Friday, March 18, 2016

Let's Play A Game - Find the Bird

Many birds are very colorful and noisy and showy. I think that is what makes people enjoy watching them. And then, there are a few birds that use camouflage to disguise their presence. Most of these birds are nocturnal hunters and sleep during the day so they need to hide. So, let's play - find the bird.

Our guide and a few of the group members have keen eyes and spotted the birds. Here are photos. Try your luck. We'll start with an easy one. Can you find the Lesser Nighthawk?

How about now?

Lesser Nighthawks and other nightjars roost on tree branches where they sit lengthwise along the branch. You can see the white wing patch on this guy. Ana spotted it from the boat.

How about this bird. Another nightjar called Common Pauraque. These birds roost on the ground rather than a branch. Our group accidentally spooked this bird while trying to take a shortcut to the bathroom at the Botanical Garden. It flew a bit and then settled back down in the grass. Can you see it?

Common Pauraque
How about now? Can you see the bird?

Common Pauraque
Hint: The bird is in the middle of the photo. Look for the light reflection on his eye.
Common Pauraque
This bird would normally be sleeping and not showing his eye but he was being bothered by a Hooded Warbler that kept bouncing around right near him. Can you see the warbler on the rock in this photo?
Common Pauraque - Hooded Warbler
One of the birds that I most wanted to see on the trip was a Potoo. There are a few types of Potoo in Honduras. We came across this Great Potoo on our first field trip at Pico Bonito Lodge. Can you see the bird?

Great Potoo
Seeing one Potoo was a dream but when we stumbled on another along the mangroves, I couldn't believe our luck. Our guide Alex spotted the bird, stopped the boat and played this game with us - find the bird. Nobody could find the bird. Here is Northern Potoo. Can you see the bird?

Northern Potoo
Potoos take the shape of a broken branch. They stretch their necks out and sit very still all day long. I never thought I would see one let alone get a great photo like this. Zoom in so that you can really get a good look at all of the subtleties that go into the camouflage. Amazing.

Northern Potoo
More flashy, shiny, showy, brilliant, noisy, resplendent, colorful birds to come.

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