The birds of Isla Coiba, Panamá

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The birds of Isla Coiba, Panamá
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Wetmore, Alexander, 1886-
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Smithsonian Institution ( Washington )
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SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS
VOLUME 134, NUMBER 9






THE BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA

PANAMA

(WITH FOUR PLATES)




BY
ALEXANDER WETMORE
Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution


(PUBLICATION 4295)


CITY OF WASHINGTON
PUBLISHED BY THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
JULY 8, 1957









































THE LORD BALTIMORE PRESS, INC.
BALTIMORE, MD., U. S. A.













THE BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA
BY ALEXANDER WETMORE
Research Associate, Smithsonian Institution
(WITH 4 PLATEs)

INTRODUCTION
Isla Coiba, largest island on the Pacific coast of Central America,
lies well at sea to the west of the lower end of the Azuero Peninsula,
at lat. 7020' to 74o' N. and long. 8I36' to 8154' W. The island
trends northwestward and southeastward, with a length of 21' miles
and a greatest width of 13 miles. It is well watered, with numerous
small streams running down from the rough, broken interior, where
two separated high points near the center rise to about 1,400 feet
above the sea. A lower hill, about 1,150 feet high, stands in the
center of the northern end, while the southern end is mainly lower
ground. The island bulges to the westward, while on the eastern side
there is the large indentation of Bahia Damas, and the smaller one
of Ensenada Arenosa. A broad valley, now mainly cleared to form
cultivated fields and pastures, lies back of the large bay mentioned.
It is drained by the parallel streams of the Rio San Juan and Rio
Catival, which are actually a single river system, separated in their
lower ends only by swampy land.
The entire island is covered with heavy virgin forest, except along
the lower courses of the larger streams where there are swampy
woodlands, succeeded to seaward by stands of mangroves. In the
San Juan area these are of considerable extent. Rocky headlands
project along the coast, with sand beaches, some of considerable ex-
tent, between them, broken by mangroves at the river mouths. The
land rises back of the shore rather steeply to elevations of 80 to 250o
feet, and then slopes back to the interior ridges, which in many
places are steep-sided and much broken.
Near the projecting point on the western side of Boca Grande, at
the extreme southern end of Bahia Damas I noted many fragments
of coarse-grained sandstone, wave-worn into flattened, lenticular
form, piled up on the beach. Elsewhere the numerous exposures
along the eastern shore of Coiba and on Isia Rancheria are an altered
SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS, VOL. 134, NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


igneous rock, in places associated with beds of white chert. These
three types of rock presumably belong to the pre-Tertiary basement
complex of Panama. At Punta Damas small, roughly circular, iron
manganese concretions (perdigones) are extraordinarily abundant on
partly eroded surfaces, particularly over the small landing field for
airplanes, where, at a casual glance, the appearance of the ground in
places was that of a goat corral. There is a small thermal spring,
with water the temperature of a very hot bath, at the base of the
hill above the swampy woodland on the southern side of the Rio
San Juan.
Isla Coiba, because of its size and location, was well known in
the early days of the Spanish settlement in Panama. The first white
man to visit it was Bartolome Hurtado, a lieutenant of Gaspar de
Espinosa, who came to the island in 1516 during an exploration of
the coast to the west of the Azuero Peninsula. Hurtado, and those
who followed, found on Coiba Indian inhabitants of powerful phy-
sique, speaking a Guaymi dialect. They were armed with heavy
spears, set at the tip with shark's teeth, and wore corselets made of
cotton thick enough to turn a bullet, but of no avail against Hurtado's
cannon. Some gold was obtained from them, which probably aided
in their undoing. They were exterminated early, the final remnant
being taken as laborers to Darien, probably about 1550. In historic
accounts the name of the island is called variously Cabo, Cobaya,
Quibo, and Coiba, apparently all variations of the name of the
Indian chief in control at the time of the Spanish discovery.
Spanish settlement in Panama during the latter part of the sixteenth
century spread to the west beyond Nata', through the great Province of
Veragua, which in that day extended to what is now Costa Rica. The
Carmelite friar Vasquez de Espinosa, writing of the Pacific side of
Veraguas, apparently from information gathered between 1612 and
1620, speaks of sawmills and shipyards employing 4,000 workmen.
He mentions Remedios with about 8o houses, Montijo, and Chiriqui
which had 8o Spanish residents. Since transport of products from
these western outposts would have been by boat, Coiba must have
been seen and visited regularly, but I have found no record of early
settlement there. The operations of buccaneers along these coasts in
early years may have been a deterrent to permanent residence on
islands so remote.
Capt. William Dampier in his travels writes that he came to Coiba
on June 15, 1685. He refers to it as the "isle of Quibo or Cobaya"
and remarks on the forests, the deer, the monkeys, the iguanas, and
the snakes. Among details concerned with fresh-water supply, naviga-


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


tion, and dangers, of interest to mariners, he mentions that the "isle
of Quicarra is pretty large" which is an early reference to Isla
Jicar6n. He makes no reference to human habitation on Coiba, but
this must have come soon after, if not already in existence, through
the pearl fishery which later was pursued through the annual period
of good weather. From June to November, the season of the "ven-
devales," strong winds blowing from unfavorable quarters were too
frequent to make pearl diving profitable or safe.
Capt. George Shelvocke of the British Navy, in his account of his
voyage around the world, came to Coiba on January 13, 1720,
anchored off the northeast point, and found two or three deserted
huts that he supposed were used by pearl fishermen, as there were
heaps of pearl shell around them. During his stay two large piraguas
landed on adjacent Isla Rancheria (which he calls Quivetta), and he
learned from prisoners that he took of another Spanish ship laden
with provisions that had passed during the night. Shelvocke came
again to Coiba about the first of May 1721, and then gives a con-
siderable description of it, in which he mentions "the great variety of
birds, which the woods would not permit us to follow," and the
abundance of black monkeys and igaunas.
George Anson, on another British expedition around the World,
stopped at Coiba on December 3, 1741. As the expedition included
several vessels, and was therefore in strong position, they anchored
in Bahia Damas, off the present location of the Colonia Penal, as
indicated on the map that Anson made of the eastern side of the
island. Anson mentions parrots and parakeets, and especially great
flights of macaws. Like his predecessors, he writes of monkeys and
deer, which, however, could not be hunted because of dense forest.
He discredited reports from prisoners he had taken of "tigres," since
he saw no tracks or other sign of them. These same prisoners de-
scribed in detail a highly dangerous poisonous snake of which they
were much in fear. Pearl oysters were reported in greater abundance
here than anywhere else in Panama. Anson was impressed by the
great number of turtles, and includes an account of the pearl
fishery, and of the divers who obtain the shells. Only a few
unoccupied huts were found.
Coconut plantations were established in due time, but there seems
never to have been any extensive settlement on Coiba. At the open-
ing of the present century, the pearl fishery was in operation, with a
store, cantina, and other buildings located, in part at least, near Punta
Observatorio in the southern section of the bay, the site of the present
convict camp at Maria. Other fishing went on also, but all this


