Since I’m literally counting the days until I attend the Fifth International Birdwatching Encounter in Guatemala (it’s not too late to register!), I’m ready to share a very special series of photos I’ve been saving since my last trip there.

After a couple of days kicking around Guatemala City and Antigua, our horde of rabid birders took a plane north to the Peten region, home of the mighty Tikal temple complex as well as countless other lesser-known but still stupendous locales. Among a kaleidoscope of memorable moments was our bounteous breakfast on the shore of Lake Peten-Itza. Of course, once everyone had enjoyed a rich morning repast, out came the optics. Birders from across the Americas and points beyond lined the balcony to scope a variety of waders and rallids. It’s not like we hadn’t seen Purple Gallinules before; it’s just that you’d be hard-pressed to find a more ravishing or resplendent bird anywhere. The acts of uncanny agility and balance is a bonus…

Did that gallinule just hop on the fence?

Careful now…

Check out those enormous splayed toes.

Almost there…

And the dismount!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.