I have delayed a little but I simply must report John and Milena Beer’s sighting of a raptor perched at close quarters on the abandoned railway line between Peralta and Bonilla in the Reventazón river valley. How I wish I could have been with them for this one! We were initially sure from the photos that this was the rare Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus melanoleucus). Any close-up sighting of one of Costa Rica’s three hawk-eagles (“aguilillos” or little eagles, measuring from 23 to 26 inches), this species, the Ornate Hawk-Eagle or the Black Hawk-Eagle, is sure to bring gasps of admiration.
I have written previous posts on the latter two and thought I could now report on a local sighting of the smallest of the three, the Black-and-white. Here are John’s fine photos of this individual.
Costa Rica’s raptor specialization group, Rapaces Tropicales, considers our bird to be without doubt a Gray-headed Kite (Leptodon cayanensis), not as rare as the hawk-eagle but still an uncommon sighting. We await developments! Any comments?