Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Peg-billed Finches at Cerro Punta

Two Peg-billed Finches were seen by Delicia and Darién Montañez on the trail to the waterfall at Parque Internacional La Amistad in Las Nubes, Cerro Punta. The first one, a male, responded to pishing at the first platform (about 100 meters before 'La Nevera'). At first it was assumed to be yet another Slaty Flowerpiercer, but its straight, conical bill with a horn-colored mandible indicated otherwise. It was slate-gray all over, slightly darker on the head and paler below, and there was definitely some yellow on the legs and (especially) around the toes, like the legs of a male Blackpoll Warbler in winter plumage.
As we scrambled down the muddy trail we found a second bird, this time a female. Same bill, olive-brown above, buffier below with noticeable dusky streaks in the chest and two clear buffy wingbars. The female was also quite responsive to pishing and was (thus) observed at close range (a meter at most) as it called from a tangle on the left bank of the trail. Further down we had an Ochraceous Pewee calling from a vine 4 meters above the trail while a second (unseen) pewee was answering from the taller trees uphill.

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