Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cerro El Tigre

Another installment in the tales of the traveling circus documenting the biodiversity in certain protected areas of El Salvador. Basically the same group of biologists went to Cerro El Tigre, on the slope of Volcán Usulután in eastern El Salvador, for another 5-day expedition executing field work for MARN, the Salvadoran Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, or Ministry of Environmental Affairs.

The bird at the top is a Rufous-and-white Wren, a common species in humid montane forest. I took this photo in the Laguna de Alegría, a small crater, with a lovely little lake in the middle, where we did a day of field work.

There we found some Yellow-faced Grassquits, small finches of open, grassy areas. I saw a female emerge from a clump of grass, and figured there had to be a nest in there. These hatchlings are probably just one or two days old.

This bird, a Striped Cuckoo, was also pretty common in Cerro El Tigre. Usually this species stays well hidden and is far more often heard than seen.

A bird I had never seen before, but again common in this area, is Prevost's Ground-Sparrow. Roselvy joined us on this trip as bird bander, and she and I caught a few of these charismatic birds with big Elvis 70s style sideburns.

Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush too was common. We heard their pretty little songs constantly, and we caught several individuals.

Unusual sightings included White-breasted Hawk, a bird of pine-oak forests in the north of the country, and previously unreported for the area, and Yellow-backed Oriole, also more commonly found in pine-oak. Worth mentioning too are Greenish Elaenia, Lesser Greenlet, White-throated Thrush, and Bar-winged Oriole.


Fly or Die Dan said...

Great photos. Got my first Prevost's in Guatemala City this past April. El Salvador didn't disappoint me either-- far and away my favorite was the Turquoise-browed Motmot. Hopefully you see some if you haven't already.

johnvandort said...

Thanks for your comment, Dan! Turquoise-browed Motmots are indeed spectacular birds. About a year ago, I wrote something about a curious behavior in this species, in this blog entry: