Yellow-throated Vireo at Ujarrás

In December 2017 John Beer took the following photograph of a Yellow-throated Vireo (Vireo flavifrons) in Santa Rosa, Turrialba. This pretty bird, which behaves rather like a slow-moving warbler, is a fairly common migrant in Costa Rica.

Vireo, Yellow-throated, Santa Rosa (1)

Yellow-throated Vireo sports its two white wing-bars; photo by John Beer

However, we are now in the middle of June, so the latest sighting of a Yellow-throated Vireo in Ujarrás is a very late record. My own latest record is for May 23.  Ujarrás and its ruined church are on the Costa Rican tourist circuit, located in a beautiful valley. All birders visiting the country are guaranteed to see some excellent birds in this vicinity. I particularly recommend a stop at El Cas, (https://www.facebook.com/restauranteelcas/) where you will find not only good food and nice people but also a good opportunity to see many species of local hummingbirds.

The restaurant and its gardens are close by the ruins. Ask there for guide Paz Irola, who can give excellent advice on local sightings, including the handsome Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrow (Melozone cabanisi), which is very hard to find elsewhere. Careful! Like several other species,  this one has had a recent name change, both in English and Latin, and is to be found in most field guides under the name of Prevost’s Ground-Sparrow (Melozone biarcuata). My only photograph of this species is a dreadfully fuzzy one (focus Paul!!) of a bird we banded at CATIE years ago in May 2012. Here it is anyway, soon to be replaced, I hope, by something much better the next time I can get to Ujarrás with ace photographers John and Larry.

Prevost's Ground-sparrow

Prevost’s Ground-Sparrow, now renamed Cabanis’s Ground-Sparrow

See my next post for more recent news from our Turrialba area.

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