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WorldTwitch Neotropical -- Birds of Central and South America and the Caribbean

The first thirteen volumes of Ornitologia Neotropical (1990-2002) are now available free online at SORA (Searchable Ornithological Research Archive).

BRAZIL is covered on a separate page.

New online publication: Conservation of Quail in the Neotropics (pdf). Proceedings of a Symposium held during the VI Neotropical Ornithological Congress, Monterrey, Mexico, 4-10 October 1999. Jack C. Eitnear, John T. Baccus, Sheldon I. Dingle & John P. Carroll, editors. Center for the Study of Tropical Birds, Inc. Miscellaneous Publication No. 3 (2004).

American Birds magazine has been renamed North American Birds, and from 1 August 2000 will include reports south through Panamá. "Each quarterly column includes reports of unusual or rare migratory and resident bird species seen; interesting population trends, such as range expansions and contractions, seasonal influxes, and nesting anomalies; and general migration phenomena, such as early and late arrival and departure dates, unusually high or low numbers, vagrants, and attempts to correlate migration phenomena with regional weather patterns whenever possible." Please send your reports for México to Héctor Gómez de Silva (hgomez [at] miranda.ecologia.unam.mex) and for Central America to Lee Jones (buteo [at] attglobal.net).

Another reminder: the Neotropical Bird Club needs your support, so please join or renew if you have not done so already.

"New name for the Bolivian Blackbird." Peter E. Lowther, Bull. B.O.C. 121(4): 280-281 (2001). Following the suggestion of Johnson & Lanyon (1999) that the Bay-winged Cowbird be transferred from Molothrus (parasitic cowbirds) to Oreopsar (the formerly monotypic Bolivian Blackbird), Lowther has resolved a nomenclature problem by placing both species in Agelaioides, which has priority over Oreopsar. The Bay-winged Cowbird reverts to Agelaioides badius, and the Bolivian Blackbird becomes Agelaioides oreopsar.

Warbling-Finch relationships are more complex than previously believed: S.C. Lougheed, J.R. Freeland, P. Handford, P.T. Boag. "A molecular phylogeny of Warbling-Finches (Poospiza): Paraphyly in a neotropical emberizid genus." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 17(3): 367-378 (2000). From the abstract: "Poospiza have traditionally been considered part of the emberizine radiation. However, our analyses suggest that members of this genus are more closely related to some thraupine lineages than they are to the other neotropical emberizine genera included in our study (Atlapetes, Embernagra, Melopyrrha, Phrygilus, Saltatricula, Tiaris). Although member taxa are closely related, the genus Poospiza appears to be paraphyletic with representatives of 6 thraupine genera (Cnemoscopus, Cypsnagra, Hemispingus, Nephelornis, Pyrrhocoma, Thylpopsis) interspersed among four well-supported Poospiza clades."

DNA evidence that the Hoatzin is a turaco: J.M. Hughes and A.J. Baker, "Phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin) resolved using mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences." Molecular Biology and Evolution 16(9): 1300-1307 (1999).

Nine-primaried Oscine Relationships - publication of a new DNA study by J. Klicka, K.P. Johnson & S.M. Lanyon in the April 2000 Auk. From the abstract: "Our results suggest that Euphonia is not a tanager but perhaps represents a derived form of cardueline finch. Piranga, traditionally considered a typical tanager, is a cardinaline in all of our analyses. Calcarius falls outside the sparrow lineage in all of our analyses, but its true affinities remain unclear. Elements of four different AOU families are represented in our clade Thraupini. The inclusion of several "tanager-finches" (Haplospiza, Diglossa, Tiaris, Volatinia, Sporophila) and a nectarivore (Coereba) in this clade is consistent with findings from other molecular phylogenies in suggesting that convergence in feeding specializations among some lineages has confounded traditional morphological classifications." Auk 117(2):321-336 (2000).

Cuba: 2002 Cuba Trip Report by Dave Sargeant.

1999 Cuba Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle.

Might the Cuban Poorwill, Siphonorhis daiquiri, survive in arid southeast Cuba? The species was described by Storrs Olson from fossil evidence in 1985. In a report on subsequent fossil discoveries, William Suárez writes that it would be "almost unsurprising" if the nocturnal, secretive and relatively silent (based on S. brewsteri of Hispaniola) species still exists. Cotinga 14 (2000):66-68.

In a message to the Neoorn list in December 2000, Arturo Kirkconnell reported that he had been observing the first Spotted Rail nest found in Cuba in the Zapata Swamp.

Guy Kirwan and Michael Flieg observed three Cuban (Hook-billed) Kites Chondrohierax uncinatus wilsonii in January 2001 in a still extensively forested area in the Santiago region. American Birds 33(2): 137 (April 2001).

Please send your Cuban bird records to George Wallace: wallacg@fwc.state.fl.us.

Bahamas: Kirtland's Warbler links.

William K. Hayes, Robert X. Barry, Zeko McKenzie & Patricia Barry. Grand Bahama's Brown-headed Nuthatch: A Distinct and Endangered Species. Bahamas Journal of Science [2004] 12(1):21-28. (pdf)

Jamaica: Miss Lisa Salmon, founder of the Rocklands Feeding Station, passed away in 2000. (BirdLife Jamaica July 2000 Newsletter).