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


activity lessened with the depletion of the shell beds. Private holdings
finally were acquired by the Government of Panama, and the island
was set aside as the penal colony of the country. A plaque on the
main guardhouse and cellblock at the headquarters records that this
was done by President Porras in November 1919. The location of
the headquarters, known as the Central, is below the base of Punta
Damas in the northern rim of Bahia Damas. The seven outlying
work camps are spread along the eastern side of the island from
Aguja at the north end, opposite Isla Rancheria, to Playa Blanca at
the southern end, a short distance west of Boca Grande. Only two,
Catival and San Juan, located on the rivers of the same name, are
inland. Extensive clearings for pasture and the planting of food
crops have been made adjacent to these camps, the largest of these,
embracing many hundred acres, extending from Punta Damas south
to the Rio San Juan, and inland over the broad valley of that section.
The cleared areas in general rise from the beaches back to the crest
of the slopes of low hills, so that most of their area is visible from
the sea, except for the interior of the San Juan Valley. Behind these
there has been some logging for timber, but the great interior forests
have not been touched.
Trails, mainly near the shore, for travel on foot or by horse, con-
nect the outlying camps with the Central, and pass back through the
broad San Juan Valley. There is also one across to the opposite side
of the island from Maria and Playa Blanca, traversing the lower
elevation at the southern end of the island. During World War II
radar detectors were installed on a 1,400-foot hill back of the San
Juan Valley, with a camp located near Playa Hermosa. The tower
was still visible at the time of my visit but the camp had been long
abandoned.
The impressive vegetative cover of Coiba is not appreciated until
it is penetrated. I found an extensive stand of red mangroves at the
mouths of the Catival and San Juan Rivers, and lesser tracts else-
where. Behind these, at the rivers mentioned, there was swampy
woodland, one of the common interesting trees being the alcornoque
(Dimorphandra megistosperma) whose huge flattened, beanlike seeds
measure up to 180 mm. in length. Near Playa Blanca I noted con-
siderable numbers of manchineel growing in low, open groves along
the beach. Plantings of coconut palms are extensive.
Inland from the clearings the forest is unbroken, the great trees
rising to such heights that loads for my shotgun, suitable for the
largest birds, failed to reach hawks and pigeons in the higher
branches. Only on the upper Rio Jaque in eastern Darien have I seen


VOL. 134







NO. 9 BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE 5

similar stands of trees. Below the high crown were the tops of
lower trees, a stratum of branches and then undergrowth, usually
fairly open and easy of penetration. Through this there are scattered
thickets of bamboo that are too dense for passage except by cutting
trail with a machete.
On days of sunshine the masses of leaves and vines stood out
clearly in silhouette in the high summits of the trees, with small birds
moving actively through them. Below, the forest floor was dark and
shadowed, so dimly lighted in many places that clear vision was diffi-
cult. On occasional cloudy days many areas in the heavy forest were
too obscure for successful hunting.
Isla Rancheria, distant 2 miles from the northern end of Coiba,
about il miles long by a mile wide, of irregular shape, rises to an
elevation of nearly 500 feet. I visited this on one occasion, landing
on a sandy beach midway of the southern side. A wooded swamp
lay behind, and above this were fairly steep, well-forested slopes, but
with trees of lesser height than those on Coiba. Many seemed stunted
by the thin soil overlying the mass of altered igneous rock that is the
core of the island. Rancheria long has been private property, and at
one time considerable activity is reported in pearl and other fisheries.
Of the store, the houses, and the clearings in which they stood there
is now no evident trace, except for coconut palms and a lemon tree
back of the beach, and a scattered growth of succulent bryophyllum,
grown commonly as a decorative plant in gardens.
This island is known universally in Panama as Isla Coibita, a name
that is applied on current charts and maps to an outlier in the groups
of islets known as the Aaron Rocks, a mile to the northwest of the
western point of Ranchlieria. Shelvocke, in 1720, called the island
Quivetta, and Anson, in 1741, varied this to Quiveta, both these
names being diminutives of Quibo, the name these travelers applied
to the large island. Dampier, in 1685, used the name Rancheria,
which is the one cited for records in the following report since the
island is so called on current charts and maps.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
For permission to visit Isla Coiba I have to thank Coronel Bolivar
Vallarino, Comandante Jefe de la Guardia Nacional, who issued the
necessary instructions. It was his assistance and personal attention
that assured the success of the undertaking. Throughout my detailed
studies of the ornithology of the Republic of Panamat I have had the
friendly cooperation of Dr. Alejandro MWndez Pereira, Director of







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


the Museo Nacional in Panama, who in the present instance rendered
major assistance in communicating my plans to Sr. Don Alejandro
Rem6n C., Ministro de Gobierno y Justicia, in introducing me per-
sonally to Coronel Vallarino, and in numerous other ways. Dr. Pedro
Galindo, of the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory in Panama, also as-
sisted in my plans with friendly courtesy. For transportation to and
from the island I am deeply indebted to officers of the U. S. Air
Force at Albrook Air Base, Canal Zone, particularly in this instance
to Col. J. W. Oberdorf, Commanding Officer, and Lt. Col. D. L. Peck
and Lt. Col. R. T. Lively of his staff. On my arrival at Isla Coiba
I was met by Capitan Juan A. Souza, Director de la Colonia Penal,
who received me in most friendly manner, and did all that was
necessary to insure the success of my work, as did his assistant,
Teniente Valenzuela, and other officers and members of his staff.
In making my arrangements, I was much indebted to Capt. Gordon
Field, and Marvin Keenan of the 25th Medical Detachment, U. S.
Army, for friendly help in numerous details concerned with prepara-
tions for the work.
I have to thank also Duncan Alexander Duff Mackay, Second
Secretary, and Mr. R. A. Acley, Counselor, at the American Embassy
in Panama, for courteous assistance relative to papers for the Coiba
trip, as well as for the arrangement with the Ministerio de Relaciones
Exteriores of Panamat, under which my scientific work has been done.
The expedition has been one of the most successful in scientific result
that I have made.

ORNITHOLOGICAL STUDIES
The first birds collected for scientific purposes on Isla Coiba of
which I have record were obtained by the taxidermist and prepara-
tor J. H. Batty, who was on the island from April to June 1901.
Following this work Batty proceeded to the Province of Chiriqui,
where he located for some time at Boquer6n, and seems also to have
worked for a brief period at Boquete. His final collections, dated
January and February 1902, before his return to Panama', contain
specimens labeled from Insolita, Gobernadora, Sevilla, Brava, and
Cebaco islands, with a scattering of other island localities along the
Pacific coast of Panama. A specimen of Buteo magnirostris, dated
February 5, 1902, from Iguana Island, north of Punta Mala, must
have been obtained during his return journey to Panama. The
itinerary outlined is not complete, the only data available being the
labels on his specimens. Part of this collection, sold to the Tring


VOL. 134










SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


I. HiIeadquarters of thi. Cob iii, Penal, I l;t Ciiil.


A "" .,.




..... .... ...,.


VOL. 134, NO. 9, PL. 1


2 H .a liill r a .,w.in t il l D ;irl ; ] lllt;1 ill --till I.irk ,,










SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS



"-. . .


I. Looking south over Bahia Damas.


,


2. Ahialgroves and ,;mi(1% bei;ch at the mouth of Rio Catival.


VOL. 134, NO. 9, PL. 2










SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


_5-- .. ..-



4--
4u= ;.,-'


I. M'ilith ot Rio San Juan.


VOL. 134, NOC. 9, PL. 3


- J6,


-' ,1 l i 'l iI Ii'- ll l i t 1,., 'k > I llf ,t' ,rll ,.I








SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


I. Pastures at the Juncal work camp; Isla Canal de Afuera in the background.


-'* ', -
*, 4, ... "t "" ,' {" "-.
...,,d . ... P. ,-
... J !,". .,.d :'. "
ii ,,, ," v.i ,
,.4 ." . *. .. w K -.-'I "


