Thursday, November 15, 2012

At the feeders!

As promised in my last entry, this post is about my birding day, last sunday, at the foothills of Cerro Azul, to the east of Panama City, with Osvaldo Quintero, Osvaldo Quintero Jr and the Cerro Azul's residents Leslie and Cindy Lieurance (The Petrels in Panama) and Claudia Ahrens.  Our intention was to look after a local speciality, the Black-eared Wood-Quail which Leslie videotaped at close range in the Calle Maipo trail entrance one week ago or so.
We walked all the trail, watching some forest interior birds and hearing at least two or three different coveys of wood-quails, but they were reluctant to show off for us... instead, we had a great time birding at the more open areas at the entrance of the trail and the main road, where mixed flocks with tanagers and warblers were the main stars.  The Fulvous-vented Euphonia offered a nice show... two adult males  were engaged in full courtship display.  The one I pictured above perched vertically with wings dropped making lots of noise!  Notice its fulvous vent... the female was more interested in eating juicy berries... she is so different to the male, but still distinctive!
After doing some exercise at the trail, we did what every smart birder would do: sit in front of feeders!  Both the Ahrens and the Lieurance keep feeders at their houses, and the diversity is awesome.  At the Ahrens, we checked a banana feeder where the first visitor was this male Hepatic Tanager.
Notice its dark lores and beak, which separates him of the similar looking Summer Tanager, which is a common winter visitor to Panama... this male was waiting its chance to grab a piece of banana.  Also note that the Summer Tanager is lighter red in general, compared with the Hepatic Tanager.
Soon, the action at the feeder became insane, with Bay-headed, Palm and Plain-colored Tanagers fighting for a space on it against Black-cheeked Woodpeckers, this female Green Honeycreeper and this young male Thick-billed Euphonia.
But the most aggressive bird at the feeder was the Clay-colored Thrush; however, in spite of the size difference, this male Red-legged Honeycreeper was not intimidated and took its part of the prize.  Notice that this male is in non-breeding plumage.
Curiously, at the Lieurance feeders, there were males Red-legged Honeycreepers in full or almost-full breeding plumage... they glow!
The Lieurance also have banana feeders, we checked the hanging feeder during the couple of minutes that we stayed, enjoying their hospitality... it is quite curious to see migrants Tennessee Warblers eating banana in the tropics... though it is not the first time!
Well, perhaps we didn't see the wood-quails... but what a great day we got!  Thank you Claudia, Leslie and Cindy! 


  1. Hi, I found your blog listed on nature blogs and since I love birds I had to comment. Your birds and photos are wonderful. How cool to see these awesome birds. I have been to Panama once and would love to visit again just to go birding. Wonderful blog!

  2. @eileeninmd: thank you... if you come again let me know!