The Big Sit! 2019 Statistics

These statistics reflect information submitted by reporting circles. As teams continue to report their Big Sit! results, the statistics on this page will change to reflect up-to-the-minute information.

Team Information: Lost Tinamous

Captain: Everilda Buchan
Location: Santa Lucia Cotz., Other (Guatemala)

Team Checklist

  1. Thicket Tinamou Crypturellus cinnamomeus Number observed:1
  2. Blue-winged Teal Spatula discors Number observed:10
  3. White-bellied Chachalaca Ortalis leucogastra Number observed:6
  4. Red-billed Pigeon Patagioenas flavirostris Number observed:1
  5. Inca Dove Columbina inca Number observed:1
  6. White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi Number observed:2
  7. Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris Number observed:2
  8. Squirrel Cuckoo (Middle America) Piaya cayana thermophila Number observed:2
  9. Common Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis Number observed:2
  10. Northern Potoo Nyctibius jamaicensis Number observed:2
  11. Black Swift Cypseloides niger Number observed:4
  12. Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutila Number observed:2
  13. White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris Number observed:10
  14. Vaux's Swift Chaetura vauxi Number observed:4
  15. Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift Panyptila cayennensis Number observed:4
  16. Long-billed Starthroat Heliomaster longirostris Number observed:1
  17. Violet Sabrewing Campylopterus hemileucurus Number observed:1
  18. Berylline Hummingbird Amazilia beryllina Number observed:1
  19. Blue-tailed Hummingbird Amazilia cyanura Number observed:1
  20. Cinnamon Hummingbird Amazilia rutila Number observed:1
  21. Great Egret Ardea alba Number observed:1
  22. Green Heron Butorides virescens Number observed:1
  23. Black Vulture Coragyps atratus Number observed:20
  24. Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura Number observed:1000
  25. Sharp-shinned Hawk (Northern) Accipiter striatus [velox Group] Number observed:1
  26. Roadside Hawk Rupornis magnirostris Number observed:1
  27. Gray Hawk Buteo plagiatus Number observed:1
  28. Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus Number observed:8
  29. Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni Number observed:30000
  30. Barn Owl Tyto alba Number observed: 1
  31. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl Glaucidium brasilianum Number observed:1
  32. Mottled Owl Ciccaba virgata Number observed:1
  33. Gartered Trogon Trogon caligatus Number observed:1
  34. Tody Motmot Hylomanes momotula Number observed:3
  35. Lesson's Motmot Momotus lessonii Number observed:4
  36. Turquoise-browed Motmot Eumomota superciliosa Number observed:3
  37. Collared Aracari Pteroglossus torquatus Number observed:2
  38. Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons Number observed:2
  39. Smoky-brown Woodpecker Dryobates fumigatus Number observed:1
  40. Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus Number observed:1
  41. Golden-olive Woodpecker Colaptes rubiginosus Number observed:1
  42. Collared Forest-Falcon Micrastur semitorquatus Number observed:1
  43. Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans Number observed:1
  44. Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis Number observed:2
  45. Orange-chinned Parakeet Brotogeris jugularis Number observed:2
  46. Yellow-naped Parrot Amazona auropalliata Number observed:4
  47. White-fronted Parrot Amazona albifrons Number observed:2
  48. Orange-fronted Parakeet Eupsittula canicularis Number observed:12
  49. Barred Antshrike Thamnophilus doliatus Number observed:3
  50. Ivory-billed Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus flavigaster Number observed:1
  51. Long-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia linearis Number observed:3
  52. Masked Tityra Tityra semifasciata Number observed:2
  53. Rose-throated Becard Pachyramphus aglaiae Number observed:2
  54. Ochre-bellied Flycatcher Mionectes oleagineus Number observed:1
  55. Northern Bentbill Oncostoma cinereigulare Number observed:1
  56. Common Tody-Flycatcher Todirostrum cinereum Number observed:1
  57. Yellow-olive Flycatcher Tolmomyias sulphurescens Number observed:2
  58. Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma imberbe Number observed:2
  59. Rufous-breasted Spinetail Synallaxis erythrothorax Number observed:1
  60. Greenish Elaenia Myiopagis viridicata Number observed:1
  61. Eastern Wood-Pewee Contopus virens Number observed:1
  62. Tropical Pewee Contopus cinereus Number observed:1
  63. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher Empidonax flaviventris Number observed:1
  64. Dusky-capped Flycatcher Myiarchus tuberculifer Number observed:2
  65. Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus Number observed:2
  66. Boat-billed Flycatcher Megarynchus pitangua Number observed:2 d:1
  67. Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus Number observed:2
  68. Rufous-browed Peppershrike Cyclarhis gujanensis Number observed:3
  69. Lesser Greenlet Pachysylvia decurtata Number observed:1
  70. Social Flycatcher Myiozetetes similis Number observed:1
  71. Warbling Vireo Vireo gilvus Number observed:1
  72. White-throated Magpie-Jay Calocitta formosa Number observed:14
  73. Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis Number observed:4
  74. Gray-breasted Martin Progne chalybea Number observed:2
  75. Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica Number observed:4
  76. Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus Number observed:2
  77. Rufous-naped Wren Campylorhynchus rufinucha Number observed:3
  78. Spot-breasted Wren Pheugopedius maculipectus Number observed:1
  79. Rufous-and-white Wren Thryophilus rufalbus Number observed:1
  80. Cabanis's Wren Cantorchilus modestus Number observed:1
  81. White-breasted Wood-Wren Henicorhina leucosticta Number observed:1
  82. Clay-colored Thrush Turdus grayi Number observed:1
  83. Yellow-throated Euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea Number observed:2
  84. Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens Number observed:2
  85. Yellow-billed Cacique Amblycercus holosericeus Number observed:3
  86. Spot-breasted Oriole Icterus pectoralis Number observed:2
  87. Altamira Oriole Icterus gularis Number observed:1
  88. Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula Number observed:2
  89. Melodious Blackbird Dives dives Number observed:2
  90. Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis Number observed:1
  91. Tennessee Warbler Leiothlypis peregrina Number observed:1
  92. Hooded Warbler Setophaga citrina Number observed:1
  93. American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla Number observed:1
  94. Magnolia Warbler Setophaga magnolia Number observed:1
  95. Yellow Warbler Setophaga petechia Number observed:4
  96. Rufous-capped Warbler (Chestnut-capped) Basileuterus rufifrons [delattrii Group] Number observed:1
  97. White-winged Tanager Piranga leucoptera Number observed:2
  98. Blue-gray Tanager Thraupis episcopus Number observed:
  99. Yellow-winged Tanager Thraupis abbas Number observed:2
  100. Morelet's Seedeater Sporophila morelleti Number observed:2
  101. Black-headed Saltator Saltator atriceps Number observed:6
  102. Grayish Saltator Saltator coerulescens Number observed:2

