From the Middle of the World

Scarlet Tanager

Ecuador –   The lovely Scarlet Tanager joins the list of rare birds that drop in for a photo session then move on!  This one visited Parque las Vegas on March 31.  At first glance I thought it was the ‘common’ Vermillion Flycatcher:

Vermillion Flycatcher

Scarlet Tanager

This bird was quite patient with the impromptu photo session, but it was not until that night that I realized how rare this beauty was in this area.   It was the third time for this species to be reported in Manabi Province on eBird:   eBird/Scarlet Tanager/Manabi-Ecuador

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In nearby La Tomatera, a new eBird Hotspot, several more VIP birds have provided special glimpses, and I continue to find myself Blessed by Birds.   The quite rare Black-billed Cuckoo continues to ‘multiply.’   First there was one sighting, thanks to Luis Saltos, then another visit to La Tomatera resulted in two sightings, and last Saturday THREE Black-billed Cuckoos revealed their hideouts in three different locations.  Sha-zam, thank you Mother Earth!

Grey-capped Cuckoo

In addition to the Black-billed Cuckoos, the lovely Gray-capped often shows up near the former.   Double thank you – Triple thank you!

This morning I visited a group of ‘UrbiArbol’ activists who work every Friday or Saturday along a canal, cleaning trash and planting trees.  I watched for birds while they worked in harmony.  Little by little the planet becomes a better place because of quiet people doing selfless work.

Enjoy the slide show:

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The finale as we were parting at noon?   A ‘lovely’ long snake with a green head was trying to raid a bird nest in the tall grasses!   We were as rapt trying to see the snake as are spectators in a World Cup championship game!

A snake is somewhere – we saw it, but then it vanished!

Tropical Herping sent a lovely Earth Day newsletter update.   For a glimpse of Ecuador’s stunning beauty and diversity, as well as some serious environmental concerns, please take time to visit their post:  EARTH DAY 2022

I sent the photos of the Laughing Falcon’s unlucky snake to Alejandro Arteaga, also part of the Tropical Herping team.  He mentioned that it was a great sighting,”…This is certainly the first time a predator is confirmed for the snake Mastigodryas reticulatus, so it is very exciting…”   and that he would include the data in the soon-to-be published Reptiles of Ecuador.  For information about that book – or to help sponsor the printing costs, go here:   REPTILES OF ECUADOR.COM 

That’s the update between events on this busy day in Portoviejo Ecuador.

Please, take time to tip your hat to our beautiful planet and to those who are quietly working to restore what we’ve lost…  Love, Lisa

The newest generation of the Golden Grosbeak.