Rich Hoyer

Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #3

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #3 by Rich Hoyer 29 June 2012

In this final blog on Jamaican birds, I’ll write about the last five endemic subspecies and give honorable mention to one more near-endemic. The Bananaquit is a familiar bird throughout the Caribbean as well as the mainland throughout the Neotropics. Yet everywhere you go they look and sound different. Presumably, the ancestor of the Bananaquit [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #2

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #2 by Rich Hoyer 21 June 2012

Here’s yet another set of six species found as endemic subspecies on Jamaica. Which ones should be considered separate species? Let’s have a look. Greater Antillean Elaenia occurs here in the higher elevations, but is a scarce bird, at least in March to early April, which is when I’ve led most of my 12 tours [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #1

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #1 by Rich Hoyer 6 June 2012

So, now after having delineated 28 species of birds endemic to Jamaica (including the two forms of the Streamertail, currently lumped but he AOU), it’s time I start introducing the endemic subspecies. Some are so distinctive as to clearly warrant species-level recognition, while others aren’t so different from mainland or other island forms, and you [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Birds Part 5

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Birds Part 5 by Rich Hoyer 23 May 2012

These final six endemic species of Jamaica fall at the end of the taxonomic order of birds (as listed by the American Ornithologists’ Union) and all but the last are part of the group known as the “nine-primaried oscines.” At one time they were even placed in the single giant family Emberizidae, but current practice [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Birds Part 4

White-chinned Thrush by Rich Hoyer 15 May 2012

This week I’ll discuss another five bird species endemic to Jamaica, the first half of the oscine passerines. Also called songbirds, these more “advanced” passerines don’t all actually have nice songs, though when analyzed, their voices are usually quite a bit more complex than those of subsocines. On Jamaica, however, some of these have wonderfully [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Birds Part 3

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Birds Part 3 by Rich Hoyer 4 May 2012

The next five Jamaican endemics I’ll talk about are all suboscine passerines. I’m a compulsive categorizer of everything, and it is so gratifying to know how birds sort themselves out into families and orders, if not so cleanly into species. So if you’re not familiar with the concept of “suboscine passerine,” a very quick lesson [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Birds Part 2

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Birds Part 2 by Rich Hoyer 24 April 2012

In this second installment featuring Jamaica’s endemic bird species, I’ll complete the non-passerines, which includes some of the most exciting species on the island. The following photos are mostly digiscoped, taken over the past 14 years I’ve led tours here. The Jamaican Owl is surprisingly widespread and tolerant of a wide variety of habitats, though [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Birds – The First Six

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Birds – The First Six by Rich Hoyer 16 April 2012

Rich Hoyer highlights endemics from Jamaica, including Black-billed Parrot, Yellow-billed Parrot, Jamaican Lizard-Cuckoo, Chestnut-bellied Cuckoo, Ring-tailed Pigeon, and Crested Quail-Dove from his WINGS Birding Tours.

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Mystery Song From Carara is Rufous-breasted Wren

Thumbnail image for Mystery Song From Carara is Rufous-breasted Wren by Rich Hoyer 1 April 2012

Judging from the very few daring guesses, this was a real tough sound quiz. As I mentioned in last week’s post, I was quite surprised when I looked up to see that this nearly ultrasonic song was being given by a Rufous-breasted Wren, Pheugopedius rutilus. As a reminder, here is the song from last week: [...]

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Carara National Park – A Sound Quiz

Thumbnail image for Carara National Park – A Sound Quiz by Rich Hoyer 27 March 2012

Rich Hoyer posts an audio quiz from Costa Rica plus a few birds from Carara National Park.

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Northern Peru – Local Specialties and Fun Birding

Thumbnail image for Northern Peru – Local Specialties and Fun Birding by Rich Hoyer 20 March 2012

Northern Peru, with easy access and excellent birding, is a wonderful destination for a short birding tour to the New World tropics.

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Cristalino By Night

Thumbnail image for Cristalino By Night by Rich Hoyer 28 February 2012

A Photo Gallery of some nocturnal critters at Brazil’s Cristalino Jungle Lodge

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Great Baja Birding Report

Thumbnail image for Great Baja Birding Report by Rich Hoyer 14 February 2012

Rich Hoyer’s recent Baja California Tour reports all of the endemic species and some exciting vagrants.

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My Last Days in Tanzania

Thumbnail image for My Last Days in Tanzania by Rich Hoyer 31 January 2012

Rich Hoyer shares a few photos from the Udzungwa Mountains of east-central Tanzania.

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Rwanda Sunbird Confusion

Probable Stuhlman's Sunbird. Rich Hoyer by Rich Hoyer 26 January 2012

A gallery of sunbird photos from Rwanda illustrate an identification problem.

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Tucson’s Sweetwater Wetlands – a Winter Snapshot

Thumbnail image for Tucson’s Sweetwater Wetlands – a Winter Snapshot by Rich Hoyer 17 January 2012

Rich Hoyer reports on a morning bike ride to Tucson’s premier birding hotspot, Sweetwater Wetlands.

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Afromontane – A New World (and Word)

Thumbnail image for Afromontane – A New World (and Word) by Rich Hoyer 3 January 2012

I guess mountains are so rare in Africa, that an adjective has been coined to describe the forests found there. In the Neotropics, we say something more general, such as “tropical montane,” or  “cloud forest,” I guess assuming that anywhere you have mountains in the tropics you get a resulting forest type. It turns out [...]

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Gorillas in the Sunshine

Thumbnail image for Gorillas in the Sunshine by Rich Hoyer 27 December 2011

Rich Hoyer reports on seeing Mountain Gorillas in NW Rwanda

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Cristalino Montage – Row 8

Thumbnail image for Cristalino Montage – Row 8 by Rich Hoyer 20 December 2011

This week reveals the identities of the birds and a plant from the final row in Rich Hoyer’s Cristalino Montage.

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Cristalino Montage – Row 7

Thumbnail image for Cristalino Montage – Row 7 by Rich Hoyer 13 December 2011

This week reveals the identities of the birds and bugs from Row 7 in Rich Hoyer’s Cristalino Montage.

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