Skip to main content


Birdwatching at Summit Hotel

Some time ago our photographer Miguel “Siu” spent a weekend at Summit Hotel & Club Golf (, and of course, instead of spending time with clubs and balls, he took his tripod and camera and went searching birds on the trails and forested areas surrounding the facilities.
Suddenly, Siu heard a raptor whistle call that he immediately recognized as a Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus). He had heard it so many times while watching this bird soaring high, but to his surprise this time it was perched on a cecropia dead branch, just looking to the golf course. It only took seconds to draw this large bird’s attention and get a decent shot before it decided to soar to a farthest perch.

The Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) is a large, black raptor of Neotropical forests. It has a prominent crest, is blackish with narrow white barring below, and broad gray bars on the tail. This hawk-eagle occurs in both open and dense forests. Individuals often soa…

Macro-Adventure at Siu Mae Trail

We continue our macro-aventures, now returning to the darkness of the night. This was a short walk more focused on training another photographer on how to make macro photographs but we were able to capture the following:

Sharpshooter (Proconiini). This name is used to refer to any of various genera and species of large leafhoppers in the tribe Proconiini of the family Cicadellidae. As with all cicadellids, they have piercing-sucking mouthparts and closely spaced rows of fine spines on their hind legs. The nymphs feed by inserting their needle-like mouthparts into the xylem of the small stems on the plant where the eggs were deposited; the adults have wings and are highly mobile, and most feed on a variety of different plant species. Both nymphs and adults filter a huge volume of dilute liquid through their digestive system to extract the trace nutrients, and much of the water and carbohydrates are squirted forcibly away from the body in a fine stream of droplets, thus earning them their common name.

Spider Wasp or Pompilid Wasp (Pompilidae). This family is cosmopolitan, with some 5,000 species in six subfamilies. All species are solitary but strangely we found two of the same species on the same plant inches away from each other. Most capture and paralyze prey (spiders).

In South America, species may be referred to colloquially as marabunta or marimbondo, though these names can be generally applied to any very large stinging wasps (and army ants). Furthermore, in some parts of Venezuela and Colombia, it is called matacaballos, or "horse killers", while in Brazil some particular bigger and brighter species of the general marimbondo kind might be called fecha-goela, or "throat locker”.

Pompilids typically have long, spiny legs; the hind femur is often long enough to reach past the tip of the abdomen. The tibiae of the rear legs usually have a conspicuous spine at their distal end. The first two segments of the abdomen are narrow, giving the body a slender look. The pompilid body is typically dark (black or blue, sometimes with metallic reflections), but many brightly colored species exist.

Katydid or Bush Cricket (Phaneropterinae). The name Phaneropterinae is based upon the Old World genus Phaneroptera, meaning "visible wing", referring to the exposed tips of the inner wings. They come in several colors, mimicking leafs colors from green, yellow or dry-leaf-brown. 

Katydid or Bush Cricket (Tettigoniidae). The ovipositor is an organ used by insects for laying of eggs. Tettigoniids have either sickle-shaped ovipositors which typically lay eggs in dead or living plant matter, or uniform elongated ovipositors which lay eggs in grass stems.

Flame-bellied Orb-weaver Spiders (Eriphora sp.). Many orb-weavers build a new web each day. Most orb-weavers tend to be active during the evening hours; they hide for most of the day. Thus, the webs of orb-weavers are generally free of the accumulation of detritus common to other species.