Ochraceous Wren & Spangle-cheeked Tanager – two more Costa Rican endemics

The diminutive Ochraceous Wren (Troglodytes ochraceus) is not so easy to find in its moss-laden habitat. This little bird is a resident of high elevations, but only in Costa Rica and western Panama. It looks like a very buffy or cinnamon version of the common House Wren (Troglodytes aedon). The stripe over and behind the eye is particularly distinctive. Larry and I found this one among a big mixed flock at Calle Vargas this week. It’s a reliable location for this little bird.

Ochraceous Wren at Calle Vargas; photo by Larry Waddell

The Ochraceous Wren is a highland forest bird. You won’t find it close to human habitation or below 900 m. What yo u do find there, cheering up every garden, is the House Wren, which has the widest distribution (from Canada to southernmost South America) of any bird species in the Americas:

House Wren at Santa Rosa; photo by John Beer

The core species in our mixed flock at Calle Vargas this time was the Spangle-cheeked Tanager (Tangara dowii), yet another bird endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama:

Spangle-cheeked Tanager at Calle Vargas on another occasion; photo by Larry Waddell

For the full list of the day’s sightings see the following eBird link:


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