Guayabo National Monument – picnic area

Late-morning spin in the car down to the Monument. Here’s one view of the picnic area at the Guayabo National Monument, to give you an idea of the habitat; I mean for birds, not for picnickers!

Guayabo MonumentoPicnicWeb

Plenty of vegetation, and there’s a great overview of the Rio Guayabo off to the side.

If you wait around long enough, and if there are no noisy picnickers, you can find many different species here. Tanagers and flycatchers are probably the most numerous. Here’s a photo from Richard Garrrigues’ collection showing a male Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola), a species that you’re almost sure to find there. Be sure to exclude the Rufous-winged Tanager (Tangara lavinia) by making sure that only the head is chestnut-coloured.

Bay-headed Tanager, a ommon but stunningly beautiful middle-elevation species

Bay-headed Tanager, a common but very beautiful middle-elevation species

I returned to this location after finding the Tawny-capped Euphonia nest the day before. However, my tiny camera is not equal to the task so I managed only extremely blurry photos of the two chicks and the parents (a male was present this time). When the parents arrive, the chicks start a thin but noticeable twittering as they crane their necks to reach for the food. The nest is interestingly located at only about 10 feet off the ground and close to the often noisy picnic tables. Epiphytes are numerous at this elevation of about 1100 m, and so is this particular euphonia species. Here is the nest location, the best I could do for photographic evidence.

The nest is in the dark hole in the centre of the image.

The nest is in the dark hole in the centre of the image.

Here´s what a Tawny-capped Euphonia really looks like:

Tawny-capped EuphoniaMcKoy

Male Tawny-capped Euphonia

The Olive-backed Euphonia (Euphonia gouldi) might be confused with it (especially the female) but is a Caribbean lowland species not often found above 1000 m.

My very brief stay today brought the following sightings at the picnic area:

  1. Black Vulture
  2. Turkey Vulture
  3. Blue-and-white Swallow
  4. Slaty-capped Flycatcher
  5. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  6. Brown Jay
  7. Tropical Gnatcatcher
  8. Stripe-breasted Wren
  9. Lesser Greenlet
  10. Golden-crowned Warbler
  11. Bay–headed Tanager
  12. Tawny-capped Euphonia




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