Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa)

The Mealy Amazon or Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa) is among the largest parrot in the Amazona genus, the amazon parrots.

Although I have seen this bird in several places – Cristalino, Panama, Tambopata I don’t seem to have any decent photos so I have to rely on the Wikipedia shots.

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All I could get was distant flight shots.


Mealy Parrots have a huge range throughout South America and prefer tropical rainforest environments.  Good places to see them are Cristalino, Tambopata, Napo, Panama’s Soberania (different subspecies) and other rainforest lodges.




World Parrot Trust


Neotropical Birds



Noisy flock in Peru

On a clay lick

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.



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


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.


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


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!


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.


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


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.


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


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



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


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


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.




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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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.




World Parrot Trust


Cornell Lab of Ornithology


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


The Birds Of Soberania National Park

Yesterday, I blogged about how to arrange a visit to Soberania National Park.  Now I will show you some of the birds you can expect to see there.  A comprehensive bird list can be found on the Canopy Tower’s website.  Of course you won’t see them all but with luck you can see some of the highlights.


I always prefer to climb a tower to have a bird’s eye view over the rainforest.  When you are at ground level in dense forest, bird sightings may be only a colored rustling in a tree or a fleeting glimpse as they fly over your head and disappear into the forest before you can aim your camera.  The observation tower here was good for sightings (from a distance) of Red-lored Parrots, Yellow-crowned Parrots, Blue-headed Pionus Parrots and Toucans.  In the last photo you can see a glimpse of a ship going through the Panama Canal!

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The construction of the tower is pretty cool too!  Since it is deep in the rainforest, you can’t get a photo of it from the ground except looking straight up or from the top looking straight down.

IMG_1436 IMG_1463 IMG_1464 IMG_1466 IMG_1467 IMG_1465IMG_1470Next we headed off down the trail towards the lake, got half way there and got rained out.

IMG_1471 IMG_1472We fled back to the main building and kept busy watching the jewel-toned hummingbirds.  We were the only people there until a tour group showed up on segways (not sure how they drove them over the bumpy Pipeline Road)!

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IMG_1475 IMG_1476 IMG_1477 IMG_1478 IMG_1481 IMG_1483 IMG_1486 IMG_1487 IMG_1488 IMG_1489 IMG_1492 IMG_1494 IMG_1496 IMG_1498 IMG_1500 IMG_1502Rental cars can be safely driven here and parked in their car park.



After leaving Pipeline Road, we drove past the Panama Canal to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort to check out the birds down by the river.  We had planned to have lunch there but the restaurant was closed.

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IMG_1518 IMG_1523 IMG_1527 IMG_1528 IMG_1529 IMG_1531 IMG_1532 IMG_1534 IMG_1535GAMBOA BRIDGE

We had to drive across this rickety looking bridge that made me very nervous!  I crept along at 5km per hour with annoyed locals piled up behind me.

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Targeting Central American Parrot Species

Central America has some of the best birding in the world.  There are so many bird species, it would be impossible to see all of them or even visit all the national parks and regions where birds are easily seen.  It is better to make a list of your priority species, find out where they can be seen and cross-reference the different regions to maximize possible species.  Since I am obsessed with Parrots, I gave them priority when I decided which regions and national parks I would visit.  I knew that many other fascinating bird species would also be seen such as the Resplendent Quetzal, various Toucans and Aracaris, many gorgeous little Tanagers and Woodpeckers and lots of other birds.

After using several resources such as the bird lists found on national park websites, the book Parrots of the World by Joseph Forshaw and recommendations from friends, I came up with the following spreadsheet.  A black X indicates the bird has been seen in that area.  A green X indicates the birds I actually saw when I was there.  The “captive” Yellow-naped Amazon seen near Montverde was originally a wild parrot whose wings have been clipped so he can’t fly and is forced to hang around a certain restaurant/gift shop.  There will be more details on future blogs.  The bright yellow shading indicated parrots I was successful in seeing, the white rows are the 3 species I didn’t find-the Barred Parakeet and the 2 Parrotlets.

Parrots of Central America