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Featured species: Fiery-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii)

The Fiery-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii) is a toucan that breeds only on the Pacific slopes of southern Costa Rica and western Panama. Like other toucans, it is brightly marked and has a large bill. Small flocks, usually consisting of up to 10 birds, move through the humid lowland forests.



It is colorful; having a black head and chest and dark olive-green upperparts, apart from a red rump and upper tail. There is reddish collar on the rear neck. The underparts are bright yellow, with a round black spot in the center of the breast and a red band across the belly. The thighs are chestnut. The bare facial skin is black, becoming ruddy behind the yellow eye. The upper mandible of the bill is bright orange, the lower mandible is black, and the legs are green.

It’s primarily an arboreal fruit-eater but it also takes flowers, insects, as well as the eggs and young of birds as large as pigeons and woodpeckers. The latter may also be forcibly ejected from their nesting holes by this a…

Birdwatching at Summit Hotel

Some time ago our photographer Miguel “Siu” spent a weekend at Summit Hotel & Club Golf (http://www.summithotelgolfpanama.com), 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.

Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus)

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 soar high overhead, where they attract attention with sharp, whistled calls. They feed on mammals, birds, and reptiles, taken largely from trees and detected from a favorite perch. It occurs from Mexico south through the Amazon basin as well as in Atlantic coastal forest from eastern Brazil south to northern Argentina.




Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (Chloroceryle inda) - male

Another of the great findings of that day was the Green-and-rufous Kingfisher (Chloroceryle inda). Siu found this male individual perched on a branch above water, on a small stream in dense forest. It has the typical kingfisher shape, with a short tail and long bill. The adult male has glossy green upperparts, with white spotting on the wings, and a rufous nape and underparts. The female has a narrow breast band of green-tipped white feathers. It's a resident in the lowlands from southeastern Nicaragua south to southern Brazil.


The Golden-fronted Greenlet (Pachysylvia aurantiifrons) is a small passerine bird in the vireo family. It breeds in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Trinidad.

Red-throated Ant-Tanager (Habia fuscicauda) is one of the few tropical understory species showing a splash of color: males are dusky red above with a bright red throat.

Southern Bentbill (Oncostoma olivaceum)



In the end, the day provided quality over quantity. Not so many species were photographed but two of them are not very easily photographed, and after all this was supposed to be an off time. This was a nice proof that even on vacations, nature and wildlife photographers could find excellent subjects for their photos.

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