2. Southern shore of Isla Rawichcria.


VOL. 134, NO. 9, PL. 4







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


Museum, was shipped from the field, probably on the collector's
arrival in Chiriqui, since Rothschild described the wood pigeon, and
Hartert a hummingbird and the pepper-shrike of Coiba, in the Bulle-
tin of the British Ornithologists' Club for December 30, go1901. At
the close of the Panamanian work sets of the skins were purchased
by the American Museum of Natural History, where they were cata-
loged in July 1902. The Chicago National History Museum also has
a small lot of specimens from this collection, presented by Batty, and
entered on the Museum records on January 4, 1906. The remainder
came to the American Museum, apparently as a gift from the col-
lector, where they were cataloged in March 1910, nearly four years
after Batty's accidental death in Chiapas, on May 26, 1906. A few
of the skins have gone in exchange to other institutions, but with the
accession of the Rothschild collection, the American Museum of
Natural History now houses the greater part of this material. The
Coiba material has been mentioned from time to time by Griscom,
Hellmayr, and Zimmer in various studies, and Eugene Eisenmann
in 1950 described the white-throated robin from the island as a
distinct subspecies.
In my work on Panamanian birds over a period of years I have
examined Batty's specimens from Coiba from time to time and have
been puzzled occasionally by discrepancies apparent in dates and
other details. These could not be explained until I began the identifi-
cation of my own collection. As this work has progressed, it has
become clearly evident that some of the field labels for Batty's skins
must have been made later, after the work was completed, and that
there was a certain amount of mixing through which a number were
marked with the wrong localities. This I have been able to determine
because of the considerable differences that exist between various
of the mainland birds and their representatives on Coiba. For ex-
ample, in the series of the woodpecker Centurus rubricapilhlus, there
are six specimens marked "Coiba" of which five are obviously the
peculiar subspecies found on the island, and one as obviously repre-
sents the mainland race. Among the skins of the wood pigeon
Leptotila plumbeiccps battyi, restricted to Coiba, there is one imma-
ture bird of the distinct species Leptotila v. vcrreauxi also labeled
"Coiba," an obvious error as only L. p. battyi occurs on the island.
Similar mixing is evident in the crimson-backed tanager, where 20
skins labeled "Coiba" in major part represent Ramphocclus dimidi-
atus pallidirostris of Chiriqui, and only a few the Coiba subspecies.
The pepper-shrike of Coiba, described by I lartert, is a very distinct
form, with clearly marked characters. The Batty collection, in addi-


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


tion to the type series from Coiba, contains one skin labeled "Hica-
ron" (intended for Isla Jicar6n) which is a typical example of Cy-
clarhis gujanensis subflavescens of the hill country of the mainland.
Isla Jicar6n, a small island, lies immediately south of Coiba, with its
larger neighbor between it and the distant isthmian shore. It would
be most remarkable to have the mainland race on Jicar6n, and a
completely different one on Coiba. Batty's "Coiba" specimens also
include a juvenal sparrow of the species Zonotrichia capensis, which
is resident in Panama only in the mountains from Chiriqui eastward,
mainly above 3,000 feet elevation, occasionally somewhat lower, but
never in Panama near sea level.
It is undoubtedly this mixing of localities in the Batty material,
aided by the fact that the collection runs largely to the more easily
found and conspicuous species, that has caused the considerable de-
gree of endemism in the resident birds to be overlooked by the careful
systematists who have handled the skins.
Among the few other naturalists who have visited the island, a
party of British scientists traveling on the yacht St. George came to
Bahia Damas on the afternoon of August 31, 1924, and remained for
five days to make shore collections. Lt. Col. H. J. Kelsall, the orni-
thologist, with his assistant Cullingford, obtained a small lot of birds
which are now in the British Museum (Natural History). Collecting
was confined to the vicinity of the headquarters of the Penal Colony,
with one trip by cayuco along mangroves and past a low bluff to a
small stream, where Kelsall shot a few birds.' Apparently this was
near Bajo Espafia at the mouth of the Rio Catival. No published
report was made on the specimens obtained, which include a few of
the forms peculiar to the island. Dr. Alejandro Mendez, Director of
the Museo Nacional of Panama, visited Coiba in 1932, when he made
observations in various branches of natural history, including the
birds.
The only other ornithologist known to me to have visited Coiba
is William Beebe, who was there for a day while on Templeton
Crocker's yacht Zaca in 1938. On March 19 the ship crossed from
Bahia Honda, on the coast of Veraguas, to Ensenada Hermosa, a
bay on the western side of Isla Coiba. The following night while
they were collecting with lights on Banco Hannibal to the west a
1 For accounts of this expedition see Douglas, A. J. A., and Johnson, P. H.,
The South Seas today, being an account of the cruise of the yacht St. George
to the South Pacific, London, 1926, pp. 73-81; and Collenette, C. L., Sea-girt
jungles, the experiences of a naturalist with the "St. George" Expedition, Lon-
don, no date [1926], pp. 186-195.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


storm petrel came on board.2 This was the only bird specimen
recorded.
My own studies of the birds of Coiba extended from January 6
to February 6, 1956. I had with me two assistants, Armagued6n
Hartmann of Chiriqui, who had been my helper for the two previous
field seasons in Panama, and Vicente Alvarez, technician of the
Malaria Control Force of the U.S. Army, assigned for special work
by Capt. Gordon Field, 25th Medical Detachment (Preventive Medi-
cine Survey), and Marvin Keenan, Chief, Mosquito Control Force,
attached to the Survey mentioned. Through the friendly interest of
Col. J. W. Oberdorf, Commanding Officer at Albrook Air Base,
transportation was provided on an Air Force crash boat, which made
a journey that otherwise would have been difficult, not only rapid,
but comfortable. Our field equipment and supplies were delivered
and stowed on board on the afternoon of January 5, under the direc-
tion of Chief Warrant Officer Claude H. Drake, Commanding
Officer, Crash Boat Detachment, who commanded the boat on the
following day. We left the crash boat base at Fort Rodman, C.Z.,
at 3:50 a.m., January 6, passed out of the Canal, and at 8:30 a.m.
were abreast of Cape Mala. At I :30 p.m. we dropped anchor in
Bahia Damas, Isla Coiba, off the Penal Colony Headquarters, after
a pleasant and interesting journey of 220 miles.
Capitan Juan A. Souza, Director de la Colonial Penal de Coiba,
came off to greet me, and we were soon ashore and established in two
rooms in a new hospital building. The captain assigned a trusty as
our cook, regularly supplied us with fresh meat, vegetables, oranges,
and platanos, and assisted us throughout the work effectively and
courteously.
During the following month I was out in the field daily, having
boat transportation whenever needed by cayuco driven by an out-
board motor, handled competently by a convict skilled in such craft.
On foot and by boat I was thus able to cover the entire shoreline
of Bahia Damas, from Punta Fea at the entrance of Boca Grande,
beyond the southernmost convict work camp at Playa Blanca, to
Punta Damas on the north. Farther north we worked along the
Ensenada Arenosa to the work camp at Juncal. On February 4 I
went by cayuco to Isla Rancheria off the northeastern end of Coiba,
a journey I had attempted on an earlier day, but had been driven
back by suddenly rising seas. In addition we opened a hunting trail
2 See Beebe, Zoologica, vol. 28, 1932, pp. 297--2(_; Buok uf Ilays, 1912, pp.
280, 297.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


