26 March 2013 13:45
© monacoeye • All rights reserved • Septimo Paraiso, Mindo, Ecuador
Bird name: Little Cuckoo
Latin: Coccycua minuta
Other: chincoã-pequeno (Br), Petit Piaye (fr), cuco ardilla menor, tingazú chico, piscuita enana (Es)
Family: Cuculidae - Cuckoos
Range: E Panama to NE Brazil & N Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Trinidad
Similar: Squirrel Cuckoo
Just a record shot of Little Cuckoo in Mindo, Ecuador, at Septimo Paraiso Lodge. It looks rather like a small Squirrel Cuckoo.
01 September 2012 20:40
Copyright monacoeye • Iguaçu, Brazil 2006
Bird name: Giant Cowbird
Latin: Molothrus oryzivorus
Other: Iraúna-grande (Br) • Tordo Gigante (Es)
Family: Icteridae • Cowbirds
Range: S Mexico through N South America
Similar: Great Tailed Grackle
The Giant Cowbird is a brood parasitic icterid, laying its eggs in the nests of oropendolas, caciques and some other birds such as jays. It is found from Central America to the northwestern half of South America and to a lesser extent the southern part of Brazil.
The Giant Cowbird is a large bird (40 cm) - it looks a bit similar to the Great-tailed Grackle in Panama, but the latter has a thinner bill. The adult male is larger and shiny blue-black, the female browner and smaller. Irises can be red or yellow, depending on regional differences, also in some regions males tend to have red irises and females yellow irises.
Below, a Giant Cowbird with red eye in the Canal zone of Central Panama, 2010
04 January 2012 13:58
Copyright: monacoeye • Mindo Lindo, Ecuador, February • Do not copy without permission
Bird name: Velvet Purple Coronet
Latin: Boissonneaua jardini
Other: Coronita Aterciopelada, Colibrí sietecolores (Es)
Family: Trochilidae • Hummingbirds
Range: Andes; Colombia, Ecuador
The Velvet Purple Coronet is a very striking bird with superb deep purple plumage. The head and chest can often look black. In Ecuador found northwest of Quito, in mid-altitude forest - seen here at Mindo Lindo Lodge, for example.
24 July 2011 10:04
Copyright: monacoeye • Do not copy without permission • Santa Lucia, Ecuador, March.
Bird name: Slate Throated Whitestart
Latin: Myioborus miniatus
Other: Slate-throated Redstart • Candelita goliplomiza (Es) • Mariquita-cinza (Br)
Family: Parulidae • New World Warblers, Whitestarts
Range: Mexico, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Guianas, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina.
Similar: Parulas, Euphonias
One of the most widespread and frequently-seen passerines in Ecuador in March at mid-altitude - fast-moving but will perch nearby. Seen on the slope up to Santa Lucia, Mirador Rio Blanco, Paz de las Aves and Milpe, but the best views were at San Isidro (above). Often found in mixed flocks.
In Panama, I only saw them in the eastern Chiriqui province, where they are known by the old name of Slate-throated Redstart. They did not live close to huts like the Collared Whitestart, so were seen less frequently.
The Slate-throated Whitestart is yellow below, slate above, extending over head and throat (unlike the Parulas in Panama). Longish tail with white outer feathers distinguishes it from Euphonias. Small rufous crest is sometimes difficult to see. One fanned its tail frequently (photo below).
Directly above and below, Slate-throated Whitestarts, Chiriqui, Panama, May. © monacoeye
17 July 2011 11:20
Copyright: monacoeye • Santa Lucia, Ecuador • Feb 2011 • Do not copy without permission
Bird name: Booted Racket Tail
Latin: Ocreatus underwoodii
Other: Colaespátula zamarrito (Es)
Family: Trochilidae • Hummingbirds
Range: N Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia
Similar: Purple-bibbed White-tip female
The Booted Racket-Tail was one of the first hummingbirds I saw in Ecuador, at 1800 m altitude at the Santa Lucia Reserve feeders. Then at other feeders, for example, the excellent hummingbird set-up at Mindo Lindo, and at nearby Septimo Paraiso, but not lower down in the town of Mindo.
The male Booted Racket-Tail (above) is instantly recognisable by its long tail feathers, terminating in purple “rackets” (more difficult to identify when regrowing these feathers) and fluffy white thigh “boots”. Otherwise mostly green, with white post-ocular mark and brown wings.
The female (directly below) is more difficult to identify. She has a normal-sized tail, white chest and underparts, greenish upperside (coppery with flash) which stretches down round the sides leaving a few spots on the belly. She has smaller thigh puffs, pale feet, dark bill, white post-ocular spot, white tail-tip, and faint short white malar stripe.
There are two subspecies in Ecuador: peruanus female has buff thighs and crissum and more spotting on chest, melanantherus - the one seen NW of Quito - has white puffs and crissum and white chest.
Directly below, a female Booted Racket-Tail in northwest Ecuador. Copyright monacoeye.