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
14 January 2012 16:40
Copyright: monacoeye • Do not copy • Summit Gardens, Panama • April 2010
Bird name: Harpy Eagle
Latin: Harpia harpyja
Other: Aguila harpía (Es) • Harpia (Br)
Family: Accipitridae • Eagles, Birds of Prey
Range: Central America and tropical South America to Brazil
The top pics are of a captive Harpy Eagle eating at the Summit Gardens zoo - further below there are a couple of pics of a wild bird in Brazil, sent in by Paula.
The Harpy Eagle is the largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas, with much larger talons than a Golden Eagle. Somehow, close up it didn’t look quite as big as I had expected. A rare bird, classed as Near Threatened, it is being reintroduced in several locations, including Soberania National Park in Panama.More photos...
17 December 2010 14:21
Copyright: monacoeye • Do not copy without permission • Itatiaia, Brazil, November 2009
Bird name: House Wren
Latin: Troglodytes aedon
Other: Corruíra-de-casa (Br) • Curucucha (Es) • Troglodytes aedon musculus
Family: Troglodytidae • Wrens
Range: Widespread Americas
The House Wren is found throughout the Americas. The musculus subspecies pictured above is called the Southern House Wren, and sometimes viewed as a separate species.
The House Wren is a great garden bird, with an attractive song. It is not shy and much easier to see than its European counterpart. I saw it in most habitats I visited in Brazil.
Still easily observed in central Panama (lowest two photos), around the hotels, but seemed to be a little less confiding than in Brazil.
Below, photo from Panama.
13 December 2010 22:24
Copyright: monacoeye • Do not copy without permission • Central Panama, April 2010
Bird name: Yellow Bellied Elaenia
Latin: Elaenia flavogaster
Family: Tyrannidae • Elaenias
Range: Southern Mexico to Argentina
The Yellow-bellied Elaenia is distinguished by a shock of unkempt hair, or crest, which always seems raised.
Yellow-bellied Elaenias were seen several times, near the Chagres River and Gamboa Rainforest Resort, in Summit Gardens, and El Valle in Cocle Province, Panama.More photos...
02 June 2010 15:19
Photo copyright: monacoeye • Do not copy • Valle de Anton, Panama • 3 May 2010
Bird name: Grey Hawk
Latin: Buteo nitidus
Other: Grey-lined Hawk, (White-rumped Hawk, Br) • Buteo plagiatus, Asturina nitida • Gavião-pedrês(Br) • Gavilán saraviado (Es)
Family: Accipitridae • Hawks, Birds of Prey
Range: Texas to Argentina.
The Grey Hawk in Panama is a pale, finely barred small hawk, with yellow at base of bill and two white bands on tail, one thick, one thin (a third sometimes visible near base) and narrow white band at tip. Pale grey also from above.
We had good views of this individual in the town of El Valle, in central Panama, and another was seen earlier in Summit Gardens perched at the top of a tall tree.
16 May 2010 01:30
Photo copyright: monacoeye • Do not copy • Summit Gardens • 27 April 2010
Bird name: Lesser Nighthawk
Latin: Chordeiles acutipennis
Other: Atajacaminos (Es), Chotacabras • Bacurau-de-asa-fina (Br)
Family: Caprimulgidae • Nightjars
The Lesser Nighthawk is found from the southwestern United States all the way to Brazil. This individual was seen east of the Panama Canal in Summit Gardens, at the end of April.
The Lesser Nighthawk can be differentiated in photos from the Common Nighthawk by the staggered white wingbar in the Common, which is usually squarer in the Lesser Nightjar, and which is also said to be proportionally higher up the wing in the Common. The Common Nighthawk also lacks the buff spots of the Lesser Nighthawk above the white wingbar on the primaries. The general colouring of the Common is more contrasty than the Lesser. The Lesser Nighthawk is smaller than the Common Nighthawk, with a less deeply forked tail.
Lesser Nighthawks usually nest on bare ground and hunt for flying insects at dusk or night. They often spend their days sitting on branches.