24 December 2008

Common Birds of Bogota

Stephanie and I are currently in Bogota, visiting her family for the holidays. Of course, I've taken the opportunity to see some birds while I'm here. Everything is different and it can be overwhelming to try to identify all the new bird sights and sounds. Even the ubiquitous House Sparrow and European Starling are absent as far as I can tell. Rock Pigeons are still quite common. Mourning Doves are replaced here by a similar species, Eared Doves. These doves have shorter tails than MODOs and differ in some details of plumage. Here in the tropics they may breed year-round, but they're certainly breeding now as I've seen several pairs in courtship and even copulation.

The common sparrow in the city and the countryside is "el Copeton," the Rufous-collared Sparrow. This is a congener with the White-crowned Sparrow that is familiar to me in Utah and elsewhere in the States, but seems even more common and adaptable to human habitation. In the places I've seen it, it seems more like the House Sparrow, hopping around food carts in the city and picking up scraps and feeding on small seeds in ornamental plants.

The third common species here is the Great Thrush. This is the equivalent of our American Robin and it is in the same family. I have seen these feeding on worms in the fields and on small fruits in the trees. They are common but not as approachable as the other two species. Any time I get close, they seem to fly up into the dark center of a dense tree. I have heard these singing, so they may be breeding now as well.

More soon from Colombia. . . .

1 comment:

pedro said...

Fantastic! I am in Bogota for just a few days for work so didn't get a bird book. But brought binos, of course. This post allowed me to ID the great thrush, as seen en route from airport to hotel. By end of day tomorrow, I hope to have a bird list greater than 1 sp.