Malign meteorological conditions over the northeastern United States couldn’t keep me from coming home to share tales of high adventure through the central and western highlands of Guatemala. The trip was by all accounts a rousing success, one that I look forward to unpacking over the coming weeks. But those of you steeped in Central American avian lore probably care about one bird above all the rest. Any time a birder visits this particular part of the world, a single question rises above the rest…
“Did you get the guan?”
Of course, by this, one means the Horned Guan. Oreophasis derbianus is touted by some as the sixth rarest bird in the world. I prefer Rick Wright’s description of this tremendous black and white cracid as possibly one of the five most coveted birds to see in the Americas. In any case, bird watchers visiting the right regions of Guatemala or Chiapas, Mexico usually make a sometimes futile but invariably grueling run at a glimpse of this great guan.
It’ll take some time for me to get to the Volcan San Pedro leg of my trip but I’m not going to leave you in suspense. Did I and my companions get the guan?
You bet we did!