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bat falcons need love too

2013-01-22 - 5:56 a.m.

Jan. 17, 2013

Rain! A day for sleeping in a little bit, although we got up in time for a good look at our friend the Crab-eating Fox. New trip birds include a singing Stripe-capped Sparrow and a male Yellow-winged Blackbird, but the day belonged to the Bat Falcons. Unlike the Orange-breasted Falcon of the day before, these "street falcons" were confiding specimens found right in town or just outside. Two shows stand out:

  • A female Bat Falcon on a post feasts on her prey item, a Shiny Cowbird, until such time as she is discovered by an angry pair of Great Kiskadees that chase her away.
  • A pair of Bat Falcons on a cute snag with twin limbs, allowing both the male and the female to perch together, were often available to be seen on that spot. During one visit, we were able to observe the male make multiple sallies from his perch, as he caught and ate several dragonflies.

Other cute sightings of the day:

  • A second Crab-eating Fox who allowed himself to be photographed.
  • A wet Roadside Hawk with a priceless expression his yellow-eyed face.
  • A pair of Southern Caracaras sitting together with obvious affection for each other.

Cute or not cute, at some point the rain became too much, and the raptors vanished from the area. We returned to the city early enough to allow me to steal a few minutes to swim between the raindrops, in the 20 minutes when it wasn't raining on the pool. Then we went out and sampled possibly more of the fine Argentine wines than we should have, whilst toasting our unbelievable finds of the previous day. A few glasses in, we concluded that since the rain seemed to be set in, it was time to leave this site early and move on to the next. It never rains in the puna highlands. Right? Right?

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