Stuhlmann’s Sunbird: Mgahinga National Park, Uganda, August 2022 — This used to the the Rwenzori Double-collard Sunbird, and is almost identical to the Northern Double-collared Sunbird. It is just just slightly larger and has a longer tail and a bit more red on the breast and is yet another Albertine Rift endemic, found only at high elevations in the mountains of western Uganda down through Rwanda, Burundi, and into Tanzania. We saw this one in the same area as the previous birds, just beyond the ranger station at Mgahinga. Notice the little bit of yellow just at the corner of the wing in brushy shot. That is, according to the field guides, rarely seen. I will remember this bird as the one I stood in fresh Buffalo dung to photograph…not by choice…I was just so intent on the bird that I did not look where my feet were. The nice folks at Birdnest Resort on lake Bunyonyi, where we spent the night, did a wonderful job of cleaning my shoes, but not the memory! Sony Rx10iv at 526mm and 567mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos. With flowers: ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/640th. Without: ISO 1250 @ f4 @ 1/500th.
Crested Oropendola: Las Cruces Biological Station, OTS, San Vito, Costa Rica, December 2022 — Our first morning at the Las Cruces Biological Station, which is owned and managed by the Organization for Tropical Studies, we gathered on the deck behind the dinning hall and put out a few bananas for the birds. The sun was not fully on the deck yet when a pair of Crested Oropendolas came in. The Crested Oropendola has an extensive range in South America, pretty much at the mid-elevations surrounding the whole Amazon Basin, but it only reaches as far north in Central America as the border between Panama and Costa Rica…just into Costa Rica in the extreme south west. I had distant views of the bird in 2021 from the same deck at Wilson Botanical Gardens at Las Cruces, but this was my first close view. Wile not as large as the Montezuma Oropendola, it is still an impressive bird. A member of the Oriole family. The Las Cruces station is one of 3 in Costa Rica dedicated to providing habitat and housing for tropical research. OTS acquired the Wilson Botanical Gardens, formerly a commercial garden, when the Wilson’s retired. At least a good portion of there support these days comes from hosting birding and photography groups like ours in the rooms they provide for students. It is always a privilege to visit. Sony Rx10iv at 361mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Pixelmator Pro and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/500th. Plus .3EV.