Sunday, July 30, 2000

Birding Cerro Azul, a report by Bill Adsett

Calle Maipo was really jumping with mixed flocks yesterday due to the abundance of fruiting trees. The usual tanagers, honeycreepers and dacnis were there. Of note were Rufous-winged Tangers, usually more infrequent than the other tangers, but this time easily seen at several places; and Sulphur-rumped Tanager - always infrequent on Cerro Azul (however, the Grey-and-gold Tanager seen there in the dry season seems to have disappeared). Tawny-faced Quail responded to whistles, but as usual held back and were not seen. Long-Tailed and Spotted Woodcreepers were also present. A good flock of Brown-hooded Parrots added color and their curious whistles to the scene.
The first part of the río Mono trail was equally active, and added Great Curassow and Stripe-cheeked Woodpeckers to the list, as well as Northern Barred-Woodcreepers.
If the trees remain in fruit until next Saturday, and the weather is good, these two trails should provide a lot of enjoyment for the field trip.
A note on the identification of female Rufous-winged Tanager - Not an easy bird, but I have been able to get a lot of experience on it! Basically it is green all over except for a spot of sky blue on the belly, and dark edging to the wings (actually rufous, but normally it looks dark). The head is NOT chestnut or brown, but there is a very slight hint of a reddish or brownish shading to the green, making a slight contrast with the green of the rest of the body. You might be tempted to think that the bird is an immature, but in fact it is an adult. Immatures seem to be even greener.

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