Readers’ wildlife photos

October 29, 2023 • 8:15 am

Biologist John Avise continues his series on birds he’s photographed outside America. His text and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Panama Birds, Part 1 

In 2008, I visited Panama for several weeks, delivering a series of lectures to scientists at the Panama City headquarters and several field stations of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI).  In-between lectures, I had lots of time for natural history walks and bird photography.  This week’s post shows about a dozen Panamanian bird species that I photographed on this trip.  This is part 1 of what will be a five-part mini-series on Panamanian birds.  In general, as you will see, I found the humid and dark rainforest to be an extremely difficult environment in which to get good photographs.  But I tried my best.

Barred Antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus), male:

Bicolored Antbird (Gymnopithys bicolor):

Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani):

Black-striped Sparrow (Arremonops conirostris):

Black-striped Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus lacjymosus):

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw (Ara araruna):

Blue-chested Hummingbird (Amazilia amabilis):

Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota):

Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus):

Buff-breasted Wren (Cantorchilus leucotis):

White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora):

Cattle Tyrant (Machetornis rixosa):

8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Fantastic! I can only imagine the challenges of photographing small quick birds in dark rainforests. You succeeded – these are wonderful.

  2. I did my research on Pipeline Road and I can appreciate how tough it is to get good pictures of some of these birds. You succeeded! One thing, the genus Amazilia has been subdivided quite a bit, and this is Polyerata amabilis – where I live in Brazil, two former Amazilia are now in two different genera! And, just as an aside, there’s a typo on the woodcreeper’s specific epithet (Xiphorhynchus lachrymosus). I look forward to the other photos in the series!

    1. I spent quite a bit of time hiking on Pipeline Road, which is a world-famous birding hotspot adjacent to the Panama Canal. It was indeed very rich in birdlife, but offered relatively few great photo opportunities because of it dense forest canopy and very high humidity (which wreaked havoc with my camera’s battery). Thanks for catching the taxonomic update and typo.

  3. These pictures are amazing. I am always trying to capture quality bird pics. My phone is filled with Arizona birds. I only have a couple catching the hummers tongue out. He was in the perfect light.

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