Costa Rica Photo Gallery

Birds and Wildlife at Rancho Naturalista

January 2009 -- Digiscoped images by Joseph Morlan

Boat-billed Flycatcher (Megarynchus pitangua mexicanus)
24 January 2009, CATIE Botanical Garden, Costa Rica This is a fairly common bird, but they tend to stick to the canopy. This one posed low enough for a picture. The broad convex bill is evident. These flycatchers seldom take insects mid-air like most other flycatchers, but instead they grab them from twigs or foliage. They also hover to take fruit and sometimes lizards. This species is similar to the abundant Great Kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) which has much more rufous in the wings and tail and a very different call. Despite the close resemblance to the Kiskadee, the Boat-billed Flycatcher is placed in its own monotypic genus, Megarynchus (sometimes misspelled "Megarhynchus"), which, if I remember my Latin, means "big nose." In addition to plumage and vocal differences, the nest of the Boat-billed Flycatcher is quite different. This species ranges from Mexico to Argentina with five or six subspecies recognized. This is the widespread M. p. mexicanus which ranges from East Mexico to NW Columbia, South America. It is said to have a brighter, more green back compared to other races. Panasonic Lumix LZ5 / Nikon FieldScope 3 / 30X WA hand-held (no adapter)
Joseph Morlan