fieldguides 800-728-4953 / GrowingUpWithIrishMusic...

of 12/12
800-728-4953 / B I R D I N G T O U R S W O R L D W I D E fieldguides DECEMBER 2010 ® C offee is wasted on me. Here I am guiding tours to Colombia, arguably (but Colombians won’t argue about it, they treat it as a Fact) home to the best coffee in the world, and I only have a mild interest in coffee. But it need not be wasted on you during our Colombia trips, coming, of course, with all meals. If you want more at other times, then a little stimulus spending will generate much stimulus from only a small stimulus bill, and not much of a deficit, no GAO accounting required. Our newest tour, Colombia: The Cauca Valley, Western & Central Andes, crisscrosses coffee country above the Cauca Valley, offering insight into the THE RICH PERKS OF BIRDING COLOMBIA Richard Webster W hat do Pheasant Cuckoo, Golden-collared Manakin, Streak-chested Antpitta, Blue Cotinga, Speckled Mourner, Ocellated Antbird, and Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo have in common? You guessed it—Panama’s Pipeline Road! These are just a few of the thrilling lowland species to be found along one of the finest roads to bird in all of Middle America—a legendary road most birders have heard of, even if they’ve never yet birded in the American Tropics. These seven wonders of the Panama gap—of course there are many others, I must add—are on my perennial short list of birds to show off to the groups I’ve guided here for more than 30 years now. An extraordinary Birding Pipeline Road, Top to Bottom John Rowlett wilderness area located adjacent to the Panama Canal in vast Soberania National Park, Pipeline Road offers a step back in time different in scope from any other in the former Canal Zone. It is the premier birding area in all of central Panama. In addition to the extensive lowland rainforest protected by the park, there are two singular features of Pipeline Road that make birding there exceptional. One is the recently constructed observation tower at the Rainforest Discovery Center about two kilometers from the road’s beginnings. This large, sturdy tower provides a fabulous early morning panorama of birds awakening in the Spring Fling Jan Pierson W inter’s lurking, and as the days have grown shorter I’ve already begun anticipating a need for some spring birding relief. So, in a fit of winter blues prevention (I’m writing from Maine, after all) I put together my dream version (well, two, actually) of a spring escape beginning in March. I left out the tours that are already full (these include, sadly, Borneo with the “Grebe”—I know she’d show me a Bristlehead and that new flowerpecker Continued on page 10 Continued on page 11 Continued on page 11 Panama sightings: Golden-collared Manakin, Cinnamon Woodpecker, and Bicolored Antbird [Photos by participant Paul Thomas, guide John Rowlett, and participant Kevin Heffernan] Bearded Helmetcrest of the subspecies stuebelii restricted to Colombia’s western Andes, photographed by guide Richard Webster Also in this issue: 2/GuideLines • 3/Ecuador’s Wildsumaco • 4/Fresh From the Field • 8/Upcoming Tours • 9/Kirtland’s Warbler • 10/
  • date post

  • Category


  • view

  • download


Embed Size (px)

Transcript of fieldguides 800-728-4953 / GrowingUpWithIrishMusic...

  • 800-728-4953 /

    B I R D I N G T O U R S W O R L D W I D Efieldguides

    DECEMBER 2010

    Coffee is wasted on me. Here I am guiding tours to Colombia,arguably (but Colombians wont argue about it, they treat it as aFact) home to the best coffee in the world, and I only have a mildinterest in coffee. But it need not be wasted on you during ourColombia trips, coming, of course, with all meals. If you want more at othertimes, then a little stimulus spending will generate much stimulus from only asmall stimulus bill, and not much of a deficit, no GAO accounting required.Our newest tour,Colombia: The Cauca Valley,Western &Central Andes,crisscrosses coffee country above the Cauca Valley, offering insight into the


    What do Pheasant Cuckoo, Golden-collared Manakin,Streak-chested Antpitta, Blue Cotinga, Speckled Mourner,Ocellated Antbird, and Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoohave in common? You guessed itPanamas PipelineRoad! These are just a few of the thrilling lowland species to be found alongone of the finest roads to bird in all of Middle Americaa legendary roadmost birders have heard of, even if theyve never yet birded in the AmericanTropics. These seven wonders of the Panama gapof course there are manyothers, I must addare on my perennial short list of birds to show off to thegroups Ive guided here for more than 30 years now. An extraordinary

    Birding Pipeline Road, Top to BottomJohn Rowlett

    wilderness area located adjacent to the Panama Canal in vast SoberaniaNational Park, Pipeline Road offers a step back in time different in scope fromany other in the former Canal Zone. It is the premier birding area in all ofcentral Panama.

    In addition to the extensive lowland rainforest protected by the park, thereare two singular features of Pipeline Road that make birding there exceptional.One is the recently constructed observation tower at the Rainforest DiscoveryCenter about two kilometers from the roads beginnings. This large, sturdytower provides a fabulous early morning panorama of birds awakening in the

    Spring FlingJan Pierson

    Winters lurking, and as the dayshave grown shorter Ive alreadybegun anticipating a need forsome spring birding relief. So, in a fit ofwinter blues prevention (Im writing fromMaine, after all) I put together my dreamversion (well, two, actually) of a springescape beginning in March. I left outthe tours that are already full (theseinclude, sadly, Borneo with theGrebeI know shed show me aBristlehead and that new flowerpecker

    Continued on page 10

    Continued on page 11

    Continued on page 11

    Panama sightings: Golden-collared Manakin,Cinnamon Woodpecker, and Bicolored Antbird[Photos by participant Paul Thomas, guide JohnRowlett, and participant Kevin Heffernan]

    Bearded Helmetcrest of the subspecies stuebelii restricted to Colombiaswestern Andes, photographed by guide Richard Webster

    Also in this issue: 2/GuideLines 3/Ecuadors Wildsumaco 4/Fresh From the Field 8/Upcoming Tours 9/Kirtlands Warbler 10/

  • 800-728-4953 / www.fieldguides.com2

    Growing UpWith IrishMusicHow is it that Field Guides came to offer an Ireland tour combining birds, music,and pubs? Terry gives a little backgroundand just a little taste of the fun oftraveling with him.

