April 19, 2016

Golden tanagers

The field guide for the birds of Ecuador lists 138 species of tanager.
The cover all the colours of the rainbow and a few new ones that I've never heard of before.


Tangara arthus


The Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) is endemic to South America. As the name suggests, it is a brilliant golden yellow color. The details of the coloration vary geographically, and no fewer than nine subspecies are recognized.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

April 18, 2016

Violet bellied hummingbird.

Violet bellied hummingbird seen near San Miguel De Los Bancos, Ecuador.
Daily visitor at the Milpe Eco Lodge.

Damophila julie
The male is largely iridescent green, with a contrasting bright violet breast and belly, while the female has pale gray underparts. It occurs in forest and forest edge in both humid and semi-dry regions.
source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Smooth billed ani

We saw several of these birds near the ecolodge at Milpe just outside of Mindo, Ecuador. Another rainy day shot.



I checked and the lodge and staff were not affected by the recent earthquake that devastated parts of Ecuador.

Crotophaga ani
Like other anis, the Smooth-billed Ani lives in small groups of one to five breeding pairs, and up to seventeen individuals. They defend a single territory and lay their eggs in one communal nest. All group members incubate the eggs and care for the young.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

April 16, 2016

Threat display

Red-breasted merganser are migrating through our area.
I have been watching their mating behaviour.


As far as I can tell this display is to impress the females and drive off the other males.
Belly low in the water, tail high mouth gaping open. They were too far off to hear any sound.
The one on the right seems to be impressed by the other male's display.

The bird in the foreground is a horned grebe.

Mergus serrator

The Red-breasted Merganser breeds farther north and winters farther south than the other American mergansers.
source- Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

April 13, 2016

Sushi for lunch

A large number of horned grebes are currently at Erieau, Ontario.
I saw at least 11 at one time in various plumages.
This one had just caught a small fish.



Podiceps auritus

Familiar to most North American birders in its black-and-white winter plumage, the Horned Grebe is more striking in its red-and-black breeding feathers. Its "horns" are yellowish patches of feathers behind its eyes that it can raise and lower at will.

source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology

April 11, 2016

Chestnut-mandibled toucan.

Not the Fruit Loops toucan but still a rather handsome bird.
Saw a pair near Mindo, Ecuador.



Ramphastos swainsonii

Chestnut-mandibled Toucans are largely frugivorous(fruit eating and yes I had to look it up). Being generalists, they will eat from a wide variety of fruiting trees and play a vital role in seed dispersal.

Chestnut-mandibled Toucans also sometimes take lizards, large insects, and the eggs and young of other birds. Insect prey includes cicadas and walking sticks
.source - Cornell Lab of Ornithology.