through the forest from the end of the paths back of the Colonia
Central inland for a distance of 5 miles, and to an elevation of about
700 feet, along the slowly rising ridges leading to a high point in the
center of the northern end of the island. The mangroves at the
mouths of the Rio Catival and the Rio San Juan, and the swampy
woodland bordering them, were productive, as was the low second
growth (known locally as rastrojo) in areas of abandoned fields.
The only bird reported that I did not actually see and identify was
a hawk, an example of which had been killed the week before my
arrival. The partly decomposed feet, preserved as curiosities, shown
to me by Capitan Souza, had the tarsi completely feathered. Because
of their condition I was not able to identify them certainly, but I
believed at the time that they came from a species of Spizadtus.
Heavy rain had fallen the night before our arrival, but the weather
then remained clear and pleasant until January 14. Clouds began
to gather, and two days later there was a heavy shower before dawn,
with mist the following morning. On January 25 there came a heavy
downpour before sunrise, and rains continued at intervals until our
departure. This, however, did not interfere with our fieldwork. Daily
Fahrenheit temperatures for the first eight days ranged from 700
to 720 at dawn to 82 to 85 at midday, with the trade wind temper-
ing the heat. With the return of the rains this changed to 74 to 76
at dawn, and 84 to 89 at midday, with uncertain breezes and high
humidity.
There was constant talk among the convicts of the dangers at-
tendant on entering the forests because of the great abundance of
poisonous snakes, a belief that was so prevalent even in Panama that
a trip to Coiba was discussed as a definitely perilous adventure. It
was my experience, however, and that of my two assistants, all of us
accustomed to jungle work, that the snake population appeared to
be the same as that of similar woodland throughout the Pacific slope
of the mainland. We practised the usual precautions in working
through areas suitable for snakes, particularly when hunting at night,
and actually saw few since they tend to keep hidden, and to move
aside when they have warning. Laborers engaged in clearing land
are in a different situation, since the removal of cover destroys the
usual hiding places, and danger from snakebite is inevitable. Several
men have died from this cause on the island, one not long after our
departure.
My last trip in the field came on February 4, and the day following
was devoted to packing, in readiness for departure. At 5 :00oo p.m. as
this work was finished word came that the crash boat was in sight,


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


and soon it was at anchor. Since the tide was full, we went on board
that evening in readiness for an early start. At 5:20 a.m. on Febru-
ary 6 we were underway, and I watched the lights of the Colonia
Penal and the dark shoreline at either side recede, well satisfied
with the results of my work, and with many pleasant thoughts of
the friendly assistance that I had received at the hands of Capitan
Souza and his staff of guards. We were delayed somewhat by head-
winds after rounding Cape Mala, but were at the dock at Fort
Rodman at 3:50 p.m. The entire expedition is one that remains
most pleasantly in memory.

THE BIRD LIFE
The annotated list that follows these introductory paragraphs
covers 133 species and subspecies of birds that are recorded from
Isla Coiba, with remarks on 4 additional (a skua, a gull, and 2 terns)
noted in the Gulf of Panamin en route to and from the island. Of
the total as given, 36 are migrants, one, the small Galapagos storm
petrel, coming from Peruvian waters to the south, another, a sub-
species of the yellow-green vireo (Virco flavzoviridis hypoleucus),
found en route from winter quarters in South America to nesting
grounds in northwestern Mexico, and the remainder kinds that nest
in the United States and Canada, present for the period of the north-
ern winter. Plovers, sandpipers, and related shorebirds, 10 species
in all, were the most common, with scattered individuals of 6 wood
warblers and the summer tanager standing next in abundance.
Kinds that are resident in Panama as a whole number 97, a few
of these like the black jaqana, the white-collared swift, and the fork-
tailed flycatcher, being merely wanderers from the mainland. Among
the resident kinds the amount of endemism that is found is quite
remarkable, in part for the number of species concerned, and in part
for the fact that its extent has gone unnoted for so long. Four well-
marked subspecies had been described from Batty's collections prior
to my visit-the wood pigeon by Rothschild, the Cuvier's humming-
bird and pepper-shrike by Hartert, and the white-throated robin by
Eisenmann. These four I recognized easily, and in addition, from
my first day afield I observed differences among a number of others,
sometimes on my first view of the bird in life, sometimes after speci-
mens were in hand, even though no comparative material was
available.
In the following report I have descrilied 16 races that are new to
science, in addition to the 4 mentioned, several of then so well


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


marked that they are treated as geographic races only under present-
day concepts, since 20 years ago they would have been considered
distinct species. There are also several others that undoubtedly will
be named later when further specimens corroborate differences now
discernible in the few examples at hand. Thus of the 97 kinds among
the tropical residents of the island more than 20 percent are distinct
subspecies. Among these the most surprising is the race of the rusty
spinetail (Cranioleuca vulpina), a species of South America not pre-
viously found north of the valley of the Orinoco River in southern
Venezuela and southeastern Colombia. It represents an avian ele-
ment previously unknown in the avifauna of Central America.
The differences that mark the resident races are mainly heavier,
darker pigmentation, which may be explained in terms of more
abundant rainfall, indicated by the considerable drainage system seen
in the numerous rivers of the island. There is also a tendency in
some to large bills, which is not unusual in isolated islands.
The great forests that clothe Isla Coiba, still practically unbroken
except for a relatively small area, offer habitat suitable for any of
the birds that exist in such abundance as to kinds and individuals
in the vast lowland area between southern Mexico and northern
Argentina. When we note those that are lacking in the island en-
vironment, we find a matter for astonishment equal to that experi-
enced with the amount of endemism among the kinds that do occur.
The following list of families of birds of regular occurrence on the
nearby mainland but not found on Coiba is noteworthy:
Tinamous (Tinamidae)
Curassows and guans (Cracidae)
Trogons (Trogonidae)
Motmots (Momotidae)
Jacamars (Galbulidae)
Puffbirds (Bucconidae)
Toucans (Ramphastidae)
Woodhewers (Dendrocolaptidae)
In addition to these eight prominent families, there is no record
of the wood-quails (Odontophorus), the long-tailed squirrel cuckoo
(Piaya cayana), or the large forest woodpeckers (Dryocopus and
Phloeoceastes). Ovenbirds (Furnariidae), except the rusty spinetail
(Cranioleuca vulpina), are missing, as are antbirds, except the barred
antshrike (Thamnophilus doliatus), manakins, except the lance-tailed
manakin (Chiroxiphia lanceolata), many common genera of forest-
loving tyrant flycatchers, wrens, except the house wren, and resident
orioles and blackbirds, except the boat-tailed grackle. The common


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WVETMORE


jay of the mainland (Cyanocorax affinis) does not occur, and there
are none of the true forest tanagers (Tangara) so abundant as to
kinds, or of the widespread euphonias.
The northern end of Isla Coiba is separated from Punta Jabali,
marking the southern side of the entrance to Bahia Honda, the
nearest point on the mainland of Veraguas, by a little more than 15
miles. From the southern end of the island to Punta Brava, at the
western side of the Golfo de Montijo, the distance is about 32 miles.
The depths separating the island from the mainland range from 240
to 330 feet. Coiba is seen thus to be fairly remote in miles, and also
to be cut off by a fair depth of water. Current geological theory is to
the effect that the present Isthmus of Panamat was considerably
wider in earlier times than at present. If earth movement during
the subsidence that has molded the present outline of the land pro-
ceeded in a fairly regular and evenly distributed manner, then Coiba
may have been separated early in the history of the Isthmus. If the
separation came sufficiently early, it may have been established before
the growth of forests to provide suitable ecological habitat for the
spread of true woodland inhabitants. Or, the formation of the is-
land may have come before the missing groups of birds had begun
their movement between the northern and southern continents. The
third obvious explanation would be that Coiba at no time was con-
nected with the mainland.
While birds are readily mobile because of their powers of flight,
it is an accepted fact that, although many are venturesome, there are
many others that avoid crossing wide expanses of water. The avian
colonists of Coiba in the main appear to be either those that are
known to make extensive flights, or others-for example, the fly-
catchers-that may be assumed to have been blown across from the
mainland by violent winds of tornado force.
These are purely speculative hypotheses, but it seems difficult ex-
cept in some such fashion to explain the condition as it actually
exists.
ANNOTATED LIST
Details of occurrence and other information concerned with the
kinds of birds at present known from Isla Coiba are given, species by
species, in the pages that follow, with descriptions of the forms that
are new to science. ,With each form there is included the scientific
name with its reference, and a common name in E'nglish and in
Spanish. These common names in the two languages are intended to
be used for the species as a whole, regardless of geographic race, and