    Myfull name is Terrence Patrick McEneaney. Ourunusual family surname can be traced as far back as1623, which is quite amazing for any family, notjust mine. And coincidentally, one of the manyGaelic translations of the McEneaney surname isson of the birdman. My ancient relatives weregamekeepers at an abbey near where they lived in Ireland. All four of mygrandparents came from Ireland.

    My ties to Ireland, Irish music, and birds actually began in Dover, NewHampshire, where I was born. My father was conceived in Ireland but hisparents then moved to NewHampshire to find work. But almost as soon asthey arrived in the states, they learned that if they were to lay claim to theMcEneaney farm in Ireland, they must return immediately and work the land.So they repacked all their possessions and sailed back to the homestead nearKeady (County Armagh, Ireland). After nine years of harvesting flax for thenearby Keady textile mills that produced Irish linen, they again headed acrossthe pond to the textile area of NewHampshire to work the mills and make anew life there with their relatives and close friends.

    Keady and Dover are connected not just by the mills, but by Irish music,bird hunting, fly fishing, nature, and family gatherings that featured a cast ofcharacters and culture known as craic, which is Gaelic for fun Irish style.Many of my relatives were entertainerseither musicians, singers, dancers,poetry readers, story tellers, comediansand all of them knew the lyrics to therare Irish songs that most people in the states have never heard of. The mostfamous of our relatives were the Greenes and the Makems. My grandmotherwas a Greene and closely related to the famous singing Greenes of Keady.

    But the most important person in my familys music tradition was SarahGreene Makem, a cousin who married into the Makem family from the Keadyarea, many of whom were talented fiddlers and pipers. Sarah became an Irishmusic legend and is often credited with saving Irish music as we know it today.Its said that from the day that she could talk to the day she passed away andfrom the moment she woke up to the hour she went to bed, she sang Irishsongs. She had a repertoire that numbered in the thousands, probably morelike 4000-plus. Until her time, songs had not been written down but simplyremembered and passed down orally, but Sarah recorded all the lyrics and themusic to boot to preserve it for posterity. People traveled from all over theworld to hear her singing in her kitchen in her unique yet angelic voice, and torecord these rare songs.

    SarahMakem had two talented sons, Tommy and Jackone who wantedstardom and the other who was happy to stay at home. Tommy, the younger,moved to NewHampshire and teamed up with another Irishman named LiamClancy. The two began to perform in bars and pubs in New York until EdSullivan heard about their music and invited them to play on his show, andThe Clancy Brothers and TommyMakem was formed. From that time onthey traveled the world, even playing in theWhite House for PresidentKennedy on St. Patricks Day. SarahMakem, TommyMakem, Jack Makem,and Liam Clancy are no longer with us, but their music lives on.

    On my first trip to Ireland in 1977, I took my mother with me. One of herdreams was to visit the close relatives and to see the site of the McEneaneyfamily homestead. I vividly recall visiting Keady and seeing the gorgeousgreen countryside and observing my first White-throated Dipper at the OldMill. But it wasnt the birds or the countryside that blew me awayit was thepeople and the music. My uncle, Jimmy Greene, whom Id never met before,took us to a pub that nightly contained a cast of characters. People came infrommiles around to meet the Yanksand Jimmy Greenes relativesatthe pub. I heard over and over again people saying, Come on Jimma, sing us asong, and his reply would be, Not now, Im with relatives.

    As the night progressed with a series of stories, jokes, poetry readings, andinstrumental music, I realized I had struck it rich. What impressed me mostwas how Irish music is traditionally done in a kitchen or pub in a slow butsemi-organized format. By late in the evening there were chants from theentire crowd, Come on Jimma, sing us a song and my uncle Jimmy Greenegracefully agreed. He politely put down his pint of Guinness and steppedonto a chair. He stretched out his arms and the noisy crowd went silent. Idheard of his reputation as an Irish pub singer, but I wasnt prepared for thebeauty of his rich baritone singing The Nightingale that put a chill downmy spine. And the entire evening was like this, a pub full of people of all agessinging songs in unison, a convivial group of people, a sessun like no other, abig party. I was hooked on Irelandits birds, its people, and its music.

    Whenever I visit, I want it to be the experience of a lifetime, not only forme but for the special people who travel with melife is too short for it to beany other way. On our Ireland: Birds, Traditional Music & Pubs tours welltake part in many unique musical sessions that encompass a wide variety oftraditional Irish music. On the fall tour, essentially eastern Ireland north andsouth of Dublin, one special stop will be the Keady area and the Makemsession house known to the locals as Tossies Cottage. On the spring tour,which covers the south and west, weve recruited local musical talent and willmake visits to special pubs and bars.

    The birding is also surprisingly good. By late fall the many migrant birdsthat winter in Ireland have returned, includingWhooper Swan from Iceland,Bewicks Swan from Russia, and GreaterWhite-fronted and Pink-frontedgeese from Greenland. And while Ireland is not a birding hotspot, the sheernumber of birds you see is impressive, particularly shorebirds (CommonRedshanks, Northern Lapwings, Common Greenshanks, and EurasianGolden-Plovers), gulls (Black-headed andMew), waterfowl (Tufted Ducks,Common Pochards, Eurasian Teal, and EurasianWigeon), and corvids(Rooks, Common Ravens, Eurasian Jackdaws, and Hooded Crows). For thespring tour in May, migrant birds are beginning to return, seabirds areamassing in impressive nesting colonies, and resident and migrant species arebeginning to vocalize, many with rich song. The famed Irish spring is alovely time to visit, with folk ballads and avian melodies alike celebrating anancient renewal of hope.

    So consider joining me in spring or fall, andas the Irish saySlainte!Slan-ti-a! or, in other words, to your good health!

    Dates for Terrys 2011 Ireland tours are May 12-22 or December 1-11. You maycall our office for details or download a tour itinerary from our web site. Andvisit for Terrys complete tour schedule (tours toMontana in summer, Yellowstone in winter, and to the Pacific Northwest).Just click on his photo.

