The Golden-hooded Tanage (Tangara larvata) is a neotropical bird mostly found in lowlands from Southern Mexico to Northwestern South America. As with other small, blue tropical birds, they catch the eye. The contrasting golden hood against blues and blacks makes this a neotropical delight. They are common around feeders and places where preferred food sources are found. Like many birds, they are opportunistic omnivores and will eat fruit and small arthropods.
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.
This is a quick sketch of birds in the garden at La Selva, Costa Rica.
This beautiful blue neotropical bird is found from Nicaragua south to the northern half of South America. Like many birds, it is an opportunistic feeder eating insects, seeds and fruit.
The electric blue color of the male is eye catching. This one is probably a young male because it still has some green color on its wings. The female is an intense green with a blue head.
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.
Since motmots sit still and Dave can take his time photographing, I also have time to do some quick sketches. Here are a couple pages from Costa Rica.
Incidentally, one thing I love about Motmots is that they say their name, ‘Mot Mot’ in a low spooky voice.
Woodpeckers are well known for their drumming, the noise they emit when hammering a tree with their beaks. Drumming serves to attract a mate and to mark territory.
Most woodpeckers gather food by hammering at bark to find insects, but are also opportunistic and they will eat fruit, small reptiles, etc. Most woodpeckers are solitary, but a few like the Acorn Woodpecker form small social groups and collect acorns for food and place these in holes they create in trees.
Many woodpeckers excavate a nests in trees to rear their young. Old nests are important nesting space for other, non-woodpecker species.
Sapsuckers are a type of woodpecker that drill many holes in trees called “wells”. The sap that exudes from these wells is consumed by the sapsucker and often it is an attractant to insects which are also consumed by this group of woodpeckers.
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.