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

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