    GuideLines with Terry McEneaney

  • 800-728-4953 / 3

    Ihave been living in Ecuador foralmost twenty years now neverlooked back at states-side lifeonce I planted my feet here. Inmy free time Id bird as many ofEcuadors wild corners as I couldfind, some accessible by car, others only byrustic trains with chickens in the aisles!Some of the places I stayed were prettyhospitable, while others werent; Iremember one spot where the only place tostay was an old schoolhouse that becameinfested with hundreds of cockroaches atsunset. But the birding was always worth it.

    Where am I going with this? Well, one of the last birding frontiers for mein Ecuador (and for many others, Im sure) was the eastern foothills of theAndes. The highlands had places to stay, the west slope had already beenmostly opened up, and even the Amazon had some very nice lodges in nicehabitat, but the eastern foothills were an overlooked and poorly-birded areawith little access to the really pristine habitat. Back then, birding this areainvolved long drives to the prime spots where you were left with no optionother than to camp (if you planned to be there at dawn or dusk)which wasactually quite fun but lacking the creature comforts that many traveling,international birders hope to find when targeting a spot to bird.

    Finally, though, a new age has dawned, with a lodge that fulfills all theneeds of birders ready to dive headfirst into Ecuadors eastern foothills in away never possible before: enterWildsumaco! Birds that were until onlyrecently considered very difficult to findEcuadorian Piedtail, Yellow-throated Spadebill, Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, and Gray-tailed Piha amongthemare now seen along the trails and forested roadsides of a wonderful

    new lodge right at ground-zero. Thedesigners and owners ofWildsumaco arebirders, so it comes as no surprise that theyplanted their feetand foundationsright where the special birds are therichest. After the Amazon, the easternfoothills are next in line as one of the mostbird-rich spots on the planet, with manyregional endemics and some even close tobeing country endemics, such as thegorgeous Coppery-chested Jacamar. Asyou might have guessed, Wildsumacosproperty birdlist is on the overwhelmingside and has soared to over 450 species in

    its relatively short existencewow! Black-throated Brilliant, Many-spottedHummingbird, Blue-rumpedManakin, Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Rufous-naped Greenlet, or Blue-browed Tanager, anyone? Weve seen them all on ourprevious visits.

    The setting is breathtaking and affords scenic views of the extinct outlyingvolcano, Sumaco, right off the spacious back deckan ideal sunset! Roomsare comfortable and modern. Access fromQuito is easy along mostly recentlypaved roads, but the lodge is perfectly situated well away from any mainhighwayeight kms up a gravel roadso the setting is tranquil and the lodgeis still surrounded by the healthy forest we birders so need to nab our quarry.

    So what are you waiting for? John Rowlett and I, both real Ecuadoraddicts from way back, are revved up and sitting on go to wring out all of thebird bio-diversity we canwith you alongside us!

    Dates for Ecuadors Wildsumaco Lodge are March 19-29. For complete details,call our office or visit our web site, where you can download a tour itinerary.

    EcuadorsWildsumacoMitch Lysinger

    A little preview of paradise? A Sparkling Violet-ear hovering at one of Wildsumacos feeders (thorntails alsoappear!); a Band-bellied Owl on a night outing; kicking back on the Wildsumaco porch, with birds out front anda view of distant Volcan Antisana; the lodge interior, where great sustenance is provided; and a male Chestnut-crowned Gnateater in the forest understory. [Photos by guides Richard Webster & Rose Ann Rowlett]

  • 800-728-4953 / www.fieldguides.com4


    Which picture seems outof place: a LaughingKookaburra, theRainbow Bee-eater, orSimpsons Gap west ofAlice Springs, all fromPart I of our recentAustralia tour withguides Chris Benesh &Megan Crewe? The onewith water! Delightfullythis year, after a longstretch of bad drought,the rains had finallycome and the birdswere breeding likecrazy. Hallelujah![Photos by guideChris Benesh]

    When a sampler tour records 650 species but you getless than half a page in Fresh from the field to show themoff, space seems a bit tight! So heres just a very smallteaser from our most recent Ecuador: Rainforest & Andestour with Mitch Lysinger in three photos from participantDon Faulkner: a white-eyed Choco Trogon in thenorthwestern foothills; a cacophony (but, sorry, no audiohere) of Dusky-headed Parakeets in for a beakful ofmineral-rich mud in the eastern lowlands near SachaLodge; and of course you all know Pinocchio well. No,wait, it claims to be a Sword-billed Hummer atYanacochabut can you believe it?

  • 800-728-4953 / 5

    Superlatives arethe order of theday for theseimages from ourrecent BoliviasAvian Riches tourand extension:boaters returningfrom work onLake Titicaca, largest lake by volume inSouth America and highest commerciallyplied body of water in the world; Blue-throated Macaw, rarest macaw in the wildand confined to a tiny area in north-centralBolivia; and a lovely, bar-tailed female GiantAntshrike, at 13 inches an antbird you canreally set your eyes on. [Photos by guideGeorge Armistead]

    From water level paddling through the Montrechardia to the treetopswhere Spangled Cotinga and the canopy walkway await, Ecuadors SachaLodge offers visiting birders a fantastic (and literal) cross section of theAmazonian rainforest experience. Sachas so popular with Field Guidesparticipants, in fact, that weve visited it on 7 tours in 2010 alone(!)fiveSacha Lodge weeklong stays and two Ecuador: Rainforest & Andes trips.These images are from participants Connie Nelson and Theresa Redmondon one of our summer tours this year. Next up? Sacha departures onJanuary 14 with Jay VanderGaast and February 11 with Dan Lane.