Lesser Antilles: St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent  - 2000 Trip Report by Barry Cooper and Gail MacKiernan.

White-breasted Thrasher Ramphocinclus brachyurus will be virtually wiped out on St. Lucia by a cricket [the sport] resort funded by the European Investment Bank and surrounding development. BirdLife 22 April 2005.

Not satisfied simply to destroy their own country, the government of Taiwan is funding a road across St. Vincent that threatens the St. Vincent Parrot Amazona guildingii. BirdLife 8 December 2004.

Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent - 1999 Trip Report by Frank Frazier.

"Fighting for a rare bird", by Blake Edgar. International Wildlife March/April 1999. [Bird conservation on St. Lucia]

Dominica - Three cheers to Paul Reillo, director of the Rare Species Conservancy Foundation, for loaning his life savings toward the acquisition 650 ha of forest for a new National Park for the Imperial Parrot. The Government dedicated an additionall 3,500 ha to the park. Cotinga 16 (2001), NeoNews.

México: Baja California and western Mexico trip report, January-February 2005, by Dave Sargeant.

Samuel Hanssen's Mexico trip report, June - July 2002.

1999 México Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle.

Nick Gardner had 35 Aztec Thrushes just below treeline (3100m - 3300m) at Volcán Nieve, Jalisco on 16 April 2001. Also notable was a Colima Warbler. Nick reported finding easy access to higher elevations on a good gravel road. He had an Eared Poorwill 1.6 km below the micro-ondas on Volcán Fuego, Jalisco on 14 April.

Karl Overman and Peter Kaestner drove from Brownsville, Texas to Guatemala in May, 2000, looking for Mexican endemics along the way. (See Karl's detailed daily notes of the trip.) They found White-throated Jay, Cyanolyca mirabilis, at the same spot where Dave Sargeant and I had them in April, 1993, in second growth pine-oak forest along a logging track about 25 km north of La Soledad (near El Porvenir) on the Puerto Ángel Road, Oaxaca. In Coatepec, Veracruz, they went out with Pedro Mota Hernández, the Bearded Wood-Partridge guide, but only heard Dendrortyx barbatus. Sr. Mota said that he has taken out 20 groups of foreign birders to look for barbatus, but birds were seen on only four occasions. Despite spending eight hours searching, they missed Nava's Wren, Hylorchilus navai.

After using it to raise funds, the World Wildlife Fraud abandons Selva Lacandona to avoid offending Zapatista invaders who are destroying the reserve in the Chiapas lowlands. ("A Bitter Struggle Over a Rain Forest" by Mark Stevenson, AP, 14 July 2002):

"The attack from the left - long an ally of conservation movements - has scared off the Washington-based World Wildlife Fund, which in 2000 signed a petition calling for the removal of settlers, but later dropped that position and now refuses to talk about the reserve.

"'We learned our lesson that time. We found ourselves in the middle of so much polemics that you can't answer them,' said Mercedes Otegui, spokeswoman for the WWF in Mexico. 'Our policy is now just not to get involved.'"

Still there but difficult to see: Researchers mistnetting birds on Cozumel caught three different Cozumel Thrashers Toxostoma guttatum between November 1994 and July 1995. "Registros del Cuitlacoche de Cozumel Toxostoma guttatum posteriores al Huracán Gilberto." T. Macouzet F. & P. Escalante Pliego, Cotinga 15 (2001): 32-33.

The first records of D. barbatus in Querétaro, in fact at four different sites near the border with San Luis Potosí, have been reported by Eitnear et al. in Cotinga 13:10-13 (Spring 2000). See also (pdf) "Bearded Wood-Partridge discovered in Mexican state of Querétaro", by J.C. Eitnear et al., PQF News No. 12 (1998).

In addition, D. barbatus was found in Oaxaca for the first time by Sergio H. Aguilar-Rodríguez of Pronatura Veracruz in August, 1998. "Registro de la perdiz veracruzana o Chivizcoyo (Dendrortyx barbatus Gould) en la sierra norte de Oaxaca, México." Huitzil (2000) 1:9-11. At least two birds responded to tape at 1560 m in the vicinity of Huautla de Jiménez, near the Puebla border. (Lower right of p. 34 of the Pemex road atlas.)

Conservation Triumph for the Thick-billed Parrot, by Ernesto Enkerlin, 22 Jan 2000.

Conservation Status of the Military Macaw (Ara militaris) and Scarlet Macaw (Ara macaw) in México, by Eduardo E. Iñigo Elias. Audubon Latin America Bulletin No. 6 (July 2000).

Photospot: Agami Heron by Steve N. G. Howell, from Cotinga 10, Autumn 1998.

Bill Principe's Checklist of the Birds of Mexico features an impressive, close-up photo of an Eared Poorwill, Nyctiphrynus mcleodii on the cover.

Belize: See WorldTwitch Belize.

