heard nightly El Triunfo, Canyon Honda, and Limonal -- but none seen
White-nosed Coatimundi Nasua marica
    1986: One seen during the day on a mossy limb above Canyon Honda. This is the same coatimundi that occurs in sw. U.S.
    2002: None
Gray Fox Vulpes cinereoargenteus
    1986: One seen stealing scraps from our campsite at Canyon Honda after dusk; this is the same Gray Fox as in California
    2002: None
Red Brocket Deer Mazama americana
    1986: None
    2002: [Seen on two days at El Triunfo by others, but not by me.]
Deppe's Squirrel Sciurus deppei
    1986: Several from Canyon Honda to El Triunfo
    2002: Common at El Triunfo and seen daily (photos), and also present down the Pacific side all the way to Paval
Variegated Squirrel Sciurus variegatoides
    1986: None
    2002: One put on a good show in a patch of woods adjacent to the Travel Lodge in Tapachula

Others saw unidentified mice, and a Mexican Gray Squirrel was reported in 2002. In addition, there was evidence (tracks, scat, etc.) of the presence of peccaries, tapir (El Triunfo), and puma. Fifty years ago, jaguars were said to be common in these forests.

For reptiles & amphibians, see my Herps of El Triunfo page.







Page created 13-16 Apr 2002