In the morning of 1 August 2009 we left the cabañas of the Rio Canandé reserve (Fundación Jocotoco) and drove towards the village of Oja Blanca, Esmeraldas. Our first stop along the main road was a few kilometers before entering Oja Blanca. Here we had secondary habitat (mainly pasture with palms) on our left hand side and the forest border of the Rio Canandé reserve on our right hand side. There were many birds active at this spot and we watched many of the common secondary woodland species. After about 20 minutes we noticed a bright blue bird in top of a tree in front of us. After scoping the bird we instantly recognized it as an adult male Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea. We watched the grosbeak for about 3 minutes in the telescope before it flew off into the reserve. Luckily José Ardaiz was just on time to make a distant record shot of the bird.
We are only aware of one previous record of Blue Grosbeak in Ecuador: a female type that was collected in 1964 along the Rio Napo in east Napo (see the Birds of Ecuador Vol. 1, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001). Other records of this boreal migrant in South-America are exceedingly few.
Dušan M. Brinkhuizen, Daniel López Velasco, Joan Ferrer Obiol,
Guillermo Rodríguez, José Ardaiz and Luke Seitz
►Back to the News