Guatemala: During a meeting on jaguar and bat survey techniques at Tikal in June 2001, a park guard was shot and killed, another guard was shot and wounded, and an American woman was raped 500m from the hotel. After the entire group left early, a field crew's vehicle was fired upon with automatic weapons. (Bruce Miller on Neoorn-l). It has since been reported (on BirdChat) that there have been 30 violent incidents at Tikal in the past year, although they were successfully covered up prior to the succession of terrible crimes during an international conference. The police now have begun to round up the usual suspects. (PrensaLibre.com)

On 14 February 2000, Tom Brooks watched two Horned Guans, Oreophasis derbianus, calling and heard a third bird answer them in steep cloud forest above Fuentes Georginas, a hot spring resort south of Quetzaltenango where the species used to be seen regularly. This is the first report brought to my attention since J. Stratford saw five birds in July, 1990. The site is a little below 3,000 m on Volcán Zunil. While much of the remaining forest has been destroyed in the past 20 years, the noisy, jet-like geothermal project that formerly drowned out bird song has not been operating during recent visits. UPDATE: Jason Berry of GBRC reports that Horned Guans were seen on two of his tours in March 2001 in a more remote area below Fuentes Georginas.

Honduras: A New Zealand woman was shot four times in the stomach and her Israeli boyfriend was killed during an armed robbery in Pico Bonito National Park on July 11, 2001. They had travelled by bus to the rainforest park, south east of the town of La Ceiba, and had begun walking when they passed by two men on a motorcycle. The two men returned and held up the pair at gunpoint. (Ecoclub.com News).

Orange-breasted Falcon conservation project of The Peregrine Fund.

Costa Rica: Biology student from Kansas stabbed to death in Golfito. May 2001.

Trip report by Jon Hornbuckle, February - March 2001.

Trip report by Patrick O'Donnell, December 1999 - January 2000.

Uniform Crakes Amaurolimnas concolor were heard and seen at Finca Bajuca, across from the Selva Verde Lodge, by a tour led by Mike Mulligan on 9 January 2001.

Panamá: See the Xenornis rare bird reports website and the August 2000 El Tucán for details of observations of Bare-necked Umbrellabird and Lanceolated Monklets on the track beyond Santa Fé, Veráguas in July 2000. (That's the only place I have ever seen a Bushmaster.)

The washed-out Pipeline Road bridge has been repaired. You still need a key to enter, which can be obtained through Canopy Tower or the Gamboa Rainforest Lodge. (Bob Ridgely).

Of the many fine articles in the Autumn 1998 issue of Cotinga, one of the most interesting is W.J. Adsett & D.C. Wege, Natural history of the little-known Speckled Antshrike, Xenornis setifrons. (10:24-29). The authors advise that the best chances for finding the species are on the first 2 km of the Ibe Igar trail at Nusagandi (about 2.5 hours northeast of Panama City by 4 x 4 vehicle), in the dry season.

The staff at Canopy Adventure, in El Valle de Antón, less than an hour's drive west of Panama City, regularly track a family party of RUFOUS-VENTED GROUND-CUCKOOS, Neomorphus geoffroyi, as the birds follow army ants, and may be to find them for visitors.

Department of no surprise: Two-year study in western Panamá finds isolated shade coffee plantations not to be beneficial to resident, ant-following birds. ENN 27 Sep 2000.

Colombia: Birding in the Proaves Reserves, Colombia, April - July 2007, by Frank Lambert.

Bogatá Rail, Rallus semiplumbeus, by Inés Elvira Lozano. 7 Audubon Latin America Bulletin (Sept. 2000) (with 3 photos). The author studied semiplumbeus in the wetland "La Flórida" near Bogotá. Using tape playback, she found 54 pairs on territories of 0.1 to 0.2 hectares. She reports that the species normally breeds twice per year and that they can be seen year-round with playback. They are most easily observed at the wetland "La Conejara." Unfortunately, La Conejara is about to be destroyed by a new highway, and the local government has begun to convert La Flórida into a "recreation area."

"A Bird-Watcher's Heaven (if War Wasn't Hell) by Juan Forero, New York Times, 8 April 2003. About birding in Colombia, including interviews with Paul Salaman, Gary Stiles, and Peter Kaestner.

"Get up!" said a voice. Then came a prod in the ribs with a rifle butt. Telegraph, 11 October 2003. Account of kidnapping of tourists in Santa Marta.

In July 2002, Jorge Velasquez and Alonso Quevedo located a flock of 14 Fuertes Parrots Hapalopsittaca fuertesi, perhaps the last flock in the last patch of suitable cloud forest habitat in Quindío and obtained photos, videos and tape recordings. Proyecto Hapalopsittaca.

Illicit crops and bird conservation priorities in Colombia, by Maria D. Álvarez. Conservation Biology 16(4): 1086-1096 (August 2002) (pdf).

