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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: Fiery-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii)

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.



Fiery-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii) 

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.

Fiery-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii) eating sangrillo (Croton panamensis) fruits

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 aracari, which will then use the newly vacated cavity for its own brood.

Fiery-billed Aracari (Pteroglossus frantzii) eating macano (Diphysa americana) flowers

The population is suspected to be in decline as range contractions have taken place in Panama. The species formerly occurred in east Panama and on various islands such as Boca Brava, Cebaco and Gobernadora.

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