Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jabiru and Raptors Highlight Trip to San Miguelito Wetlands

On September 15 and 16, Managua-based birders Jessie and Cal Stuebner and Howard Youth hired a boat to explore the Ramsar wetlands north of the town of San Miguelito, on Lake Nicaragua's east side. The morning of September 15, they pulled into a small clearing at the edge of a wet, grassy expanse and spotted a single adult Jabiru (Jabiru mycteria) presiding over a dozen far-shorter Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) and a single Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja).

Jabiru with Wood Storks

Two boat rides into the wetland yielded other interesting sightings, including an adult Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica) with a juvenile sitting on its back, three Black-collared Hawks (Busarellus nigricollis), one or two Crane Hawks (Geranospiza caerulescens), a Gray-headed Kite (Leptodon cayanensis), a small kettle of probable Mississippi Kites (Ictinia mississippiensis) (all field marks seen on one individual), Yellow-naped Parrots (Amazona auropalliata), four kingfisher species, Spot-breasted Wrens (Pheugopedius maculipectus), and recently arrived Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) and Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla). All told, 99 species were seen or heard between San Miguelito and the nearby wetlands.

Gray-headed Kite

Monday, September 1, 2014

Crimson-fronted Parakeets Visit Managua Backyard

Managua-based birder Howard Youth reports a visit August 28 from at least two, likely a few more, Crimson-fronted Parakeets (Psittacara finschi) to his Altos de Santo Domingo (Managua) backyard. Youth noticed the vocalizations first as the birds flew in. The calls were not nearly as grating as Pacific Parakeet (Psittacara strenuus) and without the parrot like chatter, yet not as soft as Orange-fronted Parakeet (Eupsittula canicularis).

The birds landed in tall rainbow eucalyptus and one was in plain view. The red forehead and "wing pits" (inside area of bend in wing) were clearly seen. The birds were, in apparent size and proportions, not nearly as thick billed or large headed as Pacific. The body and tail were a bit more sleek, too. Youth would like to thank Liliana Chavarria-Duriaux for advising him to watch for this species, which has been reported in the area recently.

Youth also reports a recent uptick in migrants from North America appearing in or over his yard. These include Bank (Riparia riparia), Barn (Hirundo rustica), and Cliff Swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota), Purple Martin (Progne subis), Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius), Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), and Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia).