Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bulletin 289 - Colombia #12 - Miscellanous

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.

I am nearing the end of the amazing birds on my Colombia trip last fall. Here are the remaining non-passerines that I have not discussed earlier.

The puffbirds are a small (38 species) New World family. 24 of them are in Colombia. Puffbirds appear to be large headed birds with heavy  bills. They tend to sit motionless and then fly out to grab an insect or lizard. I saw and photographed 3 species on this trip, 2 of which were lifers. The one I had photographed before is the 7" White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis). This bird is rufous and white and a streaked belly.

White-whiskered Puffbird
 His cousin the almost identical 8.5" Moustached Puffbird (Malacoptila mystacalis) is darker brown in color and has a handlebars mustache. He was a lifer.

Moustached Puffbird
The other lifer was unexpected as we had stopped to photograph the Savannah Hawk, and this bird was perched right in front of us. This is the 8" Russet-throated Puffbird (Hypnelus ruficollis). 

Russet-throated Puffbird

The new World Barbets are another small (15 species) New World family.  The 7" White-mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus) is endemic to Colombia and obviously was a lifer as this was my first trip to that country.

White-mantled Barbet
The barbets are related to toucans and in between these families is a 2 species family, one of which is the colorful 9" Toucan Barbet (Semnormis ramphastinus). This multicolored bird is an easy ID. It is number 26 on the top 30 birds list above. I had seen this bird in Ecuador, but it was always nice to see again.

Toucan Barbet
Next is the 19" long tailed Andean Motmot (Momotus aequatoralis). These birds have a racquet tail in which there is a length of bare shaft on the long tail feathers. 

Andean Motmot

What was interesting to me with this bird which was coming to a feeder. was he did not have the bare shaft. The guide had not seen a bird without the raquet tail before. 

Here is a close up of his tail feathers. and they look perfectly normal. There has been some discussion as to how the bird gets the bare shaft. It was presumed that the bird stripped the shaft bare himself. But the latest I read, that the thinking now is the shaft just drops off the bristles. You can certainly see the tip of the 2 longest feathers are wider than the rest of the feather.

For comparison, here is another Andean Motmot I photographed in Ecuador. The bare shafts are readily seen below the branch.

Andean Motmot
I was surprised to only see 2 mammals on the whole trip. One was a squirrel, but the other was a monkey, the White-footed Tamarin (Saguinus leucopus). This small monkey has a very long tail. It is endangered due to habitat loss and is endemic to Colombia

White-footed Tamarin
And another of this cute monkey.

White-footed Tamarin
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2017 David McDonald

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