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A birding friend recently asked, “How many birds can you see from your front door?”

I retrieved my modest scribblings and began to count.  Though not taken from the vantage point of the door,  this list documents birds seen from the deck that faces the river.


Ani, Smooth-billed   
Coot, Andean
Cormorant, Neotropical
Cowbird, Shiny
Dove, Eared (?) (large)
Dove, Croaking Ground
Duck White-cheeked Pintail
Egret, Cattle
Egret, Great
Egret, Snowy
Elaenia (?) (gray with bushy crest) (Tyrannulet or flycatcher?)
Finch, Thick-Billed Seed
Fly Catcher, Vermillion
Flycatcher, Sooty-Crowned (?)
Flycatcher,  Boat-billed (?)
Frigate, Magnificent  +.
Gnatcatcher, Tropical *along road
Grackle, Great-Tailed             
Grassquit, Blue-Black
Grebe, least
Gull, Andean
Heron, cocoi
Heron, Great Blue
Heron, Little Blue
Heron, Striated
Heron, Tricolored
Hornero, Pale-Legged
Ibis, White
Kingbird, Tropical
Kingfisher, Green
Kingfisher, Ringed
Martin, Gray Breasted (?)
Meadowlark, Peruvian
Mockingbird, Long-Tailed
Night Heron, Black Crowned
Night Heron, Yellow-Crowned
Oriole, Yellow-tailed
Parrolet, Pacific
Pelican, Brown
Plover —
Sandpiper —
Seedeater, Variable
Swallow, Bank
Tanager, Blue-Gray
Terns – (Royal?)
Vulture, Turkey
Warbler ?  olive y yellow w/yellow eye ring
Water Tyrant, Masked
Willet (?)
While subtle vermilion flycatchers and well-dressed seedeaters forage in the garden, my attention often wanders to the more raucous activity on the river.  Egrets, herons, pelicans, ibises, cormorants and frigates decorate the mangroves that line the river.
Frigates get my vote for the greediest of the waterbirds.   Kingfishers win for best spirit!
When the pelicans start flap-flap-flapping their wings on the water, a mighty little green kingfisher hovers high overhead until it suddenly plunges straight into the river.  If outsmarted by the fish, it flies skyward and hovers again.  If it scores a morsel, it races away and rat-tat-tattles to the world that it’s king of the fishers!
So how many birds can you see from your door or window?  Start counting!   Life could be much worse!

My Chatty Neighbor Mister Kingfisher!