Orange-fronted Conure (Eupsittula canicularis)

The Orange-fronted Parakeet or Orange-fronted Conure (Eupsittula canicularis), also known as the Half-moon Conure, is a medium-sized parrot which is a resident from western Mexico to Costa Rica.

The first photo was taken in Huatulco and the 2nd photo which is in better light shows 2 released Orange-fronted Conures hanging around the still captive birds at El Manatial Sanctuary near Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

IMG_4851IMG_5656aOrange-fronted Conures have a large range down the Pacific coastal strip between roughly Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to Puntarenas, Costa Rica.  The black dot is Huatulco which is a popular cruise ship port where we saw them.

OFC HuatulcoLEARN MORE ABOUT ORANGE-FRONTED CONURES

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

CornellLab

VIDEO

 

My Top Twenty-Five Bird Sightings Of 2013

Following on from last year’s post in which I highlighted only parrot sightings, this year I have expanded to all bird species.  There were just so many birds who made a major impression on me!  I have also increased the number to 25 since we did 3 birding trips this year.  I didn’t always get good shots so I will put my own photo when I got one.  Some of them were pretty quick!  They are being presented in chronological order.

1.  Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) – seen at Nimbokrang & Waigeo, Indonesia; March 2013

Palm Cockatoo2.  Lesser Bird-of-paradise, (Paradisaea minor) – seen at Nimbokrang, Indonesia; March 2013

I couldn’t get a photo as he stayed in the trees so here’s one taken in Jurong Bird park, Singapore.

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3.  Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) – seen at Nimbokrang, Indonesia; March 2013

Victoria Crowned Pigeons, Nimbokrang

Victoria Crowned Pigeons, Nimbokrang

4.  Western or Arfak Parotia (Parotia sefilata) – seen at Siyoubring, Indonesia, March 2013  I’ll never forget this feathered Lord of the Dance trying so hard to woo 3 aloof females!

One female Western Parotia comes in for a closer look while the male shows his best moves.  There were a couple other females higher up in the branches.

One female Western Parotia comes in for a closer look while the male shows his best moves. There were a couple other females higher up in the branches.

5.  Vogelkop Bowerbird (Amblyornis inornata) – seen at Siyoubring, Indonesia, March 2013

OK lady Bowerbirds, come and check out my awesome bower!

OK lady Bowerbirds, come and check out my awesome bower!

6.  Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus) – seen near Nimbokrang and on Waigeo Island, Indonesia, March 2013

IMG_78677.  Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise, (Cicinnurus respublica) – seen on Waigeo Island, Indonesia in March 2013.   This little guy played hard-to-get with the camera.
Wilson's Bird-of-paradise, Cicinnurus respublica

Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise, Cicinnurus respublica

8.  Red Bird-of-paradise (Paradisaea rubra) – seen on Waigeo Island, Indonesia , March 2013.

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), Waigeo- dancing in the trees

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra), Waigeo- dancing in the trees

9.  Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis) – seen at Crooked Tree, Belize, Tikal, Laguna del Lagarto, Carara, Soberania, August 2013.  This was the first parrot we saw after arriving in Central America so I chose him to represent all the Amazon species seen all over Central America.

Red-lored Amazon or Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis)

Red-lored Amazon or Red-lored Parrot (Amazona autumnalis)

10.  Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) – seen at Crooked Tree, Belize, Tikal, Selva Verde, Laguna del Lagarto, Soberania, August 2013

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11.  Great Green Macaw (Ara ambiguus) – seen at Selva Verde & Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica, August 2013

IMG_951112. Golden-hooded Tanager (Tangara larvata) – seen at Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica, August 2013.

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13.  Brown-hooded Parrot (Pyrilia haematotis)  – seen at Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica, August 2013.

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14.  Collared Araçari (Pteroglossus torquatus) – seen at Selva Verde, Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica, Soberania.  August 2013.

IMG_982415.  Hummingbirds (all of them) – seen at Laguna del Lagarto, Monteverde, Savegre, Soberania.  There is no way I can single out one species, they are all spectacular!

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IMG_1486 IMG_1483 IMG_149616.  Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker (Celeus castaneus) – seen at Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica, August 2013

IMG_969917.  Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) – seen at Monteverde (Curi Cancha) & Savegre.  I will never forget both sightings of this stunning bird!  The first one because I found him by myself and the 2nd one because there were several of them and they hung around a while so I could watch them.

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IMG_1092a18.  Sulphur-winged Parakeet (Pyrrhura hoffmanni) – seen at Savegre, Costa Rica, August 2013

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I haven’t started the India & Sri Lanka series yet, we only got back a few weeks ago and I have been playing catch-up.  These birds will be covered first thing in the New Year.  The photos are a sneak-peek!

19. Malabar Parakeet (Psittacula columboides) – seen in Coorg, India; Nov. 2013.  This time there were only fleeting glimpses of a flock flying overhead so the photo is one I took in 2011 in Kerala.

Malabar Parakeet A20.  White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis) – seen at Kithulgala, Sri Lanka. Dec 2013.

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21.  Layard’s Parakeet (Psittacula calthropae) – seen at Kithulgala & Sinharaja, Sri Lanka. Dec 2013.  They were swift flyers and refused to perch & pose.

