Monday, June 13, 2016

Bulletin 263 - Costa Rica 2016 #7 - tanagers, finches

I photographed several new tanagers on this trip. The 7" Carmiol's Tanager (Chlorothraupis carmioli) is a dull olive bird that has now been moved into the cardinal family.

Carmiol's Tanager
The 5" Rufous-winged Tanager (Tangara lavinia) is bright green with rufous on the head and wings. I only got the female in a photo, and her colors are subdued.

Rufous-winged Tanager - female
Another tangara genus that I got a better photo is the 5" Spangle-cheeked Tanager (Tangara dowii). It is hard to describe this multi-colored beauty.

Spangle-cheeked Tanager
However, the star of this group is the amazing 6" Blue-and-gold Tanager (Bangsia arcaei). The bangsia genus consists of just 5 species, all in the mountains from Costa Rica to Ecuador. I had really wanted to find this bird, but the guide told me we would not be in the right location, but we did find one! They have a rather short tail. It is dark blue above, gold below and he has a bright red eye.

Blue-and-gold Tanager
The female 4" Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana) is green with a blue head. The male would be all blue. They both have a red eye.

Blue Dacnis - female
The euphonias are fruit eating finches of the tropics. I was able to get photos of several species on the trip. The males of many of them are blue above and yellow below with a yellow crown. The 4" Scrub Euphonia (Euphonia affinis) resides in the dry northwest part of the country.

Scrub Euphonia - male
The 4" Spot-crowned Euphonia (Euphonia imitans) is similar but he has a few spots on top of his head. His range is the southwest part of the country. If you look closely, you can see a few faint dark spots in the yellow cap above his eye.

Spot-crowned Euphonia - male
The 4" male Olive-backed Euphonia (Euphonia gouldii) is olive with a yellow forehead and rufous belly.

Olive-backed Euphonia - male
However, the most stunning is the appropriately named 4" Elegant Euphonia (Euphonia elegantissima). The male has a baby blue nape, dark purple face and back and orange underparts and forehead. 

Elegant Euphonia - male
The female is also elegant.

Elegant Euphonia - female
The 5" Golden-browed Chlorophonia (Chlorophonia callophrys) is a bright green finch. The male has a yellow stripe over the eye and yellow belly.

Golden-browed Chlorophonia - male
The female is similar but lacks the yellow stripe over the eye.

Golden-browed Chlorophonia - female
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2016 David McDonald

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