The newly-discovered Chestnut-capped Piha Lipaugus weberi has been described and illustrated (by John O'Neill) in the July 2001 issue of Ibis. Cuervo, Salaman, Donegan & Ochoa, Ibis (2001) 143:353-368. The bird has been found in a narrow band of sub-Andean forest (1500m - 1820m) on the northern slope of the Central Cordillera. As the remaining remnants of suitable habitat are being destroyed, the bird has been proposed for listing as Endangered. An important site is a 320-ha block of primary forest at La Forzosa, which also holds Black Tinamou Tinamus osgoodi, Red-bellied Grackle Hypopyrrhus hypogaster, Multicolored Tanager Chlorochrysa nitidissima and Black-and-Gold Tanager Bangsia melanochlamys.

The Wattled Curassow, Crax globulosa, a riverine island specialist in western Amazonia, has been hunted to the verge of extinction. The only island in Colombia where it is believed to occur is Isla Mocagua, where the population has declined to about 50 individuals and it is still hunted opportunistically. It also occurs on nearby Isla Cacao in Peru. (Sara E. Bennett, The Status of the Piurí (Crax globulosa) in Colombia - a Brief Overview, Bol. CSG 10:18-21(2000)). [How to subscribe by e-mail to the Bulletin of the IUCN/BirdLife/WPA Cracid Specialist Group.]

Yellow-eared Parrot, Ognorhynchus icterotis, photo by Paul SalamanResearchers with Proyecto Ognorhynchus, studying YELLOW-EARED PARROTS, OGNORHYNCHUS ICTEROTIS, in Colombia have found a total of 110 birds, including 24 adult pairs, in a remote valley in central Colombia. The study area, which is completely unprotected, contains the largest remaining stand of the Quindio Wax Palm, which the parrots require for feeding, nesting and roosting. It is suspected that the wax palm depends upon the Mountain (Wooly) Tapir, a threatened species, for seed germination after the tapir's consumption of ripe fruit.

For further information and new photos, see Paul Salaman's excellent Proyecto Ognorhynchus Website.

Proyecto Ognorhynchus paid a 7700 Euro ransom to FARC terrorists to free Dutch ornithologist Roelant Jonker, who they had held for eight months. (Dutch FARC Hostage Released, Radio Nederland, 18 June 2002).

Important new book: Hummingbirds of Colombia, by Luis Mazariegos.

Rediscovery of the Colourful Puffleg Eriocnemis mirabilis by Luis A. Mazariegos H. and Paul G.W. Salaman Cotinga 11 (1999): 34-38.

Photospot: White-naped Seedeater Dolospingus fringilloides, by J. Newman. Cotinga 14 (2000).

Chiribiquete Emerald, Chlorostilbon olivaresi, a Recently Discovered Species of Hummingbird, by F. Gary Stiles. Audubon Latin America Bulletin No. 2 (April 1999).

The hummingbirds of Nariño, Colombia by Paul G. W. Salaman and Luis A. Mazariegos H. from Cotinga 10, Autumn 1998.

Ornithological surveys in Serranía de los Churumbelos, southern Colombia by Paul G.W. Salaman, Thomas M. Donegan and Andrés M. Cuervo. Cotinga 12 (1999): 29-39.

"Birds of prey", Outside Magazine, September 1998. About the adventures of Pete Shen, Tom Fiore et al.

Following up: Ordeal takes Colombia off birdwatchers' map (NY Times).

US taxpayer-funded herbicide spraying devastating Colombian forests in idiotic "war on drugs." (But Monsanto profits.)

Venezuela: Jon Hornbuckle's Venezuela Trip Report, January-February 2001.

Chris Sharpe is working on an inventory of the birds of Hato Piñero and would be interested in records of any unusual birds observed there. E-mail him at: rodsha[at]telcel.net.ve.

David Ascanio reported on the Neoorn List about a National Guard checkpoint in Sierra de Lema, Canaima National Park, at 1300 m elevation, with lights that attract a great number and variety of moths. On 6 August 2001, while leading a tour, he observed 13 Golden-tufted Mountain-Grackles and a variety of other birds feeding on moths around the lights. The guards explained that the birds had been coming in every morning for about a month. Birders should speak with José Flores, who will show you the moths and birds. David suggests bringing small items for José, such as booklets about Venezuelan birds.

Anyone interested in Venezuelan ornithology or planning a birding trip to Venezuela should obtain a copy of "Further range extensions and noteworthy records for Venezuelan birds", by Christopher J. Sharpe, David Ascanio-Echeverria and Gustavo A. Rodríguez, Bull. B.O.C. 121(1):50-62 (March 2001). I was particularly interested to read of the apparent range extension south by the Rusty-flanked Crake, Laterallus levraudi, a poorly-known Venezuelan endemic, which was found by Ascanio, Josep del Hoyo and Jordi Sargatal in February 1998 at a small pool in Boconoíto, Barinas. The authors write: "It is probable that deforestation along the eastern flank of the Andes, together with the construction of dykes and pools for watering cattle, has allowed the species to spread southwards through Falcón, Yaracuy and Barinas. Records are to be expected from Portuguesa."