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


thus cover all of the subspecies of the particular kind of bird con-
cerned. In numerous cases the scientific name is that of a subspecies,
but this does not in any way indicate that the common names that
follow cover that species alone. They are not so intended. The
English names, with a few exceptions follow those given in the
recent useful and important paper by Dr. Eugene Eisenmann entitled
"The Species of Middle American Birds"."
Selection of the Spanish names has been made with care, and in
some cases after considerable thought. Some conspicuous birds are
well known, so that their Spanish names are matters of common
knowledge. Where several terms are in local use for the same bird,
choice has been made of the one that seems most general, in some
cases extending beyond Panama to other countries in Central America
or the West Indies, for example, alcatraz, rather than cua.co, for the
brown pelican. The list of nahmes given by Sefior Alberto Frederico
Alba in his book "Algunas Ayes de Panama," published in 1946, in
a number of cases has been helpful. In numerous instances with
small, inconspicuous kinds, where no local name is available, one that
seems properly applicable has been selected, sometimes from usage
in other countries, sometimes from a descriptive term that seems
appropriate, and sometimes by a translation of the name in English.
In some instances the name in Panamat refers to quite a different
bird elsewhere, as ruisefior for the house wren, but this term is so
universal in the country that it would be wholly inappropriate to
attempt to change it.
The black-and-white illustrations drawn by Walter Weber are from
a series intended for a volume on the birds of the Republic of Panama,
for which I have been gathering data for several years. They are
intended to represent the species depicted as a whole, and not any
particular subspecies from Coiba or elsewhere.
Mention is made above, in the account of my fieldwork, of the
crested hawk (apparently a Spizaetus), of which I saw only the feet,
killed by a hunter. There is also a specimen in the Batty collections
that should be recorded, a skin of Gould's manakin (Manacus vitel-
linus vitellinus) labeled "Coiba, J. H. Batty, Jun. 23, 19iOi ?." This
manakin, widely distributed in Panama from the lower mountains
of Veraguas east to Darien, is a conspicuous bird, and one readily
found, of which I encountered no trace on Coiba during the month in
which I was daily afield. Possibly it may occur, but I feel there is
only a slight probability that it does. The "make" of this specimen
8 Published in Trans. Linn. Soc. New York, vol. 7, Apr. 1955, pp. i-iv, 1-128.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


appears somewhat different from Batty's usual preparation so that
he may have obtained it from some other source, perhaps from the
collector Enrique Arce, with whom Batty must have had contact.
The forests of the western side of Coiba have still to be examined
for their birds. There is a possibility that there may be further
resident species in that area.

Family PODICIPEDIDAE: Grebes
PODICEPS DOMINICUS BRACHYPTERUS (Chapman): Least Grebe, Tigua
Colymbus dominicus brachypterus CHAPMAN, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.,
vol. 12, Dec. 23, 1899, p. 256. (Lomita Ranch, lower Rio Grande, Tex.)
On January 13 a prisoner brought me a live young least grebe that
he had captured on a small lagoon beyond Catival. The following
day we visited this locality and found several of these birds floating
about on a small pond in which there was considerable aquatic growth.
Adept at concealment, they dived and disappeared, but by careful
watching we were able to get an occasional glimpse of one under the
cover of the taller water plants.
I have realized for several years that these grebes fly about a good
deal from one body of water to another, probably at night, but this
occurrence on Coiba was a definite surprise. It is probable that the
lagoon in which they lived would be dry before the end of the summer
season so that they might be under necessity of crossing to the main-
land. We secured an adult female, one young fully grown but with
the throat and lines on the side of the head white, and another half
grown. The adult, in full breeding plumage, agrees in color and
size with birds from Central America and Mexico. Its measurements
are as follows: Wing 9o.o, culmen from base 22.7, tarsus 33.8 mm.
Countrymen in Panama usually call any species of grebe a patico.

Family HYDROBATIDAE: Storm Petrels
OCEANODROMA TETHYS KELSALLI (Lowe): GalApagos Petrel, Golondrina
de Mar Galapaguefita
Thallassidroma tethys kelsalU LOWE, Bull. Brit. Orn. Club, vol. 46, Nov. 4
1925, p. 6. (Pescadores Islands, off Anc6n, Peri.)
William Beebe informs me that he secured one of these petrels
that came on board ship at night on March 20, 1938, while on Banco
Hannibal, west of Coiba. The bird was attracted by lights that he
was using to lure and collect marine life.4 There are three specimens
4 See Beebe, Book of Bays, 1942, pp. 280, 297.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


of this petrel in the British Museum (Natural History) taken in
Panamanian waters out from Balboa August 22, and 20 miles south
of Panama, September 9, 1924, by Lt. Col. H. J. Kelsall in whose
honor this race is named.

Family PELECANIDAE: Pelicans
PELECANUS OCCIDENTALIS CAROLINENSIS Gmelin: Brown Pelican,
Alcatraz
Pelecanus carolinensis GMELIN, Systema naturae, vol. I, pt. 2, 1789, p. 571.
(Charleston Harbor, S. C.)
Brown pelicans were to be found daily over Bahia Damas, shifting
about to some degree, so that the number present varied. Those ob-
served were mainly immature, or adults with the white necks that
mark the postbreeding stage, though occasionally individuals in full
breeding dress were seen. No nesting colonies were recorded, though
undoubtedly their rookeries were not far distant. When the tide was
high they cruised about as usual in line, diving whenever fish were
sighted. At low water groups of the great birds rested in the man-
groves and on rock exposures on the beach. I saw one fishing after
dark on one occasion, sighting it as it passed the electric lights at
the Colonia Central.
Two adults were prepared for specimens, a male with white neck,
and a breeding female with the larger ovaries developed to a diameter
of half an inch. Measurements are as follows: Male, wing 518, tail
136, culmen from base 327, tarsus 79.4 mm.; female, wing 507, tail
131, culmen from base 290.0, tarsus 74.7 mm. In coloration these
two agree with birds from Taboga Island in the northern sector of
the Gulf of Panama. The brown of the hindneck in the female is
very dark, like that of Taboga birds, being darker than the average
in pelicans of the southeastern United States. The Coiba birds how-
ever are within the limits of variation of the race carolinensis, and
are identified as that subspecies. I watched particularly for indi-
viduals with exceptionally long bills but saw none that could represent
the large-billed subspecies californicus of the coasts of California and
northwestern Mexico.
The usual name for the alcatraz in these waters is cuaco.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


Family SULIDAE: Boobies
SULA LEUCOGASTER ETESIACA Thayer and Bangs: Brown Booby,
Piquero Moreno
Sula etesiaca THAYER and BANGS, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., vol. 46, June 1905,
p. 92. (Gorgona Island, Colombia.)
Single birds or couples cruised regularly over the sea, sometimes
near the shore but more often half a mile or more from land. Usu-
ally they coursed with set wings in the stiff breeze, low over the
water, rising at intervals to 30 or 40 feet in the air. It was usual
to have them approach our cayuco when we crossed the bays, but
then to veer away to continue their fishing. All those observed were
in adult plumage.
They were noted commonly over the sea between Taboga Island
and Punta Mala during the journeys to and from Coiba. Fishermen
and boatmen in these waters usually called this bird piquero, a name
that applies properly to another species of the family, Sula variegata,
which is one of the important species of the guano islands of Periu.
They are also known as bobito.

