Monday, November 23, 2009
Note: you can click on any image in this blog to see a larger image.
Visually, it looks most like a long-billed Costa's, but there are features that make me think Black-chinned. It actively pumps its tail while hovering, much like Black-chinned. The answer may lie in the shape of the primaries and tail feathers, and that may require trapping the bird.
A shot that shows the primary shapes a little better.
An Anna's Hummingbird for comparison
A Costa's Hummingbird for comparison
Vocally, this bird is most reminiscent of Archilochus, especially in rhythm. I've posted a clip to the mysteries page at Xeno-Canto.
And here are sonograms that compare all the similar species.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Peccaries are a family (Tayassuidae) of three species found only in the New World, and though often called "wild pigs" they are only distantly related. Peccaries differ from pigs (family Suidae) in many ways, such as having two or three instead of four hind toes; having a tail with less than half as many caudal vertebrae; having precocial young (fully furred, eyes open, ready to run upon birth), and having a different dental arrangement.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
But the travel didn’t take all day, and we had a total of 3 hours’ worth of birding today – and tallied 94 species in the process.
We then birded some open country nearby where we found Southern Caracara and Grassland Sparrow. Yesterday we also had Southern Lapwing and Burrowing Owl near here, both recent immigrants to this area, once all rainforest (and again thanks to birders who came before us; it sometimes does pay to be the last ones out).
A view of the marsh, which also hosted many Common Gallinules, Slate-colored Coots, White-tufted Grebes, Cinnamon Teal, and Black-necked Stilts. A nearby mudflat had Killdeer, a Western Sandpiper, a Collared Plover (a rarity this far south on the coast), and Yellowish Pipit. Sadly, we did not find any Peruvian Thick-knees here.
Some seawatching also produced many Peruvian Boobies, a Red-legged and two Guanay Cormorants, an endless stream of Kelp, Gray, and Belcher’s Gulls, and a single Elegant Tern. Impressive was a huge, swirling flock of Sanderling over the distant end of the beach, probably numbering well over 10,000 birds. Big migrating flocks of Black-bellied Plovers and Ruddy Turnstone also joined them.
Here’s a rundown of the supporting cast, a really great group of people to travel with.
And of course, I shouldn't forget Gary Rosenberg, the leader, and the many drivers and boat pilots.
We didn't disembark for birding, but the boat did slow down a few times when we passed by birds of interest – such as a group of Jabirus (a gigantic stork), and a large piece of driftwood decorated with 70 Sand-colored Nighthawks. We ended up with 68 species during the ride.
Another was this Spotted Puffbird, which Gary noticed just before he was about to walk right underneath it. It sat there for several minutes while everyone got photos from every possible angle. This species is rather scarce, but I wonder how many go undetected as they sit so still and rarely make much sound.
But better than any bird was this Three-striped Poison Frog, Ameerega trivittata, which I spotted perched on the end of a rotting log about a foot off the ground.