Archive for the ‘Latin America’ Category


July 21, 2017

PIB has great trips to various habitat zones in Ecuador. And there’s a book you want to take with you. It’s the first-ever, one volume nature guide for anyone headed to Ecuador’s wondrous mountains and rain forest and arid western slopes:
Wildlife of Ecuador:
A Photographic Field Guide to Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians

Andrés Vásquez Noboa. Photography by Pablo Cervantes Daza. Princeton Press. 2017. $29.95.
I wish I’d had a book like this when I was in Ecuador…or even Panama where I got far too close to a pit viper without recognizing it. The bird section is fine but the real value is in all those other critters: face-to-face shots with snakes. It’s the head that matters…look for the heat-sensing pits. You may want to keep your birding guide nearby or back at the ecolodge because only breeding plumage shots are given for most avian species.
Now I know there are two species of agouti in Ecuador and I saw the black in Coca. Not sure even my bird guide knew there were two, certainly didn’t tell us.
Superbly clear range maps. Both English and Latin indices.
My favorite Ecuadoran bird is at the top of page 140…the Collared Inca.
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker:
Yellow-tufted Woodp.Great Ani:Great Ani2Hoatzin at Sani Lodge:Hoatzin pairSquirrel monkey:squirrel monk on limb
Swallow-tailed Kite over Napo River in Amazon Basin:ST Kite over Napo River


July 4, 2016

Research shows that Magnificent Frigatebirds are not only magnificent, they fly…endlessly.  Over 250 miles per day, non-stop, no resting on the water. They may fly that for days, weeks…they do land to lay eggs and incubate them.

Here are some pictures I took of frigatebirds around the Galapagos a few years back.  It was a trip organized by Partnership for International Birding.  Haven’t been there?  GO!  Enjoy these champion flyers:FRIGATE ALOFT Frigatebird Dive frigatebird flying by frigatebird on mast Frigatebird Profile FRIG-BIRD EYELEVEL frig-pbird provile


November 24, 2014

The latest Audubon magazine has three pieces on the future of the Galapagos’ unique habitat and birdlife…in the face of climate change.  You can click here to read those articles.

If you want to see the Galapagos as they are now, PIB has a variety of trips to both the islands and to the rich birding locales on the Ecuadoran mainland.  You can click here to read about the Ecuador/Galapagos trips we offer.Galapagos Sunday 001 marine ig pileupSome photos from a recent PIB trip to the islands.LAVA GULL2 LAVA HERON ON CHAIN WILSONS PLOVERThe birds, from top to bottom: Lava Gull, Lava Heron, Wilson’s Plover. Blue-footed Booby, Brown Pelican with his outboard motor, Vermilion Flycatcher. Elliot’s Storm-Petrels.BF BOOBIES TRIO ON LAVA bf booby face brown Pelican outboarding cinn flyc perched ell.STORM-PETRELS FEEDAnd a couple of endemics:GALA DOVE1 Make that three endemics” Dove, Mockingbird and Penguin.  The latter loves to swim around with snorklers, even slow-moving hominids with plastic faces on.GALA MOCKINGBIRD1 GALA PENGUIN CU


November 21, 2014

This fall’s migration saw a record number of raptors passing over Panama City in one day. Take a guess, then click on this link and read about the number of zeros in the new record.
PIB offers great trips to Panama, including a chance to see Harpy Eagle.
But Panama is much more than just raptors…below some images from my recent trip to Panama: Violaceous Trogon, white-faced monkey and White-necked Puffbird.


These two guys were just down the street from our arrival hotel in Panama City: Crimson-crested Woodpecker and Common Tody-flycatcher



January 10, 2014

Here at PIB we have come up with a way for you to save money on your next trip by making a tax deductible donation. Your $100 donation goes to Rainforest Trust. They will then use it to save a rapidly developing section of Peru’s highlands. And they have matching grants that will quadruple your gift. You get the tax deduction and we will give you $100 off any trip you take with us in the next 2 years. This is described as a win-win-win, we believe.

Here’s a map of the area we’re helping to preserve:Peru-rainforest park map The Peruvian government has pledged to turn the land into two national reserves once enough land is taken out of timber and agricultural use. The area is known as Sierra del Divisor.

Click here to find out how the donation and discount work together for you and the Peruvian rainforest. By the way, your $100 will actually lead to saving 800 acres from despoliation and exploitation.

Click here to read more about Sierra del Divisor and its species diversity.Goeldis_monkey_-_butterfly_lunch_-_big-240x153 This is a Goeldis’s Monkey, a threatened species, and one of sixteen primate species found in Sierra del Divisor.

VersicoloredBarbetLelisright Lelis Navarette, one of the superb regional guides we work with, took this picture of a Versicolored Barbet. It is one of over 550 bird species found in the highlands of Sierra del Divisor.

We’re talking wondrous species diversity: 38 medium and large-sized mammals (20 of them threatened) including giant armadillo; 10 endemic plant species with likely many more to be discovered among the 3500 species thought to survive in the area; at least 3 known endemic bird species with much exploration still undone; 300 fish species and over 100 reptiles and amphibians. All these beings depend on human intervention on their behalf for survival.

If you decided to help, PIB will give you our gratitude and our discount.


