Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What can a reforested finca do?

To increase the list of birds of the place!  As mentioned in a previous post, my father-in-law bought some pasturelands in the outskirts of Penonome (Cocle province, central Panama) and started to plant native trees almost ten years ago.  Now, the property is full of live!  The most conspicuous creatures are the birds for sure.  During my last visit, I found many species  that are hard to find in the surroundings pastures.  For example, watch this Rufous-capped Warbler.
Rufous-capped Warbler
Yes, this species is common in quite degraded habitat... but I usually find one or two during my walks... that day, I found no less than seven different birds!  I also found another Lance-tailed Manakin lek within the property; however, I found the next individual while it was feeding alone in a fruiting tree.
Lance-tailed Manakin
You can easily see why it is called lance-tailed.  You can also see how beautifully patterned is this guy!  My relatives barely trust me when I told them that I took the photo in the property.  Other species are not so brightly colored, but are special as well.  Think about the Yellow-olive Flycatcher or the Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant, both uncommon species in this part of the country.
Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant
The flowering shrubs attracted several hummingbirds species... this male Sapphire-throated Hummingbird delighted all my family... it decided to visit the flowers right by the cabin!
Sapphire-throated Hummingbird
And this Black-chested Jay (one of three birds) was eating some nance fruits from the finca... there are several fruiting trees at the property... and the nances are quite plentiful, so I suppose I will see these jays more often (it was my first record for the area).
Black-chested Jay
But the most impressive sighting was a female Hook-billed Kite flying over the finca.  Although far away, you can see the characteristically silhouette with proportionally long tail and broad wing that are narrower at the base.
Hook-billed Kite
This species is essentially unknown from the Pacific lowlands in the dry arch of central Panama.  At the end, I recorded 42 species in 2 hours (see my eBird checklist)... not bad for a former pastureland!

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