In an article in Cotinga 14 (2000): 30-32, Thomas Brooks reported on his observations of the critically endangered Grey-headed Warbler, Basileuterus grisiceps, on Cerro Negro, Monagas, accessed from the road between the frequently-visited Oilbird cave and Caricao. He found a path into virgin cloudforest (c.3 hours slow climb) starting at a blue gate slightly below the deserted Hacienda Cerro Negro in Sabana de Piedra, and observed one individual of grisiceps on two successive days. Although the area is within Parque Nacional Cueva de los Guácharos, the understorey is being cleared for shade coffee, dooming grisciceps and other understorey species.

Request: Bob Ridgely would be particularly interested in a complete and accurate bird list for Rio Grande, Bolívar and the forest reserve to the east.

June-July 2000 Trip Report by Roger Ahlman.

Sucre Province, October-November 1999, Trip Report by Niels Poul Dreyer.

The December 1999 issue of the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists Club includes an important article by Steve Hilty with notes on poorly-known species and three new records from Venezuela. (Bull B.O.C. 119(4):220-235). Here is an excerpt from the author's description of the foraging behavior of Guttulated Foliage-gleaners, Syndactyla guttulata: "They hop rather heavily in foliage and often hang or cling sideways to understorey branches to inspect dead twigs and broken branch and twig ends, and regularly use their peculiar bill to pry off loose or flaking bark, or chip it off with a characteristic chiseling motion recalling that of Simoxenops and Neoctantes. On 3 September 1994 the species was observed attending a large swarm of Echiton sp. army ants."

A RUFOUS-WINGED GROUND-CUCKOO, Neomorphus rufipennis, was seen on a side trail off the main road 8 km North of the Cabello junction in the Caura Forest on 15 February 1999. (R. Williams; G. George trip report).

Guyana: A previously unknown population of Red Siskins has been discovered in the Rupununi Savanna of southwestern Guyana. Surveys in adjacent Roraima, Brazil have thus far failed to locate birds. See "Discovery of a Population of the Endangered Red Siskin (Carduelis cucullata) in Guyana" by Mark B. Robbins, Michael J. Braun, and Davis W. Finch. Auk 120(2): 291-298 (April 2003). See also AP article, 19 June 2003.

Guyane: There is aRufous Nightjar, Nyctibius bracteatus - Cayenne? by Stanilaus Blanc photo of Rufous Potoo, Nyctibius bracteatus, on the Sépanguy website. The photo, by Stanislaus Blanc, presumably was taken in Guyane, and probably was the first record for the country. The first specimens were collected in 2000. Cleere & Ingels, Bull. B.O.C. 122(2): 154-155. Rufous Potoo occurs in Guyana and should be much easier to find now that a commercial tape is available.

Ecuador: Rick Waldrop reported that a Maroon-chested Ground-Dove visited the yard of Vinício Pérez in Mindo in early morning during December 2002. Vinício, a well-known Ecuadorian bird guide, may be contacted at vinicioperez [at] andinanet.net.

The team of Nick Athamas, Iain Campbell, Paul Coopmans and Richard White set what must be a new record for the most species of hummingbirds observed in one day in Ecuador on 6 March 2002. Here is their list in chronological order:

1. Tourmaline Sunangel - Guango Lodge feeders.
2. Tyrian Metaltail - Guango Lodge feeders.
3. Mountain Velvetbreast - Guango Lodge feeders.
4. Long-tailed Sylph - Guango Lodge feeders.
5. Sword-billed Hummingbird - Near Papallacta village.
6. Viridian Metaltail - Near Papallacta village.
7. Shining Sunbeam - Near Papallacta Lake.
8. Buff-winged Starfrontlet - Near Papallacta Lake.
9. Blue-mantled Thornbill - Behind radio towers above Papallacta Pass.
10. Ecuadorian Hillstar - Along the road to the radio towers above Papallacta Pass.
11. Sparking Violetear - Along the road between Papallacta and Quito.
12. Black-tailed Trainbearer - Along the road between Papallacta and Quito.
13. Tawny-bellied Hermit - Near the entrance to Tandayapa Bird Lodge.
14. Brown Inca - Near the entrance to Tandayapa Bird Lodge.
15. Booted Racket-tail - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
16. Western Emerald - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
17. Purple-bibbed Whitetip - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
18. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
19. Andean Emerald - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
20. Violet-tailed Sylph - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
21. Green Violet-ear - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
22. Fawn-breasted Brilliant - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
23. Purple-throated Woodstar - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
24. Buff-tailed Coronet - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
25. Collared Inca - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
26. White-bellied Woodstar - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
27. Green-crowned Brilliant - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
28. Wedge-billed Hummingbird - Seen at a lek on a trail near Tandayapa Bird Lodge.
29. Green-fronted Lancebill - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
30. Brown Violet-ear - Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.
31. Speckled Hummingbird - Loma Linda (pilgrim82 [at] hotmail.com) feeders.
32. Little Woodstar - Loma Linda feeders.
33. Gorgeted Sunangel - Bellavista feeders.
34. White-necked Jacobin - Feeders at Restaurante Los Colobries in Mindo.
35. White-whiskered Hermit - Feeders at Restaurante Los Colobries in Mindo.
36. Green-crowned Woodnymph - Feeders at Restaurante Los Colobries in Mindo.
37. Empress Brilliant - Feeders at Restaurante Los Colobries in Mindo.
38. Velvet-purple Coronet - Feeders at Mindo Lindo.
39. Band-tailed Barbthroat - In forest at km 106.5 near Los Bancos.
40. Black-throated Mango - Coming to flowering Inga tree near Puerto Quito.
41. Purple-chested Hummingbird - Seen on a song perch in Pedro Vicente Maldonado.

