North American Birds

VOLUME 69 No1 2016

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 165 of 179

N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 164 C E N T R A L A M E R I C A On 17 November 2014, two scaup few by the hawkwatch at Cattle Landing near Punta Gorda, Belize. Photographs of one revealed a male with a relatively large head, large broad bill, and a broad white bar in the secondaries that extended nearly through to the tip of the wing. Together, these features indicate Greater Scaup, recorded just once before in Central America. Photograph by Anna Fasoli. were thought to be non-migratory. An astound- ing 2.1 million raptors, 1.4 million of which were Turkey Vultures, passed the Cerro Ancón Raptor Watch site in Panama City on 2 Novem - ber, setting a one-day record. WATERFOWL THROUGH STORM-PETRELS Until recently, Fulvous Whistling-Duck was considered a late winter and spring visitor to Belize, occurring almost exclusively at Crooked Tree W.S. Along with other recent reports that fall outside this traditional pattern, 12 at Crooked Tree W.S. 21 Jul (RvE), 20 the fol - lowing day (RM), and 4 there on 22 Aug (RM) support the notion that its seasonal status may be changing. It would not be surprising to fnd occurrences of breeding within the country in the near future. Waterfowl made a splash in Panama, with more than the usual number of reports, including the following noteworthy species: an American Wigeon seen 8 Nov (ph. JT) and 2 seen 10 Nov at Gamboa, Colón (ph. RL, RLa, JAC, JS); a male Cinnamon Teal seen 25 Nov at Playa Caracol, Punta Chamé, Panamá Oeste (ph. EC, AG, JP, IB); a Northern Shoveler and 3 Ring-necked Ducks seen 8 (ph. JT) & 10 Nov (ph. RL, RLa, JAC, JS) near Gamboa; and a female Ring-necked Duck 25 Nov at Gorgo - na, Panamá Oeste (EC, AG, JP, IB). Uncommon anywhere in Central America, a female Green- winged Teal was picked out among thousands of Blue-winged Teal at La Berbería reserve, Cho - luteca in s. Honduras 1 Nov (RJ, JvD). Of all the rare migrant ducks that have recent- ly appeared in Costa Rica (e.g., Ruddy Duck, Canvasback, Hooded Merganser), Redhead ap - pears be the one species that might become a regular winter visitor. The following three obser - vations were made this fall: a male at Cachi res- ervoir, Cartago 15 Nov (LU, CM), a new locality for the species; a male at Sandillal reservoir near Cañas, Guanacaste 16 Nov (ph. JZ); and a female at Pelón de la Bajura in the lower Tempisque River basin, Guanacaste 22 Nov (JZ). In Gua - temala, a male was seen at San Cristóbal Vera- paz, Alta Verapaz 8-9 Nov (ph. KVV, JPC, LB) and again 16 Nov (JPC, KVV). At least one of 2 scaup photographed 17 Nov as they few past the Cattle Landing hawkwatch site near Punta Gorda, Toledo (ph. AF) was a Greater Scaup, a species new to Belize. The bird with it was simi - lar in size and shape, but it was only seen briefy and not photographed. Wintering Lesser Scaup usually arrive in Central America in late Oct, so a female seen 17 Aug near La Berbería reserve, Choluteca (RJ, ph. JvD) was exceptionally early and may have oversummered. Providing a new site record in Guatemala, an Ocellated Quail was observed 14 Sep in the Santa Rosa and Llano Largo Private Natural Re - serve, Baja Verapaz (JPC, DA). Pelagic birding in Central America is still in its infancy, and almost any pelagic trip is likely to add signif - cantly to our knowledge of seabird distribution and seasonality in the Region. For example, at least 3 Tahiti Petrels seen 25 Oct on a pela - gic trip off Pedasí, Los Santos (GA, JAC, ph. RL, EC) provided only the second record and frst photographic confrmation for this species in Panama. Three Pink-footed Shearwaters seen on the same trip (GA, JAC, ph. RL, EC), and at least one seen 22 Nov on another pelagic trip off Pedasí (GA, JAC, HL, DM) provided the frst re - cords for Panama. In addition, one dark-morph and 3 pale-morph Wedge-tailed Shearwaters seen on the 25 Oct trip (GA, JAC, ph. RL, EC) were noteworthy, but 60 or