Carara National Park – A Sound Quiz

Post image for Carara National Park – A Sound Quiz

by Rich Hoyer on March 27, 2012 · 2 comments

in Birding Neotropics

To introduce my contribution this week I’ll post an audio challenge.

While leading my March Costa Rica tour this past week, I heard this unfamiliar vocalization which I recorded and tracked down. I was surprised when I saw the culprit. I have uploaded it as a mystery at Xeno-canto. Listen below and post your guesses in the comments section on this blog. It’s the very high repeated notes, not the Dusky Antbird in the background. It’s so high – the main part is between 11 and 12 kilohertz – that the sonogram automatically produced by the Xeno-Canto site cuts it off. It helps to have some German Shepherd in you ancestry to hear this, and most men over 55 will probably not have much luck in any event. Below the recording is an Audacity-generated sonogram that shows that there are actually five notes given in less than 1/2 second in each bout.

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Besides mystery vocalizations, the Carara area is good for quite a few birds of open country and rain forest habitats. The trails pass by a couple different leks of the attractive Orange-collared Manakin.

Royal Flycatcher is a regular along the Laguna Meandrica trail, this year with an active nest right next to it.

We got lucky this year to be shown a pair of roosting Black-and-white Owls near the town of Tarcoles. For many years there was a pair easily seen in the central plaza of Orotina, but since the city trimmed the trees they haven’t been around.

We also happened upon this Panama Flycatcher in the mangroves – note the lack of rufous in the wings and tail and, the round, brown crown and face (no contrast), and the average-sized bill.

Photo at top: White-whiskered Puffbird is a regular but easily missed denizen in the denser forest mid-story at Carara National Park.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gunnar Engblom March 30, 2012 at 2:17 am

Never been to Costa Rica and hardly no birding whatsoever in Central America. Since it sounds as I am in for a surprise I guess it is not a hummingbird as would be my first guess. Non hummer high-pitched calls like this is in Peru are usually Arremon sparrows such as Pectoral Sparrow or Olive Finch. So that is my guess. A Central American Sparrow in the genus Arremon. Perhaps Orange-billed Sparrow?


Webform April 9, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Nice close up bird photos!  They should be in a birding magazine


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