Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bulletin 261 - Costa Rica #5 - antbirds and relatives, manakins

The antbirds and relatives are generally secretive except for the antshrikes. However, with just 2 people and not a big group trying to see the bird, my success has been much better.I am really starting to appreciate this family of birds now that I can see them well.

The 6" Black-hooded Antshrike (Thamnophilus bridgesi) is endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama. The male is all black with white shoulder spots.

Black-hooded Antshrike - male
The female is unusual for an antbird as she is mostly charcoal as well, rather than brownish. She is IDed by the streaking on her head and chest.

Black-hooded Antshrike - female
The 6" male Dull-mantled Antbird (Myrmeciza laemosticta) has a gray head, dark brown back and bright red eye as well as white shoulder spots.

Dull-Mantled Antbird - male
I had seen the 6" Chestnut-backed Antbird (Myrmeciza exsul) in Ecuador, but got a better photo this time. The female shown here is all brown except for the gray head. Like many antbirds, she has a patch of bare blue skin around the eye. The male would be all charcoal except for brown wings.

Chestnut-backed Antbird - female
The 4" Spotted Antbird (Hylophylax naevioides) is a very cute little bird. The male has a gray head, white underparts with black spots and brown back and wings with wing bars.

Spotted Antbird - male
The female is similar but has a brown head.

Spotted Antbird - female

The next 2 birds were real prizes as they are so secretive and hard to see well. Both were lifers for me.

The 5" Streak-chested Antpitta (Hylopezus perspicillatus) was spotted by my guide standing quietly on a log just about 8 feet off the trail. Like all antpittas, they appear tailless. They are described as 'eggs with legs'. The sexes are similar. It is brown backed with white underparts and streaking.

Streak-chested Antpitta
The 7" Black-faced Antthrush (Formicarius analis) was the first antthrush I ever saw. We actually saw it on 2 different days. The walk along the forest floor with their tail cocked up.

Black-faced Antthrush
Here is another showing his head and face.

Black-faced Antthrush

The manakins are family of small colorful songbirds. The males do elaborate dances to attract a mate. The females are usually dull green or olive. I was able to photograph 3 new species on this trip.

The 4" male Orange-collared Manakin (Manacus aurantiacus) has a black crown and wings, orange collar, yellow belly and olive back.

Orange-collared Manakin - male
The 4" male White-ruffed Manakin (Corapipo altera) is all black with a white throat.

White-ruffed Manakin - male
The female is olive, but this bird is a juvenile male as you can see some black on his head as he is starting to molt to adult plumage.

White-ruffed Manakin - juvenile male

The 4" male Blue-crowned Manakin (Lepidothrix coronata) is all black with  blue on top of his head.

Blue-crowned Manakin - male

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2016 David McDonald

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