Monday, March 7, 2016

Bulletin 253 - Guatemala #4 - Finches, Jays and others

I got photos of 4 finches. The male 4.5" Black-headed Siskin (Carduelis notata) looks like our American Goldfinch except the head is all black. It is endemic from Mexico to Nicaragua 

Black-headed Siskin - male

The Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria) occurs here in the USA as well. Here is a male taking a bath. he is all black above and yellow below.

Lesser Goldfinch - male
The fruit eating euphonias are beautiful. The 4.25" male Yellow-throated Euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea) is navy blue above and all yellow below.

Yellow-throated Euphonia - male
Chlorophonias are similar but green. The 5" Blue-crowned Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia occipitalis) is bright green on head and back, with yellow underparts and a blue patch on top of his head. He also has a dark bar across the chest separating the green from the yellow. I have now seen several species of chlorophonias and I am always amazed at their beauty.

Blue-crowned Chlorophonia - male
I got photos of 3 neat jays. The first is call the 13" Bushy-crested Jay (Cyanocorax melanocyaneus). The crest is usually held flat so it doesn't show. The adults have black heads and throats and the rest is bright blue. The yellow eye is prominent.

Bushy-crested Jay
The 12" Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is well known to North American birders as it is widespread in the mountains of the west. It has a huge bushy crest. Its range extends through Mexico into Guatemala, but the local birds really don't resemble the NA birds, as it has a much shorter crest that is usually kept flat.

Steller's Jay
The last is the amazing 20" White-throated Magpie-Jay (Callocitta formasa) This bird is blue above, white on head and below with a black collar. His crest feathers arch forward.

White-throated Magpie-Jay
I had a photo of the 9" Spot-breasted Oriole (Icterus pectoralis) before, but it was in Miami where there are a number of escaped cage birds. This is the first from the normal range. The male is an orange and black oriole with spots on the breast.

Spot-breasted Oriole
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2016 David McDonald

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