Barred Hawk at San Diego

My most recent walk down to nearby San Diego de San Antonio was not dedicated exclusively to birding but a soaring Barred Hawk (Morphnarchus princeps) soaring above the forest was an unusual sighting.

Barred_Hawk

Barred Hawk, previously called Black-chested Hawk; I am at present unable to credit this photograph

I have found this large raptor only occasionally in our area despite its ‘fairly common’ status at middle elevations. This is only my second confirmed local sighting, though I did find one near Atirro at a lower elevation in May last year. My sighting this time was again of a soaring bird whose loud whistles first attracted attention. The bird came fairly low, allowing easy identification. The black chest is distinctive. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Neotropical Birds states that its diet is still poorly known; most sightings are of birds in flight. This forest species is not found north of Costa Rica.

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