Tuesday, December 19, 2006

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.. well, after a while, we heard something that sounded like the alarm call of a Nariño Tapaculo. Unfortunately we were there with a Professor from Arkansas who wasn't a birder, so we couldn't spend all that much time looking for it.. anyway we have to go back and try to find it again....
Other sightings in the area include a group of 3 Crimson-bellied Woodpeckers, 1 Rufuous-vented Ground-Cuckoo at an antswarm, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, and a Tooth-billed Hummingbird near the ridge top.

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