Pink-headed Warbler in Guatemala

Where to Observe the Pink-Headed Warbler in Guatemala:

The Pink-headed Warbler (Cardellina versicolor) is a small bird restricted to the Guatemala highlands and  Chiapas, Mexico.

Have a distinctive bright pink head and a black cap on its back.

So, the male and female are very similar, so it’s easy to confuse them. However, the IUCN Red List classified the bird as vulnerable.

Inhabit mainly above 2,000 m. and common in oak-alder-conifer forests, pine, cypress, fir, and shrubby vegetation in the coniferous forest of pine, cypress, and fir.

Breeding Season

The breeding season starts in January or February; nests have been found from late March to late May, and juveniles in June. The nest is a globular structure placed on the ground.

Also, outside the breeding season, Pink-headed Warblers join mixed flocks with other resident and migratory warblers.

The Pink-headed Warbler Population  In Guatemala

Populations of this species may fluctuate locally. In Chiapas, Pink-headed Warbler is considered rare, but there are variations among localities.

In Guatemala, the species is found mainly in pine forests at an elevation from 2,000 to 3,000 m.

The Conservation Status

By the way, Pink-headed Warbler is listed as Vulnerable primarily because of continued habitat loss caused by rapid human population growth.

Best places to observe the Pink-headed Warbler in Guatemala

in effect, there are many areas in Guatemala where you can see the Pink-headed Warbler. Here we show you  5 of the best destination to spot and photograph it.


Tecpan is in the central highlands of Guatemala at an altitude of 2,286 meters above sea level within the Atitlan IBA  Guatemala, GT015.

This destination is desirable because it is located in the center of the main tourist destinations in Guatemala.

For example, this hotspot it’s found just 1 hour of travel from Antigua, Guatemala, 1:30 from Guatemala City, and 1:15 hours from Lake Atitlan.

In addition, the relief of the terrain in the areas we visit is slightly undulating, so the effort of the walks is minimal.

The pine-oak forest of the destination inhabits many exotic regional endemic species, including the beautiful Pink-headed Warbler.

Other species found here are the Rufous-browed Wren, Mountain Trogon, Blue-throated Motmot, Rufous-collared Robin, and Green-throated Mountain Gem, among others.

This small region in the mountain forest biome creates a beautiful and effortless destination for birdwatchers and photographers.

Fuentes Georginas

Fuentes Georginas localize about 20 kilometers from Quetzaltenango central area, 2:30 from Lake Atitlan, and 4 hours from Guatemala City.

This natural destination belongs to the municipality of Zunil, Quetzaltenango.

The mountains in the Central Guatemalan highlands are covered with pine and oak forests. Those forests go from 1,000 to almost 4,000-meter of elevation

In fact elevation levels have different environmental characteristics (temperature, evaporation, and pluvial precipitation), making different kinds of forests at every level.

There is a well-preserved representation of both forests, which are an excellent habitat for observing many iconic birds like the Pink-headed Warbler.

Other exciting birds are the Wine-throated Hummingbird, the Crescent-chested Warbler, and even the Horned Guan, among others.

El Astillero Municipal Park, San Marcos

El Astillero, Municipal Park of San Marcos, is an area of ​​strategic importance for being located in the hydrographic basin of two basins of vital importance for the Department of San Marcos.

Have a conserved forest inhabited by endemic and threatened species with high ecological value, such as the Pink-headed Warbler (Cardellina versicolor).

Additionally, other species such as Highland Guan (Penelopina nigra), the Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno), the Horned Guan (Oreophasis derbianus), and several species of amphibians and reptiles.

El Astillero is located inside IBA GT013 Tacana – Tajumulco.

The altitude ranges between 2,100 and 3,105 meters above sea level; it is primarily a broadleaf, mixed, coniferous, and secondary forest.

The three viewpoints of the park are essential areas for the scenic beauty of the Tacaná (4092 masl) and Tajumulco (4220 masl) volcanoes, the highest volcanic cones in Central America.

The park area corresponds to the Suchiate river basin.

Therefore, it is essential to conserve the populations of endangered species of flora and fauna, making it a place of ​​particular interest for scientific, ornithological, and nature tourism.

This reserve is located 5 hours from Guatemala city and only 10 minutes from the departmental capital of San Marcos.

Refugio del Quetzal – San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta – San Marcos

The Natural Reserve Refugio del Quetzal is found between La Fraternidad Village and the San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta municipality, just 18 kilometers from the capital of the San Marcos department and about 6 hours from Guatemala City.

The Quetzal refugee is also placed within the IBA GT013 – Tacana-Tajumulco, situated in the Guatemalan volcanic belt and incorporates Tajumulco and Tacana volcanoes.

This reserve ranges in elevation from 1,750 to 2,000 masl.

Between November and April, the possibility of watching the Resplendent Quetzal increases.

A well-developed hiking trail system helps with the natural reserve experience designed for the Resplendent Quetzal’s preservation.

The spot stands out because exceptional dense vegetation protects the soil with shadows and humidness, an ideal natural environment for the Resplendent Quetzal.

Also, this is a protected area of roughly 90 hectares of terrain that is part of the Guatemalan Protected Areas System -SIGAP- and even the National Council of Protected Areas -CONAP-. Additionally, it functions as a sanctuary for several varieties of plant life and animals.

Todos Santos Cuchumatan Reserve

This reserve is situated approximately 6 hours from Guatemala city. Los Cuchumatanes is the highest and oldest part of the Guatemalan mountains.

Some rocks have been there since the creation of the Pangea continent about 240 million years ago.

This destination is located on the western side of the country, and it was formed by the collision between El Cocos and El Caribe’s tectonic plates.

The highest point is about 3,800 MASL.

Driving from the base to the top, you can see about 1,800 MASL coniferous vegetation.

The vegetation is mostly Pinus oocarpa and P. montezumae.

But the most exciting part of the mountain is that the plateau formed around 3,000 meters.

It has beautiful coniferous species like Juniperus comitana, Abies guatemalensis, and Pinus pseudostrobus.

Those threes are distributed in spots.

The rocky landscape of the plateau among the tree spots is covered with natural grass and other small plants.

It is one of the two places with natural grasslands in the country.

This is known as “paramo” and is the refuge for local populations of species which was considered migrants but which have recently been demonstrated to be resident (Savannah Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Olive Warbler).

The area’s high biodiversity consists of just a few very abundant species, like Black-capped Siskin, and is the habitat of the Goldman’s Warbler, considered endemic species of Guatemala.

Pink-headed Warbler Tours

If you are interested in discovering the Pink-headed Warbler, Birding Expeditions customize day tours or a multi-day birding trip to find the birds of Guatemala.

So, please contact us; we will be pleased to talk to you.

Pink-headed Warbler of Guatemala
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