Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pheasant Cuckoo

Pipeline Rd is one of the best places to see Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, a chunky roadrunner class bird of intact tropical forest.  Even so, it's rare there.  Some years a family group will be cooperative, most not.  Its cousin Pheasant Cuckoo isn't much less rare.  Imagine my surprise then when we heard a fairly unearthly charrrrring mechanical growl coming from the underbrush on the final morning not long after our pre-dawn arrival.  I had no idea what it was, and honestly expected it to be a mammal.  I was flabbergasted to see a displaying Pheasant Cuckoo.

The bird would walk about giving a charrrrr call and mechanically rattle its wing and tail feathers, occasionally dashing about to grab an insect.
It was big enough to be hard to fit into the entire frame as I uber-cautiously tried to work my way into lanes where I could (mostly) see through the vegetation.

The bird was still displaying when we left in the early afternoon heat for the airport, a fitting denouement for another last morning in Panama.

No comments: