Saturday, September 24, 2016

Bulletin 275 - Ecuador #9 - Parrots and Monkeys

Nothing says tropics quite like parrots and monkeys and we saw lots on this trip. All of these photos were obtained in the Amazon region.

The macaws are the largest and most spectacular of all the parrots and they are confined to the New World. The 36" Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is red with yellow on the wings. This one was alone in a tree. The sexes are similar.

Scarlet Macaw
And this one was flying overhead.

Scarlet Macaw
The 34" Blue-and-yellow Macaws (Ara ararauna) were further away, but there were 1/2 dozen in a tree for a spectacular sight.

Blue-and-yellow Macaws
We also saw Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaws but I din't get good photos of them.
The ubiquitous 11" Blue-headed Parrot (Pious menstruus) is readily IDed with his blue head and green body. This is my best photo yet of this bird.

Blue-headed Parrot
The 8.5" Black-headed Parrot (Pionites melanocephalus) has a black crown, yellow cheek, and white underparts.

Black-headed Parrot
There were about 9 monkey species possible in the Amazon area at Shiripuno Lodge. We saw 7 and I got photos of 6 of them. The cutest were the Common Squirrel Monkeys (Saimiri scureus). They are small monkeys with clown-like faces and black lips.

Common Squirrel Monkeys - adults
This lighter colored juvenile peeked out between some leaves.

Common Squirrel Monkey
Next is the long-limbed White-fronted Spider Monkey (Ateles belzebuth).

White-fronted Spider Monkey
The next was a new mammal for me. This group of small monkeys are called titi monkeys and are undergoing a major revision in nomenclature. The one we saw in Ecuador was the Dusky Titi Monkey (Callicebus discolor). However on Wikipedia, there is a new (2016) proposed classification and the new name is White-tailed Titi Monkey (Plecturocebus discolor). I guess take your pick what you want to call it.

Dusky Titi Monkey
The White-fronted Capuchin (Cebus albifrons) is one of 4 species of capuchins. This is the Ecuadorian subspecies that doesn't have any white on the face as the name would suggest. This subspecies is listed as critically endangered.

White-fronted Capuchin
Ecuadorian subspecies

The next is a type of monkey called a Saki monkey. Again it may have a new name. The name I was given on the trip was Equatorial Saki (Pithecia aequatorialis). However, a new revision in 2014 has the range of this one as just northern Peru, so not this guy. It would appear to be a Napo Saki (Pithecia napensis) as we were on a tributary of the Napo river in Ecuador. Anyway this is a heavy set appearing monkey with a very bushy tail.

Equatorial Saki
or ? Napo Saki
Lastly is a Venezuelan Red Howler (Alouatta seniculus). Howlers as you know are the heaviest of the new world monkeys.

Venezuela Red Howler
The other monkey I caught a glimpse of was a Wooly Monkey, but it scampered off into leaves before I could snap a photo. This trip was by far the most productive of monkey species of any I have taken.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2016 David McDonald

To have these trip reports sent to your email, please email me at the above address and ask to subscribe.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bulletin 274 - Ecuador #8 - Cotingas, Trogons and Jacamars

These are the places visited. At the end of each bird description, I will give the 2 letter code where the photo was taken.

Shiripuno Lodge in Amazon  (SH)
Mindo area on west slope has several close reserves that we visited (MI)

The cotingas are a diverse New World family of 66 songbirds. Overall they are rather difficult to find. The 12" male Andean Cock-of-the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus) is red on the west slope of the Andes where we saw several at a lek. He has a large crest and black wings with large white patches.The males on the east slope of the Andes are orange as seen here.  MI

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock - male west slope
Another group of cotingas are called fruitcrows for their overall black color. We saw 2 species on the trip but I only got photos of the 11" Purple-throated Fruitcrow (Querula purpurata)  MI

Purple-throated Fruitcrow

We also got a distant view of the 7" male Purple-throated Cotinga (Porphyrolaema porphyrolaema). Although the purple throat cannot be seen, the black back, white underside and white wing patch is diagnostic for this bird. It is listed as scarce in the Ecuador Guide book.  SH

Purple-throated Cotinga - male
The trogons are worldwide family of 43 species with 2/3 in the New World. They are medium sized colorful fruit eating birds that are easy to photograph when you find them as they usually sit still. The 10" male Blue-crowned Trogon (Trogon curucui) has a blue head, red belly and yellow bill.  SH

Blue-crowned Trogon - male
The 11" female Green-backed Trogon (Trogon viridis) has gray head and chest and yellow belly. She has a blue eye ring and black bill. The male would have a blue head and chest. This bird was formerly known as the Amazonian White-tailed Trogon. SH

Green-backed Trogon - female
The 11" male White-tailed Trogon (Trogon chionurus) has bluish purple head and chest, yellow belly, pale bill and solid white tail. This individual is missing some of his white tail feathers (probably molting). This bird was formerly called the Western White-tailed Trogon.  MI

White-tailed Trogon - male
The quetzals are 6 larger birds in the trogon family with fancy plumage such as epaulets, crests, long tails etc. The 13.5" male Golden-headed Quetzal (Pharomachrus auriceps) has green back and red underparts, golden green head and black undertail. I only got a single photo of the bird before he flew.  MI

Golden-headed Quetzal - male
The jacamars are a small family of New World birds (18 species) most of which are found in Amazonia. I got 2 new ones for the trip. They resemble large hummingbirds as the have long tails and long pointed bills. The 7.5" Yellow-billed Jacamar (Galbula albirostris) is the only jacamar in Ecuador with a yellow bill.  SH

Yellow-billed Jacamar
The 7.5" White-eared Jacamar (Galbalcyrhynchus leucotis) is brown with a white cheek patch and pink bill.  SH

White-eared Jacamar
I have photographed 14 of the 43 trogons now and they can be seen here.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2016 David McDonald

To have these trip reports sent to your email, please email me at the above address and ask to subscribe.