Nature Notes

April 18, 2014

January 10, 2013

Venezuela-Henry Pittier National Park

Filed under: Birds,Venezuela — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Venezuela

Henry Pittier National Park is one of the top birding spots in the world. A huge park accessible by two roads through it, it provides for a wide range of elevation changes and habitants ranging from cloud forest to near desert conditions near the sea.

It is home to a vast array of bird species as well as other interesting creatures.On my first day I started up the eastern main road at dawn from Maracay, stopping at different elevations at convenient turnoffs from the road. feeding parties could be found moving through the trees, well represented by Tanagers and accompanied by other families, Woodcreepers , Antbirds , Flycatchers . A steady stream of Black and Turkey Vultures soared along the ridges joined by other raptors, like the look-a-like Zone-tailed Hawk.

Sloth

As the road started down the north-facing slope, the minimal traffic slowed to a stop as a Three Toed Sloth slowly crawled across the road. About half way down the land became cultivated but still home to many interesting species. It became hotter and drier as I got closer to the sea,and when I reached the sea at the small dusty town of Ocumare, the conditions were desert-like. Expect to see Magnificent Frigatebird , Black-striped and Rufous-collared Sparrow , and Shiny Cowbird .

Some species to be found are Brown Booby , Rufous Nightjar , Crimson-crested Woodpecker , Buff-fronted Foliage-Gleaner , Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager , Thick-billed Euphonia , Bay-headed Tanager , Green Honeycreeper , Swallow-Tanager , Yellow-rumped Cacique , and Crested Oropendola .

The road through the western fork is also quite productive, if a little more precarious. This narrow mountain road can be heart-stopping when you meet a bus from the other direction.

Rufous-collared Sparrow


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November 11, 2012

Venezuela-The Meridean area of the Andes

Filed under: Birds,Venezuela — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
King Vulture

King Vulture

I drove through to the Andes on a day long leisurely ride through the Falcon region (Pileated Finch, King and Lesser Yellow-headed Vultures, Yellow-headed Caracara ), and the Baranis region (Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Magpie Tanager, White-shouldered Tanager, Black Caracara, Blue-black Grosbeak).

Although the Andes haven’t reached their greatest heights in Merida, the area is very fascinating with cliff towns and the people in bright local costume. The birds included Mountain Elainea, Cliff Flycatcher, Torrent Tyrannulet, White-capped Dipper, Great Thrush, Buff-breasted and Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, Plushcapped Finch, Mountain Wren.

Black Vulture

Black Vulture

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October 3, 2012

Venezuela-Chichiriviche

Filed under: Birds,Venezuela — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am

Tricolored Heron

Some 300 km. west of Caracas lies the town of Chichiriviche. The extensive mangrove lagoons support a wide variety of waterbirds including a good number of the beautiful Scarlet Ibis , Green Ibis, Cocoi Heron, Neotropic Cormorant , and Gray Necked Wood-Rail .

The xerophytic vegetation in the immediate area hosts a wide variety of species including the endemic Short-tailed Tody-Flycatcher, as well as species like White-sided Flowerpiecer and Tocoyu Sparrow.

Some species you may see are Brown Booby , Magnificent Frigatebird , Caribbean Flamingo , King Vulture , Snail Kite, and Limpkin.

American Flamingo

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