More details

I regret to report the death of Dr. Fernando Ortiz-Crespo in a boating accident on Laguna Micacocha in the Reserva Antisana at about 4,000 m.

On 16 September 2001, Paul Coopmans observed 17 species of hummingbirds in the last hour of daylight at the Tandayapa Bird Lodge feeders.

Belated tick: Dave Sargeant and I observed a pair of small parrots at SierrAzul in October 1992, but were unable to identify them at the time. Fortunately, we made critical notes, including a transcription of the calls. Upon receiving my copy of Birds of Ecuador, I was pleased to confirm that the birds were Spot-winged Parrotlets, Touit stictoptera. With this uncertainty resolved, I have posted notes on birds observed at SierrAzul on trips in June and October, 1992 and a preliminary checklist for SierrAzul, a superb cloud forest ecolodge on the east slope of the Andes.

Inspired by Iain Campbell's "Big Month", Robert Jonsson and Charlie Vogt of Avestravel undertook a "Big Week" in Ecuador during the first week of May 2001, tallying 612 species. See their website for an illustrated report.

On 30 December 2000, Fernando Ortiz Crespo visited Reserva La Caja near Cuenca and with assistance from a very able guide, Lizardo Guevera, Jr., was able to see two Andean Condors, now a very rare bird in Ecuador. Sr. Guevera advised that a young bull had died in the vicinity a week before and he had seen 11 Condors feeding on the carcass. Other birds observed at La Caja (páramo at 3830m) included a flock of Tit-like Dacnis, Great Horned Owls, Chimborazo (Andean) Hillstar, Shining Sunbeam and Blue-mantled Thornbill. (Neoorn-L)

A new species of confusing, greenish tyrannid has been described by Paul Coopmans and Niels Krabbe in Wilson Bull. 112(3): 305-312 (9/2000). They have named it the Foothill Elaenia, Myiopagis olallai, since it has been found at 800 - 1,500 m in eastern Ecuador and Peru. It is most similar in plumage to Grey Elaenia, M. caniceps, and Forest Elaenia, M. gaimardii. However, its song, first recorded by Coopmans, is a harsh, ascending trill, different from other Myiopagis. A specimen found by Krabbe in the AMNH collection had been incorrectly identified as M. gaimardii. Both Grey and Forest Elaenias are much more common than the majority of trip reports would lead one to believe. They are most easily identified by their distinctive vocalizations.

Kieran Fahy reported in August 2000: "I have just returned from a 10-day birding trip to Northern Ecuador.  While there I saw at first hand habitat destruction in action.  The (formerly) excellent lowland forest at Pedro Vicente Maldonado was in the process of being clear-felled. Despite this, we saw a Plumbeous Forest-Falcon (Endangered), sadly sitting in the trees which were about to be felled."

On 1 September 2000, Tony Nunnery and Mark Lockwood had Double-banded Graytail, Xenerpestes mintosi and Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Dacnis venusta, among large numbers of birds temporarily concentrated in the patch of remaining forest at Pedro Vicente Maldonado. Except for the patch, the entire area had been cleared, with the tree carcasses waiting to be hauled away.

Patrick O'Donnell's Report of a 3-month trip in early 2000 includes some great stakeouts and information about new birding areas.

Henna-hooded Foliage-Gleaner, Hylocryptus erythrocephalus, has been found in highly-disturbed scrub and second-growth adjacent to a homestead on Cerro San Sebastian (600m) in Machalilla National Park. D. Becker et al., Cotinga 13:55-58 (Spring 2000).

Ecuador Trip Report, January - March 2000, by Greg Roberts.

Ecuador Trip Report - Mostly Podocarpus National Park, by Ottavio Janni.

Birding in Northern Ecuador, by Barry Wright.

UPDATE December 2001: Urgent Conservation Request: Help needed NOW to stop crude oil pipeline through Nono-Tandayapa-Mindo, Ecuador

Report of a trip to the Bilsa Biological Reserve, Esmeraldas Province, in September-October 1999, by Niels Poul Dreyer.

Field notes on Giant Antpitta by Yves de Soye, K.L. Schuchmann and J. C. Matheus, from Cotinga 7, April 1997.

A Maroon-chested Ground Dove, Claravis mondetoura, was observed at approximately 1,250m in Mindo on 12 December 1999, and a Crimson-breasted Finch, Rhodospingus cruentus, was seen in the same area on 14 December. (V. Perez & J. Lyons).

1997 Northwest Ecuador Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle.

1997 Cerro Golondrinas, Ecuador Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle.

Rediscovery of the Pale-headed Brush-Finch, Atlapetes pallidiceps

Pale-headed Brush-finch Atlapetes pallidiceps is not extinct by Ana Agreda, Niels Krabbe and Orfa Rodríguez. Cotinga 11 (1999): 50-54.

