Western Slaty Antshrikes

January 27, 2012
click photos to enlarge
I hate to think of the research and re-typing I will have to do when I get home and update my life list.  Many of the birds I have listed are now called something else.  The Slaty Antshrike will not have to be updated (well, maybe!) because I have just re-written it. What was Slaty Antshrike (Thamnophilus punctatus atrinucha), is now Western Slaty Antshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha).  It has been this way since 1997, but my field guide was published 1989.
I found this bit of knowledge when I went online to learn what I could about Western Slaty Antshrikes. They are common here, but I have never noted which months I see them most often or if I have seen them every month of the year.  This is one of the reasons I want to stay another year in this forest, I need to make notes of such things. I see pairs alone, but usually I see them with a mixed flock. They are curious birds quite often come to the edge of the road to check me out.
Most of the time these birds are loud and you can hear their calls and answers echoing in the forest. The first time I heard them, I was reminded of Kookaburra calls; but little, subdued Kookaburra calls. A few days ago, I came across a pair and she was making guinea pig churring sounds.  I got my bins on her and saw her throat vibrating as she made the soft churs.

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