Family PHALACROCORACIDAE: Cormorants
PHALACROCORAX OLIVACEUS OLIVACEUS (Humboldt): Olivaceous
Cormorant, Pato Cuervo
Pelecanus olivaceus HUMBOLDT, in Humboldt and Bonpland, Recueil d'observa-
tions zoologie et d'anatomie compared, vol. I, livr. I, 1805, p. 6. (El Banco,
Magdalena River, Colombia.)
Birds, mainly in immature dress, were present daily along the
shores of Bahia Damas, where they fished in little groups in the
shallows bordering the beach when the tide was full, or joined the
pelicans farther out when schools of fish appeared. Otherwise they
rested on the rock exposures near the waterline. Few adult birds
were recorded.
When Dr. Charles W. Richmond established the scientific name of
this bird, he was under the impression that the citation above was a
later print of the work concerned, and that the description of this
cormorant was to be listed from the same title with the same year,
but on page 47 instead of on page 6. In this he was in error as the
listing given is the original that immediately seems to have been
included, with a few modifications, in the great series of 24 volumles
covering the voyage and observations of IIumboldt and Bonpland.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


Family FREGATIDAE: Frigate-birds
FREGATA MAGNIFICENS Mathews: Magnificent Frigate-bird, Tijereta
de Mar
Fregata minor inagnificens MATHEWS, Austr. Avian Rec., vol. 2, Dec. 19, 1914,
p. 12o. (Barrington Island, Galapagos Islands.)
Frigate-birds were noted regularly, but usually only one or two
per day. On February 4 I saw one at Isla Rancheria, and on the
journey to Coiba and return I observed them in numbers off Punta
Mala. On one occasion I watched for several minutes as one pursued
an agile royal tern over Bahia Damas, without making the smaller
bird disgorge.

Family ARDEIDAE: Herons
ARDEA HERODIAS Linnaeus: Great Blue Heron, Garz6n Cenizo
Ardea Herodias LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 143. (Hud-
son Bay.)
These large herons were seen feeding or flying along the beach
near the Headquarters, or in a wet meadow inland, on four occasions
between January II and February 3. All were wary and remained
in the open where they had a clear view for some distance around.
From their rather casual occurrence it appeared that they had reached
Coiba by chance while in flight along the mainland coast. I watched
three for some time and observed that they were decidedly dark-
colored, indicating that they were probably of the typical race Ardea
herodias herodias, which is the one to be expected.

CASMERODIUS ALBUS EGRETTA (Gmelin): Common Egret,
Garza Blanca
Ardca Egretta GMELIN, Systemna naturae, vol. I, pt. 2, 1789, p. 629. (Cayenne.)
These large egrets were seen regularly along the beach or occa-
sionally in wet meadows inland. Larger size and yellow bill dis-
tinguish them from the other white herons. This species is called
garza real, also.

LEUCOPHOYX THULA (Molina): Snowy Egret, Garceta Blanca
/lrdea Thula MOLINA, Saggio sulla storia natural del Chili, 1782, p. 235.
(Chile.)
This egret was recorded in the small flocks of white herons that
were common along the beaches, being marked by its black legs,
yellow feet, and black bill. On January 30 I identified a dozen.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


FLORIDA CAERULEA (Linnaeus): Little Blue Heron, Garceta Azul (adults),
Garceta Blanca (immature birds)
Ardea caerulea LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 143. (South
Carolina.)
The immature birds in white plumage, with dark gray-green legs
and bills, were common along the beaches of Bahia Damas, where
they often gathered in little flocks. When small fishes came into the
shallows with the incoming tide the herons often became quite ac-
tive, dancing about gracefully in pursuit of this food. Occasionally
I noted a bird in slate-blue adult dress, rarely one pied variously in
slate and white, but most were immature individuals in white plum-
age. About January 20 there was a considerable increase in their
numbers, and they remained in this greater abundance until the close
of my stay. January 27 I recorded 50 congregated on the flats near
Hato, with others scattered along the water beyond.

BUTORIDES VIRESCENS MACULATUS (Boddaert): Green Heron,
Martinete
Cancroma maculala BODDAERT, Table des planches cnlumin~ez, 1783, p. 84. (Mar-
tinique.)
January 20 I shot a female in the mangroves at the mouth of Rio
Catival, the only one recorded on Coiba. The bird is adult as shown
by the pointed wing coverts and their buffy edgings, and has the
wing in partial molt. The next to the outermost primary, somewhat
worn at the tip, is still in place in each wing, allowing a fairly ac-
curate wing measurement of 166 mm. The brown on the side of the
neck is quite dark, which, in conjunction with the short wing, places
it in the subspecies maculatus, it being too small for migrant vircscens
of the north. The fact that the color of the under surface of the body
is pale like that of mainland birds suggests that it may be a wanderer
from some point on the Isthmus. It would be expected that a resident
population on Coiba, if there is one, would have darkened coloration.
on the order of that found in the subspecies Butoridcs v. margarito-
philus of the Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panamai.

NYCTANASSA VIOLACEA CALIGINIS Wetmore: Yellow-crowned Night
Heron, Garzota de Corona Amarilla
Nyctanassa violacca cal'iinis \\'ETMUR-, Proc. 3iul. Soc. W\ashington, vul. 50,
Mar. Ii, 1946, p. 49. (San Jusc Island, .\rchipi.lago de las Pcrlis, l'Panani.)
Near the mouth of the Rio Catival we obtained an adult male
January 27, and saw several others. Apparently they arc not cuomninon


NO. 9








SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


here, though it was difficult to judge their number accurately because
of the difficulty in penetrating the extensive mangrove swamps.
The bird taken is typical of the resident race of Panama, being
dark in color, with a heavy bill that measures 22.8 mm. in depth
through the nostril. Another common name for this species is yaboa
coronada.

HETEROCNUS MEXICANUS (Swainson): Bare-throated Tiger Bittern,
Jorralico
Tigrisoma mexicanus SWAINSON, in Murray, Encyclopedia of geography, July
1834, p. 1383. (Mexico.)
This curious heron, now rare in many parts of mainland Panama,
was fairly common on Coiba where it lived in the mangrove swamps.
Morning and evening these birds came out on the open flats or on
areas of mud left by the receding tide, sometimes far from any
cover. It was possible to approach them without much precaution,
and undoubtedly it is this lack of wariness that has destroyed them
in more settled areas, since they are easy marks for a gun, or, for
that matter, for a well-aimed stone. They move quietly in feeding,
often remaining motionless for long periods. Crabs seemed to be a
principal source of their food.
On January 21 as my cayuco, driven by an outboard motor, entered
the mouth of the Rio San Juan, I saw four, evidently two pairs,
engaged in a display in which they swelled out the breast and neck,
showing a prominent orange streak down the sides. At the same time
the bill, with the long neck fully extended, was pointed directly up-
ward. As their legs are short they presented a most unusual, almost
grotesque appearance.
An adult female taken January 14 has a wing measurement of
350 mm.
Family THRESKIORNITHIDAE: Ibises
EUDOCIMUS ALBUS (Linnaeus): White Ibis, Coco Blanco
Scolopax alba LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 145. (South
Carolina.)
Small bands frequented the extensive swamps, particularly where
the Rio San Juan entered Bahia Damas. From here they ranged out
to feed, as twice, at sunset, I saw a flock of a dozen flying low over
the water of the bay past the Colonia Central bound for a roost in
the distant mangroves.


20


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


Family ANATIDAE: Ducks
ANAS DISCORS Linnaeus: Blue-winged Teal, Cerceta
Anas discors LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 12, vol. I, 1766, p. 205. (South
Carolina.)
On January 14 I saw a flock of a dozen on the small lagoon back
of Catival, and I was told that teal came regularly to the Rio San
Juan in its lower section above the wooded swamps. On January 23,
as we crossed in a cayuco to the western side of Bahia Damas, a teal
flew low over the sea in front of us.
On February 6, off Punta Mala, one rose from the sea before our
boat and flew away through a host of circling terns.