    Birds have feet but do they havehands? Hmmmlets see, aWhite-necked Jacobin above,showing its tiny feet; a Grass-green Tanager with matchingorange toes-and-nose; and aPavonine Cuckoo showing feetandwell, hands! Pavonine,Pheasant, and Striped cuckoosall fan out their alulas (thosefeathers constituting a hand-likebastard wing) in display whenexcited, and this birds got itscrest up, too. Cool. [Photos fromby participant Sandy Paci andguides Dan Lane and Rose AnnRowlett from two of our recentMountains of Manu, Peru trips]

  • 800-728-4953 / www.fieldguides.com6


    A tiny portion of immense andspectacular Iguazu Falls framesone of our recent Brazil groupswith guides Rose Ann Rowlett andMarcelo Padua, right and front.Add in a Maroon-bellied Parakeetand Rufous-headed Tanager torepresent Atlantic Forestendemics, and weve shown offtwo of the three special birdingvenues Marcelo and co-leaderJay VanderGaast will feature onour upcoming February 2011sampler tour, Brazil Nutshell.Also included? The fabulousBrazilian Pantanal. [Photos byguide Rose Ann Rowlett andparticipant Fred Dalbey]

    With the number of endemics recordedon our regular Papua New Guinea tourapproaching 200, you get the idea:PNG is an amazing place for novelbirds. Birds-of-paradise hog thelimelight, of course, from standard-bearing BoP species like Raggianasto the whats-an-astrapia Ribbon-tailedwith long, white streamers and abizarrely iridescent head. But PNG isalso filled with all kinds of less famousyet still fantastic endemics, of whichthe lovely Black-breasted Boatbill isone example. [Photos by guide DaveStejskal]

    Birding our way fromthe Camargue to thePyrenees involves, ofcourse, some great avianfinds (whod turn down achance at Wallcreeper,Black Woodpecker, LittleBustard, Lammergeier,and so many others?)but its also classicFrance along the way, sowe had to pay homage tothe cyclist monument atfamed Col du Tourmalet,a feared and reveredhors catgorie climb onthe Tour de France;enjoy some tailgatedhors doeuvrespre-eagle-owl; andabsorb the majesty ofthe Pyrenees in a quietmoment of scanning.[Photos by guides JesseFagan and MeganCrewe]

  • 7

    Dance, soar, skulk on our Galapagos tours: Blue-footed Boobies, famous fortheir foot-waving displays, the magnificent Waved Albatross, with eyesseemingly as deep as the ocean, and atiny Galapagos Rail, in search of whichwe head to the highlands of the centralisland of Santa Cruz. [Photos by guideGeorge Armistead]

    Above, our Serra dos Tucanos,Brazil group birding the wetlandsin the REGUA Atlantic Forestreserve, protecting one of thefragments of that once expansivehabitat. At left, an endemicBrazilian Tanagerit suggests abrilliant and super-saturatedversion of its close and morewidespread cousin, Silver-beakedTanager. [Photos by participantBob Polkinghorn]

    Three of note from our PerusMagnetic North: Spatuletails,Owlet Lodge & More tour,guided by John Rowlett: amale Crested Quetzal, wingcoverts shaggy and red eyeablaze, at Abra Patricia; aGray-mantled Wren atAfluente, and the handsomeMaroon-belted form ofSlaty-backed Chat-Tyrantan armchair lifer waiting inescrow for when the officialsplit comes. [Photos byparticipant David Disher]

  • UPCOMINGTOURSFor details on any trip or trips, please call our office or check our web site,

    where you may download tour itineraries.

    800-728-4953 / www.fieldguides.com8

    February-MarchPanamas Wild Darien: Cana & Cerro PirreFebruary 10-19, 2011 with John Coons. Birdingtour to a true wilderness area accessed bycharter aircraft; many endemics and species ofrestricted range.

    Amazonian Ecuador: Sacha Lodge IIFebruary11-20, 2011 with Dan Lane. One-site birdingtour to one of the most comfortable lodges inwestern Amazonia with some of the birdiestcanopy platforms anywhere.

    Brazil Nutshell: Atlantic Forest, Iguazu Falls &the PantanalFebruary 11-25, 2011 withMarcelo Padua & Jay VanderGaast. Thismedium-length tour hits three of Brazilspremier birding venues, staying several nightsat each to ensure an unhurried pace as we rackup some 400 species of birds.

    Panamas Fabulous Fortnight February 18-24, 2011 (Part I) & February 24-March 3, 2011(Part II) with John Rowlett. An exploration of thebest of Panama in two parts: Part Irichrainforest birding in Panamas central lowlandswith quick access to famous Pipeline Road; PartIIcloud forest birding in unsurpassedsurroundings featuring stunning views ofResplendent Quetzal and Three-wattled Bellbird,as well as many biogeographic endemics. Eachpart may be taken separately or combined.

    Panamas Canopy Tower I & IIFebruary 19-26, 2011 with John Coons & February 26-March5, 2011 with Chris Benesh. Birding tour offeringa towering introduction to Neotropical birdsbased entirely in a unique lodge; quick access tofamous Pipeline Road; includes train ride backfrom Colon after Achiote Road.

    Trinidad & TobagoFebruary 19-28, 2011 withMegan Crewe. Wonderful introductory birdingtour to South Americas riches (includingbellbirds, toucans, manakins, and motmots).

    CambodiaFebruary 19-March 3, 2011 withPhil Gregory. Birding tour to a last chancedestination for some of the large, rare Asianwaterbirds now extinct in neighboring countries,plus additional regional specialties and famedAngkor Wat.

    Colombia: The Cauca Valley, Western & CentralAndes IIFebruary 19-March 7, 2011 withRichard Webster & local guide. Energetic,endemic-oriented birding tour connectingreserves up the Cauca Valley from Medellin toCali.

    Jewels of Ecuador: Hummers, Tanagers &Antpittas IIFebruary 19-March 8, 2011 withMitch Lysinger. Survey birding tour of AndeanEcuador; diverse avifauna dominated by colorfulhummers and tanagers and more subtle andhaunting antpittas.

    Guatemala: Shade-grown BirdingFebruary23-March 5, 2011 with Jesse Fagan. A birdingtour for numerous Middle American specialties,among them Resplendent Quetzal, a host ofhummingbirds, and Azure-rumped Tanager, setagainst a dramatic volcanic landscape andcolorful Mayan culture.

    PhilippinesFebruary 26-March 20, 2011(Visayan Islands & Mindoro Extension) with DaveStejskal. Survey birding tour of the endemic-richPhilippines (Luzon, Palawan, and northeasternMindanao) with an excellent chance to see thecritically endangered Great Philippine Eagle.

