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)