CAIRINA MOSCHATA (Linnaeus): Muscovy Duck, Pato Real
Anas moschata LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 124. (Brasil.)
On January 23, at sunrise, half a dozen of these ducks, of maxi-
mum size, flew past the Colonia Central over the sea on a course
that led past Punta Damas toward the distant mainland. These were
evidently wild birds, and quite different from the domestic stock,
with plumage partly pied with white, that flew about regularly
between the stream at headquarters and that at Hato a mile south.

AYTHYA AFFINIS (Eyton): Lesser Scaup, Pato Pechiblanco
Fuligula afflnis EYTON, Monograph of the Anatidae or duck tribe, June 1838,
p. 157. (North America.)
On January 14 five rested on the small lagoon back of Catival.
Such an occurrence on this small body of water in its remote loca-
tion is interesting evidence of the broad line of flight through which
these ducks perform their migrations.

Family CATIIARTIDAE: American Vultures
CORAGYPS ATRATUS (Bechstein): Black Vulture, Gallinazo
Vultur atratus BECIISTEIN, in John Latham, Allgemeine Uebersiclit dcr Vogel,
Bd. I, Anhang, 1793, p. 655. (Florida.)
Gallinazos were in constant attendance about the buildings at head-
quarters and the work camps-scavengers in search of any source of
food. While waiting at the abattoir for some scrap of refuse it was
amusing to see them running and hopping about, fighting among
themselves, often with the tail erect like a rail. Once I saw one try
to drive a laughing gull from a bit of food on the open beach, but


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


the gull held its ground, and the vulture finally gave up the attempt.
Prisoners in charge of the vegetable gardens told me that the vultures
were nesting during the middle of January.

CATHARTES AURA (Linnaeus): Turkey Vulture, Noneca
Vulture aura LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 86. (Vera-
cruz, Mexico.)
Turkey vultures were seen daily in flight over the island though
never in large numbers. About January 12, with a change in weather
conditions, the northeast trade wind blew steadily throughout the
day, which made soaring easy, and immediately there was an increase
in the prevalence of these birds. While I noted them regularly above
the high forest, where occasional openings in the treetops gave a
view of the sky, they were more often seen over the open pastures
and along the beaches.
Most of those that I observed near enough at hand to give me a
clear view with binoculars, had the bare skin of the head dull red,
indicating that they were migrants from the north, in Panama for
the winter season. But on January 8 I noted one with the definite
yellow lines across the back of the red head that identified it as the
race Cathartes aura ruficollis Spix, which I have found to be the
breeding bird of the Pacific slope of Panama, west to Chiriqui.

SARCORAMPHUS PAPA (Linnaeus): King Vulture, Cacic6n
Vultur Papa LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 86. (Surinam.)
The king vulture appears to be fairly common on Coiba Island
though I recorded it on only three occasions. At Salinas January 23
three adults soared high in air. Three days later near Punta Damas
several turkey vultures flew out of the brush back of the beach, and
when I walked in to see what had attracted them I found a great
king vulture, in fully adult feather and color, peering down with
its light-colored eyes from a low branch barely 40 feet away. I
watched it for some time, and then moved along without disturbing
it. It did not seem desirable to kill it for a specimen as I was 3 miles
from our quarters (There are several available from Coiba, viz,
two adult and two immature in the Chicago Natural History Museum,
collected by J. H. Batty May 21 to 26, 1901.) I saw another in a
tree in an open pasture at Punta Damas February I, and approached
it closely, but it showed no apparent fear of me.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


Family ACCIPITRIDAE: Hawks, Eagles
HARPAGUS BIDENTATUS FASCIATUS Lawrence: Double-toothed Kite,
GavilIn Dentado
Harpagus fasciatus LAWRENCE, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, December
1868 (1869), p. 429. (Guatemala.)
On January 13, when I was calling small birds, a female kite
alighted overhead on a limb so large that the bird was completely
hidden from view. Presently it moved to another tree and began to
climb through the branches. It is a specimen in which the lower
surface is strongly chestnut, with the barring broad and the gray
much reduced.

ACCIPITER BICOLOR BICOLOR (Vieillot): Bicolored Hawk, Gavilan de Dos
Colores
Sparvius bicolor VIEILLOT, Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, nouv. ed.,
vol. io, June 21, 1817, p. 325. (Cayenne.)
On January 17 when we were in tall forest one of these hawks
came dashing through the branches to a perch a few feet away, at-
tracted by the calls of a thrush. It proved to be an adult female, and
one that probably was feeding young. On January 23, a prisoner
brought me an immature male from San Juan. Hawks of this species
are decidedly uncommon in Panama, being found only where there
is heavy forest.
The adult female had the following colors in life: Base of maxilla
below nostril and base of mandible neutral gray; rest of bill black;
cere dusky neutral gray; edge of the eyelids honey yellow; rest of
the bare skin about the eye and on the loral area dull yellowish green;
iris orange; tarsus and toes yellow; claws black. The double ovary,
usual in hawks of this genus, was present, the right one about one-
third the size of the one on the left. The appearance on the left
side indicated that the bird had laid rather recently. This bird has
the abdomen paler than the breast and the under wing coverts partly
rufous, both indications that remain from the immature dress.
The second specimen is cinnamon-buff below, with gray feathers
of the adult dress beginning to appear on the throat, foreneck, and
in a ring around the hindneck.

BUTEO PLATYPTERUS PLATYPTERUS (Vieillot): Broad-winged Hawk,
Gavilan Aliancho
Sparvius platypterus VIEILLOT, Tableau encyclop&ldique et methodiquc des trois
regnes de la nature, vol. 3, 1823, p. 1273. (Philadcpliia, 1P:i.)
The broad-winged hawk, migrant from the north, is common on
the mainland, but during my entire stay on Coiba I recorded only


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


half a dozen or so. The species apparently is averse to long flights
over water. An immature male was taken on January 28.

BUTEO MAGNIROSTRIS PETULANS van Rossem: Large-billed Hawk,
Cuiscul
Buteo magnirostris petuilans VAN ROSSEM, Condor, vol. 37, No. 4, July 15, 1935,
p. 215. (Lion Hill, Canal Zone.)
This hawk undoubtedly is more common on Coiba than any of
the other species of its family. I saw it at first in small trees along


.' ____
577


FIG. I.-Large-billed Hawk, Cuiscui.

the fences in pastures, and then more commonly in the second-growth
brush that covered old fields in which cultivation had been abandoned.
As I became more familiar with the island I found that it also ranged
inland over the high forest crown, where apparently the undulating
surface of the leaf canopy and the smaller branches immediately be-
low, lying in the sun, afforded as favorable hunting ground as the old


24


VOL. 134


&00
s s,


-t-V







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


fields and the rastrojo where these birds are usually observed in
more settled areas.
Though they shun deeply shaded forest areas, they usually rest
on perches that are protected from the sun but that are sufficiently
open to afford a view. Often they call querulously, when they are
easily located. Usually, also, it is easy to approach them as they
have little fear. On January 21 I recorded a nest, with birds about
it, 40 feet from the ground in a tree of moderate size, rising above
a thicket of second growth, but was not able to examine it closely.
The six specimens prepared agree in general with those from the
Pacific slope of Panama. The breast and foreneck average very
faintly darker gray than most, but are equaled in this by occasional
mainland specimens. The common name is given in imitation of
the call.

