Saturday, February 21, 2015

Raptors along the road

A few pics that didn't really fit into prior posts...

A pair of Tropical Screech-owls huddled on their dayroost (across from a train station) while we were working our way down from the highlands into steadily increasing rain.

A lot of birds in the tropics get considerably faded.  Chestnut-sided Warbler is a very common species at mid and low elevations in Costa Rica in the winter.  We see the bright fall birds; after bleaching in the tropical sun you'd be amazed how easy they are to mistake for gnatcatchers.  The same fading occurs in raptors too.  This is a young Broad-winged Hawk.
If not for the shape (and Vernon) it would be very difficult to recognize.

Here's the adult.  We tried to make it a Roadside Hawk at first glance, but the broad tailband gives it away.

The adult Roadside Hawk for comparison...

Returning to the narrative of the trip, it took me a while to gather up all the camera equipment and rain gear in the back of the bus when we arrived at our hotel after leaving the highlands.  I was the last one off the bus and was lucky enough to have a Hook-billed Kite fly right over in the misting rain...

We saw one very high bird last year (while distracted by Scarlet Macaws).  This was definitely my best look at the kite (and got kinda lucky that the camera settings were dead on for a black bird against a white sky).

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