Birds of Nakusp

Week three in Panama and the Davidsons are having a blast with birding.

We have now been in Panama for three weeks and already we have seen over 200 species of birds. The family that first catchesyour attention in Central and South America is the tanagers. This a very colourful family of birds found only in North and SouthAmerica. There are well over 200 species and they include just about every colour imaginable. They come with names likeCrimson-backed, Golden-hooded, Blue-grey, Silver-throated, Emerald, Blue-and-gold, Black-and-yellow, to name but a few. Ofthe species we’ve seen so far, 16 of them are from the tanager family. Collectively, their colours include red, green, blue,(various shades), green, yellow, black, grey, and purple. Their diet is varied, one source says, “Tanagers are omnivorous, andtheir diets vary from genus to genus. They have been seen eating fruits, seeds, nectar, flower parts, and insects. Many pickinsects off branches.”

The two species pictured here are the Crimson-backed Tanager and the Blue-grey Tanager. Both of these species are verycommon, we see them on the property daily. There are lots of bananas growing in the area, both of these tanagers like bananas!One morning we watched a bunch of ripe bananas in one of the neighbouring yards as four Blue-greys, three Crimson-backed,five Palm Tanagers and a Red-crowned Woodpecker all gorged on the ripe fruit.

The house we are renting is on two hectares; we often bird around the property and along the road in front of the house. So farwe have had about 80 species within 500 m of the house. The afternoon temperature rarely varies it has been either 34ºC or35ºC every day for the last three weeks. The pool feels really nice by about 4 p.m.! But with that kind of heat, birding must bedone in the morning.


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