The potential conservation value of fragmented or countryside landscapes in the tropics is being increasingly recognized. However, the degree to which fragmented landscapes can support species and the key patch and landscape features that promote population persistence remain poorly understood for elusive species such as ground-dwelling birds. We examined the presence/absence of seven species of galliforms and tinamous in 50 forest patches of 2.9–445 ha in northern Guatemala using camera traps and audiovisual surveying. After accounting for differences in detectability among species we found great variation in patterns of vulnerability of these species to habitat loss and fragmentation, with the three largest species being the most vulnerable. Distribution patterns of species among patches was influenced more strongly by measures of landscape context, such as the amount and configuration of habitat in the surrounding landscape, than within-patch variation in vegetation structure or disturbance. Our results indicate that large-bodied game birds may be particularly sensitive to habitat loss and fragmentation and emphasize that management efforts for these species need to go beyond consideration of local, within-patch factors to consider the impact of processes in the surrounding landscape. Our findings also demonstrate the utility of camera traps as a methodology for surveying large terrestrial bird species in fragmented landscapes.