Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Short stroll after the work

So far, this has been a GREAT season for migratory birds in Panama. Some days ago, Carlos Bethancourt, the famous guide of the Canopy Tower, reported in the social network a White-eyed Vireo at the entrance of the Summit Ponds (central Panama). Two days ago, Osvaldo Quintero and Euclides "Kilo" Campos went to the site and found that the bird was still in the same place. So I went yesterday after finishing my work at the hospital, chasing the rare bird. The White-eyed Vireo is a vagrant migrant to Panama, with only few reports, mostly from sites near the Caribbean coast. I reached the place around 3:30 PM and the first bird I saw from the window of my car was a Yellow-throated Vireo working high in the trees. False alarm... or a sign of the good things to come? The place was very quiet, surely due to the heat, but anyway, I saw many migrants in the surrounding trees. Representing the warblers, present were Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided and Yellow Warblers, plus a Northern Waterthrush. A fruiting tree had no less than three males Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Great Crested Flycatcher. I even saw another Yellow-throated Vireo and several Summer Tanagers too. Around 4:00 PM, I detected a movement in a tangle. I saw with my binoculars the white underparts, two white wing bars, yellow spectacles... THE White-eyed Vireo!!!! WOW, just like that, it materialized in front of me! The bird did not vocalize, and it moved actively always in the tangled parts of the trees. Like Osvaldo stated, it was not easy to photograph, and my marginal photos only show the neccesary to have a positive ID. I'm very impressed with the conspicuous white eye... just look at the picture (you may need to enlarge it). A HUGE lifer, and I'm very grateful with Carlos for sharing it! After a while, I detected another bird skulking in the same tangles. About the same size of the vireo, I recognized it immediately as a warbler because it was moving even more actively than the vireo. After a while I got decent views, confirming it was a Magnolia Warbler, an immature considering its gray breast band. Curiously, this is the sixth species of warbler that I see this year and that I missed last year. Both birds foraged very close to each other, without noticing a single interaction between them. I stayed for 30 more minutes, and the birds stayed in the same general area. Again, only marginal photos of the warbler, but I'm very happy with them (at least the bird is recognizable). Well, as I said: GREAT season for migrants!


  1. I need to see all this birds!!!!
    White-eyed vireo would be new!!

  2. this is the type of bird that i will have no clue even if it seats on top of my hand!!!

  3. @ Venicio: I knew that you got this bird today, congratulations!
    @ Olmedo: jejeje, this bird is quite distinctive, those white eyes are like nothing else in Panama, if you get decent looks of course!