Team Notes

Participants: Heidi Viteri, Grete Pasch, Heidi Pasch, Ligia Pimentel, María José Pivaral, Efraín Quiñonez, Carlos Marroquín, Rodrigo Arias, Josué de León, Gilma Buchan (captain)

Weather: 22°Celsius to 31°Celsius, clear skies, light showers early afternoon.

Location: The Lost Tinamou, Finca la Gracia, Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa, Escuintla, Guatemala

Time At Location: 4:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.

The first three members of our team (our captain Everilda, and Josué, and Heidi V) woke up at 3 a.m., and after a quick cup of coffee, walked over to the old farm's horse stables, which have been converted into "The Lost Tinamou's" observation center for birders, providing gathering and resting spaces. This was to be our first Big Sit ever, and we weren't sure what to expect. Our hope was to learn how many different birds would be around the observation center throughout one day, and our estimates for the number of possible species ranged from 66 to 101. A total of ten of us signed up for "The Lost Tinamou Big Sit Team", including long-time expert birders as well as beginners. We all were hoping to learn a lot, have fun together, and hopefully, to see a lifer or two! We sat down within our circle, underneath a huge, leafy rubber tree, and started listening intently for any feathered night hunters or perhaps some early risers. At 4:45 a.m. we heard our first bird of the day: a Laughing Falcon, chuckling at all of us who were still half asleep!  Soon we were hearing Mottled Owl and Common Pauraques singing, and a Barn Owl hissing. At 5 a.m., when three more members of the team arrived (Rodrigo, Grete, and Heidi P) we saw a Northern Potoo flying overhead! At 5:36 a.m., and still in darkness, the first Cinnamon Hummingbird arrived to claim its territory in the verveine bushes. The motmots also woke up early: Turquoise-browed Motmots and Lesson's Motmots began singing, and Tody Motmots were duetting loudly. The resident Black Vulture Club flew by in the twilight, as they do every morning, moving from their night perch to a nearby mahogany tree, where they stretch their wings and get warmed up in the rising sun.  A Yellow Warbler woke up and jumped from its perch in a tall almond tree and started calling and moving about.  We also heard a Rufous-breasted Spinetail and a Yellow-Billed Cacique and even got good views of both. 6:00 a.m.: By this time, we had heard and/or seen 43 species-- not bad!  At 6:16 a.m., we had our first big surprise of the day: a small flock of ten Blue Winged Teal flew down towards us, quite low, as if checking us out, and quickly left. We barely had enough time to count them and were thankful to Josué for his quick ID. A new species for this hotspot! After 7:00 a.m. we greeted a few of our migratory friends: Baltimore Orioles, Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, Tennessee Warbler (our first one at this spot for this season), a brightly plumaged Yellow-breasted Chat, and a few more Yellow Warblers. A female Long-tailed Manakin, a Rufous-capped Warbler , and an Ivory-billed Woodcreeper were foraging in the bushes by our circle. Several local species made themselves heard: the Spot-breasted Oriole singing its characteristic melody, while a small group of Black-headed Saltators flew about, calling loudly, as did a large family of White-throated Magpie Jays, who seemed curious to see us. The rest of the team arrived (Ligia, Maríajosé, Carlos, and Efraín) in time to enjoy a nice (and of course, quick) breakfast. The sky was deep blue, with the top of Volcán Atitlán peeking above the trees. The sun was shining, and the air was getting warmer. We were glad to have the shade of our rubber tree to keep us relatively cool. A Sharp-shinned Hawk flew by, high up. An Inca Dove sung nearby. A Masked Tityra imitated a small pig's voice. And two Bat Falcons flew overhead, calling. By 10 a.m. we had recorded 91 species. As it got hotter (at