Monday, March 14, 2016

Bulletin 254 - Guatemala #5 - thrushes and other songbirds

There were 3 new thrush species for me to photo on this trip. The first was the prettiest and the first bird of the trip. It was the 9" Rufous-collared Thrush (Turdus rufitorques). The male is dark with a rusty collar and yellow bill.

Rufous-collared Thrush - male
In the same genus is the 9" White-throated Thrush (Turdus assimilis). This thrush is a rare visitor to south Texas, but so uncommon that it isn't in the Sibley guide. It is brown with a white throat with brown streaks.

White-throated Thrush
The last is a 8" Brown-backed Solitaire (Myadestes occidentalis). It is plain with a brown back and wings and the rest gray. But like all thrushes, it is a beautiful singer.

Brown-backed Solitaire
A couple of flycatchers are always going to be found. The Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster) has this cool double crest that is usually kept raised. 

Yellow-bellied Elaenia
The Tropical Pewee (Contopus cinereus) is a typical gray flycatcher best IDed by voice.

Tropical Pewee
The Gray Silky-Flycatcher (Ptilogonys cinereus) is one of only 4 species in the family. It is found from Mexico to Guatemala. It is gray with a crest, yellow undertail and a long tail with white at the base.

Gray Silky-Flycatcher
The 9.5" Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphoryhnchus flavigaster) is mostly brown and has spots and streaks on the head, back and underparts. It is one of the larger woodcreepes and has a white bill.

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper
I logged another new wren which is always a treat as they tend to be secretive. A pair of  7" Rufous-backed Wrens (Campylorhynchus capistratus) came to the banana feeder to feast.

Rufous-backed Wren
Lastly is a familiar bird to North Americans. This is the local resident Plumbeous Vireo (Vireo plumbeous). This subspecies is greener than birds in most of Mexico and resembles a Cassin's Vireo. This is a potential split as the populations are separate geographically.

Plumbeous Vireo
This is the last of the series on my Guatemala trip. Thanks again to my wonderful guide Knut Eisermann. I would highly recommend him to anyone contemplating a trip to Guatemala. His web site for contact is Cayaya Birding

Here is a heart-warming story about man and bird from last week LINK.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2016 David McDonald

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