Mostrando las entradas de diciembre, 2006

Dark-eyed Junco at Sherman

Delicia and Darién Montañez happened upon a Dark-eyed Junco while christmasbirdcounting on Fort Sherman. The bird looked like a slate-colored female (or juvenile): pointy pink bill, slaty head and neck (darker around the lores), white belly and vent with slaty flanks; the crown and back were brownish gray, and the dark-slate tail had very prominent outer rectrices, which the bird flashed conspicuously while in flight. These white flashes were what first caught my eye as the bird flew towards me across a field (hopefully in response to my fierce pishing). It perched on a tree about three meters over the road and preened for two minutes (enough time for Delicia to arrive). It then flew back across the field and perched atop an old chain-link fence, then dropped to the grass and hopped around for a minute before flying off towards some abandoned shed. It didn't seem to pay much attention to the small flock of Variable Seedeaters that was feeding nearby, and came and went as it saw fit

Mystery Tapaculo at Cerro Chucantí

Guido Berguido sent in the following report about a recent jaunt to Cerro Chucantí, an isolated mountain range in Eastern Panama: I recently came back from our Field Station in Cerro Chucantí, Darién. We had a wonderful trip, the weather cooperated this time and saw tons of birds including most of the specialties (Russet-crowned Quail-dove, Varied Solitaire, Tacarcuna Bush-Tanager, etc) and endemics (Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker and Beautiful Treerunner), and even heard what sounded like a Scytalopus sp. (Tapaculo) calling... It was at aprox. 4,000 ft. near the ridge top. I had been thinking for a while about the possibility of a Tapaculo there, because the altitude is about right.. and if all other highland species are found ...(Solitaire, Bush-tanagers, Treerunners, etc.) why not a Tapaculo. So I finally talked to a friend from Colombia who provided various vocalizations for Chocó and Nariño Tapaculos... so this time I played their vocalizations hoping to get some kind of response.. wel

Pacific Christmas Bird Count 2006 highlights

[A very preliminary report] A lot of people went out at ungodly hours of the morning and managed to count a lot of birds. Highlights, compiled from my hazy memory of a hot midday roll-call, follow: Plantation Road: Speckled Mourner. Old Gamboa Road: Blackpoll Warbler, Slate-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove. Metropolitan Nature Park: Worm-eating Warbler, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, American Coot. Panamá Viejo: Long-billed Curlew, Cocoi Heron, Elegant Tern, Franklin's Gull. Amador: Cattle Tyrant, a couple Brown Boobies and a single Blue-footed. Rodman Spoil Ponds: The first record (voice only, as usual) of Gray-breasted Crake from the Pacific Canal Area (that I know of). Four American Coots, a couple Glossy Ibis, and the only Masked Duck to grace our records in recent memory (that i know of. also the first one from the Pacific Side, that i know of.) Photo by Rosabel Miró.

Umbrellabird at El Copé

José Carlos García sent this report of the seldom-photographed Bare-necked Umbrellabird he and Mahelis Rodríguez saw on La Rica Trail, on General de División Omar Torrijos (née El Copé) National Park on October 15. The fully-feathered throat and upper chest show this bird to be a juvenile, if you believe Wetmore; if you believe Ridgeley, this bird could be either a juvenile or a female. This is the second record from the area, which is the eastern limit of its range. José Carlos mentioned that one of the park rangers had also seen a male the day before, right next to the visitor center.

Prepwork for the Christmas Bird Counts 2006

Rosabel and Karl Kaufmann spent their morning checking the status of (and looking for new) sites for the upcoming Pacific Christmas Bird Count, which will be held next Sunday December 17. Interestingly enough, they ran into a small flock of Brown-throated Parakeets near Veracruz, on the west bank of the Canal. This species, formerly regular on the Pacific Count, has been gone for eons, but remains abundant on savannas west of the City. Darién Montañez joined them for an afternoon jaunt to the ever-diminishing mangroves of Diablo, where they found a pair of Brown-throated Parakeets (must have been a good day for them) mixed in with a big flock of Orange-chinneds around the ruins on the far end of the yacht club. At the same spot we also heard what had to be a Rufous-browed Peppershrike singing from a distant tree. Like the Parakeets, this species also used to be frequent on the Pacific Count, but has ben gone from the area immediately surrounding the city since the mid eighties. I once

Great Tit in Gamboa

Gwen Keller has been seeing a Great Tit at her sunflower seed feeder in Gamboa. The bird first showed up November 8, and has been showing up persistently, more often early or late in the day. It seems to be pretty shy, darting off into the nearby mango trees at the first sign of human presence. The feeder in question is at house #140, the last one on the left on Calle Humberto Zárate, in Gamboa. Obviously, this is the first time a Great Tit is reported in Panama, and our Records Committe is still deciding what to do with it, but you should try to go get a look at it just in case.