least 30C), the birds quieted down. At 10:30 a.m. a mixed group of 300 Turkey Vultures and Swainson's Hawks arrived from the North-West, kettling and then flying on towards the South. An amazing sight! And we were completely stunned with the arrival, half an hour later, of a large flock of migrating Swainson's Hawks, followed by more, and even more of them, in the thousands, soaring in kettles and flying onwards to the South. For the next two hours we admired these Hawks as they passed overhead. It wasn't easy to eat our lunch (which, by the way, was delicious) while holding our binos and looking at the birds flying above. Our total count of Swainson's Hawks was at least 30,000! From 2:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. we suspended the count as the rain came down hard. Only a hungry Yellow Warbler and a tough Cinnamon Hummingbird were out, foraging in the verveines and stopping every so often to shake off the raindrops. When the rain stopped, we settled back under our rubber tree. We were up to 97 species by that time and still hoping to make it past the 100 species mark. Great Egrets are not common in this area, so the one that flew by really was special. Josué's sharp hearing picked up tow Groove-billed Anis calling from the edge of the nearby pasture, as well as a Hooded Warbler calling from a tree behind the stables. And then, we spotted a Blue-tailed Hummingbird feeding in a blooming Caliandra tree. With these, we made it to 101 species, just as Josué had predicted. By 5 PM, four Rufous-naped Wrens were making a big racket as they approached their nest, built inside one of the hanging flower bunches of a fish-tail palm tree. Yellow-naped Parrots were flying home to roost, and a Clay-Colored Thrush was singing. The sky was overcast, but in the West, the sun was setting and there was just enough clearing between the fading thunderstorm clouds to put on a dramatic salmon-pink sunset-- the perfect backdrop for hundreds of swifts hunting for insects. And among these we spotted our final species (#102) for the day: Lesser Swallow-Tailed Swifts. As it grew dark, we enjoyed hot-dogs and roasted marshmallows and wondered at how lucky we were to have shared this amazing 15-hour long day of birding. In the words of our Circle Captain Everilda, this was an unforgettable experience, to be counting birds from one small circle! None of us had ever done this, we enjoyed it and had a great time. And so, at 7:15 p.m., as the Northern Potoo flew overhead, we decided to stop the count and call it a day. Already looking forward to next year's Big Sit!

The One that Got Away: There was one species that we didn't include in our count... from outside the circle, we could see an Olive-sided Flycatcher, but unfortunately, it was far away, so we couldn't either see it, nor hear it from within the circle. Still, we know that this bird was there! The Absent Ones: We normally see small flocks of Pacific Parakeets, but they were strangely absent, all day. We think they did it on purpose! One-thousand, two-thousand, three-thousand...: Counting the thousands of Swainson's Hawks flying overhead proved to be challenging. Carlos suggested using a computer program to recognize each "spot", i.e., each bird, on high-res photos, and he's already experimenting with the idea. His program is already detecting the right number of birds with relatively low error rates! A tight Spot: The circle seemed small at first, but most of the time we were standing up anyways and with our necks well stretched skywards. And staying in one spot turned out to be the perfect setting for Mariajosé, who was recovering from a recent foot injury! Expert Hearing: With so many birds calling from the surrounding fields and forested hills, the team heavily relied on the Josué's and Everilda's expertise in recognizing bird sounds. It was great to practice our listening skills in the field and with their help!

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