Sunday, November 27, 2011

White-necked Puffbird at Las Plazuelas

During a November 19, 2011 visit to Las Plazuelas (part of the Reserva Natural Lagunas de Mecatepe y Río Manares just south of Volcan Mombacho), Georges Duriaux, Liliana Chavarria Duriaux, Manfred Bienert, Lili Nigaglioni and Rob Batchelder observed more than 60 species of birds, including two very obliging White-necked Puffbirds (Notharchus hyperrhynchus).

White-necked Puffbird

Other highlights included two dozen Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) on a small lagoon fed by thermal hot springs, dozens of Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) including two chicks on a nest, Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius), Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata), Lesser Nighthawk (Chordeiles acutipennis), Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus), Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris), and Masked Tityra (Tityra semifasciata).

Anhinga chicks
Collared Aracari

Although not seen by the entire group, Georges caught up with a perched Steely-vented Hummingbird (Amazilia saucerrottei), while Manfred got a fleeting look at a Long-billed Gnatwren (Ramphocaenus melanurus) working its way through the canopy with a mixed-species flock.

Steely-vented Hummingbird

NicaBirders with Las Plazuelas staff members

Friday, November 25, 2011

eBird Workshop a Resounding Success!

Today's eBird workshop in Managua, hosted by Liliana Chavarria and featuring her co-coordinator for Nicaragua, Oliver Komar, attracted a "who's who" of Nicaraguan ornithology -- nearly 30 participants in all, including representatives of private reserves such as Montibelli, Selva Negra, Quelantaro, El Jaguar, Greenfields, Mombacho and others.  Oliver gave a thorough introduction to eBird and described its many benefits, after which the participants were able to register and enter their own lists into this rapidly-expanding database that stores individual bird sightings and provides users and scientists valuable data on bird status and distribution throughout the hemisphere.  Below are some photos from this afternoon's workshop:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

eBird Workshop November 25 in Managua

Liliana Chavarria Duriaux, Nicaraguan co-coordinator for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's eBird database, with the support of Audubon North Carolina, NicaBirds and the Centro Cultural Nicaraguense Norteamericano (CCNN), will host a workshop in Managua to introduce Nicaraguan ornithologists and birders to the multifaceted eBird websiteeBird allows individuals to record their bird sightings, keep track of personal "life lists," and contribute valuable data on bird status and distribution which can be viewed in dynamic range maps and ultimately help scientists better understand bird migration patterns and population trends throughout the Western Hemisphere and beyond.  The workshop will take place from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 25, in the computer lab at CCNN, Residencial Los Robles, ALKE Carretera a Masaya 1C Abajo 1/2C al Sur, Casas # 13 y 14. The workshop is free, open to all interested participants, and will be conducted in Spanish. Please RSVP by November 23 to Lili at if you would like to attend.  Participants are requested to bring a list of birds seen during a recent outing in order to practing entering their sightings data into eBird during the workshop.

Liliana Chavarría Duriaux, co-revisora para Nicaragua de la base de datos eBird del Laboratorio de Ornitología de Cornell, con el apoyo de NicaBirds, Audubon North Carolina y el Centro Cultural Nicaragüense Norteamericano (CCNN), tiene el gusto de invitar a ornitólogos, guías de aviturismo, propietarios de Reservas Privadas y a todas las personas que hacen avistamientos de aves en Nicaragua al “Taller de introducción a eBird y ventajas de su utilización a nivel personal y a nivel de país”. El sitio web eBird es un instrumento que permite a los individuos registrar sus avistamientos en listas individualizadas por fecha y lugar, llevar registros de su lista de vida o todas las especies que han sido avistadas por cada usuario, y contribuir con información valiosa sobre status y distribución de las especies en el país, ayudando a los científicos a comprender mejor los patrones migratorios y tendencias poblacionales. La información puede verse en mapas de distribución y barras de abundancia lo cual beneficia no solamente al mundo científico sino que contribuye grandemente al crecimiento del aviturismo en Nicaragua. El taller tendrá lugar el día 25 de noviembre 2011 entre 1:30 y 3:00 pm en el CCNN, Residencial Los Robles, ALKE Carretera a Masaya 1C Abajo 1/2C al Sur, Casas # 13 y 14. El taller se impartirá en español y es gratuito y abierto a todas las personas interesadas. Por favor confirmar su presencia (RSVP) con Lili hasta el 23 de noviembre a  Por favor traigan una lista personal para hacer el ejercicio de introducción de los datos.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Black-billed Cuckoo at El Jaguar

During a monthly "MoSI" banding of migratory birds at El Jaguar (Jinotega), conducted November 1-4, 2011, Georges Duriaux reports that the MoSI team captured 172 individuals, of which 88 were migrants. A juvenile Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus) was a first capture of this species in MoSI mist nets at El Jaguar. At 1300 meters above sea level, this record is considerably higher than the rare passage migrant's published altitudinal range of 100-600 meters in Nicaragua (Martinez-Sanchez, 2007).

Black-billed Cuckoo

Ruddy Quail-Dove (Geotrygon montana), though already on El Jaguar's checklist, was also captured for the first time.

Ruddy Quail-Dove

The MoSI team re-captured 12 individual migrants, suggesting a high degree of site fidelity among certain over-wintering species. The female Golden-winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) pictured below was first captured as a juvenile on January 24, 2009, was re-captured on January 20, 2011, and again on November 3, 2011, indicating the bird recently arrived for its fourth winter at El Jaguar. The team also re-captured a Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina) first captured on December 13, 2007, now spending its fifth winter at El Jaguar.

Golden-winged Warbler

Other birds captured or otherwise recorded November 1-4 include Little Tinamou (Crypturellus soui), Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus), Laughing Falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans), White-bellied Emerald (Amazilia candida), Golden-olive Woodpecker (Piculus rubiginosus), Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner (Anabacerthia variegaticeps), Tawny-winged Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla anabatina), Strong-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus), Scaled Antpitta (Grallaria guatimalensis), Northern Bentbill (Oncostoma cinereigulare), and Yellow-backed Oriole (Icterus chrysater).

Golden-olive Woodpecker
Yellow-backed Oriole

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ring-necked Duck at Selva Negra

On an October 22, 2011, visit to Selva Negra (Matagalpa), Jørgen Peter ("Jorge") Kjeldsen of Denmark observed a single, adult female Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) on the pond behind the restaurant. Jørgen, who lived in Nicaragua for several years and who remains one of Nicaragua's most accomplished birders, reports that the bird was absent the day before and the day after his October 22 sighting. A rare winter visitor to Central America, Ring-necked Duck was a new addition to Jørgen's Nicaragua list.

Great Curassow at Volcán Mombacho

Rene Mena of Vapues Tours S.A. reports seeing an adult male Great Curassow (Crax rubra) behind the biological station near the top of Volcán Mombacho (Granada), around 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 27, 2011. According to Rene, who was leading a tour group at the time, the enigmatic bird was observed walking along the ground, but when the group approached it jumped up into a tree about two meters above the ground and made a series of alarm calls for approximately 10 minutes, then later hopped from branch to branch as it made its getaway.  According to Salvadora Morales (who forwarded Rene's report to NicaBirds), Jose Reyes and Cesar Blandon, two Fundación Cocibolca park rangers, observed five females and one male Great Currasow several days prior to Rene's sighting, indicating that this species may be making a comeback in Mombacho's protected zone, which begins at 800 meters above sea level and continues to the top of the extinct volcano.