Blue Dacnis

Blue Dacnis (Female)

We posted a male Blue Dacnis on Tuesday.  Here is a photo of the female.  They both have amazing coloration.

The Blue Dacnis is a small member of the tanager family is found from Nicaragua to Panama, on Trinidad, and in South America south to Bolivia and northern Argentina. It is widespread and often common, especially in parts of its South American range.

It occurs in forests and other woodlands, including gardens and parks. The bulky cup nest is built in a tree and the normal clutch is of two to three grey-blotched whitish eggs. The female incubates the eggs, but is fed by the male.

The Blue Dacnis is about 12.7 cm long and weighs around 13 g. The adult male is turquoise blue with a black around the eyes, and on the throat and back. The wings and tail are black, edged with turquoise. The female and immature are mainly green with a blue head, paler green underparts and green-edged brown wings.

These are social birds which eat mainly insects gleaned from foliage, flowers or bromeliads. Fruit is often taken and usually swallowed whole, but nectar is rarely consumed. The Blue Dacnis’s call is a thin tsip.

Clements Bird List – 328 Species

You can find the current bird list in .pdf format on our Birding page in the side bar.  This includes updates from January, February and March, 2012.  There will be an update next month for sure.  We have a birding group here this week.  Yesterday they saw 121 species and heard another ten more for a total of 131 species.  The Raptor migration has begun which is a stunning sight to see.

Changuinola Canal Excursion # 1

This week we are focusing on a specific excursion we have been doing recently – a slow trip down the Changuinola Canal. According to Clyde Stephen’s Outline of History of the Province of Bocas del Toro, Panama, this canal was dug from Almirante Bay to the Changuinola River sometime between 1899 and 1903 as part of an agreement between the Snyder Banana Company and Colombia.

This canal has served many different purposes over the years. It was originally created in order to move bananas grown in different locations throughout Bocas del Toro. In the recent past, it served as a water route for many tourists coming into Panama from Costa Rica. The tourists would catch a water taxi outside of Changuinola which delivered them to Isla Colon. About four years ago during one of the big November rains, many trees from up river and large amounts of sand ended up in the canal, making it impassable for the water taxis. It is navigable again by small boats, but the water taxi service has not returned.

It is a gorgeous trip. Taking it slowly down the canal allows one to take in all of the wildlife and nature alongside both edges of the canal. At one point along the canal, we stop and walk along the beach to check out other areas. This week’s photos give you a glimpse into taking this excursion. We have developed the excursion for birders, but it is an excursion that any naturalist would enjoy.

Canal1JB