Rio in October

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6 years 11 months ago #36607 by Johan van Rensburg
Johan van Rensburg replied the topic: Re: Rio in October


The streaked flycatcher Myiodynastes maculatus is common in its range where it likes to keep to the edges of forests and plantations. They can be found from Mexico to central Argentina except along Pacific coast and Andes from northern Peru southwards. They eat mostly large insects, but also lizards and berries. It perches on a high vantage point from which it sallies forth to catch insects in mid-flight or snatch them off plants using a range of aerobatic maneuvers. Occasionally they glean prey from the vegetation. I was lucky with this bird as it parked itself right in front of our room’s balcony, allowing me a good look at it.

It was my last full day at Serra dos Tucanos and I decided to spend as much time on the forest trails as I could. Again I used my flash extender for every shot in the forest.



I got a very brief view of a white-throated woodcreeper Xiphocolaptes albicollis as it ran vertically up the truck of a tree and I got off a single shot at it as it stopped momentarily maintaining its upright vertical posture, supported by its stiff tail, before I lost it in the forest foliage. These woodcreepers are found in Argentina, south-eastern Brazil and Paraguay in temperate to hot rain forests from the lowlands into the mountains. They feed mainly on insects taken from tree trunks.

For me the sighting of a pair of confident Surucua trogons REALLY up close was the gem of the day… <!-- s8) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cool.gif" alt="8)" title="Cool" /><!-- s8) --> I first spotted the male where he was motionlessly stationed, only moving his eyes in chameleon-like fashion as he scanned the forest for prey, much like our own Narina trogon would do.



Then some movement near him caught my eye… WOW! The female!



She is markedly different from the male. The Surucua trogon Trogon surrucura is found in humid forest and nearby habitats in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina.



The plain parakeet Brotogeris tirica is endemic to and common in southern and eastern Brazil. They can be found in open country with trees and bushes, lowland evergreen forest areas, second-growth forests, degraded former forest areas, partially cultivated land, woodlands, parks and urban areas. These noisy parakeets occur in pairs, groups or small flocks.

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6 years 11 months ago #36639 by Johan van Rensburg
Johan van Rensburg replied the topic: Re: Rio in October
As I mentioned before, I generally found the forest birding tough, especially since photographing the forest-dwelling birds is so difficult: many of them are skulkers, and in spite of their brilliant colours, the birds are well camouflaged amongst the dappled greens and browns. And when one spots a bird, getting a clear shot at it is near impossible. So I retired back to the lodge at around tea time to again entertain myself with the birding fare dished up at the feeding tables and in the lodge’s gardens.

On the lawns this Chopi blackbird Gnorimopsar chopi strutted around Myna-like. They are found in east, south and central Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern Argentina. They feed on seeds, grain and insects. In their feeding habits, they like to turn over animal excrement, earning themselves the nickname "turd-turner".



Close by sat a saffron finch Sicalis flaveola, a common bird of open and semi-open areas in lowlands outside the Amazon Basin. The male is bright yellow with an orange crown which distinguishes it from other yellow finches on the continent. The female is a duller version of the male. They occur in lightly wooded areas and open grassland throughout most of South America. These birds are mainly seed-eaters, but do feed on various insects and plants as well. The males are extremely territorial and if placed together in a confined space, will fight to the death, a trait that made them popular with gamblers that would place them together for the express purpose to bet on an outcome of the ensuing vicious battle. <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: --> It looks a bit like our cuckoo finch…



As you have no doubt gathered by now, tanagers are a dime a dozen… in fact there are about 230 species of tanagers distributed throughout the temperate Americas. They vary tremendously is size, shape and colouration. The only feature they all share is the shape of their bills.



The burnished-buff tanager (Tangara cayana) is a common South American species found in savannas, gallery woodland and forest borders. The female is much duller and lacks the black markings. The bird reminded me a bit of our masked weavers. These tanagers are mainly fruit-eating birds.



The Sayaca tanager Thraupis sayaca is one of the most common birds seen in Brazil as it is tolerant of a variety of habitats including cities provided there is fruit available for food.



Can you believe the colour on this bird! The male Brazilian tanager is one of the most striking birds I have ever seen. They are also fruit-eaters, regularly featuring at the feeding tables at Serra dos Tucanos. The Brazilian tanager Ramphocelusd bresilius is endemic to the east coast of Brazil. Sexually dimorphic, it is initially difficult to get the recognition of the female down, simply because the male is such a brilliantly coloured bird, although female birds are very attractive in their own right.



I also saw this species in Rio De Janeiro at the base and on top of Sugarloaf.

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