PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program

PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program focuses on bird studies in Mesoamerica, with an emphasis on Guatemala, including evaluation of local avifauna, the natural history of birds, evaluation of the status of threatened species, and identifying critical areas for conservation. The program helps to develop awareness towards nature conservation among local people and provides information for conservation projects.

Unspotted Saw-whet Owl


Owls of Guatemala 2017
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2017) The owls of Guatemala. 447-515 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Neotropical owls: diversity and conservation. Springer, Cham, Switzerland.
Natural history of birds in Guatemala


  • Assess the status of threatened species.
  • Assess the distribution of local avifauna.
  • Study the natural history of bird species.
  • Identify critical areas for conservation.
  • Assess long-term bird population changes.
  • Conserve important habitat.
  • Build local capacity and provide public education.
  • Promote citizen science.

Summary of accomplishments

Bird diversity and distribution in Guatemala

Assessments of local avifaunas and bird distribution

  • Birds in Guatemala (Eisermann & Avendaño 2006, 2007). more
  • Distribution and conservation of owls (Strigiformes) in Guatemala. more
  • Avifauna at Cerro El Amay Important Bird Area (IBA GT006). more
  • Shorebirds on the Guatemalan Atlantic coast (Eisermann 2009).
  • Avifauna of the high-elevation cloud forest at Montaña Caquipec, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala (Eisermann & Schulz 2002, 2005).
  • Several smaller contributions to the knowledge of bird distribution in Guatemala, such as hawk migration (Heinrichs et al. 2006), Crested Eagle Morphnus guianensis in Tikal (Grijalva & Eisermann 2006), noteworthy bird records in Alta Verapaz (Eisermann 2005b), American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos in interior Guatemala (Eisermann & Avendaño 2004), noteworthy records from Punta de Manabique (Eisermann 2003c), and others.
  • The project director served as the country coordinator to compile noteworthy bird records from Guatemala published in North American Birds from 2004 to 2015, and as editor of eBird Guatemala from 2008 to 2015.
Highland Guan Penelopina nigra

Natural history of bird species more

  • Comprehensive natural history of the Highland Guan Penelopina nigra (Eisermann et al. 2006, Eisermann 2012). more
  • Natural history of the Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno (Eisermann 2013, Schulz & Eisermann 2012). more
  • Vocalizations of Guatemalan Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium cobanense (Eisermann & Howell 2011, Howell & Eisermann 2011). more
  • Vocalizations of Unspotted Saw-whet Owl Aegolius ridgwayi (Eisermann 2013). more
  • Nesting ecology, juvenile plumage, and vocalizations of Azure-rumped Tanager (Eisermann et al. 2011a,b,c). more
  • Nesting of Horned Guan at Atitlán volcano (Eisermann et al. 2007).
  • Noteworthy nesting records of several species, including the first nesting record for the Azure-hooded Jay Cyanolyca cucullata in Guatemala (Eisermann & Brooks 2006).
  • Coloration anomaly in the Collared Trogon Trogon collaris (Eisermann & Omland 2007).
  • Indication of altitudinal migration of Slate-colored Solitaire Myadestes unicolor and Common Bush-Tanager Chlorospingus ophthalmicus in the Montaña Sacranix (Eisermann 2005).
  • Foliage-bathing behavior of an Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus (Eisermann 2005a).
Bearded Screech-Owl, vulnerable
Bearded Screech-Owl Megascops barbarus (Vulnerable).

Threatened species status assessments more

  • Evaluation of the status of the Bearded Screech-Owl Megascops barbarus which led to the species being upgraded from Near Threatened to Vulnerable on the BirdLife/IUCN Red List of globally threatened bird species in 2012.
  • Evaluation of the status of the endangered Azure-rumped Tanager Tangara cabanisi in Guatemala (Eisermann 2011a,b, Eisermann et al. 2011a,b). more
  • Evaluation of the tatus and recent sightings of the Ocellated Quail Cyrtonyx ocellatus (Eitniear & Eisermann 2009).
  • Evaluation of the status of the Highland Guan Penelopina nigra (Eisermann et al. 2006); the Great Curassow Crax rubra in Punta de Manabique, Izabal, Guatemala (Eisermann 2004); and the Yellow-headed Parrot Amazona oratrix on the Guatemalan Atlantic coast (Eisermann 2003 a, b).
  • Contributions to IUCN/BirdLife International's Red List assessments of the Highland Guan, Horned Guan Oreophasis derbianus, Ocellated Quail, Yellow-headed Parrot, Keel-billed Motmot Electron carinatum, Pink-headed Warbler Cardellina versicolor, Azure-rumped Tanager, Bearded Screech-Owl, and Belted Flycatcher Xenotriccus callizonus.

Identification of critical areas for conservation

  • Data of the PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program were one of the main sources for identifying Important Bird Areas in Guatemala (Eisermann 2007a,b, Eisermann & Avendaño 2009a,b,c). more

Habitat conservation:

  • This program provided funding for the expansion of the Chelemhá cloud forest reserve, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala (Eisermann 2008). more
  • The program provides data to PROEVAL RAXMU's and other conservation projects. more
Capacity building by PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program
Research team of PROEVAL RAXMU Bird Monitoring Program in the cloud forest of Montaña Yalijux.

Local capacity building and public education

  • Farmers in Maya Q'eqchi' villages along an altitudinal gradient from 300 to 2500 m learned how to identify birds by voice and sight and how to conduct bird counts. more
  • The program has supported Christmas Bird Counts in Guatemala since 2006 (Eisermann 2010, 2011c). more
  • The program regulary publishes in non-technical popular magazines (Eisermann 2003b, 2007a,b, 2008, 2010, 2011a,c, Eisermann & Avendaño 2009c, Howell & Eisermann 2011, Schulz & Eisermann 2001).
  • The program informs local villages about the study results in public slide presentations and posters. more

Books and book chapters

Neotropical Owls
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2017) The owls of Guatemala. 447-515 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Neotropical owls: diversity and conservation. Springer, Cham, Switzerland.
Búhos Neotropicales
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2015) Los búhos de Guatemala. 381-434 in P. L. Enríquez (ed.) Los búhos neotropicales: diversidad y conservación. ECOSUR, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México.
birds of Guatemala
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2007) Lista comentada de las aves de Guatemala - Annotated checklist of the birds of Guatemala. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Cover painting by Albert Earl Gilbert
Biodiversidad de Guatemala
Eisermann, K. & C. Avendaño (2006) Diversidad de aves en Guatemala, con una lista bibliográfica. Pp. 525-623 In: E. Cano (ed.) Biodiversidad de Guatemala, Vol. 1. Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Guatemala.
Conserving Cracids
Eisermann, K., N. Herrera & O. Komar (2006) Highland Guan (Penelopina nigra). Pp. 85-90 In: D. M. Brooks (ed.) Conserving Cracids: the most threatened family of birds in the Americas. Miscellaneous Publications of the Houston Museum of Natural Science 6.

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