26 April, 2014

Lincoln's Sparrow

Scientific Name: Melospiza lincolnii

Range / Habitat: Winters in scrubby areas of southwestern US and Mexico, excluding the Yucatan. Breeds in boggy areas of Canada, Alaska, and part of the American West.

Field Notes: Small drab bird with face marking similar to Song Sparrow. Habitat differentiates as does buffy malar stripe and fine, distinct streaks on a buffy chest. Swamp Sparrow with more rufous crown and back, complete grey collar, minimal streaking on grey breast.

Personal Notes: Great picture by Richard at Fontenelle Forest in Omaha, NE.

Marbled Godwit

Scientific Name: Limosa fedoa

Range / Habitat: Breeds in the northern prairies of the US and Canada and winters along the coasts of the US and Mexico.

Field Notes: A large shorebird with a long, upturned bill. Unmistakable in summer range.

Personal Notes:  Several seen (and heard calling) in the Ft. Pierre National Grasslands of South Dakota.

14 April, 2014

Painted Bunting

Scientific Name: Passerina ciris

Range / Habitat: Wooded areas in otherwise open habitat. Winters in southern Mexico, including Yucatan, Central America, some Caribbean islands, and the southern tip of Florida. Summers in northern Mexico, Texarkana, and the southeastern coast of United States.

Field Notes: Typical bunting size, shape and bill. Males are unmistakable in range with blue head and neck, rufous chest and belly, yellow and green on the back. Females, as above, are distinctly green to the back and head, yellow to the breast, pale eye ring. Other female buntings are clearly grey or brown in colour.

Personal Notes: A new species for us in El Rey ruins of Cancun, Mexico.

Blue Grosbeak

Scientific Name: Passerina caerulea

Range / Habitat: Found in forest edge, costal scrub, second growth and similar. Winters in southern Mexico, including Yucatan, down through Central American, and many Caribbean islands. Summers in northern Mexico and southern US.

Field Notes: Large, bright blue passerine with an enormous slate-colored bill and chestnut wing bars. Indigo Bunting much smaller overall and smaller bill.

Personal Notes: We captured the essential parts for identification in this photo from El Rey ruins in Cancun, Mexico.

Lesser Greenlet

Scientific Name: Hylophilus decurtatus

Range / Habitat: Year-round in humid forest of southern Mexico, including Yucatan, Central American and just barely into northwestern South America.

Field Notes: Small passerine, with pale yellow underparts, olive wings and back, grey head. Compared to similarly-sized passerines, large head with stubby tail. As with all greenlets, sexes are similar.

Personal Notes: We had previously seen, but not photographed, this bird in Costa Rica. We came across it again in Cancun, Mexico where Richard persevered in both the photo and the identification.