Birder's Guide

OCT 2017

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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Page 14 of 51

13 October 2017 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy such as Long-billed Gnatwren, Chestnut- headed Crake, and Blue-black Grassquit. I walked a ridge that bordered a palm swamp, where I did not need to wait long for a Point-tailed Palmcreeper to sing. The handsome Orange-cheeked Parrot remained on its nest from previous weeks and provided a quick tick as I slipped in and out of its view. I still had not encoun - tered any canopy flocks, and there were only three hours until sunset at 5:28 p.m. I strode trails and listened for Dusky- capped Greenlets and White-winged Shrike-Tanagers, which serve as indica - tor species for the presence of a canopy mixed-species flock. Fortunately, several flocks were along the most northern trail in the forest, which held a couple sur- prises—an elusive Black-bellied Cuckoo, whose abundance thins out in south- ern Peru. A trio of very rare Yellow- shouldered Grosbeaks appeared, which was not only the first record for the Los Amigos area but also a life bird for me. It was tempting to pause to admire at length such a rare treat, but I had to forge on. From an ornithological perspec - tive, the best find of the day followed shortly thereafter. While I was listen- ing for greenlets and shrike-tanagers, a small bird flushed from a short palm less than a meter from my legs, an almost n Always abundant at the station, Blue-and-yellow Macaws stream their long tails across the sky at dawn and dusk while simultane- ously belting out their cacophonous chortles. Photo © Sean Williams

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