Sunday, March 9, 2014

Raptors on the Road

After leaving the La Gamba road we turned north on a travel day heading for Carara.  We didn't go far before we slowed for a flyby Roadside Hawk and spotted a Pearl Kite teed up nicely.
These small attractive raptors have been slowly expanding north from Panama.

You can get a sense of its small size from the Fork-tailed Flycatcher mobbing it after it flew farther back from the road.

 I don't remember why we made our next stop.  There were probably one or two hundred vultures and wood storks circling over a field.  We turned behind us seeing more lifting off ... with a couple King Vultures mixed in.

I try to be in the habit to sometimes just look up when birding.  Not far after a lunch break we tried a little brushy patch in the midday sun.  It wasn't super active but someone noticed a fly-by hawk, then a higher group of vultures which contained a Great Black-hawk, our only one of the trip.

The same strategy paid off again in the evening when we stopped for the next post's birds and someone noted this raptor flying overhead.  It was high.
I blasted a dozen pics, zoomed in on the best, noting the paddle wings, grayish underparts, and heavy bill, called out the (lifer) Hook-billed Kite and returned to photographing something much more exciting.  Much more exciting than a lifer raptor?  Stay tuned...

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