    Borneo IMarch 3-20, 2011 with Rose AnnRowlett. Three prime areas on this birding tour tosome of the Earths richest forests while based incomfort right in the wild.

    Suriname: Wild & WonderfulMarch 4-19,2011 with Bret Whitney & Dan Lane. A top-shelfrainforest birding experience for those who loveto walk, listen, and be surprised.

    Honduras: Land of the EmeraldsMarch 5-13,2011 with Jesse Fagan & John Coons. Birdingtour for the endemic Honduran Emerald plus aridPacific-slope, Central Highland, and Caribbeanlowland coverage; nearly 300 species!

    Costa RicaMarch 12-27, 2011 with MeganCrewe & local guide. Birding tour forResplendent Quetzals, Three-wattled Bellbirds,Scarlet Macaws in a beautiful country with easytravel.

    Mexico: Yucatan & CozumelMarch 18-27,2011 with John Coons & local guide. A tour forthe most interesting birds of Mexicos YucatanPeninsula amidst its attractive Mayan sites andonly a short flight from the US.

    Colombia: Santa Marta EscapeMarch 19-27,2011 with Richard Webster & local guide.Birding tour featuring an easier subset ofBogota, the Magdalena Valley & Santa Marta,reached by a direct flight from Miami, and with acouple more days for a more leisurely approach.

    HawaiiMarch 19-29, 2011 with GeorgeArmistead. On our birding tour to Hawaii wellvisit three of the major islandsOahu, Kauai,and Hawaiigiving us a chance to sample agreat portion of the Hawaiian endemics and theseabird specialties.

    Ecuadors Wildsumaco LodgeMarch 19-29,2011 with Mitch Lysinger & John Rowlett. Ourbirding tour exploring the riches of the easternAndean foothills of northern Ecuador fornumerous specialties at the recently openedWildsumaco Lodge.

    GhanaMarch 19-April 2, 2011 with PhilGregory & local guide. A new addition to ourschedule, in search of numerous West Africanspecialties as well as White-necked Rockfowl.

    Ecuador: Rainforest & Andes IMarch 20-April3, 2011 with Jay VanderGaast. Highlight birdingtour of the best of Ecuadors rainforest birding atSacha Lodge combined with two excitingdestinations in the Andes, the Mindo/Tandayapaarea and San Isidro.

    Bahamas: Birds & ButterfliesMarch 21-26,2011 with Jesse Fagan. Small-group tour forthree Bahamian endemics, several Caribbeanendemics, a few early migrants, KirtlandsWarbler, and a sampling of West Indianbutterflies; exciting birding at a relaxed pace.

    Dominican RepublicMarch 26-April 2, 2011with Jesse Fagan. Short birding tour to theeastern half of the endemic-rich island ofHispaniola. Many specialties and endemicsincluding the unusual Palmchat.

    Spring in South TexasMarch 26-April 3,2011 with Chris Benesh. Magnificent WhoopingCranes, lots of South Texas specialties, andspring hawk migration on this exciting birdingtour.

    April-MayPuerto RicoApril 2-8, 2011 with GeorgeArmistead. A week of respite to a very birdy andbeautiful Caribbean island, a mix of NorthAmerican and local culture and cuisine; 16endemic birds and a number of other Caribbeanspecialties.

    Namibia & BotswanaApril 5-24, 2011 withTerry Stevenson. Southwestern Africas birdspecialties, striking scenery, wilderness, andthe famed game of Etosha and the Okavango.

    Colorado Grouse I & IIApril 7-17, 2011 withMegan Crewe & Chris Benesh & April 15-25,2011 with Dan Lane. A short birding tour toseek out the states prairie-chicken and grousespecies.

    BhutanApril 8-29, 2011 (Kahna N.P. IndiaPre-tour) with Richard Webster. Spellbindingbirding amidst awe-inspiring landscapes on ajourney through the lush forests and mountainsof this lost Himalayan kingdom.

    Birding PlusBelize: Birds, Banding & MayanRuinsApril 9-17, 2011 with Jesse Fagan. Aterrific tropical birding introduction including abird-banding element and visits to Mayanarchaeological sites.

    Texas Coast Migration Spectacle I & IIApril16-22, 2011 & April 23-29, 2011 with JohnCoons. Birding tour to the migration mecca ofHigh Island plus specialties of the Big Thicketand myriad waterbirds and shorebirds.

    Texass Big Bend & Hill CountryApril 23-May2, 2011 with Chris Benesh. Our birding tour forColima and Golden-cheeked warblers,Montezuma Quail, and other southernborderland specialties in Texass grand desertmountain landscapes.

    Texas Hill CountryApril 25-30, 2011 withJohn Rowlett. Golden-cheeked Warbler, TropicalParula, and Black-capped and Gray vireos headthe list of enticing birds to be sought on ourtour to the wildflower wonderland of theEdwards Plateau.

    JuneArizona Nightbirds & More I & IIMay 5-9,2011 & May 12-16, 2011 with Dave Stejskal. Ashort birding tour focused on this areas manyowl and nightjar specialties.

    Ethiopia: Endemic Birds & Ethiopian WolfMay 5-25, 2011 (Rock Churches at LalibelaExtension) with Terry Stevenson & GeorgeArmistead. A remarkable journey through aremarkable land, from Rift Valley lakes to theBale Mountains and south for Prince RuspolisTuraco and the strange Stresemanns Bush-Crow.

    Spain: La Mancha, Coto Donana &ExtremaduraMay 6-18, 2011 with ChrisBenesh & local guide. To La Mancha, famousCoto Donana, Extremadura, and the GredosMountains for some of Europes best birding.

    Birding PlusIreland in Spring: Birds,Traditional Music & PubsMay 12-22, 2011with Terry McEneaney & John Rowlett. Thebirds, culture, music, and pubs of this beautifulcountry in spring.

    Arizona: Birding the Border I & IIMay 13-22, 2011 with John Coons & May 21-30, 2011with Dave Stejskal. Comprehensive birding tourof one of the most exciting destinations in NorthAmerica with a backdrop of spectacularmountain scenery.

