Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Karen Bartelt has sent some photos of birds from Panama. Her notes:
All of these were from areas near the Canopy Tower (ie, within the old Canal Zone) [see her other pictures, and the Tower, here]:
White-vented Plumeleteer (Chalybura buffonii), female:
Blue-chested hummingbird (Amazilla amaiblis):
Broad-billed motmot (Electron platyrhynchum):
Whooping motmot (Momatus subrufescens):
Common potoo (Nyctibius griseus) [JAC: These are among the world’s most cryptic birds, looking for all the world like a piece of tree sticking up in the air]:


  1. Merilee
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos, Karen!!

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “Electron” – that’s great! But I don’t know why..

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted January 14, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      The laws of physics decreed it.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      This just in:

      “The Greek word for amber is ηλεκτρον (“elektron”) and is the origin of the word “electricity”.[citation needed]”


      -Wikipedia entry on the Leyden jar:

      … can’t recall where I heard that, but I definitely did, way back. Old neurons.

  3. Sastra
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Okay, “Broad-billed motmot” is now one of my favorite birds. Can you believe I was ignorant of its existence til now? Poverty of education corrected, thanks to Karen.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 14, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I second this. But the potoo is now also on my list of favorite birds. I did a Google Image search for potoo and just cracked up laughing. They are sure some funny, googly-eyed birds.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted January 14, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Their gaping mouths,their googly eyes, their calls, and their behavior are all wonderful (and crazy to me, though not to them). I think it’s worth watching some videos of them on Youtube.

      • Merilee
        Posted January 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

        A face only a mother could love.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing.

  5. rickflick
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Panama looks like a birder’s paradise. I wonder if there are birding tours?

    • Posted January 14, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      There are many organized group trips to see birds anywhere but especially birds of Latin America. While we did Panama on our own some years ago, with friends, it is advisable for those less experienced to go with one of the outstanding field guides or organizations. I would choose Gary Rosenberg, a super duper ornithologist with a super duper eye and ear and years of field experience if he does Panama (his rates are quite a bit lower than some of the other companies). Alternatively Manu Expeditions run by Barry Walker if they do central America: good guides, good price. Field Guides is also one of the best though their prices are higher and they tend to have ten or twelve people rather than just eight like Gary and Manu Expeditions do. You could also consider internet research to find a local Panamanian guide who has a car or van and charges a daily rate plus accommodations. Check around the internet for comments from travelers, etc. But I would go for Gary Rosenberg first. If he or Manu Expeditions don’t do Panama, ask them for recommendations for other preferably local guides. Make sure you get Pipeline Road and Achiote Road on the trip, and if possible a stay at the Kuna Indian preserve south of Panama City on the way to Darien.
      Lovely accommodations and they guide you around the preserve. Panama is terrific birding. And you can get the quetzals up north in the cloud forest area which is gorgeous and unmissable…my favorite tropical habitat. I’d pick Panama for a return trip if we were doing more trips. Browse the internet and you’ll get lots of information, contacts, etc.

      • rickflick
        Posted January 14, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Sounds like something I’d want to do. Thanks for the info Lorna.

    • Karen Bartelt
      Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      This trip was run by the Sierra Club, and was very nice. Great local guides and small group (12, I think). I’ll put in a plug for the Canopy Family, which runs the ecolodges where we stayed and supplied the guides. They also run their own tours with local guides. See for more information. We may very well go back on our own someday. Karen

      • Karen Bartelt
        Posted January 15, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Whoops, I guess my link didn’t stay. I think I broke one of “da rools”. Just Google Canopy Family Panama, and see for yourself.

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    What lovely pics Karen! Thank you. 🙂

  7. Siggy in CR
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Nice images! The Potoo has been on my wishlist of animals I have yet to see in the wild.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted January 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    What beautiful birds! Thanks for submitting them.

  9. keith cook +/-
    Posted January 15, 2017 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    very nice selection indeed.Thanks.

  10. Diane G.
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Wonderful pic, great birds, Karen!

    Oh, to see a potoo in real life…!

    I watched one live on a Brazilian web cam, once.

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