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Featured Species: Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus)

The Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) is a large, black raptor of Neotropical forests. Its preferred habitats include humid and moist forests close to rivers, and several types of Woodland, and is found from central Mexico to eastern Peru, the south of Brazil, and far northern Argentina. They prefer semi-open areas, second growth forests, river areas and forest ridges, but have also been found in extensive 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 perch. Though light and small compared to other eagles, this bird is a powerful predator that frequently hunts relatively large prey. It mainly eats large rodents, opossums and monkeys, as well as, occasionally, bats and birds, including large birds such as toucans, and chachalacas, and snakes and lizards. 





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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