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Russet-winged Schiffornis (Schiffornis stenorhyncha)

Russet-winged Schiffornis is one of five species that formerly were united under the name Thrush-like Schiffornis (Schiffornis turdina); the other members of this group are Northern Schiffornis (S. veraepacis), Olivaceous Schiffornis (S. olivacea), Foothill Schiffornis (S. aenea), and Brown-winged Schiffornis (S. turdina). 

Russet-winged Schiffornis is a representative of this group that occurs from central Panama east across northern Colombia to western and northern Venezuela. All species in this group have similar, dull plumages, being primarily brown or olive brown, with paler underparts, and prominent large dark eyes. Although all members of the group also are poorly known, Russet-winged Schiffornis probably is one of the least studied members of the complex. This is a relatively low density species that occupies the understory of terra firme forests, most often foraging within 1-2 m of the ground, and typically is solitary. The clear whistled song is heard far more often than th…

El Valle - the best place for Panama Birds & Wildlife Photos of 2017 (pt. 4) - Featured Species: Chuck-Will’s-Widow (Antrostomus carolinensis)

During one of our incursions to El Valle we were surprised by this large nightjar, the largest in North America and Panama. 

Chuck-Will’s-Widow (Antrostomus carolinensis) - brown adult

The Chuck-Will’s-Widow (Antrostomus carolinensis) is a nocturnal bird of the nightjar family Caprimulgidae. It is found in southeastern United States near swamps, rocky uplands, and pine woods but migrates to the West Indies, Central America, and northwestern South America. Its common name derives from its continuous, repetitive song that is often heard at night appearing to say chuck-will-widow or chuck-wut-widow. By day they can be found resting motionless on the ground or on a horizontal branch, and their dappled brown plumage makes them blend in perfectly; as a matter of fact we almost kick it involuntarily because we didn’t see it until it flied away. Then we started a little chase through the woods to be able  to get this set of pictures, from a less invasive distance.


Chuck-Will’s-Widow (Antrostomus carolinensis) - male brown adult

It has a huge flat head and long wings. Warm brown tones with intricately patterned feathers make them extremely well camouflaged, mottled brownish underparts, a buff throat, reddish-brown feathers lined with black, and brown and white patterning on head and chest.

Chuck-Will’s-Widow (Antrostomus carolinensis) - male brown adult

Field marks of a brown adult chuck-will’s-widow include: stiff bristles extend from base of bill, broad tail buffy underneath with patterned edges, very small bill, large black eyes. It eats primarily insects, particular those active at night such as mothsbeetles, and winged ants. It will also eat small birds and bats, swallowing them whole. In Panama, it’s a rare winter resident (from October to April), found generally in lowlands’s forest and woodland.

Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis)
In El Valle we also found a Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis), another nightjar which is widespread throughout American continent's tropics.


Lesson’s Motmot (Momotus lessonii)

Lesson’s Motmot (Momotus lessonii)

The widespread Lesson’s Motmot (Momotus lessonii) one of the most common and widespread species of motmot in Central America, with a distribution that extends from southern Mexico south to central Panama. Lesson's is replaced by Blue-capped Motmot (M. coeruliceps) in northeastern Mexico (which has a completely turquoise blue crown). At the other end of its range, it's replaced in central Panama by Whooping Motmot (M. subrufescens). Very little is known about the region where these species replace each other; some apparent hybrids have been reported, but the incidence of hybridization has not been documented yet. In Panama, the two species can be distinguished by the color of the underparts (greener in Lesson's, more tawny in Whooping) among other field marks.

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