Birder's Guide

MAR 2015

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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11 March 2015 | Birder's Guide to Travel San Diego, California pbjosh@gmail.com Josh Beck more common birds. That's just the way it goes. But in the process we gained an appreciation for just how rare, poorly known, and hard to observe some birds are in the Neotropics. So what constitutes an avian unicorn? Crested Eagle, Rufous- vented Ground-Cuckoo, and Lovely Cotinga are hard-to- fnd birds, but there are known Crested Eagle nest sites, there are a few places in Panama where Rufous- vented Ground-Cuckoo can be staked out, and both species have extensive ranges in South America. Lovely Cotinga, certainly a unicorn in Mexico or Costa Rica, is nearly guaranteed at The Lodge at Pico Bonito in Honduras. Many birders may have other opinions, but the following species are what Kathi and I be- lieve are the rarest of the rare—the unicorns of Middle America—in no particular order. Included are tips on where and how to (at- tempt to) see them. Good luck! Bare-necked Umbrellabird (Cepha- lopterus glabricollis) is an odd-looking but incredible member of the cotinga family that is essentially restricted to Costa Rica and western Panama. It needs contigu - ous intact rainforest from middle eleva- tions down to the lowlands for breeding Male Bare-necked Umbrellabird. Photo © Mike Danzenbaker

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