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22.  Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot (Loriculus beryllinus) – seen at Kithulgala, Sri Lanka. Dec 2013.  At least he posed, albeit with the sun behind him!

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23.  Alexandrine Parakeet – (Psittacula eupatria) – seen at Kithulgala & Sinharaja, Sri Lanka. Dec 2013.

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24.  Malabar Trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) – seen at Sinharaja, Sri Lanka. Dec 2013.  He only let me get one shot before turning his back.

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25.  Sri Lanka Blue Magpie or Ceylon Magpie (Urocissa ornata) – seen at Sinharaja, Sri Lanka. Dec 2013.

I didn’t get a photo of them since they stayed in the trees so here’s one from Wikipedia.

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Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis)

The Orange-chinned Parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis), also known as the Tovi Parakeet, is a small mainly green parrot of the Brotogeris genus.  It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and heavily degraded former forest. Its name comes from a small clump of bright orange feathers located under the lower beak.

Radisson Summit, Panama

IMG_1578Laguna del Lagarto

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WHERE TO SEE THEM

Orange-chinned Parakeets are found from southern Mexico, throughout Central America to the northern parts of Colombia & Venezuela.  A Central America award will get you to the main places you can see them.  We saw them from the balcony of the Radisson Summit in Panama albeit at a great distance.  Views at the Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica were much closer!  The parakeets enjoy the bananas put out for them and tend to frequent the surrounding trees as well.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PARROT

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

VIDEO

Although the dialogue is is Spanish, the footage of the birds is beautiful!

 

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)

IMG_0766 IMG_0763The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a large, red, yellow and blue South American parrot, a member of a large group of Neotropical parrots called macaws.

Two subspecies present differing widths in their yellow wing band:

  • A. macao macao South American Scarlet Macaw, the nominate subspecies
  • A. macao cyanoptera (Wiedenfeld 1995) North Central American Scarlet Macaw

The Central American scarlet macaw is larger and has blue on its wings instead of green.

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Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)

Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)

It is native to humid evergreen forests of tropical South America. Range extends from extreme south-eastern Mexico to Amazonian Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela and Brazil in lowlands up to 500 m (1,640 ft) (at least formerly) up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft). It has suffered from local extinction through habitat destruction and capture for the parrot trade, but locally it remains fairly common. Formerly it ranged north to southern Tamaulipas. It can still be found on the island of Coiba. It is the national bird of Honduras.

Red – Carara National Park, Costa Rica
Purple – Tambopata, Peru
Blue – Alta Floresta/Cristalino, Brazil

Because the Scarlet Macaw has such a large range, it makes it easier to plan a trip to see them in the wild.  I have personally seen them at Carara National Park in Costa Rica (use a Central American award), Tambopata in Peru (use a nothern South American award) and Alta Floresta & Cristalino in Brazil (use a southern South American award).  Carara can also be accessed by cruise ship passengers, a great way to get your feet wet if you are new to bird watching!  Book a Panama Canal cruise that stops in Puntarenas.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PARROT

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

The Ara Project

VIDEO

The Ara Project in Costa Rica releases some Scarlet Macaws who were bred to fly free and replenish the wild population.

 The filmer cut off the best part, where the Chicos of Tambopata raid the breakfast table!

Yellow-naped Parrot (Amazona auropalliata)

The Yellow-naped Parrot or Yellow-naped Amazon (Amazona auropalliata) is an Amazon parrot sometimes considered to be a subspecies of Yellow-crowned Amazon, Amazona ochrocephala (Gmelin, 1788).  This one in the photo is a captive wild parrot who would have originated in northern Costa Rica.

IMG_0638 IMG_0635Amazona auropalliata is found in Mexico and Central America, occurring along the Pacific slope of the isthmus in southern Mexico (Oaxaca and Chiapas), Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and north-western Costa Rica, the Bay Islands (Roatán and Guanaja) of Honduras, and the Caribbean slope in eastern Honduras and north-eastern Nicaragua (Juniper and Parr 1998).

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Probably the easiest place to see them logistically is in the Guanacaste or Tarcoles area of Costa Rica.  Use a Central American award to get you here.  When I blog about Tarcoles, I will go into more detail about where to see them in that area.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PARROT

Wikipedia

World Parrot Trust

Birdlife

VIDEO

Nice mini-doco with some interviews in Spanish with English subtitles.  I especially love how they are encouraging the local communities to support eco-tourism and leave the birds in the wild!

 

Brown-hooded Parrot (Pyrilia haematotis)

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The Brown-hooded Parrot (Pyrilia haematotis) is a small parrot which is a resident breeding species from southeastern Mexico to north-western Colombia. Until recently, it was placed in the genus Pionopsitta, which now is restricted to the type species, the Pileated Parrot. It is sometimes considered conspecific with the Rose-faced Parrot (P. pulchra). This species has been adversely affected by deforestation.

It is found in lowlands and foothills locally up to 1600 m altitude in forest canopy and edges, and adjacent semi-open woodland and second growth. The white eggs are laid in an unlined nest, usually a natural cavity in a tree.

Although their range extends from Mexico to northern Colombia, the easiest place to see this beautiful parrot is at Laguna del Lagarto Lodge in Costa Rica.  Use an award to Central America to get to San Jose, then the lodge has a shuttle to transfer you there.  It’s quite a remote area.