Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader and origami artist Robert Lang (see my post about him here) contributed some lovely photos of birds he saw in the neotropics. His notes are indented:

It has been a while since I sent some Reader’s Wildlife Photos™, but I recently was invited to Panama to talk about my favorite subject (which you’ve seen) and my host took my wife and I on several sight-seeing trips. These images are from a boat trip in the Gamboa Rainforest Reserve, which is on the shores of Gatún Lake, occupying a large part of the Panama Canal.

We first have the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis), both females (the males are dark blue-gray). They did not historically live in Panama, but migratory birds have settled around the lake to feast on the snails, which were introduced to feed on the (invasive) water hyacinth.

The long, narrow, and sharply curved beak looks ideal for prying snails out of their shells.

And a different raptor, the Yellow-Headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima):

Next, we have a Limpkin (Aramus guarauna), which also feeds on the snails.

And other shore bird, the Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea). Now that is some serious blue!

The Northern Jacana (Jacana spinosa).

And last, a Flycatcher. I’m not positive, but it looks like the Panamanian Flycatcher (Myiarchus panamensis).

To come later: reptiles and amphibians!


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Interesting set!

  2. Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Marvelous! I like how the snail kite is all back-lit by the sun.

  3. Debbie Coplan
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Wonderful photos! Thank you!

  4. rickflick
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink


  5. Posted April 19, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Maeterlinck’s Blue Bird found! (But the kite is even more beautiful.)

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I like these birds. I envy your good fortune to see them in their natural habitat.

  7. Paul Matthews
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m so jealous! Or should that be envious (thinking of a recent post)? Lovely photos. I hope you’ll allow me to make a couple of corrections. The jacana is a Wattled Jacana (Jacana jacana). To put things a bit simplistically, the Northern is the jacana of Costa Rica and the Wattled is the jacana of Panama, although the Northern does occur in Western Panama. The flycatcher is a Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus), a ubiquitous species in the American tropics.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a great trip. Thanks for sharing these birds- all were new to me.

  9. Joe Baldassano
    Posted April 24, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations to all the very talented photographers. These are exemplary photos! Thank you for posting these for all of us to admire!

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