Bi-colored hawk eats kiskadees


Bicolored hawk with fanned tail


We don’t see many hawks here in San Antonio, so when we do it’s an exciting moment, even if it turns out to be just the usual Gavilán ratonero, the Roadside hawk (Buteo magnirostris) The dark-backed hawk with the grey breast that occasionally appears early morning now has a name: Bicolored hawk (Accipiter bicolor).  My first decent view of this forest hunter was without binoculars as it landed on the ground close to the front door clutching a kiskadee and fending off the attacking parents.  What a racket they made!  This week, he appeared again, and it’s a male in full plumage with the unmistakable chestnut thighs.  A second life-bird for me here at home in just the last couple of weeks!  Many thanks to David Rodriguez Arias for his lovely photo of this bird. 

In other news, a quick trip to San Diego brought a nice view of a female Olive-backed euphonia (Euphonia gouldi), a species I have yet to record here at home.

Female Olive-backed euphonia, courtesy of Richard Garrigues

A similar random visit to San Rafael was rewarded with an Olive-sided flycatcher (Contupus cooperi), my first sighting of this rather common species in this area.  Reading the notes in the Garrigues field guide, it seems that it is probably a newly-arrived migrant from North America.  Its size and its vertical white line down the breast make it easy to distinguish from the other greyish Contupus flycatchers, as does its habit of perching in a conspicuous spot (in this case the tip of a bare-branched guarumu) and returning after each sally.

On the subject of migrants, I rarely see any in September and never in August, but Wiet over in San Rafael has already had a Black-and-white warbler in her hand this week after it hit her window.  Thankfully it recovered nicely.  Here’s a nice picture to close.

Female Black-and-white warbler

Today we have a big storm that has come in from the Caribbean and I’m hoping it will blow things my way.  It stopped the felling of a huge pine on the neighbour’s fence-line, but unfortunately it will merely be a stay of execution.

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