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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Page 18 of 139

Figure 3. Identification of the New Mexico wood-rail as Rufous-necked was straightforward, as it is the only species of wood-rail with rufous (also described as rich bay or rich chestnut) head and neck (here 8 July 2013). Photograph by Gary K. Froehlich. 193 V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R 2 R U F O U S - N E C K E D W O O D - R A I L I N N E W M E X I C O chon Guamuchal, a private nature reserve southeast of Tilapa 10 April 2002 (Jones 2002) appear to be the first ever reported from the country. Whether one or both of these birds were vagrants from elsewhere or representatives of local, overlooked popula- tions is not known, but at the Manabique site, local fisherman were said to be familiar with the species (Eisermann 2003). Belize Russell (1964) was aware of but two old specimen records for what is now Belize and apparently never encountered the species there himself. More recently, Jones (2003a) summarized this wood-rail's status in Belize as uncommon to fairly common but local in mangrove forests on offshore cayes and at several locales along the mainland coast and noted that all dated records were from between mid-September and late May. Jones (2003a) speculated that the species may be an altitudinal migrant, wintering in coastal man - groves in Belize but nesting in mountains be- yond Belize. Jones (in litt.) explained that the strongest local evidence for such movement was provided by the population on Caye Caulker, where the species was long assumed to be resident until a family who lived there year round, and who could count up to 20 Rufous-necked Wood-Rails at once on their ests above 700 m in the rugged El Imposible region, but no specifics were provided re - garding dates, numbers, or nesting details. Thurber et al. (1987) commented that those two inland forest sites were markedly differ - ent from coastal mangrove habitats where the species was found elsewhere. Oliver Komar (in litt.) has since recorded the species at sim - ilar high elevations (400-1000 m) within El Imposible National Park and near Las Lajas in Complejo San Marcelino Wildlife Refuge from late May through early September 1994 (see Komar and Herrera 1995); at Finca La Giralda southwest of San Salvador 6 August 2000; and more recently at several locations within El Imposible National Park May–June 2005, including up to eight birds per site. On the coast, Komar (in litt.) recorded the species on 6 May 2001 at the Barillas Marina Club, Bahia Jiquilisco, located in mangroves well west of the Gulf of Fonseca. A recent sight report at San Francisco Dos Cerros 8 December 2002 was believed to be the first winter record for El Salvador (Jones 2003b). Guatemala Historically unknown from Guatemala, a Rufous-necked Wood-Rail observed in the Caribbean lowlands at Manabique 13 March 2001 (Eisermann 2003) and another ob- served in Pacific coastal mangroves at Man- 6 June 1919 (Martinez-San- chez and Will 2010). How- ell commented the habitat was noteworthy, as the spe- cies was usually found else- where in coastal mangroves (Martinez-Sanchez and Will 2010). More recently (2012- 2015), up to two have been recorded in Pacific coastal mangroves at Isla Juan Vena- do 22 December–22 March, prompting speculation that they may only represent wintering birds there (Jones and Komar 2013, Jones, in litt.). Honduras Monroe (1968), who en- countered the species only once in Honduras, listed four specimens, all from coastal lowland or offshore island sites: a male 1 March 1936 and two females 15 April 1947 from Guanaja Is- land, one of the Bay Islands some 50 km off the Caribbean coast, and a male 30 September 1962 from mangroves at Puerto Salamar on the Bay of Fonseca, the latter noteworthy as the first record for the Pacific coast between Guerrero in Mexico and Costa Rica. Howell and Webb (1992) added Roatán, another of the Bay Islands about 60 km off the mainland, to the lo- calities list, with one seen 7 March 1991. More recently, another was seen on Roatán 7 March 2013 (B. McDonald). The species has been seen regularly on Guanaja from Decem- ber through March 2012-2016, in the gar- den of Roland Rumm, who has a guest house 2 km inland from El Bight, on the southern coast, where up to six birds per visit have been observed and photographed; there is no evidence that the rails are nesting at this location, and they are not observed at other times of the year (R. Rumm, in litt.). El Salvador Historically unknown from El Salvador, Thurber et al. (1987) reported a Rufous- necked Wood-Rail specimen was salvaged 3 May 1986 from under a billboard a few kilo - meters south of San Salvador, in the interior of the country at an elevation above 500 m. In addition, they (Thurber et al. 1987) re - ported that "adults and nests" were found, apparently in the late 1970s, in humid for -

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