(Photo taken from the kitchen window: – Slaty or One-colored Becard? The male Slaty Becard has subtle whitish touches along the edges of its wings. The best way for clarification is by voice/song..)
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” — John Muir
A nesting becard, but which one?
Pachyramphus spodiurus (Slaty Becard) – From the IUCN RED LIST: “… This species qualifies as Endangered as it has a very small and severely fragmented range, which is declining rapidly owing to ongoing habitat loss. Although it may show some tolerance of degraded habitat, the species appears to be genuinely rare and to be undergoing population decline.”
Poza Honda/Manabi/Ecuador – With a sense of mysterious expectation, I left on a brisk walk to check on the Becard nest. It’s located very high in a treetop, and photos taken against the bright sky are very disappointing. Any photo, however, is better than none when trying to confirm that an endangered bird is nesting in the neighborhood!
Female Becard – Slaty or One-colored?
According to Roger Ahlman of eBird, “…If one gray and one brown then definitely Slaty. If two brown then Cinnamon. And of course the song is different. Try to nail that and then input as many breeding details as possible including pictures in eBird even if it should turn out to be Cinnamon Becard.”
A lovely morning walk with the birds!
The first photo of the day captured the progress of the Scarlet Rumped Cacique’s nest, which pulls the branch of bamboo closer and closer to the road.
Yesterday the Buff-rumped Warblers guarded the pond, but today all was quiet.
Just around the bend are four ‘tunnel’ holes in the hillside, and I’ve been wondering, ‘Whooping Motmot or one of the resident Kingfishers?’ This past week the owner stopped and posed for a photo!
The kingfisher wasn’t home today…
Next door to the kingfisher’s quarters was the Becard’s nest; the entire area, quite active 24 hours ago, seemed to be taking a morning siesta – or maybe they were having a fiesta elsewhere! With mostly-blue skies overhead, I headed for the next lookout point for a good image of ‘The Poza.’
View to the West/Northwest. In the distance you can see the dam, which serves as the bridge to reach this side of the lake. Today the water-hyacinths have allowed a lovely view, though some days the reservoir is clogged with the aquatic pest.
The white feather arrow nudged me to go this way!
The Calabash trees mark ‘Chachalaca Curve,’ which gives a view of the next switchback, home to the Rufous-headed Chacalacas and the empty nest of the Grey Hawk. The hawk always acknowledges my presence with a loud warning, ‘This is MY territory!’
Three groups of Chachalacas provided backup soundtrack; many people might find this intrusive, but their loud raucous squawking makes me smile! One seems to scream, ‘A-donde esTA?’ and the other replies, “ACA!” — Here’s a sample, recorded on this outing: Continue reading