White-necked Puffbird

White-necked Puffbird, El Cajon Region, Honduras

When we went in search of the Honduran Emerald in the El Cajon Region, above the hydro-electric dam, our guide for the day, Alex, who owns El Rancho Restaurant and Hotel just inside the El Cajon gate, took us first to sit under the White-necked Puffbird nest and wait for the appearance of the bird. White-necked Puffbirds (or at least this White-necked Puffbird) nest in a termite ball high in a tree. They drill a hole in the side like their Kingfisher and Jacamar cousins do in a dirt bank. A living termite ball…I asked. All mod cons, including easy access to food for the young! The Puffbird came back to the nest after a short watch, but remained semi-hidden in the foliage right above us. It often, according to Alex, sits fully exposed on vines in front of the nest…but not on the day we visited. Puffbirds are patient sit-and-wait predators, and this one seemed quite happy to sit and wait right where it landed. The photography was not impossible and after about 30 minutes we moved on…we did have Honduran Emeralds to see after all. But what a great bird…and my best looks ever! Sony RX10iv at 600mm. Program mode. 1/500th @ f4 @ ISO 500. Processed in Polarr.

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