Black-throated Trogon

Black-throated Trogons live mostly in dark forested areas of the American Tropics and can be difficult to photograph. Fortunately these two were cooperative. The one on the pipe rail just sat there and allowed me to approach to within about 20 feet. The one on the tree was next to a path and didn’t seem alarmed at my presence.

This trogon eats mostly insects, but will also take lizards and fruit.

Black-throated Trogon (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Black-throated Trogon (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Black-throated Trogon (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Hoffman's Woodpecker

Hoffman's Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii). This woodpecker occurs from Southwest Nicaragua to Northern Costa Rica. We saw several of them over a two week period.

One of the characteristic markings of this species is that the nape (back of neck) is yellow. This male was busy hunting for bugs and was oblivious to my close presence.

Hoffman’s Woodpecker (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Hoffman’s Woodpecker (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Hoffman’s Woodpecker (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Motmots

Motmot sketch - Costa RIca

Motmots are one of my favorite birds. I guess they rank high with me because they tend to sit still and they are beautiful. This makes them good photo subjects.

Motmots are found in the forests of the Neotropics. Motmots are patient, sit and wait predators, roosting quietly, waiting to ponce on an insect or a small lizard that wanders into the reach of a waiting motmot.

Most motmots have “paddles” at the end of their tails. These paddles are called rackets. Rackets are formed because the feather barbs above the rackets are weakly attached and fall out. It used to be thought that the bird removed these barbs, but this has since been proven incorrect.

Rufous Motmot (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Broad-billed Motmot (David Zittin, Costa Rica 2018)

Tody Motmot (Dave Zittin, Guatemala 2017) This species lives deep in the vine tangle and is difficult to photograph. Note that this motmot does not have tail rackets

Lesson’s Motmot (David Zittin, Guatemala 2017)