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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!

Update: consensus is that this is fine for a Chestnut-collared Swift Streptoprocne rutila.

I photographed this Cypseloides/Streptoprocne swift just east of Arizona, Honduras on December 12, 2014. There were a number of White-collared and Vaux's-type Swifts in the general area, but this bird did not seem to be associated with these groups. The flight seemed intermediate between that of the White-collareds and Vaux's-types, and through binoculars it appeared to be blackish rather than sooty. I did not see any color, and did not get a Chestnut-collared feel from the bird, but rather that of a blackish Cypseloides.

The first set of images are 100%-size crops of the unedited original photos (shot with +2.6 stops of overexposure). The second set are enlargements which have been slightly lightened to reveal detail and/or had the mid-tones reduced in order to counter the washing-out of the original over-exposed images. NOTE: due to the magnification and low original dynamic range, there is some color distortion on some parts of edges of the bird (e.g. the chestnut forecrown in the 2nd and 3rd enlargements):

Note the lack of exposed shaft "spines" on the retrices; I think that Chestnut-collared Swift has exposed spines, rather like most Chaetura - ?: