Finca Patrocinio: March 2007

During a three-days visit we experienced the Patrocinio Reserve again as a site for easy and good birding. We detected 127 species. White-bellied Chachalaca and Blue-tailed Hummingbird were easy to find, both are endemic to the northern Central American Pacific slope. Most abundant Nearctic-Neotropical migrants were Western Tanager and Tennessee Warbler.

birds of Patrocinio Reserve

An observation tower was build recently at Patrocinio. It is located beside the lodge and allows views into the canopy and over a small valley with shade coffee plantation. During a total of 6 hours on three days we detected 60 bird species: A fruiting tree attracted Clay-colored and White-throated Robin, Swainson's and Hermit Thrush, and flocks of 50 Pacific Parakeets. On the flowers of an Inga tree a Cinnamon and a Blue-tailed Hummingbird were feeding reguarly, and once a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird showed up. Violet Sabrewings were feeding on Heliconia stands on the ground. A new record for Patrocionio is Black-crested Coquette; a female was seen feeding on the flowers of an Eucalyptus tree. A mixed-species flock with Blackburnian Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Lesser Greenlet, Blue-headed Vireo gleaned the outer branches. Small baskets with fruit are rised into the canopy nearby the tower, and we saw Yellow-winged Tanager, Altamira Oriole, and Rufous-naped Wren feeding there.

Part of the time we were birding with the local guides who are beginning their training, teaching them the basics of bird identification and sharing their popular knowledge on birds. At least twice we saw flocks of up to 50 Pacific Parakeets landing on a fruiting tree just a few meters away from us, so we could observe in detail how they were walking through the canopy and feeding. Even though this is a common bird at Patrocinio, the local guides were amazed to be able to have a close up of them through the scope.

We also used the trails through mixed habitat, and the stop at the view point to the Santiaguito Volcano let us observe different species flying over the canyon, or feeding in the shrub at the edge: Vaux's and Black Swifts, Collared Aracari, Masked Tityra, and Western Tanagers.

A surprise during about five hours of owling was a Northern Potoo, which was last heard three years ago by one of the local guides. We detected it on its hunting perch on a snag. It observed attentively its surroundings and hawked eventually on passing moths. We also found the Common Parauque, and the only owl we heard was the Mottled Owl, which we also saw on its day roost.

Knut Eisermann & Claudia Avendaño

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