North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO2 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.

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 302 Central America has now appeared in the Region every winter since. California Gull may be next. Prior to 2013 there were only three records from Cen - tral America, yet there have been at least four separate records from Honduras and Nicaragua in the past three winters, including a prob - able returning bird from last winter in Hon- duras. Chipping Sparrow was reported for the first time in Panama this winter, but per - haps the most notable two birds in the Region this win - ter were not country firsts but winter firsts, both photographed: Black-billed Cuckoo in Panama in January and Cerulean Warbler in Nicaragua in February. DUCKS THROUGH BOOBIES A rare winter visitor anywhere in the Region, an ad. male Cinnamon Teal seen 7 Feb (ph. NH) on Lake Ilopango, El Salvador proved to be a first for Cuscatlán. In Costa Rica, no fewer than 4 ad. males were at Palenque, Guanacaste 11 Feb (ph. JZ), with 2 still present 26 Feb (ph. DR). Also seldom reported in the Region, Green-winged Teal were reported more fre - quently than is typical in Central America. In Guatemala, 5 were at Finca Tamashan, Retal - huleu 28 Dec (JPC, JB, KVV); in Honduras, a pair was seen on a small overgrown pond near Tegucigalpa, Francisco Morazán 11 Jan (AA, RJ, ph. JvD); in Costa Rica, a total of 5 birds was reported from three localities in Guanacaste and Alajuela between 21 Jan and 11 Feb; and in El Salvador, 3 were found 12 Feb in Laguna de Metapán, Santa Ana (NH et al.), providing only the eighth record for the country. Three Red - heads were reported from Costa Rica this win- ter: an ad. male at Palenque 26 Jan (DR) and 2 at Lake Cachi near Cartago 6 Jan (WN), where a male was seen 3 Jan (MK, GH). A Red-breasted Merganser at Punta Gorda, Toledo 10 Dec 2014 (LJ, AF, AL) was only the eighth reported in Be - lize and was apparently the southernmost ever recorded in the Caribbean. Rarely reported in n. Central America, a male Masked Duck was H. Lee Jones Oliver Komar John van Dort –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B irds are on the move throughout the Region. Several species of migratory wa - terfowl that were formerly rare to absent in Central America have been appearing with increasing regularity over the past five to six years, perhaps the result of extended drought in the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico. This winter, Cinnamon Teal was re - ported in El Salvador and Costa Rica; Green- winged Teal in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salva - dor, and Costa Rica; Redhead at two localities in Costa Rica; and a Red-breasted Merganser was reported from southern Belize. Glossy Ibis continues to expand its range within the Re - gion and has recently been reported in Guate- mala, El Salvador, and Honduras, where it was exceptionally rare or absent until recently. Sim - ilarly, White-faced Ibis was well documented this winter for the first time in Guatemala and for only the third time in El Salvador (and first time since 1926). This follows the first report for Honduras last winter and the first report for Belize the winter before. Unheard of in Central America a decade ago, Kelp and Lesser Black- backed Gulls ow appear annually. With only one record for Central America prior to 2009, Kelp Gull has been reported in the Region at least once every winter since, with the excep - tion of winter 2011-2012. With very few re- ports prior to 2009, Lesser Black-backed Gull at Lake Yojoa, Cortés, the largest natural lake in Honduras, 3 Dec (RL, ph. RG). What may have been the same bird was seen 17 Jan (RJ, JvD). Rarely reported as far s. as Guatemala, an Eared Grebe was seen at the mouth of Río San Francisco near Panajachel, Lake Atitlán, Sololá 20-30 Dec (ph. AM, CA). More Jabirus than usual were reported in Petén during the period, with one each beside Hwy. 5 near the Petén/Alta Verapaz border 13 Dec (KVV), at Sayaxché 19 Dec (ph. RBM), and in a wetland 10 km wsw. of Melchor de Mencos 22 Feb (HM). Noteworthy was a Magnificent Frigatebird seen 5 km ne. of La Libertad, Petén 31 Dec (CE), 150 km from the nearest coastline. Rare in Panama, a Masked Booby was found in a weakened state in Galeta, Colón the morn - ing of 6 Feb (Audubon Panama Data). Accord- ing to the eBird account, it "voraciously ate the sardines it was fed," was looking better in the afternoon, took off, and was not seen again. Interestingly, 2 more were seen 20 Feb from a ship en route between Colón and El Porvenir, Kuna Yala (ph. IH). A few of the El Niño-driven Peruvian Boobies reported last Jul and Aug in Panama persisted through the winter on the Peñón de San José at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, as demonstrated by the follow - ing reports: 3 on 23 Jan (VW), 4 on 22 Feb (ph. JAC), and 3 on 24 Feb (ph. HL, PB). PELICANS THROUGH HAWKS An apparent juv. American White Pelican was found 15 Dec at Panamá Viejo in Panama City (VW, ph. MO), and an apparent ad. was at the same locality 28 Dec (ph. RaL). At least one individual continued through the end of the reporting period (HL). Pinnated Bittern has been reported previously in Guatemala from Monterrico, Santa Rosa, but 2 seen 7 Jan (KE, CAv, ph. ML) and 3 seen 15 Jan (ph. KE et al.) along a stretch of about 500 m of reed habitat and floating vegetation suggest that this bit - tern may be rather common in this area. The 2 Whistling Herons first reported 15 Jul at Playa Malibu near Gorgona, Panamá Oeste (EuC) ap - This male Green-winged Teal was found in the company of a female on 11 January 2015 near Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Photograph by John van Dort. This female-plumaged Red-breasted Merganser was seen off Punta Gorda and Hopeville, Belize 10 December 2014, providing the southernmost record of the species on the Atlantic/Carib- bean side of North America and the second southernmost of the species anywhere within its range. Photograph by Lee Jones. This Eared Grebe, at the southern end of its winter range in Guatemala, was seen at Lake Atitlán near Panajachel 20-30 (here 23) December 2014. Photograph by Alberto Morales.

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