November 14, 2013

The Partnership for International Birding and the Rainforest Trust are working together to preserve some of the precious remaining native habitat in northern Columbia. This species-rich rainforest is in the Serrania de Perija, a 200-mile long mountain range that has peaks over 10,000 feet high. This is the northernmost finger of the Andes.
The area is home to numerous endemic bird and plants species. Not extensively explored, the area is expected to yield many more new species over the coming years.columbia map

The donations from PIB are part of our commitment to birds, our birding friends and the planet itself. We not only want our birders to see many birds but we want to be sure those birds and their habitat are still around for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. The best way to do this is own the land. Thus we have made a $3000 donation to Rainforest Trust and are hoping to make that a total of $5000 in the new year, insuring the Trust’s ability to buy 100 acres in the Serrania. Director of the Rainforest Trust, Dr. Paul Salaman, says the Partnership for International Birding helped to get the ball rolling on this project.RAINFOREST TRST

PIB has made the first targeted donation for the Serrania project and that will enable the first land purchase in that area. You could say we’re in on the ground floor, high in the mountains.

We at PIB are very pleased to be working with the Rainforest Trust (formerly the US-World Land Trust) in supporting their efforts to preserve wilderness for bird and wildlife conservation. We truly want to thank our trip participants and other conservation partners for supporting this effort.


Much of the forest and paramo has been burnt, logged or planted in exotic trees. But enough remains that fragile ecosystems can be saved. ProAves has recently surveyed the area.

Studies have relocated the two endangered and endemic species, the Perijá Thistletail and Perijá Metaltail, and established the Perijá Brush-finch, while finding several new bird species for science, including a new Atlapetes Brush-finch, a new Scytalopus Tapaculo, a new Megascops Screech-owl, and a Cranioleuca Spinetail. Several other taxa endemic to the Perijá mountains are almost certainly separate biological and phylogenetic species (i.e. the Rufous Antpitta Grallaria “rufula” saltuensis, the Oleagineous Hemispingus Hemispingus “frontalis” flavidorsalis, to name but a few).
asthenes PERIJA THISTLETAIL, Asthenes perijana. This small overbird is found nowhere else on earth. It’s closely related to some canastero species found further south.

Despite its unique fauna and flora, no protected area yet exists in Colombia’s Serranía de Perijá. So we and our birding friends can now know that we are helping begin an urgent project that will protect, for the first time, an endangered habitat and the wide variety of species that depend on it.

Click here to learn more about Rainforest Trust’s Serrania project.


August 30, 2013

One of our ace guides, Lelis Navarette, regularly leads tours across Peru and into the Amazon Basin. One on of his trips there was an avid blogger, Judy Liddell. Click here for link to her blogs about Peru.
Wait’ll you see her pics of the Masked-crimson Tanager and the Russet-crowned Coquette, a hummer with more attitude than even normal.

We do a number of Peru itineraries and none will disappoint. Click to see what we offer and when the next trip is.

And here is one of Lelis’ fine photos, this a Many-spotted Hummingbird:ManyspottedHummingbirdbyLelisleft


February 26, 2013

L=B HRN2L-B HRN1 Little Blue Heron working a plowed field in Panama Province along Pan-Am Highway, the same field where the caracara studied the large snake.LBLU HRN-X

laf flcn2This is the only time we were ever close enough to a Laughing Falcon to get a shot. One of the many raptors we saw in Panama where most are seen outside the rainforest in grasslands, savannah or around lakes and rivers. We even saw one Osprey sitting on a small piling in the mudflats of Panama City. Of course, we saw Roadside Hawk in the forest as well as along the highway where its name tells you to look for it.
Altogether our Panama trip brought us 20 species of raptor, 7 of them falcons.

laugh flcn

LONG TAIL CRKDLong-tailed Tyrant, seen along highway in eastern Panama. We later saw the Fort-tailed Flycatcher as well and I have the pictures to prove it. We saw twenty species of tyrant flycacthers on the Panama trip, including two kiskadees and two tityra species, pictures in future blogs.



February 18, 2013

Some birds are curious, others impressive in some way, some simply beautiful. Panama has many in each category. Here’s an impressive and a beautiful:



JACAMAR2 ASessive one-year old Harpy, the largest of the eagle species on Earth. This bird will not be mature until at least three years of age, like Brown Pelicans or larger gulls. Then below that is the colorful, and beaatiful, Rufous-tailed Jacamar.
Then there is this modest-sized woodpecker who gets a lot of good looks into a small package. And we got good looks at his good looke even though this is a bird that;s hard to see in Panama. Range maps show the Spot-breastd has very limited distribution:




Here’s our curious, the Fort-tailed Flycatcher: FORK-TAILD
And here’s the equally curious Spot-crowned Barbet: barb face

All these birds are seen on our PIB birding trips to Panama. The Harpy is found on the extension into the rugged but amazing Darien National Park beyond the end of the Pan-American Highway.


February 13, 2013

Crimson-crested Woodpecker, one of a pair of 15-inchers in the Parque Metropolitano here in Panama City.
CMN TODY1 Small but unforgettable Common Tody-Flycatcher in same park. Far better than any political tody I ever met.
MAG FRIG UP There were numerous Magificent Frigatebirds over the harbor while dozens of Brown Pelicans fished and nearly as many ships lined up to pass through the canal.

saffron finchbAs in Hawaii the Saffron Finches have been brought here from South America, and thrive.

Tropical Mockingbird.
Tomorrow we head east to Darien Province, beyond the reach of even the Internet. I will next blog when we’ve been re-internetted.