03 March 2011

A Bird with No Name...ECUADOR (24 Feb.)

After the flurry around the San Isidro lights in the early morning kept us busy, we took a break for a notable appointment with an antpitta at 07.30am. Like a number of sites around Ecuador (and Colombia too now) San Isidro took it upon themselves to try and habituate one of their own antpittas, the extremely shy White-bellied Antpitta. Despite being common by voice on their property it can be dastardly, and very difficult to see. Indeed for me, pre-feeding station, it was the hardest of the antpittas to see in Ecuador. That all changed a few years back when they successfully habituated several birds close to the restaurant at San Isidro. Unlike many other places that use this practice of antpitta feeding though, they have refrained from naming "their" antpittas like pets! (e.g. Angel Paz has Giant Antpittas named Maria and Manuel, and Yellow-breasted Antpittas named Willy and Willamina, and Tapichalaca has Jocotoco Antpittas named Panchito and Vivian). On our visit just one White-bellied Antpitta hopped in to grab worms, and it only came in just the once before slinking back into the forest. Although it stood out rather boldly mid-trail, and allowed us to shoot it all the same, so we got what we came for: great views and a few photos of a normally highly secretive species.

Return to Papallacta next...

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