Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bulletin 286 - Colombia #9 - Flycatchers

Pablo Florez, the main guide, has co-written a book where to bird in Colombia. In it, he has a list of the Top 30 Most Sought-after Birds by a group of 40 birders visiting Colombia. I saw 12 of them on the trip and got photos of 10. When I show one of these birds,  I will mention its placement on the list.

The Tyrannidae family of Tyrant Flycatchers is the largest family of birds with more that 430 species, all of which are in the New World. Many are rather plain, but I did see some new interesting flycatchers in Colombia.

The 3.5" Southern Bentbill (Oncostoma olivaceum) is IDed by the unusual bill and white eye.

Southern Bentbill

The 4.75" Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea) is gray with a black head and wings. It is found along mountain streams. I had seen this bird at a distance before, but several were rather close on this trip.

Torrent Tyrannulet

The large 9" Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant (Myiotheretes striaticollis) put on a wonderful show the first morning as we were having breakfast at a farmhouse with hummingbird feeders.  What a beautiful flycatcher.

Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant

Another of the same genus is the 8" Smoky Bush-Tyrant (Myiotheretes fumigatus). It is gray brown overall with no other markings.

Smoky Bush-Tyrant

The 6" Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant (Ochthoeca fumicolor) is IDed by the white eye stripe and overrall reddish brown.

Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant
A long time favorite of mine is the 5" White-headed Marsh-Tyrant (Arundinicola leucocephala). I had seen this bird in 1991 in Venezuela, but this is the first time to see it since then. The cute male is black with a white head. the female has a white head and underparts with gray back. They sit up on exposed perches near wetlands and is a snap to ID.

White-headed Marsh-Tyrant - male

The 5" Pied Water-Tyrant (Fluvicola pica) is also found near water but is mostly white with black back, wings and tail.

Pied Water-Tyrant

The 4.5" Handsome Flycatcher (Nephelomyias pulcher) has a gray cap and a rusty breast and wing bars.

Handsome Flycatcher

Another bird I saw in Venezuela in 1991 and did not see again until this trip is the 8" Cattle Tyrant (Machetornis rixosa). It is IDed by the black eye strip and bright yellow belly. It is found in open farmland and often may be on the ground or perched on the back of a grazing animal.

Cattle Tyrant
And lastly is the 4" Black-throated Tody-Tyrant (Hemitriccus granadensis). These tiny flycatchers are difficult to see well as they flit around constantly,. So it is always exciting for me to get a good photo of one of them. Then I can really see what the bird looks like. It is olive above, white below with a black throat.

Black-throated Tody-Tyrant

I have updated my Tyrant Flycatcher family photos. There are 435 species and I have photos of 114 of them here.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2017 David McDonald

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