Friday, June 24, 2016

Bulletin 265 - Costa Rica 2016 #9 - wrens, flycatchers and others

The tropical wrens are unlike our North American wrens in our yards. Most are very secretive and generally heard rather than seen well, so it was a treat to get some photos of a few new species.And although they are essentially all brown and white, it is the joy of the pursuit and getting a good photo that makes them exciting for me. There are 22 species of wrens in Costa Rica vs only 9 in North America!

The 4" White-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucosticta) resides in the lower elevations from the coast to 5900" on the Pacific slope. It is IDed by the brown back, white eye stripe and white throat and breast.

White-breasted Wood-Wren
The 5" Riverside Wren (Cantorchilus semibadius) is endemic to SW Costa Rica and western Panama. It has a brown back and fine black and white barred underparts.

Riverside Wren
Flycatchers are the largest bird family with 431 species all in the New World, so one always sees several species on a trip. Here are a few of the more interesting ones. The 7" Nutting's Flycatcher (Myiarchus nuttingi) is an occasional vagrant to the USA. For those of you who read The Big Year or saw the movie, it starts out in Nogales AZ on New Years Day with several birders looking for a Nutting's Flycatcher.

Nutting's Flycatcher
I had an opportunity to visit the refuge that was the homestead of Alexander Skutch who authored the first 'Birds of Costa Rica" in 1989. The 5" Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (Mionectes oleagineus) was seen there. It is olive with an ochre belly.

Ochre-bellied Flycatcher
There are 7 species of Flycatchers of the genus Attila. The 8" Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus) is the only one in Central America, the rest being in South America. This was my second one of this genus to photograph. It is rather dull olive, but has a long hooked beak.

Bright-rumped Attila
The tiny 3" Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant (Myiornis atriacapillus) was good to get off the bucket list. These diminutive flycatchers can be devilish to photograph.

Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant
The stunning 7" male Turquoise Cotinga (Cotinga ridgwayi) was a treat to find high in a bare tree. He is turquoise with a purple throat and belly. It is endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama.

Turquoise Cotinga - male
The 7" Rose-throated Becard (Pachyramphus aglaiae) is an occasional visitor to south Texas. Interestingly, the southern races of the birds here in Costa Rica do not have the rose throat. The female shown here is brown with a gray cap. This is the best photo I have had of this species.

Rose-throated Becard - female

The 4" Tawny-crowned Greenlet (Hylophilus ochraceiceps) is a member of the vireo family. 

Tawny-crowned Greenlet
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2016 David McDonald

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