    Point Pelee Migration SpectacleMay 14-20,2011 with Jay VanderGaast. Exciting migrationbirding at several premier hotspots on the LakeErie shore.

    Uganda: Shoebill, Rift Endemics & GorillasMay 19-June 9, 2011 with Phil Gregory. Therare Shoebill and a wealth of other birds andmany Central African specialties on our birdingtour, combined with opportunities to trek forChimps and Mountain Gorillas.

    Birding PlusNorth Carolina: Petrels & theDeep Blue SeaMay 21-30, 2011 with JesseFagan. Demystify those ocean birds on thisbirding tour scheduling 3 pelagic trips intoNorth Carolinas rich offshore waters along withinformative presentations on seabird I.D. andnatural history. And well also enjoy somelandlubber birding as well.

    Virginias WarblersJune 1-5, 2011 with JohnRowlett. Unsurpassed locale for breedingwood-warblers; cool, mountain climate in bothbeautiful states on our birding tour; optionalvisit to Monticello.

    Churchill & Southern ManitobaJune 2-8,2011 (Part I) & June 7-14, 2011 (Part II) withJohn Coons & local guide. Perennial favoritesamong Field Guides travelers; Part I includesvaried birding through prairie, marshlands, anddeciduous and boreal forests; Part II includesthe tundra, coast, and spruce forests of HudsonBay; always something exciting to see atChurchill, including Rosss Gull. Each part maybe taken separately or combined; Part I islimited to just 8 participants.

    Alaska (First Tour)June 2-11, 2011 (Part I) &June 10-20, 2011 (Part II) with Chris Benesh &George Armistead. Comprehensive surveybirding tour of spectacular Alaska in two parts:Part I to the Pribilofs and Denali; Part II toNome, Seward, and Barrow.

    Alaska (Second Tour)June 9-18, 2011 (PartI) & June 17-27, 2011 (Part II) with DaveStejskal & Megan Crewe. Comprehensivesurvey birding tour of spectacular Alaska in twoparts: Part I to the Pribilofs and Denali; Part IIto Nome, Seward, and Barrow.

    Montana: Yellowstone to GlacierJune 9-19,2011 with Terry McEneaney & Jesse Fagan. Atour for great western birding and wildlifeamidst the scenery of Big Sky country.

    Borneo IIJune 9-26, 2011 with Rose AnnRowlett. Three prime areas on this birding tourto some of the Earths richest forests whilebased in comfort right in the wild.

  • 800-728-4953 / 9

    TheKirtlands Warbler (Dendroicakirtlandii) is one of the rarest ofthe temperate NewWorldwarblers. It is listed as a federallyendangered species and NearThreatened by BirdLifeInternational. Nearly its entire population (currentestimates of 3626 individuals) breeds in north-centralMichigan in young jack pine (Pinus banksiana) forests.These forests were once naturally fire-maintainedecosystems, but now are heavily managed throughcontrolled burns and harvesting. Though native tothe Great Plains, Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrusater) spread into Michigan in the 1880s following thefelling of eastern forests, which acted as a natural breakto the expansion of this species eastward. Cowbird parasitism rates onKirtlands Warbler were once as high as 70%, but with control measures thatbegan in the 1970s, this rate dropped to a low of 3%, and warblerproductivity tripled. The population of Kirtlands Warbler has continued togrow since the 1990s, so much so that the federal government is beginning tothink about delisting it. Pairs are now breeding in the Upper Peninsula ofMichigan, Ontario, and most recently in central Wisconsin. Despite stillbeing very rare in migration, birds are being found with more frequency,including at least two seen in northwest Ohio in May 2010. I was fortunate tosee a female on migration in late September 2006 on Folly Island (CharlestonCounty), South Carolina.

    Surprisingly though, my experiences with Kirtlands have not occurredwhere most people probably see them. I mentioned the bird in migration(my lifer), but I have now had the pleasure of seeing Kirtlands Warbler on itswintering grounds in the Bahamas. In late April 2008, I made my first visit tothe island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas to scout the area for a Field Guidestour there. Eleuthera is one of just two islands in the archipelago wherevisitors can see Great Lizard-Cuckoo (Coccyzus merlini), though I must admitI had Kirtlands on my mind as well. I searched extensively throughout theisland but didnt find a one. I suppose the late date of my trip may have hadsomething to do with this. Kirtlands generally arrive on their breeding

    grounds in mid-May, which would mean that many ofthem have probably left or are beginning to leave theislands by late April.

    It was the following year in early April 2009 whileleading the tour that I got my first look at a winteringKirtlands Warbler. We had spent the previous day onEleuthera tracking down the Great Lizard-Cuckoo,eventually finding several individuals around our hotelgrounds on the north end of the island near GregoryTown. These oversized Coccyzus cuckoos spend muchof the day in the shadows of tall coppice huntingAnolis lizards. Occasionally they like to come out andsun themselves. They also make amazing cackling orgrowling sounds. However, on this day I knew Ineeded to find some good low scrub or coppice if we

    had any chance of locating a Kirtlands, our remaining target bird. We set outand after driving several kilometers south of Governors Harbour, I eased thevan over to the right shoulder at a spot where the habitat looked gooda mixof low open scrub with visible bare ground between bushes. No sooner hadwe gotten out of the van than we began hearing a rich call note, tsip!, comingfrom the vegetation. All of a sudden, a bird popped up in front of us in theclosest small scrub. A little surprised, I remember saying to the group, Heyguys, thats a Kirtlands Warbler!

    We ended up finding a total of five Kirtlands that day at two differentsites. In April 2010 our tour group found another female. That totals sixsightings of Kirtlands in two years. Not bad, I believe, considering the paucityof records on the wintering grounds. All our sightings were of unbanded birdsand most appeared to be females or first-year birds. It is surprising to me thatwe didnt find any males, but maybe males prefer a slightly different habitattype or maybe we just missed them. Adult male warblers typically leave thewintering grounds before females, but early April is still probably too early formigration of either sex.

    It is exciting when tour leading and science can mix. I know ourparticipants enjoy being a part of something that is not well studieda feelingthat every little photo or written note is helping us to learn a bit more about aspecies, in this case the Kirtlands Warbler.