Interesting bird records from the Colonche Hills, western Ecuador. Dusty Becker, Ana Agreda, Andrea Richter & Orfa Rodríguez. Cotinga 13 (2000): 55-58.

On 20 November 1997, Bob Ridgely et al. discovered a distinctive new species of large antpitta at a well-birded locale, the Que Barada Jocotoco Antpitta, Grallaria ridgelyi Honda Trail, on the Loja-Zamora Road in southern Ecuador. (The Tapichalaca Reserve has since been established there by Fundación Jocotoco.) About 12 pairs were located by voice, said to be a double hoot reminiscent of a Huet-Huet, between 2,300 and 2,600 m. The bird has now been described as Grallaria ridgelyi, Jocotoco Antpitta, by Krabbe et al., Auk 116(4):882-890 (October 1999). To order a copy of the issue, which features a color plate of ridgelyi by Paul Greenfield on the cover (see above), contact the OSNA.

When mistnets were set up to capture examples of the antpitta, the ornithologists unexpectedly caught an apparent new species of Thripophaga softtail.

Birds of the Guandera Biological Reserve, Carchi province, north-east Ecuador by W. Cresswell, R. Mellanby, S. Bright, P. Catry, J. Chaves, J. Freile, A. Gabela, M. Hughes, H. Martineau, R. MacLeod, F. McPhee, N. Anderson, S. Holt, S. Barabas, C. Chapel and T. Sanchez. Cotinga 11 (1999): 55-63.

Galápagos: Worldtwitch Galápagos Birding and Conservation Links & Books

Peru: Birding in Peru have posted many interesting articles by Barry Walker on their website, including:

22 March 2007: Long-whiskered Owlet Xenoglaux loweryi seen and tape recorded at Abra Patricia, Peru. Details.

First record of Yellow-cheeked Becard Pachyramphus xanthogenys in Madre de Dios, Peru, and notes on birds from the same locality. By Daniel J. Lebbin. Cotinga 22 (2004): 30-33 (pdf).

Patrick O'Donnell's report of an intensive birding course at Tambopata Research Center and Posada Amazonas, March 2002.

Gunnar Engblom has started the BirdingPeru Yahoo Group for discussions of Peru birds and birding.

White-masked Antbird Pithys castanea previously known from one specimen, was rediscovered in the summer of 2001 in western Loreto by an LSU expedition. (John O'Neill message to the BirdingPeru Yahoo group.)

Birding at Posada Amazonas and the Tambopata Research Centre, with good bird finding information, by Patrick O'Donnell, August-October 2001.

The Birds of Pantiacolla Lodge, Peru, July-August 2001, by Mike Catsis & Juvenal Ccahuana.

A new species, Mishana Tyrannulet, Zimmerius villarejoi, has been described by José Alvarez Alonso and Bret Whitney in the Wilson Bulletin (2001) 113(1):1-9. It is known only from white sand forests in northeastern Amazonian Peru, and has been found along the newly-paved road between Iquitos and Nauta. This is one of four new species recently discovered by the authors in the vicinity of Iquitos. Ancient Antwren, Herpsilochmus gentryi, has already been described. Whitney & Alvarez, Auk (1998) 115:559-576. See two articles about José "Pepe" Alvarez, with bird photos:

"El Mistério del Varillal", by Marco Zileri. Caretas, 1 Feb. 2001.

"Evangelist for Nature", by Catherine Elton. International Wildlife, May/June 2001.

Another new species, Lulu's Tody-Tyrant, Poecilotriccus luluae, has been described by N.K. Johnson and R.E. Jones in Auk (2001) 118(2): 334-341.  It has thus far been found in a limited area of northern Peru east of Bágua Grande and south of the R. Marañón.

Northern and Central Peru Trip Report by Simon Allen, 21 July - 20 August 2000.

Gunnar Engblom reports on his rediscovery of Kalinowski's Tinamou Nothoprocta kalinowskii in North Ancash. [Update 2007 - "Kalinowski's" Tinamou is now known to be Ornate Tinamou Nothoprocta ornata.]

Photos and notes on an injured Common Potoo Nyctibius griseus chick being hand-reared at Amazonia Lodge, by Huw Lloyd.

Samuel Hansson's report of a 1999 trip to Peru/Ecuador/Colombia.

20 Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Pelecanoides garnotii, were seen on the first pelagic trip run by Gunnar Engblom on 1 October 2000. Monthly trips are planned.

Southeast Peru trip report, May-June 2000, by Garry George.

Northern Peru trip report, July-August 1999, by Simon Allen.

Urgent request for help with a project to conserve Polylepis forest at Abra Málaga, above Urubamba, the only accessible site for Royal Cinclodes, Cinclodes aricomae. See also Ecological requirements of the Royal Cinclodes Cinclodes aricomae at Abra Málaga, Cusco, Peru and The conservation of Polylepis adapted birds at Abra Málaga, Cusco, Peru, by Gunnar Engblom, Gregorio Ferro Meza and Constantino Aucca Chutas.

