Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cloud Forest Ambitions

This brief dream involved birding with a long-time, non-birding, friend - Brian. We were in a tropical setting replete with beautiful towering canopy trees. It was sunny for the duration, but it may have just rained, as water was dripping all around. Wherever this place was, curiously, it had cement paved trails - how convenient.

Giant Antpitta (Grallaria gigantea)
Image online here

Brian noticed something in the undergrowth, just off the path. I never saw the bird, but I quickly and eagerly announced that it might be a Giant Antpitta. He only saw the bird, briefly, and by the time we got into the underbrush for a better look it was gone. His description of what he saw did sound right for some kind of antpitta.  For the record, and to my dismay, I had binoculars in this one... *sigh*. Reminder: in the vast majority of my bird dreams I do not have binos and am able to examine birds as closely as I wish at will. No fuss no muss!

Cosmopolitan birders will have deduced by now that in order to see this bird in the wild, I would have to be on the western slopes of the mountains of northern Ecuador, most likely. There are additional small populations in similar cloud forest environs of extreme southern Colombia. 

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