    The Kirtlands WarblerEleuthera Island, Bahamas

    Jesse Fagan

    At left, a few residentfriends that KirtlandsWarblers get to see inwinter: the rose-throatedBahama Parrot (likely to besplit from Cuban), a glowingmale Bahama Yellowthroat,and the dark-eyed Thick-billed Vireo [Photos byguide Jesse Fagan]

  • fieldguides.comSo, whats going on at, there are lots of mouthwateringphotographs taken by our guides or sentto us by tour participants to whet yourappetite (we hope) for travel with FieldGuides both near and far. And there arenew tour slideshows put together by ourguides, one of the latest being DanLanes from his recent Mountains ofManu, Peru tour.

    There are weekly Birding Wrap-upsthat report on some of the fascinatingplaces weve visited in the last couple ofmonths, and there are also back copiesof our monthly e-mailingsand, by theway, if you dont already receive it andwould like to, let us know and well putyou on the e-mail listas well aslistings of recently posted itinerariesand triplists, all downloadable from ourwebsite.

    fieldguides on FacebookIn addition to our website above, see our Facebook page ( for from-the-field posts andphotos by guides, additional photo albums and videos, and regular news updates, too. If you have a Facebook account, youcan keep up with the latest simply by clicking the Like button at the top of our FB page. See you there!

    800-728-4953 / www.fieldguides.com10

    The differencebetween nightand day, of course!

    What is that ball of feathers above, you might have wondered, had you come acrossit on an evening walk in Borneo, as did guide Rose Ann Rowlett and group.Find out more about this fun sighting and other gee-whizzes from Field Guidestours in a great, new online slideshow of 30 images from around the world titled

    Discoveries & Sightings. To view it, visit:

    Blue-headed Pitta, Borneo,asleep and awake


    species; Hawaii, because I desperately need an Iiwi; Ghana, where my liferRockfowl awaits in a cave; Bhutan (some of those pheasants look amazing);and several other personal wanna-dos. But I know theres space for me onsome early spring tours. So here goes.

    Spring Fling I: Northern South AmericaAs one option, Id begin in Suriname on March 4 with Bret and Dan, and Idespecially want to see Guianan Cock-of-the-rock (freakishly amazing birds),Capuchinbird (which sounds like a distant chainsaw to me [you know, theMaine woods perspective] and a mooing cow to others), and Gray-wingedTrumpeters (how great a bird name is trumpeter!). Then Id fly to Bogota onMarch 19 and join Richard for the Colombia: Santa Marta Escape tripbecause, well, I would just get a pile of endemic lifers (all kinds of SantaMarta this-and-thatshmmm, the antpitta would be especially nice) and,besides, Ive never been allowed off the plane in Bogota when passingthrough (I need that country). Id fly home near the end of the month withcrowded memories of many hundreds of very cool birds (and, fromSuriname, perhaps some sakis, spiders, and howlers, toomonkeys, thatis!). Heck, I might even head back out on April 9 after a little break toBelize for a week-plus of turkeys (of the Ocellated sort), motmots (Keel-billed, anyone?), manakins, Mayan ruins, and one of my faves, GreatCurassow (that female is a head-turnerand head-curler).

    Spring Fling II: Island FeverI cant get visions of a warm beach and rustling palm trees out of myhead right now (theyre brought on by stove-stoking, apparently, or anattempt to block out sugar plums), so for my second option Im headingoffshore. First, Im booking a March 21 flight to join Jesse (theMotmot) in the Bahamas for his Birds & Butterflies jaunt. What do Imost want to see, Mot man? A Great Lizard-Cuckoo, becausewell, I justlove cuckoos, and lizard-cuckoos are a key treatment for cucuphilia (andtherell be several more L-Cs to come on this spring fling!). Then Imgoing to continue with the Motmot on a quick island-hop over to theDominican Republic on March 26. Jesse tells me one of the firstendemics well see is Palmchats with their bizarre communal stick-nests,and (bonus!) theyre in their own bird family. But I really want to seethose two endemic (darling) todies, and of course, its big cuckoo heavenherenot one but two endemics in the DR, Bay-breasted andHispaniolan! Im going to take my final dose of island therapy bycontinuing on to Puerto Rico on April 2, where no doubt Ill find Georgeraring to go out in search of Yellow-shouldered Blackbird, lovely littleAdelaides Warblers, the elegant Puerto Rican Woodpecker, andwhatelse? Oh, you are sooooo good, howd you guess? Puerto Rican Lizard-Cuckoo!!! Im in heaven. Beam me back home, Scotty. Therapycompleted, Ill be fully recovered from those winter blues.

    Spring Fling Continued from page 1

  • 800-728-4953 / 11

    complications of coffee: One of the worldschemically most complex flavors grows superblywell on the slopes of the Andes and is an importantcomponent of Colombias economy, but it is thecause of much deforestation, particularly for theincreasingly favored monoculture of sun coffee(as opposed to shade coffee, grown under a sparsecanopy of trees that do support some birds) (coffeeis only partly the villain; did it not exist, someother monoculture or pasture would often be inits place).

    Colombias birds are not wasted on me. Birding the reserves and parksscattered among the many fincas and ranches provides all the stimuli anybirder needs. Several recently discovered species are present, such as ParkersAntbird, Stiless Tapaculo, Chestnut-capped Piha, and, with some luck, ChocoVireo. Many endemics are possible (making for an outstanding collection inconjunction with our other two-week tour, Bogota, theMagdalena Valley &SantaMarta), including some that are decaf in appearance, such as GrayishPiculet and Brown-banded Antpitta. It is also a highly-threatened avifauna,but we stand a good chance of finding a number of threatened species,including the spectacular Yellow-eared Parrot, which is benefitting from nestbox programs, and Cauca Guan, which is increasing with protection (andthrives in an abandoned ash plantation!).