The Birds of Abra Patricia and the Upper Río Mayo, San Martín, north Peru, by Jon Hornbuckle. Cotinga 12 (1999): 11-28. [Part 1][Part 2]

September 1999 Peru Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle

1998 Preliminary Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle

Huw Lloyd has scanned some of his handheld photos from SE Peru, including Rufous-fronted Antthrush, Formicarius rufifrons (from the Cuzco Amazonico Reserve near Puerto Maldonado), and Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Celeus spectabilis. See his article on the nesting behavior of C. spectabilis at the Tambopata Reserve at Bull. B.O.C. 120(2):129-132.

A new species, the Black-spectacled Brush-Finch, Atlapetes melanops, has been described from a restricted range in central Peru. T. Valqui & J. Fieldsa, Ibis 141:194-198.

Reports by Gunnar Engblom:

1. Peruvian Plantcutter Urgently Threatened

2. Long-whiskered Owlet Type Locality Threatened

3. Where to see Wetmorethraupis and Siptornopsis

Bolivia: Birds of Samaipata, Bolivia by Joe Tobias.

Bennett Hennessey believes that the critically threatened Bolivian Swallow-tailed Cotinga, Phibalura flavirostris boliviana, recently rediscovered in Madidi National Park, deserves species status. In preparation for field work, he is seeking recordings of the Brazilian nominate form of this usually quiet bird. (tangara[at]unete.com).

New information on plumage, nesting, behaviour and vocalisations of the Bolivian Swallow-tailed Cotinga Phibalura flavirostris boliviana from the Apolo area of Madidi National Park, Bolivia. By Geoff Bromfield et al. Cotinga 21 (2004): 63-67 (pdf).

Patrick O'Donnell's report of a visit to the Apa Apa Forest, Yungas, in March 2002, prompted by his reading the following report by Jon Hornbuckle.

Additional sites and bird list for Tunquini, by Jon Hornbuckle.

"Birding in Parque Nacional Noel Kempff Mercado, Bolivia" by Nick Acheson and Susan Davis. Cotinga 16 (2001): 91-96.

Thomas Valqui reports in Cotinga 14 (2000): 105 on the rediscovery of Royal Cinclodes, Cinclodes aricomae, in Bolivia, in a small isolated patch of Polylepis c. 3 hours beyond Puina along an old mule trail from Pelechuco to Apolo in Madidi National Park.

1997 Riberalta, Bolivia Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle.

1998 Riberalta, Bolivia Trip Report by Barry Wright

Yamashita & Machado de Barros - The Blue-throated Macaw

Rufous-faced Crake: a new species for Bolivia, with notes on its identification, distribution, ecology and conservation by Robin Brace, Jon Hornbuckle and Paul St Pierre, from Cotinga 9, Spring 1998.

"Cuatro ONGs devoran la biodiversidad chiquitana", Los Tiempos, Cochabamba, Bolivia, 30 July 2000

Paraguay: "First records, noteworthy observations and new distributional data for birds in Paraguay", by David R. Capper, Robert P. Clay, Alberto Madroño N., Juan Mazar Barnett, Ian J. Burfield, Estela Z. Esquivel, Corinne P. Kennedy, Mirna Perrens & Robert G. Pople. Bull. B.O.C. 121(1): 23-37 (March 2001).

Argentina: Black-capped Piprites Piprites pileatus rediscovered in Argentina in the newly demarcated Parque Provincial "Caá Yarí" in Missiones. Article and photo. (October 2006).

Brazilian Merganser Mergus octosetaceus rediscovered in Argentina! The TWSG-Forum reports that in May 2002, biologist Jorge Baldo saw a single bird on the Río Uruzú in the Uruguaí basin, Missiones.

Chile and Argentina Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle, 7 October - 26 November 2000.

"Notes and range extensions of some poorly known birds of northern Argentina" by Mark Pearman. Cotinga 16 (2001): 72-76.

Candidate Sites for Important Bird Areas in Argentina Threatened by Afforestation (Aves Argentinas / AOL).

Notes on the rediscovery of the Austral Rail in Santa Cruz, Argentina by Juan Mazar Barnett, Marco della Seta, Santiago Imberti and Germán Pugnali from Cotinga 10, Autumn 1998.

Chile: Chile pelagic trip recommendations by Alvaro Jaramillo. 8 January 2005.

Chile and Argentina Trip Report by Jon Hornbuckle, 7 October - 26 November 2000.

Black Rail records near Valdivia, by Jorge Ruiz on Hualamo.com.

Neotropical Notebook in Cotinga 14 (2000): 106 reports that a breeding plumaged Hooded Grebe, Podiceps gallardoi, was observed c.10 km east of Porvenir, Region XII, on 20 October 1997. There is only one previous published record for Chile. (Cotinga 11).

Trip report by Barry Wright, November-December 1998.

For assistance in planning a trip to the Juan Fernandez Islands, Chile, contact Martin Reid.

Other articles and reports:

Carlos Yamashita - Anodorhynchus as followers of extinct megafauna

Parr - Threatened Parrots of Latin America & the Caribbean

AMERICAS NEWS (Headline news from Brazil, Argentina, Latin America & Mexico)


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