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COLOMBIA August 2009

From August 23 to 29, 2009, Sheridan Coffey and myself birded central Colombia using Medellin-based birding guide Pablo Flores Valencia click here to email Pablo.

In one large mixed flock that crossed the road we saw at least five Fulvous-dotted/Star-chested Treerunners Margarornis stellatus during our day-and-a-half birding the incredible San Jose - El Palmar road near El Cairo. These are really bad photos, but I can't find any published images of this taxon, and for anyone searching for this engimatic furnarid these pics at least provide some clues about how they look :

From above they looked somewhat like Pearled Treerunner (see bottom of page) , but completely deep fulvous-chestnut (incl. head and neck) that is slightly warmer, plus they seemed a bit slimmer; note the duskier primary tips:

The white throat is striking and sharply demarcated from the fulvous sides of the neck (even in crappy pics like these!); note also the flesh-tinged bill:

This individual is has its head down, obscured by the green leaves, facing to the right - but you can just about make out the contrasting black patch studded with gleaming white stars on the upper chest below (actually "above" in this pose) the throat:

A distant image to show what they look like high up in the open subcanopy, where the birds we saw spent much of their time:

For comparison here's a Pearled Treerunner Margarornis squamiger from La Romera near Medellin: