White-bearded Manakin (Manacus manacus)

The White-bearded Manakin (Manacus manacus) is a small passerine bird which breeds in tropical South America. This manakin is found in forests, secondary growth and plantations. It is a small, plump bird about 10.7 centimetres (4.2 in) long.  At breeding time, males are involved in lekking behaviour on the forest floor during which they puff out their neck feathers.

img_7377a img_7341a dscn3912 dscn3904

They have a large range from Colombia and Trinidad south and east to the Guianas and Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.  They are readily seen on the main trail at Asa Wright’s but best to go in the morning if you stay there to see them lekking.

whtbrded-mnkn

LEARN MORE ABOUT WHITE-BEARDED MANAKINS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

A very lucky birder found one male trying to court 3 females!

Some more filmed at Asa Wright’s.

Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)

The Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) is a wader in the order Charadriiformes. It is a common and widespread resident throughout South America, except in densely forested regions (e.g. most of the Amazon), the higher parts of the Andes and the arid coast of a large part of western South America. This bird is particularly common in the basin of the Rio de la Plata. It has also been spreading through Central America in recent years. It reached Trinidad in 1961 and Tobago in 1974, and has rapidly increased on both islands.

img_7048

It is a common and widespread resident throughout South America, except in densely forested regions (e.g. most of the Amazon), the higher parts of the Andes and the arid coast of a large part of western South America. This bird is particularly common in the basin of the Rio de la Plata. It has also been spreading through Central America in recent years. It reached Trinidad in 1961 and Tobago in 1974, and has rapidly increased on both islands.  I saw this very striking bird at Aripo Livestock Station.

southernlapwing

LEARN MORE ABOUT SOUTHERN LAPWINGS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

This one is foraging in a swamp.

This one is protecting its nest and eggs.

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!

img_7020 img_6966 img_7031 dscn3793 dscn3778

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.

scarletibis

LEARN MORE ABOUT SCARLET IBIS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

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.

img_6938a dscn3688 dscn3641

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.

btmango

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLACK-THROATED MANGOES

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

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.

dscn3702a dscn3703a dscn3740a img_6911 img_6925 img_6927

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.

rubytopaz

LEARN MORE ABOUT RUBY-TOPAZ HUMMINGBIRDS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

American Bird Conservancy

VIDEOS

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.

img_6690 img_6686 img_6689 dscn3238 dscn3239

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.

andeanmotmot

LEARN MORE ABOUT ANDEAN MOTMOTS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

“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!

img_6198 img_6197 img_6202

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.

r-b-thornbill

LEARN MORE ABOUT RAINBOW-BEARDED THORNBILLS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

American Bird Conservancy

VIDEOS

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!

img_5986 img_5994 dscn3165 dscn3184 dscn3197

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.

booted rt

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHESTNUT-CROWNED ANTPITTAS

Wikipedia

Birdlife

Neotropical Birds

VIDEOS

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.