Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Puffbird with Prey

Here's another engaging photo from Alan Dahl: a White-whiskered Puffbird (Malacoptila panamensis) with prey. This appears to be a female with her more subdued buffy coloring. Not sure exactly what that tasty morsel is but looks like it'll make a good meal.

White-whiskered Puffbirds are quite easy to see around Chan Chich Lodge. I've posted about them before and how their numbers seem to have increased since last October's Hurricane Richard. Or maybe in the modified forest, they are simply more conspicuous.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Which hummingbird?

This hummingbird is a bit more colorful than the Little Hermit of last week. When Alan sent this image to me, we had a bit of debate as to which hummingbird it actually was: Scaly-breasted (Phaeochroa cuvierii) or Rufous-tailed(Amazilia tzacatl)? Both can be readily seen around Chan Chich Lodge although the Rufous-tailed is by far the more common. This photo seems to show a "scaly" breast ...

However, I recently learned that female Rufous-tails have white edged feathers on the throat. So we'll go with Alan's original ID!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's a Little Hermit

Most hummingbirds are brilliant in jewel-like colors. Even though this little hummer is more plainly colored, it is readily seen around Chan Chich Lodge. It's a Little Hermit (Phaethornis longuemareus) also known these days, as the Stripe-tailed Hermit. It's tiny, at about 3.5 inches.

The males congregate in "leks," where they show off in an effort to attract females with lots of tail-flashing and squeaky little songs. With their slightly decurved bill, hermits are well suited to feed in heliconia flowers such as make up some of the natural landscaping at Chan Chich. Thanks to Alan Dahl for sharing yet another exceptional image!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Howling Monkey

Generally speaking, my photos of howler monkeys stink. They always look like dark lumps away up high in the shady branches of a tree. Alan's image, on the other hand, is really superb. He's got this male howler monkey, taken at Chan Chich Lodge, in full-blown howl, in lovely light. It's so vivid, you can almost hear the call.

I have searched in vain to find an audio of the Black Howler Monkey, Aloutta pigra, on line and have yet to find it -- sorry! If any Belize Field Notes readers find one, could you please post the link in Comments? It's such an amazing call, it would be great to share it here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lodge Monkey

We have Alan Dahl, a Belize Field Notes reader, traveler and Chan Chich Lodge repeat guest, to thank for this stunning image of a spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) taken near the Lodge some months ago. I love how the monkey is totally engaged with the photographer. And don't you love the white fluff on his cheeks? Thanks Alan!