more (mostly light- morph birds) seen on the 22 Nov trip (GA, JAC, HL, DM) established the highest one-day count for Panama. In Honduras, a Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel observed 3 Aug about 5 km s. of Amapala Island, Valle in the Gulf of Fonseca (ph. JvD, MM, OK, RJ) was the country's frst. This individual's apparent long tail projection beyond the white rump patch is suggestive of subspecies kelsalli. The nominate subspecies is also found in the Region, but apparently, it tends to occur farther offshore. On the same trip, at least 6 Black Storm-Petrels were do - cumented, providing another frst for Honduras (JvD, ph. MM, OK, RJ). FRIGATEBIRDS THROUGH HAWKS An imm. Magnifcent Frigatebird seen 27 Oct over Cerro de Hula near Tegucigalpa, Francisco Morazán, 70 km inland of the nearest coastline, was unexpected (ph. RJ). This being an El Niño year, boobies showed up in unprecedented numbers in Panama. A Peruvian Booby perched on the balcony of a high-rise apartment in Punta Pacífca, Panama City was frst seen 22 Jul (VA) and confrmed on 2 Aug (ph. RMi, GA, KK, RPi). On 3 Aug, one was found on the Peñón de San José, a small island at the Pacifc entrance of the Panama Canal (ph. RMi), and more were seen on the island over the next few days (m.ob.), with a high count of 38 ads. on 9 Aug (JAC, RL, OQ, VW) during a circumnavigation of the is - land by boat. Seven more Peruvian Boobies were seen 23 Sep on Pachequilla Island in the Pearl Islands, Panamá (ph. JAC, JD, FD). At least 200 Blue-footed Boobies were on the Peñón de San José 9 Aug (JAC, RL, OQ, VW); at least 114 were off Punta Chamé 3 Aug (RMi, GA); and several hundred were on Pacheca Island and Pachequil - la Island in the Pearl Archipelago 23 Sep (JAC). These numbers far exceed those usually seen in Panamanian waters and probably represent an incursion from the Galapagos Islands. Finally, 2 Nazca Boobies seen 25 Oct on the pelagic trip off Pedasí (GA, JAC, ph. RL, EC) and a Red- footed Booby on Isla Escudo de Veraguas, Bocas del Toro 28 Sep (EC) are worth noting. In Costa Rica, the El Niño-related booby invasion was less pronounced; however, Blue-footed Boo - bies were reported from six localities along the Pacifc coast of the Osa Peninsula, Guanacaste, between Aug and the end of Nov, with a high count of 8 seen perched on a rock stack off the Santa Elena Peninsula 19 Oct (KV). While now seasonally common in n. Belize with its broad network of lagoons, American White Pelican is seldom reported in the south - ernmost part of the country. Thus, 13 seen fy- ing past Cattle Landing 12 Nov and one seen passing by the same site 29 Nov (both AF) were unexpected. The Whistling Heron frst report - ed near Chepo, Panamá 9 Jul continued to be seen until at least 11 Oct (RL, OQ). Rare in Pan - ama, 2 white-morph Reddish Egrets were seen 6 Nov at Punta Chamé (EC), and one white- morph individual was seen 24 Nov at Agua - dulce, Coclé (GA, JAC, ph. HL). A gray-necked ad. Striated Heron at Coto 47, Puntarenas 4-16 Sep (ph. JF, JV) was notable; although reported several times in Costa Rica recently, it continues to be an irregular visitor at best. Ten Glossy Ibis were present 9 Nov at El Jicarito reserve (ph. JvD), the only place in Honduras where Plegadis have been documented in the past. Beneftting from large-scale deforestation in Guatemala, Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture con - tinues to expand its range in the Region; one was seen 1 Sep near Tierra Linda, 18 km nw. of Chisec, Alta Verapaz, an area where it has not been recorded previously (JPC). The resident Caribbean subspecies of Osprey (ridgwayi) was at Crooked Tree W.S. 22 Aug, providing the frst documented mainland record for Belize (RM et al.). Small numbers of Mississippi Kites pass through coastal s. Belize each fall. This year, however, a record 1705 were counted between 1 Oct and 29 Nov by the Belize Raptor Research

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of North American Birds - VOLUME 69 No1 2016