Showing posts from January 28, 2018

More Blue Bunting with video clip

I enjoy watching birds of species that I am not familiar with so returned to Quinta Mazatlan this afternoon to look for the rare Blue Bunting again. It has continued to be seen most often at their amphitheater feeders and I waited there. When I saw it last week I thought I heard it call before it came into view so I was delighted to hear it call and a few minutes later it came in the opposite side of the feeders from where I sat and only stayed a short time so I missed it. Later I was much luckier. Again I heard it call and a couple minutes later it flew onto the top of a brush pile but quickly flew down and went back into the vegetation. I did pick it up about a foot or so back in the plumaged where it sat quietly for several minutes before walking around between the brush pile and vegetation then disappearing for several more minutes. Then it flew up to the wood feeder and chowed down on bird seed (looks like it ate millet) as shown in the video clip and did so for almost 15 m…

The Rose-throated Becard, back view

Since I posted the photos below of the Rose-throated Becard Professor Tim Brush at Univ of Texas-Pan American has informed me that this is an immature/subadult male noting the rusty remaining in the wings (that was most prominent in the flight photo I posted so will post it again, just click on 'read more' to see it). So here is a photo of the bird from behind which shows the rusty/rufous color in it's primaries.  There is also some rosy/rufous tinge on a few non-primary feathers.

Neotropical Birds online in describing this species does not indicate any rufous/rusty coloration in adults but notes the following in the section on 'Juvenile and older first year birds': "Rufous or russet tones are prevalent in the body and wing feathers of males during the first year, and the first few pink or rose feathers may appear then, even rarely at the juvenile stage (Pyle 1997a)." 

The photo above shows the extensive amount of rufous/rusty feathers retained from it…

Another rarity, Rose-throated Becard

Rose-throated Becards are very rare tropical species that have only been reported in Texas and Southeast Arizona. This male becard was found just a few weeks ago but there has also been sightings of a female type (fem/imm male) late last fall. This species occurs from Central America through much of Mexico. It is reported that these birds sit quite still for periods making them challenging to spot and with males like this one it is especially challenging if they are facing away from you or their heads are down so their bright rose colored throats. I was able to watch this bird for about 15 minutes as moved from tree to tree pausing often. It began foraging at about 15 feet above the ground but moved down to 4 or so feet into the shrubby vegetation. The bottom pic shows it flying away with the rufous feathers on it's wings evident. SeEtta
A range map for this species is below.