Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant at Finca Tres Equis: first photos for Cartago

Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant finally pops into sight at Finca Tres Equis; photo by John and Milena Beer

Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant (Myiornis atricapillus); Mosquerito colicorto; Schwarzkappen-Zwergtyrann; Microtyran à calotte noire

No Costa Rican passerine is smaller than this tiny flycatcher. It belongs to the genus Myiornis, which, hummingbirds apart, includes some of the smallest birds in the world. Even in areas of the Caribbean lowlands where it is fairly common it is very difficult to locate because of its diminutive size.

The white ‘spectacles’ are a good field mark on the Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant; photo by John & Milena Beer

Steven Aguilar had to show extraordinary patience in order to find this one at the Finca Tres Equis reserve several hundred metres above the Rio Pacuare, but in the province of Cartago. The photos in this post seem to be the first taken of this species in the province, where sightings have been very infrequent.

Final shot of the Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant, red legs and virtually no tail! Photo by John Beer

The species was relocated at the same site the very next day. Finca Tres Equis gives Cartago birders the chance to see species like this one that are otherwise difficult to find in the province. Another example is the Yellow-throated Toucan (Ramphastos ambiguus). In John Beer’s photo below, taken at Finca Tres Equis, the bird is unfortunately partly obscured by the tree trunk:

Here’s what Costa Rica’s largest toucan looks like in (almost) full view in this file photo from Finca Estrella in the south of the country:

Yellow-throated Toucan in the southern Pacific; photo by John Beer

Visitors to Costa Rica should be aware that only the latest guide books call this species Yellow-throated. Previously it was termed both Black-mandibled and Chestnut-mandibled. In Costa Rica we actually have the Chestnut-mandibled subspecies. Fortunately the scientific Latin name Ramphastos ambiguus has remained unchanged without any such ambiguity! For the record: Spanish: Tucán Pechigualdo; German: Goldkehltukan; French: Toucan tocard

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