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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…

Featured species: Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea)

In February 2017 we planned a trip to Coiba Island, unfortunately bad weather forced us to change our plans. We decided to stay in Veraguas, and made a short trip to Santa Fe National Park where we encountered a Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea) couple with a nest, and a Green-fronted Lancebill (Doryfera ludovicae), also nesting.

We spent hours and hours trying to get the best shots possible, now shown on this post.

Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea)


The Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea) is a small, distinctive tyrant flycatcher that lives along fast-moving mountain streams from Costa Rica south to northern Bolivia. This species often perches on rocks or low branches in or close to the edge of streams where it forages by making short flights or gleaning rocks to capture insects. In Panama it’s common in western foothills and highlands.


Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea)


Torrent Tyrannulet is mostly pale gray, with a paler belly and a whitish throat, contrasting with a dark slaty crown and sides of the head, and blackish wings and tail.


Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea)

Usually seen perching and foraging for insects. It conspicuously flicks tail while foraging. The flight of this species is low, direct, and fast, it's bold and conspicuous, and is generally easy to see where it occurs.

Torrent Tyrannulet (Serpophaga cinerea)

As mentioned above, we observed nest activity. The couple was continuously foraging and visiting the nest. They appear to be predominantly monogamous and most data on nesting indicates the nest is a sturdy cup placed 0.5-4 m (1.6-13 ft) above water level, and usually is attached to vegetation directly overhanging the stream. In this case it was attached to a man-made structures (bridge). The exterior of the nest is covered in moss while the interior is lined with down feathers. Both sexes contribute to building the nest. Nest-building typically begins when rivers are relatively low.





Below the same bridge we found a female Green-fronted Lancebilled (Doryfera ludovicae) nesting. Unfortunately, the nest location was very inconvenient to get a good picture.

Green-fronted Lancebilled (Doryfera ludovicae) - female

The Green-fronted Lancebill is a greenish cloud forest hummingbird notable for its long, very straight bill that is slightly upturned near the tip. It feeds on the nectar of long, tubular flowers by hovering beneath them and probing upward. Its nest is often placed under an overhang or root along a stream or ledge, and is constructed of moss and treefern scales held together with cobwebs and other fibers. It is found in subtropical and tropical moist montane forest in Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela. In Panama it’s rare and local, in in western and easater foothills and highlands.

Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant (Myiornis atricapillus)

Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant (Myiornis atricapillus) is a tiny flycatcher with a blackish cap, olive green upperparts, a very short tail, and white spectacles. The underparts are pale gray or whitish. Its total length is only around 6.5 cm (2.6 in). It is the smallest Central American passerine and one of the smallest passerines on Earth. It is resident from Nicaragua south to western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador. In Panama is fairly common on the Caribbean lowlands, westernmost Chiriquí, and eastern Pacific slope, but is difficult to observe due to its small size and tendency to forage in middle and upper levels of forest. 

Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani) - female

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)


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