    Even better than the coffee are those families at their richest in the Andes:hummingbirds and tanagers, although I would not dare equate them withchocolate (Colombia grows some fine cacao, arguably not on a par with thatofWest Africa or Brazil, but good enough). With the hummingbirds we willbe aided by some dynamite arrays of feeders, although we will pursue some

    forest canopy and subcanopy. Often CinnamonWoodpeckers or Black-tailedTrogons are settled on exposed perches harmonizing their rhythms with thatof the rising sun. Amazon parrots shallow-wing over the canopy, their loud,insistent calls interrupted periodically by perhaps a Plumbeous Hawk wailingfrom its exposed perch below. A pair of Green Shrike-Vireos may spend halfan hour working over the fruits of a bare Gumbo-Limbo while a tail-slingingBay-breastedWarbler reminds you how far away from your summer home youboth are. Mid-morning, when it begins to heat up, one can cool down byrepairing to the facilities at the Rainforest Discovery Center headquarters toenjoy coffee, a snack, and the Centers set of hummingbird feeders which areperhaps the best lowland feeders in Panama in terms of the number of diversespecies attracted.

    Second, birding along Pipeline Road offers the birder an excellent chanceof experiencing the excitement of a raiding army ant swarm, one of the mostremarkable phenomena of the American Tropics. With a lot of road to bird,one can make a rich transect of habitat, covering ground while listeningattentively for the soft snarling and churring of Bicolored and Ocellatedantbirds, both professional ant-followers that indicate the presence often ofmany other species, all taking advantage of the ants as they assiduously combthe leaf litter, the saplings and small trees for an astonishing array of

    Birding Pipeline Road, Top to BottomContinued from page 1


    bioformsfrom spiders to cockroaches to scorpions and skinks. The bill-snapping of antbirds and woodcreepers (and yes, with luck, that electrifyingloud snapping of aNeomorphus!) capturing forms of protein that the ants aredispersing from their hiding places is a sensational show. One second tononeunless one favors the more aesthetic performance of a snappy assemblyof lekking Golden-collared Manakins collectively displaying a few inches offthe ground over their individual courts; or the individual fluting of a PheasantCuckoo virtually motionless on an exposed limb, its ample tail spread wide, itssmall bill pointing skyward.

    Any way you like it, Pipelines got what birders are after in lowlandPanama. Staying only 10 minutes away in the comfortable GamboaRainforest Resort on Part I of my new Panamas Fabulous Fortnight tour (wevisit Western Panama on Part II), well be there in plenty of timewith plentyof timeto maximize our chances of encountering the short list cited above,as well as experiencing the two most compelling features of SoberaniaNational Park: canopy birding and ant swarm birdingbirding from top tobottom!

    Part I of Johns Panamas Fabulous Fortnight, scheduled for February 18-24,will visit Central Panama and Pipeline Road. Part II, February 24-March 3,will travel to Chiriqui inWestern Panama.

    species in the wild, such as Bearded Helmetcrest in the pramo of LosNevados N.P. And the tanagers include, no surprise, some potentialstimulus overloads, including Black-and-gold, Gold-ringed, Multicolored,and Purplish-mantled.

    Our first two years of scouting and tours have gone well, and we expectthe upward trend in Colombia to continue (as evidenced by the strongcandidates in the recent presidential election). We have four offerings inthe first quarter of next year, one that is fullBogota, theMagdalenaValley & SantaMarta ( January 15-31), one that is nearly fullColombia:SantaMarta Escape (March 19-27), and the tour featured hereTheCauca Valley,Western &Central Highlands ( January 15-31 andFebruary 19-March 7) with spaces.

    I am RichardWebster, and I approve this message, even the admissionthat I do not thrive on coffee.

    Visit any of our Colombia pages on our website for a link to our informativeoverview, Colombia: Field Guides Tours.

    Above, the lovely Purlish-mantled Tanager, restricted tothe western Andes of Colombia and NW Ecuador. At right,Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owlone of the last things weguarantee is a pygmy-owl, because they can be reeeaaallydifficult, as this one was for six hotshot birders who didntnotice it until our lodge manager, handling the horses,pointed it out, as close to us as when it wasphotographed! [Photos by guide Richard Webster]

  • 12

    With 6 Brazil tours on his schedule for 2010 already and 9 more

    coming up in 2011, guide Marcelo Paduas been just a wee tad

    busy! Still, he took a few days out to join Rose Ann Rowlett and our

    group at Iguazu Falls (big water) recently (sometimes it mists

    from all the water thundering by, but on this day there was actually a

    bit of drizzle, thus the umbrella and very stylish raingear!). The falls

    will be just one great stop of three on Marcelos upcoming BRAZIL

    NUTSHELL tour, February 11-25 (Jay will co-lead). The other two

    sites? Famous Intervales

    Park in the Atlantic

    Forest and the northern

    Pantanal. And the birds?



    PAIDLewiston, MEPermit #82

    FIELD GUIDES INCORPORATED9433 Bee Cave Road / Building 1, Suite 150 / Austin, TX 78733800-728-4953 / 512-263-7295 / fax: [email protected] /


    CONSERVATION Field Guides contributes to the followingconservation organizations: The Nature Conservancy,Conservation International, BirdLife International,Population Biology Foundation/Yanacocha Biological Station


    Last SpacesAmazonian Ecuador: Sacha LodgeJanuary 14-23 with Jay VanderGaast

    Mexico: Colima & JaliscoJanuary 15-23 with Chris Benesh & Megan Crewe

    Yellowstone in WinterJanuary 15-23 with Terry McEneaney

    VenezuelaJanuary 15-29 with John Coons

    Colombia: The Cauca Valley, Western & Central AndesJanuary 15-31 with Richard Webster & local guide

    ThailandJanuary 15-February 5 (Gurneys Pitta & Nicobar PigeonExtension) with Dave Stejskal & Uthai Treesucon

    Northeast Brazil: Long Live the Lears!January 16-February 5 with Bret Whitney & Marcelo Padua

    Northern India: Tiger, Birds & the Taj MahalJanuary 22-February 13 with Terry Stevenson

    Mexico: OaxacaJanuary 23-30 with Megan Crewe & Dan Lane

    Venezuela: Tepuis EndemicsJanuary 28-February 6 with Jay VanderGaast

    The Heart of ChileJanuary 29-February 12 (Easter Island Extension)with Peter Burke