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Honduras December 2014

From December 5-12, 2014 Sheridan and I were in Honduras. We made a quick visit to La Tigra NP, stopping in the Comayagua and Lake Yojoa areas during the drives, and then had a great five-night stay at the luxurous and very birdy Pico Bonito Lodge. Our bird guide was Esdras Lopez Mejia, who did a fine job in difficult conditions (we lost almost half of our field time to rain). Special thanks go to James Adams at Pico Bonito Lodge for arranging and delivering a great, well-executed itinerary at a terrific price!

This White-collared Swift Streptoprocne zonaris was photographed from the lower tower at Pico Bonito Lodge on December 08, 2014. This species is fairly common throughout the tropical parts of central and South America, and in my experience it seems to have little variation other than the width of the white collar. Some have this collar tapering to a narrower width just below the wing, then expanding out again and sometiimes thickest on the ventral neck - but it seems to always be complete.

One of the three primary features that separate the South American Biscutate Swift S. biscutata is that the neck collar is broken on each side, about one-third of the way down each side of the neck, and that this break is at an oblique angle without any significant narrowing of the white on either side (the other primary features being a squared tail, and pale around the base of the bill) - CLICK HERE to see some Biscutate Swifts I photographed in Brazil.

This zonaris may be a subadult that is still aquiring a full white collar (see ventral collar), however it appears to have a broken white collar similar to that of biscutata (note that in biscutata the thickness of the black break in the collar varies depending on the rotation of the head - see photos linked-to above), and this break is present in all of the three images I took of this bird. Note that only one side of the white collar is visible. I do not recall seeing this on zonaris previously, nor can I find any online image that portrays it: