North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO3 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 194 of 211

V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 505 C E N T R A L A M E R I C A for Swallow-tailed Gull, rare anywhere in Pa- cific waters off Central America, as all records n. of South America have been from Mar–Jul, mostly in Apr. One was photographed on 26 Apr about 10 km e. of Isla Coiba (EC, JH, BF, RodM). Reports of California Gull from Cen - tral America have increased recently, perhaps as a result of increased coverage and improved identification skills. On 25 Mar, 2 were ob - served in Río Jiboa estuary (ph. MT, IL), pro- viding only the second report for El Salvador and the first in 22 years. In Honduras, a winter - ing second-cycle individual remained at Punta Ratón at least until 24 May (OK, ph. JvD). New for Honduras as recently as 2014, the species was found at the same location two winters in a row, possibly involving the same individual. Also at Punta Ratón, observers were delighted by an ad. Sooty Tern 27 May (JvD, ph. MM) fly - ing restlessly among the tern flock and briefly landing on the beach before heading out to sea. Sooty Tern, rarely seen near land away from its breeding grounds, is not known to breed in the Gulf of Fonseca, although a large colony of Bridled Terns is seasonally present. Inca Terns were again reported from Costa Rica and Pan - ama this season. An ad. was seen 13 May from the Paquera ferry in the Gulf of Nicoya (DRA), and another was seen 28 May on Frijoles Islet off Isla Coiba (KG, ph. MR). While large num - bers of Black Terns are sometimes seen in the Gulf of Nicoya in Costa Rica, a concentration of 5000 roosting on Punta Ratón in Honduras 24 May (OK, JvD) was noteworthy. DOVES THROUGH SWIFTS Eurasian Collared-Dove continues to be ob- served in cen. Petén, where 3 were seen at San- ta Elena 22 May (ABL) and 6 at San Benito 24 May (AV, IS). In n. Petén, the species has now been recorded at Uaxactún, where one was seen 18 Apr (JPC), and another was seen at La Corona archaeological site, 72 km nw. of San Andrés, 7 May (JM). Plain-breasted Ground- Dove appears to be genuinely rare in Hondu - ras, where it is reported much less frequently than in Guatemala and Belize. Thus, a group of 3 in w. Honduras at El Puente archaeologi - cal site, Copán 9 May (CZ, ph. FD) was note- worthy. In Panama, a White-winged Dove seen near Río Iglesia, Darién 6 Mar (CB) provided a significant range extension and the first re - port from e. of the Canal Area. A Black-billed Cuckoo at Tierra Linda El Zapotal, Petén 45 km w. of La Libertad 24 Apr (RAn) was the only one reported in Guatemala this spring. Also in Guatemala, a Squirrel Cuckoo was at the un - usually high elevation of 2700 m in Vega del Volcán, San Marcos 30 Mar (KE). Of note was a Stygian Owl seen 12 Mar near the town of La Ceiba (KB). We still know very little about this species in Honduras. Each year, a few are reported, but it remains uncertain whether it is genuinely rare or simply under - reported. The same can be said about Striped Owl, a species that is reported on average about once a year in Honduras. One was seen at Río Santiago Nature Resort 4 May (JvD). An injured Stygian Owl at Finca Rubel Chaim, Alta Verapaz 10 Apr (ph. JPC) provided a new site record for Guatemala, and a Striped Owl at San Benito 24 Apr (CE) provided the second record for Petén. With very few reports from Panama, an Unspotted Saw-whet Owl seen and heard on 11 Mar at 2315 m on the upper slopes of Volcán Baru (JT) was noteworthy. Probably not rare in Honduras, Buff- collared Nightjar is nevertheless rarely reported away from mid-elevation dry forest on the Pacific Slope. An effort to find it in the w. interior of Honduras in Lempira, where it had not been recorded before, was successful 15 Mar, when one was recorded near Gracias (v.r. FD, OK et al.). Black Swift, rare in Panama, was doc - umented 24 (ph. MJI) & 25 Apr (ph. ND) at Tranquilo Bay Lodge, Isla Bastimentos, Bocas del Toro. Six more were observed 26 Apr at the mouth of the Río Changuinola, Bocas del Toro, and one was seen 3 Mar at the Canopy Tower (both MJI). A White-chinned Swift was seen 3 May on its nest (EC, JL, MSm) and again on 7 May (CrB) above Boquete, Chiriquí at same site where the species was first discovered nest - ing in 2014. HUMMINGBIRDS THROUGH THRUSHES The ad. male and female Ruby-topaz Hum- mingbirds present at the Canopy Camp, Darién last winter remained until 6 Apr (GB). Providing one of the northernmost records for the species, a Black-crested Coquette was in Belize at Black Rock Lodge, Cayo 20 Mar (ph. MF). Belize's eighth Long-billed Starthroat, and first to be photographed, was found 10 May along the summit trail in Elijio Panti N.P., Cayo (ph. OEC, DH). Berylline Hummingbird, a Pacific-slope resident of Mexico and n. Cen - tral America, occasionally shows up on the Caribbean slope of Honduras, suggesting local American White Pelican has yet to be recorded in South America, but two recent records from central Panama bring the species ever closer. The first was a long-staying individual found in Panamá Viejo 16 December 2014 and still present at the end of the period. The second—or possibly the same bird—was this one photographed in Punta Chame, 50 kilometers south- west of Panamá Viejo, on 30 March 2015 and still present the next day. Photograph by Paul Oehrlein. Rails are among the most difficult group of birds to document, especially those like the Spotted Rail that do not vocalize frequently. Fortunately, Spotted Rails, like this one that was photographed on 10 May 2015 at Río Amarillo archaeological site in western Honduras, occasionally come out of hiding to feed along the water's edge. Photograph by Francisco Dubon. California Gull is another gull species to search for in coastal Central America. With multiple reports from the Gulf of Fonseca in 2013–2014 and 2014–2015, it may not be long before it turns up in Guatemala, the only country north of Panama with a Pacific coastline where it has not yet been recorded. This first-cycle bird, one of two present 25 March 2015 in the Río Jiboa Estuary, established only the second record for El Salvador. Photograph by Mario Trejo. This worn second-cycle California Gull was seen at Punta Ratón in southern Honduras between January and June of 2015 (here 21 June). New for Honduras as recently as 2014, this species has since been recorded several times in the Gulf of Fonseca. Photograph by John van Dort.

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