Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)

The Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) is a species of ibis in the bird family Threskiornithidae. It inhabits tropical South America and islands of the Caribbean. In form it resembles most of the other twenty-seven extant species of ibis, but its remarkably brilliant scarlet coloration makes it unmistakable. It is 1 of 2 national birds of Trinidad and Tobago.

In this series of photos I took at Caroni Bird Sanctuary, we see them flying in formation, arriving at the roost area and settling in for the night.  The bright scarlet colour is amazing, especially when you have 1000’s of these birds all together!

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The Scarlet Ibis has a huge range over Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Trinidad and several Caribbean islands.  You are virtually guaranteed to see them in the thousands at Caroni Bird Sanctuary in Trinidad.

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There is no shortage of videos of this spectacular bird online, many of which were filmed in Caroni so you get the idea of my experience.  Not to be missed!

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

The Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) is a mainly South American hummingbird species.

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They have a huge range from Venezuela and the Guyanas, south to central Brazil,  Peru, Ecuador and northern Bolivia; also from Colombia into southern PanamaYerette in Trinidad is a good place to see them.

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Why is everyone looking at me?

 

Quick visit to a feeder

Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus)

The Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (Chrysolampis mosquitus), commonly referred to simply as the Ruby topaz, is a small bird that breeds in the Lesser Antilles and tropical northern South America. It is the only member of the genus Chrysolampis.  This stunning little beauty is a seasonal migrant, although its movements are not well understood.  I took these photos at Yerette in Trinidad.  Better photos are in the links below.

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They have a huge range from Venezuela and the Guyanas, south to central Brazil and northern Bolivia; also from Colombia into southern PanamaYerette in Trinidad is a good place to see them.

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Watch how his colours change in the light as he moves!

 

A very lucky group of birders have found some Ruby-topazes in the wild, see the little guys in action!

Sound of the Ruby-topaz

Andean Motmot or Highland Motmot (Momotus aequatorialis)

The Andean Motmot or Highland Motmot (Momotus aequatorialis) is a colorful near-passerine bird found in the forests and woodlands from northern Colombia to western Bolivia. This species and the Blue-capped Motmot, Lesson’s Motmot, Whooping Motmot, Amazonian Motmot, and Trinidad Motmot were all considered conspecific.  There is something magical and majestic all at once with this beautiful racket-tailed bird.

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They have a large range throughout the Central Andes in Colombia, Ecuador & Peru, just barely touching Bolivia.  I saw one at great distance in Mindo, then better views at Rio Blanco and the Termales San Vincente near Pereira, Colombia.

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“Why do all these silly humans want to watch ME?”

 

And this one has some opinions to share.

 

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani)

The Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) is a species of hummingbird in the Trochilidae family.  They can be found in the high paramo in cold high altitude areas.  They have an interesting way to survive the cold.  They enter a nightly hibernation called torpor, where their body temperature, breathing, and heart rate drastically slow so they conserve most of their energy.  My photos don’t do this gorgeous little bird justice as i didn’t get him head on to show the beard but at least I DID get a few shots at the feeders!

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They are found in Ecuador Andes regions & Colombia  in the high paramo south of  Manizales.  The best place to see them is in the gardens of the Termales del Ruiz.   You will be at 3500 metres so plan for altitude sickness.

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Now you see him, now you don’t!

The trick is to get him facing you with the sun behind you to show off his iridescent beard, not an easy task!

 

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla)

The Chestnut-crowned Antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla) is a species of bird in the Grallariidae family. It is found in subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, usually at elevations of 1,900 to 3,100 m.  I wasn’t very familiar with antipttas before this trip but they sure are cute!

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These shy birds have a large range throughout the higher elevations in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.  At Rio Blanco Reserve in Colombia, they feed worms to the antpittas which gives a good chance to see this otherwise hard-to-get species.

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These videos show the experience of birders watching antpittas being offered worms.  Worms are part of their normal diet and they don’t let you go too close to the birds.

 

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus)

The Blue-winged Mountain Tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus) is a species of bird in the family Thraupidae, the tanagers.  These bright, beautiful little birds are often seen at banana tables at lodges in their range.

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They can be found in the higher elevations (mostly above 2500 meters) in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.  I’ve seen them at Angel Paz, Sachatamia & Rio Blanco and they always brighten up my day!

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Banana tables usually attract these little cuties in their range but some people have gotten lucky seeing them in the bush as well.

 

White-capped Tanager (Sericossypha albocristata)

The White-capped Tanager (Sericossypha albocristata) is a dramatic looking bird that is rarely seen, even our guide, Diego was excited to spot this little beauty close to the Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve.  You can barely make out his red throat here (or maybe it’s a female) but you can see it in the videos below.

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They can be found in the higher elevations in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.  This one was well-spotted by our guide near  the finca near Ventanas above Jardin.

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These clips do the beauty of this bird justice better than my pics!