Hepatic Tanager at the Metropolitan Nature Park
John Rowlett sent in the following report:
On February 24, 2002, I and eight participants in a Field Guides tour group birding Metro Park in Panama City saw a male Hepatic Tanager near the entrance to the park. This bird, with which I am very familiar throughout its range in Latin America, was a representative of the testacea, or highland, group, showing a dark bill and dusky lores. The color was typical of Hepatic plumage, as well—a blood-red with no orange wash or element. Also, in keeping with testacea, our bird did not show any dark auricular patch. It seemed quite sedentary, sitting in one position for perhaps ten minutes. We were able to study it in the Leica scope I was carrying for exceptional viewing by every member of the group.
I have seen Hepatic Tanagers many times in Panama, of course: in Chiriqui, in Darien, and on Cerro Jefe and Cerro Azul, the nearest foothill locations where this bird regularly occurs. However, this is the first time I have ever seen it in the lowlands. Its occurrence at Metropolitan Park struck me as worthy of mention.