White Hawks

The beautiful White Hawk (Pseudastur albicollis) is not a species that I expect to see here on the Turrialba Volcano slope. It’s a reasonably common species in the lowlands on both coasts but it needs mature forest and supposedly is rarely seen above 1200 m. However, I was kindly invited to have breakfast with Steven and Magda Easley in nearby Verbena this week, where I was very pleasantly surprised when Steven pointed out in the valley below us not one, but two unmistakable White Hawks as they circled over Santa Rosa and then moved off towards the coffee town of Aquiares.

White Hawk (Leucopternis albicollis)

File photo of White Hawk in flight at Quebrada Bonita, Acosta, seen from below

Steven says that he has seen the species here on at least 10 occasions, so I definitely need to check all those large white birds I see daily to make sure they really all are Cattle Egrets!

Another species at the Easley’s house at the moment is the migrant Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis), which mewed at us loudly from its hiding-place in the bushes.

Here’s a file photo of that species, taken in Florida by Karel Straatmann:

319 Gray catbird florida (13)

Gray Catbird

The Gray Catbird dislikes showing itself in the open and generally migrates into and through the Caribbean lowlands, with many individuals staying there throughout the northern hemisphere’s winter months.  I have no photograph of the species taken locally. and have recorded it only rarely in San Antonio, but now I need to check thoroughly the exact spots close to home where it has appeared in previous years.

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