Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker in Cerro Azul

Frank Gray and Glen Sibbald sent in this report for a Crimson-bellied Woodpecker seen at Cerro Azul's Río Mono trail.

Date of observations: January 2, 2009
Observers: Frank Gray and Glen Sibbald
Time of Observation: About 2:55 pm Panama time
Location of Observations: GPS coordinates N 0922527, W 07943027, Rio Mono Trail, Altos de Cerro Azul, Panama. I don't know the elevation at that location, unfortunately, but I am sure that it can be determined.
Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy, no rain or drizzle, no wind
Identifying Characteristics: Was a large woodpecker, about the size of the Pileated Woodpecker of North America or slightly smaller. It had a red crest and a white strip on the side of the head. The belly was a rusty red color just like in the "Birds of Panama" book.
Miscellaneous aspects of Observation: The bird was first seen by Glen as both of us were walking back towards the entrance of the Rio Mono Trail. He observed the bird for about 1 minute while it was on the side of a tree less than 20 feet above the ground. He lost site of the bird. About a minute later, I spotted it, or another Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, within 10 feet or so from where the bird that Glen was watching was seen. I, and Glen, watched the woodpecker for a few seconds before it disappeared. All observations of the woodpecker(s) were made from a distance of not more than about 30 feet. The bird(s) were in densely wooded areas off of the main trail.

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