Carnavales in Darién

Darién and Camilo Montañez and César Trejos spent a few days of Carnaval birding the Canopy Camp and environs. Highlights follow.

  • Feb. 15. A Streaked Xenops was seen calling insistently at the Río Mono bridge, perched suspiciously near a cavity in a dry branch that seemed just right for a nest hole. Also seen was Black Antshrike, plenty of White-eared Conebills, and an eye-level Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher
  • Later that day we went to the Yaviza Cemetery to try for Bicolored Wren, to no avail. We're blaming the noise from the Domingo de Carnaval festivities. The forest just before town had Barred Puffbirds and lots of Yellow-breasted Flycatchers.
  • Just before dusk we stood guard by the right verbena bush and, just as promised, got a Ruby-topaz Hummingbird. Unlike the adult male seen more frequently, this was a young male: generally female-plumaged but with a broad dark stripe down the center of the throat that, when seen from the right angle, glittered a greenish gold. Also present were Pale-bellied Hermit lots of Blue-throated Goldentails.
  • Feb. 16. The morning was spent walking up Quebrada Félix, that traverses the pristine forests of Reserva Hidrológica Filo de Tallo. Birds of the day were a female Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, a flock of 4 White-fronted Nunbirds, three Speckled Mourners and a male Royal Flycatcher flashing its crown to a nearby female. A Louisiana Waterthrush was also seen.
  • Late in the afternoon we visited El Salto Road, where we saw three Crane Hawks (two calling at dusk from the tops of the trees) and heard Gray-cheeked Nunlet, but the most unexpected finding was a Striped Woodhaunter poking around a dark tangle in the understory.
  • Feb. 17. In the morning we walked the Nando Trail through the woods at Canopy Camp and heard (and later saw) Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon and Golden-headed Manakin.