Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bulletin 238 - Ecuador #2 - Warblers and Vireos

The parulidae family of birds is the New World warblers. These are favorites of many birders around the world who come to see the spectacle of spring migration on the Gulf Coast and other inland locations as millions of these small birds make their way north to breed.

The IOU currently lists 120 species of warbler, but 2 species are likely extinct. The number of species has grown in the last 20 years through splits. The Yellow-rumped Warbler and Adelaide's Warbler were both split into 3 species and the Yellow-throated Warbler into 2 species. Several species have been removed and reclassified as well. Currently the Sibley's Guide lists 50 species that occur in North America and there are a few vagrants that pop up along the Mexican border from time to time.

I have photographed 64 of them. On the Ecuador trip, I got 7 new species and 6 were lifers.

The Olive-crowned Yellowthroat (Geothlypis semiflava) is olive above, yellow below and the male has the typical black mask.

Olive-crowned Yellowthroat - male

The Myiothlypis genus has 17 species of warblers. All but one are confined to South America. I photographed 4 of them. The Buff-rumped Warbler (Myiothlypis fulvicaada) also lives as far north as Honduras and this is the one that I had seen before but never photographed.

Buff-rumped Warbler
The Citrine Warbler (Myiothlypis luteoviridis) is olive above, yellowish below and has a bright yellow arc over the eye. This one was a surprise as I didn't know I had the photo until I got home. Anyone who has birded in the tropics will have seen these mixed flocks that suddenly show up and there may be a dozen active birds of 8 or more species. When that happens, I just try to get several photos of the birds while the guide is also trying to ID them. We didn't have this on the checklist at the end of the day, so he didn't see it.

Citrine Warbler
The Black-crested Warbler  (Myiothlypis nigrocristata) is olive above, streaked yellow below and has a black crown. He also has a black line through the eye.

Black-crested Warbler
The Gray-and-gold Warbler (Myiothlypis fraseri) is easily recognized by his name. He has a gray head and back and bright yellow underparts. This bird along with the Buff-rumped Warbler above were right outside the lodge at Buenaventura.

Gray-and-gold Warbler

The Spectacled Redstart (Myioborus melanocephalus) was in the mist in the cloud forest at Tapichalaca. He has a black head with rufous crown, gray back, and yellow underparts and spectacles.

Spectacled Redstart
The final species was the Three-banded Warbler (Basileuterus trifasciatus). It is olive above, yellow below and has a striped head and face

Three-banded Warbler
To see all of the warblers I have photographed, go to the Warbler family section with this link.

The vireo family has 63 species all but 10 of which are in the New World. Most of them are rather drab. I photographed 2 new ones on the Ecuador trip.

The first is the Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis). I first saw this bird in my initial visit to the tropics in Belize in 1993 and the name always stuck in my head. I was pleased to finally get a photo of it. It is colorful with olive back, yellow throat and rufous above the eye. He has a very thick bill as well.

Rufous-browed Peppershrike

The Olivaceous Greenlet (Hylophilus olivaceus) is olive above, yellow below and a bright orange eye.

Olivaceous Greenlet
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

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