Archive for the ‘motmot’ 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


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.


January 31, 2013

Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab is putting together a comprehensive list and description of Neotropical birds online. Here is the link. I am about to get my first look at Panama’s avians so this site has been fun to explore. I’m on one of our PIB trips with a great local guide.
This Neotropical site works very much like the Birds of North America Online which I find to be a valuable resaource when I am writing about our native birds here in the U.S. The Noetropical site already has 4000 species, more than 4 times the total on the older BNA site. Such is the species diversity of Central and South America plus the Caribean Islands. We regularly get four breeding species of tanager in North America, further south there are many dozens. Even more flycatchers in Latin America than any other family, nearly 400 species.

Guatemala Gallery

July 13, 2010

Here are some more birds you could see if go with birding guide Gustavo Canas-Valle on his trips to Guatemala, a Central American hot spot.  For more info on the trip inself, see my earlier blog.

Birds, top to bottom:  Rufous Sabrewing.

Black-and-white Owl.

Orange-breasted Falcon.

Azure-rumped Tanager.

Black Robin.

Collared Trogon.

Emerald Toucanet.

Blue-tailed Hummingbird.


Atilan Lake.


Tikal, a Mayan city.