Grey-necked Wood Rail ‘Aramides cajaneus’ Sunning and looking for Breakfast.

Early morning checking the trails and came across a Grey-necked WoodRail with young chick. I came upon them so sudden that I just froze, and see if they would fly off but didn’t. I then took out my camera slowly and quickly took as much shots as I can. Feeling confident, I approach them until I reach about 5 feet. I think they were very comfortable with me as they just continue their search for food.

Additional Information: The Gray-necked Wood-Rail is a large Rallid distributed from Argentina north to Mexico. It is usually secretive but occasionally roams in the open near the edges of wetlands or mangroves. The species is quite vocal in the early morning when it makes its presence known with a crazed series of squealing, yelping phrases. Gray-necked Wood-Rails are quite striking in appearance with olive-brown above and rusty and black below with a gray head and neck, stocky yellow bill, and reddish legs and feet.


Citation: Neotropical Birds

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Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture “Cathartes burrovianus”

So awhile back, when I was taking a tour guide course, the instructor told us to pick any favorite bird and make a presentation.  Most went up and presented about a pretty bird until one went up and said ” Well I like the Vulture, because its cleans ups the Environment” and very much true.

Most commonly in vultures you would see, Black-Headed Vulture (black vulture) Turkey Vulture, and some times the Great King Vultures.  What you would rarely see is the Lesser- Yellow-headed Vulture.  Luckily I came out at the right time when a field was ploughed and saw this one feeding.

Enjoy!

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Additional Information

The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus) also known as the Savannah Vulture, is a species of bird in the New World Vulture family Cathartidae. It was considered to be the same species as the Greater Yellow-headed Vulture until they were split in 1964.[2] It is found in Mexico, Central America, and South America in seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, swamps, and heavily degraded former forest. It is a large bird, with a wingspan of 150–165 centimeters (59–65 in). The body plumage is black, and the head and neck, which are featherless, are pale orange with red or blue areas. It lacks a syrinx, so therefore its vocalizations are limited to grunts or low hisses.
The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture feeds on carrion and locates carcasses by sight and by smell, an ability which is rare in birds. It is dependent on larger vultures, such as the King Vulture, to open the hides of larger animal carcasses as its bill is not strong enough to do this. Like other New World Vultures, the Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture utilizes thermals to stay aloft with minimal effort. It lays its eggs on flat surfaces, such as the floors of caves, or in the hollows of stumps. It feeds its young by regurgitation.
Ecology and behavior.

Interesting Information:

Although vultures are generally fairly solitary animals, groups of vultures are often seen circling prey from the sky above. This movement of the vultures is called a kettle and a group of vultures together is sometimes known as a venue.

Vultures have keen eyesight. It is believed they are able to spot a three-foot carcass from four miles away on the open plains. In some species, when an individual sees a carcass it begins to circle above it. This draws the attention of other vultures that then join in. The feces of the vulture contains strong acids that kill many of the bacteria commonly associated with bird feces. Because of their diet, these birds are able to kill harmful bacteria and viruses with their stomach acids, and halt the potential spread of disease from rotting carcasses.

They get their name from a Latin word, vellere, which means “to tear.”

Citation: a-z-animals.com, en.wikipedia.org

Green Kingfisher ‘Chloroceryle americana’

One of the smallest of the Kingfishers in Belize.  Slightly smaller than the Amazon Kingfisher but bigger than the Pygmy.  It is about 30 cm (12 in) long overall with a bill about 47 mm (1.9 in) long. The heavy bill appears even larger in comparison to the rest of the body.

Its is a widespread resident of the Neotropics, the Green Kingfisher can be found from south Texas and southeastern Arizona in the United States south to northern Chile and Argentina. As the name suggests, these birds are predominantly green with white on the collar, throat, belly, undertail coverts and white spotting on the primaries and tail. Male Green Kingfishers have a bright rufous breast. The range of the Green Kingfisher overlaps with that of the similar Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona), but can be distinguished by its small size and distinct white spotting on the wings and tail. These birds are always found near water, where they prefer wooded streams and pools, rocky watercourses, flooded forest, coastal mangroves and rocky shorelines. Green Kingfishers search for prey from a waterside perch, looking for small fish, crustaceans, prawns and aquatic insects. When prey is found, Green Kingfishers dive steeply into the water to capture the prey and return back to the original perch to feed.

Male Green Kingfisher.

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Citation: Cornell-NeotropicalBirds

Bat Falcon ‘Falco rufigularis’

Early morning on the way to work.  Bat Falcon enjoying the warm of the sun and preening.  Ever wonder why they are called Bat Falcon?

Additional information: Bat Falcons occurs from Mexico south to northwestern Peru and, east of the Andes, northern Argentina. It is dark slate gray above, with an obvious white throat, black-and-white barred breast, and orange lower belly and thighs.  Bat Falcons can be distinguished from the similar and sympatric (but much rarer) Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus) by their smaller size, more compact structure, narrower white barring on the lower breast, and more restricted orange on the upper breast. Bat Falcons generally hunt around dawn and dusk at forest edge or over the canopy, often along rivers or road cuts, or at the edges of small crop fields. As the name implies, they feed on bats, but also prey on birds and insects (mostly aerial). They nest in adopted cavities, on cliffs, or on man-made structures and defend their territory aggressively.

Citation: NeotripicalBirds

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Bared-throated Tiger Heron ‘Tigrisoma mexicanum’ Hunting like a Tiger.

Have you seen a Tiger Heron Hunting?  If you have, you may know its normally hunting for fish, frogs and small crabs.  This particular video show how motionless the Heron would stay to catch its prey.  However to my surprise this Heron was not hunting any of the three mentioned above.  Click on link and see what was caught. Down below are some pictures of the Heron.

Video: Watch me hunt.

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American Pygmy Kingfisher ‘Chloroceryle aenea’

So I’m trying to get use to blogging some more.   As you may notice this would be like my first post. Take in mind it’s not perfect,  but I’ll do my best.  If you do twitter  feel free to check. avianwatcher@belcampo.com

One morning on April 9th, 2013 I came to work early and check  out the Belcampo Farm.  I went to a usually pond to see what i would find.  Upon reaching i came up to a Tiger Heron, so i decided to study this bird for a while.  So while I was there, the elusive smallest Kingfisher of Belize came right in the Open.  Now If you love Birding and have tried to take pictures of this Bird you know its hard to shoot sometimes.  I just quickly took some shots and with some cooperation I tried different setting.  Let me know what you think. I’ll get back to the Heron story on another posts.

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For more info: check  Birdlife.org