Friday, February 14, 2014

Flame-colored Photoshoot

The feeders at Miriam's Restaurante would be famous if they were in SE Arizona, in CR they're relatively more anonymous.  The birds are very habituated to people on the sidewalk just feet away from the feeder which leads to some fun photo-ops.  Flame-colored Tanagers are common.

It says something about Costa Rican birds that when you think of the 10 (or 20? more?) most impressive species this one doesn't even come to mind.

It should though.  They're so bright that the camera sensor has trouble dealing with them in full sun.  It's one thing to blow the whites out and overexpose a small area of the bird that's white, but when you're blowing vermillion out that's something else entirely...

Exposure's a little easier in the shade

Mrs. Flame always reminds me of pics of Yellow Grosbeaks
 You can see the two notches on the side of the bill, the trigger for its Latin specific name of bidentata if you look carefully.

What's the opposite of a Flame-colored Tanager?  Definitely not a Rufous-browed Peppershrike which teased us for a while by singing constantly (and invisibly) downslope before coming briefly into view.

Large-footed Finch gets us a little closer (this one is doing some Valentine's advertising to a mate)

Sooty thrush gets us closer, but is still an attractive bird.

The opposite of a Flame-colored Tanager?  I'd say, drumroll please, the Mountain Robin
Take it in, in all of its mud-brown hook-billed glory.

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