Sunday, April 22, 2018

Green bird no. 2

The first time we saw this bird at Tandayapa Lodge it was high up in the trees in a mist-heavy sky.  I tried for some photos then and thought those couple would be the best I would get.  How wrong was I?

Above and two below:  Tandayapa Lodge hosted this Crimson-rumped Touconet (Aulacorhynchus haematopygus) perched right outside its dining room picture window.

I probably took about 20 photos of this cooperative bird.  So many of them were so similar that I was finally able to discipline myself and use the delete button.

Above and four below:  a pair of Crimson-rumped Toucanets showed up at the Mashpi area Amagusa feeding station and, while further away, were just as cooperative.

And one green and orange bird, too.

Rufous Motmot (Baryphthengus martini) also at Tandayapa Lodge.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


in mid-April!

Green bird

In a country with many green birds, this particular green bird stood out for me on this trip.   Though there was stiff competition, certainly they were amongst my favorite trip birds.   

First the female, above and three below.

Orange-breasted Fruiteater (Pipreola jacunda)

So happy was I to get these photographs, that I couldn't even delete the out-of-focus images.  We saw this bird at the Mashpi feeding station first high up and backlit against gray clouds.  I thought then that this is where the bird stays and we would not get photos.  But then these two presented themselves, feeding together, at just lower than eye level. Amongst the viney branches it was hard to focus, but the birds were cooperative enough that these 10 images finally came into view.

There must have been 15 or 20 cameras shuttering away at the fruiteaters.  Amongst the group was an Asian guy with a giant camera on a tripod.  He seemed imperturbable; whether it was just that morning or if he really was imperturbable - (most bird photographers, and I include myself here, are not) - I don't know.  Later on the trip, at another crowded feeding station, although I didn't see it myself, I nearly got bopped on the head by a photographer when I stood suddenly in front of him (I didn't know he was behind me) to get my own photo.  I digress.  On this morning, this photographer got a full, out-in-the-open photo of the male fruiteater with a red berry wedged in its beak.  It was a spectacular photo and he showed it around to anyone interested.  Earlier I had asked him if he was a professional photographer and he was quick to say he was a hobbyist.  Curiously, Rhoda recalled this same guy being present in Costa Rica near Savegre in 2015 where we had gone to see and, of course, photograph Resplendent Quetzels.  He was dressed the same way, in camouflage outfit, and his tripoded camera was huge.   


We saw four flowerpiercer species during the trip.  Here are three of them.  

Above and below:  the Masked Flowerpiercer (Diglossa cyanea).

A really attractive bird.

Above:  Glossy Flowerpiercer (Diglossa lafresnayii)

Above:  Backlit photo of Indigo Flowerpiercer (Diglossa indigotica). We saw this bird well and, as it turns out, it was a good find.  The Indigo occupies a very narrow and small range.  This bird was in a feeding flock going through the Mashpi feeding station.  When he called it out, Jose's voice pitched up a couple of octaves.  As horrible as the photo is, the flowerpiercer bill shape and size is still evident.  

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Summer Tanager

We saw Summer Tanagers (Piranga rubra) several times during this trip.  

With the camera I use, I can barely imagine being able to get photos like these of the male Summer Tanager again.  I was pleased with them.

*I added the above Google-made movie thinking that it would work on this blog.   It doesn't work.  Too bad.  It included some fun photos taken along our Summer Tanager road that I am unlikely to use otherwise. Curiously, the Google-made animated images that I included in the previous blog entry do work.  Given how much personal information we now know has been collected on us by both Facebook and Google, I probably shouldn't be using this stuff.  But I feel sort of complacent - the cat seems so completely out of the bag.  

On a different day at a different location, above and below, this female Summer Tanager had some sort of tumor on its side.  The growth did not seem to impair its flight. Nevertheless, it seemed the growth would harm its chances for a successful migration.

Tanagers are an interesting group of birds.  Not only are there a lot of them, the tanagers and allies category also include hemispinguses, honeycreepers, dacnises, conebills, flowerpiercers and others.  Summer tanagers, scarlet tanagers and a few others belong with the cardinals and allies category.  Makes we want to study the tanager family more.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tanager heaven

From time-to-time someone will ask "what is your favorite family of birds?"  Currently my favorite families - plural - are kingfishers and flycatchers.  

Many of my friends respond to this question with "tanagers."  A visit to Ecuador certainly goes a long way to understanding the allure of the tanager family. 

Again, in no particular order and seen in a variety of locations, some tanager photos - some good, some bad.  

Scrub Tanager (Tangara vitriolina)

Blue-and-yellow Tanager (Pipraeidea bonariensis)

Flame-rumped (Lemon-rumped) Tanager (Ramphocelus flammigerus icteronotus)

Above and below:  Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus igniventris)

Above and below:  Hooded Mountain Tanager (Buthraupis montana)

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus)

Above and below:  Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus)

Above and two below:  Golden-naped Tanager (Tangara ruficervix)

 Above and below:  Black-chinned Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus notabilis)

 Above and below:  Flame-faced Tanager (Tangara parzudakii)

I wanted to see Grass-green Tanager and it was seen on at least of couple of occasions in feeding flocks, but not by me.  I settled for the image on this sign.  It's really hard for me to imagine how spectacular this bird would look in real life.

Above and below:  Glistening-green Tanager (Chlorochrysa phoenicotis

Above and below:  Moss-backed Tanager (Bangsia edwardsi)

Just trying out these Google-produced animated images sent to me.  I think they are a little interesting and annoying at the same time.