Costa Rica Photo Gallery

Birds at Savegre Mountain Lodge, San Gerardo de Dota.

January 2009 -- Digiscoped images by Joseph Morlan

Mountain Elaenia (Elaenia frantzii frantzii)
29 January 2009, Savegre Mountain Hotel, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica I like the way the base of the leg shows through the soft body feathers. Elaenias are a genus of medium-sized Neotropical flycatchers comprising seventeen species, many of which look alike. Differences between species are subtle and sometimes voice is the only way to tell them apart. Elaenias feed on fruit and berries as well as insects. They capture berries in hovering flight in the same manner as they take insects, as if the berries might fly away. They have a relatively small bill and usually a bushy crest with a white or colored crown patch. However, the Mountain Elaenia differs in that it has a round head and no crown patch. This species ranges in the highlands from Middle America to northern South America. Four subspecies are recognized. This is the larger, paler nominate race which is confined to the highlands of Costa Rica and Panama where it is one of the most common flycatchers. Early authors lumped the Mountain Elaenia with the Highland Elaenia (E. obscura) of South America, but genetic studies indicate that the two are not closely related. Panasonic DMC-LZ5 / Nikon FieldScope 3 / 30X WA hand-held (no adapter)
Joseph Morlan