BRRI Hawkwatch: November 22, 2014

Swainson's awk

Swainson’s Hawk – light juvenile

Migration seems to be slowing down at the BRRI Cattle Landing Hawkwatch run by Belize Raptor Research Institute, but we still managed to get a few good migrants today. We counted a handful of Broad-winged hawks, seventeen Hook-billed Kites, and we also broke our record for latest Mississippi Kite in Belize (another juvenile). Around 1:30 pm while things were slow, Isael and I saw an odd bird approaching head on. As we were betting a choco-banana over whether it was an Osprey or a Magnificent Frigatebird (it showed narrow bowed wings in a glide), we realized it was a pretty beat up light juvenile Swainson’s Hawk. We only get a handful at the site, so this was a great bird!


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Mississippi Kite – juvenile; latest record for Belize

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Hook-billed Kites; juvenile, adult male, and adult female (all light type)

Another good bird for the day was a close female Hook-billed Kite that was chased by a Magnificent Frigatebird.




Later, a pair of adult Gray Hawks appeared; note the larger size of the female on the left in comparison to the smaller male.

ray awks

Gray Hawks – adult male and female

Yet another good bird was our fourth Mangrove Cuckoo of the season! This one was sneaky and perched high up in a tall almond tree. Note the black mask and buffy underside.

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Another highlight was a group of howler monkeys that spent half the day in a nearby cecropia tree, eating and lounging. The homeowner was nice enough to let us on his porch to get some photos at the end of the day. We hear howlers every night, but this is the first time I have seen them!

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Forlorn howler monkey…

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Baby howler monkey yelling at his dad…

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