MORPHNUS GUIANENSIS (Daudin): Crested Eagle, Aguila Mofiuda
Falco guianensis DAUDIN, Traite elementaire et complete d'ornithologie, vol. 2.
i8oo, p. 78. (Cayenne.)
An occasional view of one of these great eagles soaring high in air
over the forest is one of my stirring memories of Isla Coiba. The
long tail and broad but blunt-pointed wings present a curious outline
when seen in the air so that for a time, viewing them from a con-
siderable distance, I was not wholly certain of their identity. One
day the sharp eyes of Vicente saw one resting quietly on a high
upper branch in an enormous forest tree, where its background at
first view dwarfed it in such proportion that, until my eye had noted
the long central feathers of the erected crest, the bird appeared to
be some smaller kind of hawk. On several occasions two, obviously
a pair, were observed soaring together.
There have been relatively few observations of this species in
Panama.

BUTEOGALLUS ANTHRACINUS SUBTILIS (Thayer and Bangs): Common
Black Hawk, GavilAn de Cidnaga
Urubitinga subtilis THAYER and BANGS, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool61., vol. 46, June
1905, p. 94. (Gorgona Island, Colombia.)
A few of these hawks lived in and near the tidal swamps at the
mouths of the San Juan and Catival rivers, and I saw others occa-
sionally on the uplands back of the beach at Punta Damas. They do
not enter the heavy inland forests, but prefer areas of more open
growth along the borders.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


The two adult females shot at Salinas January 23 and 28 have
the following measurements: Wing 357, 365; tail 210, 206; culmen
from cere 27.4, 26.6; tarsus 89.8, 86.2 mm.

Family PANDIONIDAE: Ospreys
PANDION HALIAETUS CAROLINENSIS (Gmelin): Osprey,
Aguila Pescadora
Falco carolinensis GMELIN, Systema naturae, vol. I, pt. I, 1788, p. 263. (South
Carolina.)
Ospreys were observed daily along the shore, usually alone, but
occasionally two in sight at the same time. One was recorded carry-
ing a fish at Isla Rancheria February 4.

Family FALCONIDAE: Falcons
FALCO PEREGRINUS ANATUM Bonaparte: Peregrine Falcon,
Halc6n Cazapatos
Falco Anatum BONAPARTE, Geographical and comparative list of the birds of
Europe and North America, 1838, p. 4. (Egg Harbor, N. J.)
Peregrines were observed occasionally but appeared to be casual in
occurrence. On the afternoon of January 21 a large one, evidently
a female, dropped on a laughing gull resting on the beach in front of
the guardhouse, crippled it, and then began to circle over it. The tide
was out, exposing a broad expanse of sand and rock, and presently
the falcon alighted briefly at the edge of the water. Apparently it was
not hungry, as, though it returned several times, it did not pick up
the gull. While it seemed to pay little attention to the crowd of men
watching, it was careful not to come within gun range.

FALCO ALBIGULARIS ALBIGULARIS Daudin: Bat Falcon,
Halc6n Cazamurcielagos
Falco albigularis DAUDIN, Traite elementaire et complete d'ornithologie, vol. 2,
i8oo00, p. 131. (Cayenne.)
January 13 I shot the female of a pair flying about at the edge of
the forest back of the pastures at Punta Damas. Ten days later one
soared in rising air thermals in company with several vultures near
the shore at Salinas. Another was recorded at Punta Damas Janu-
ary 26. These falcons are graceful on the wing and soar regularly,
evidently for pleasure. At rest they perch on dead branches or stubs
where they have a clear view. Small birds in their haunts seem to
continue their activities without fear while the falcons are about.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


It is probable that they were more common on Coiba than these
few notes indicate, as in these heavy forests they must often be
hidden from view to one on the ground.

FALCO SPARVERIUS SPARVERIUS Linnaeus: Sparrow Hawk, Cernicalo
Falco sparveriu, LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. go90. (South
Carolina.)
Occasionally during January I saw a sparrow hawk in the pastures
above the Colonia Central, a migrant individual here for the north-
ern winter. They flew immediately when men come in sight, and
seemed quite wild.

Family RALLIDAE: Rails, Coots, and Gallinules
ARAMIDES CAJANEA CAJANEA (Miiller): Gray-necked Wood Rail,
Cocaleca
Fulica Cajanea P. L. S. MLILLER, Vollstdndigen Natursystems, Supplements-
und Register-Band, 1776, p. ix9g. (Cayenne.)
The wood rail ranged in two quite different habitats on Coiba,
being fairly common in the mangrove swamps at the mouths of the
rivers, and found also in more open forest areas in the uplands. In


Fi;. 2.-Grav-iicckcd Wuold Iail, Cocaleca.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


early morning we sometimes saw them along the small streams
running through the pastures, but it was more usual to hear their
curious calls from dense cover where they remained hidden, except
perhaps for a brief impression of movement as one stirred behind
leafy cover in dense shadows. They call frequently at night. The
country name is given in imitation of their calls, and curiously, is
used for other rails, regardless of their size.
In the swamps they appear to feed largely on crabs, and their
flesh has a definitely rank odor. One shot in the forest lacked this
entirely and I found the body, saved from the skinning table,
excellent eating.
The three taken-two males and a female-are very slightly darker,
more reddish brown on the breast and sides when compared with
mainland skins, being in fact decidedly darker than the average bird
from Panama proper. Occasional mainland specimens, however,
approach them so closely that it does not seem appropriate to try to
separate the Coiba population under a distinct name, particularly in
view of the considerable individual variation found among these
rails.

PORZANA CAROLINA (Linnaeus): Sora, Cocalequita Migratoria
Ralhits carolinus LINNAEUS, Systema natural, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 153. (Hud-
son Bay.)
On January 14 we secured a male from the dense cover of water
plants growing in knee-deep water in a small lagoon back of Catival.
It was my first personal observation in Panama of this northern
migrant.

LATERALLUS ALBIGULARIS ALBIGULARIS (Lawrence): White-throated
Rail, Charrasqueadora
Corcthrura albigularis LAWRENCE, Ann. Lyc. Nat. Hist. New York, vol. 7, I86i,
p. 302. (Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panama along the line of the Pan-
ama Railroad.)
These little rails were found, few in number, around a small lagoon
back of Catival and in a marshy place at San Juan, to my definite
interest, as I had not expected birds of this type on Coiba Island.
They were recorded most frequently through their rattling, chattering
calls, given rapidly from the depths of the thick vegetation standing
in water that they frequent. They range in pairs, and by patient
stalking and watching it is sometimes possible to have a glimpse of
one moving about in the dark shadows, but ordinarily it is difficult


28


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


to secure them. My three specimens, a male and two females taken
January 14, 17, and 19, agree in color with our series from the Pacific
slope of Panama.

LATERALLUS EXILIS (Temminck): Gray-breasted Rail,
Cocalequita Pechiceniza
Rallus exiles TEMMINCK, Nouveau recueil de planches coloriees d'oiseaux, livr.
88, 1831, pl. 523. (Cayenne.)
On January 28 a convict brought me one alive, captured in marshy
ground near the Catival work camp. The bird, an adult female, is
the first record of the species from Panama. The nearest locality at
which it has been found to the north is on the Rio Escondido, 50
miles above Bluefields, Nicaragua, and to the south at the Laguna
Guajaro, near La Penia, Atlantico, Colombia.
The specimen has the following measurements: Wing 74.2, tail
29.7, culmen from base 16.8, tarsus 24.8, middle toe with claw 33.8,
middle toe without claw 30.0 mm.

Family JACANIDAE: Jaqanas
JACANA JACANA HYPOMELAENA (Gray): Wattled Jagana,
Gallito de Cidnaga
Parra hypomelacna G. R. GRAY, Genera of birds, vol. 3, 1846, p. 589, pl. i59.
("Bogota.")
A black jacana seen near the river at San Juan, was probably a
stray from the mainland, as there would not appear to be suitable
habitat on the island for permanent residence. These birds apparently
wander extensively over the Pacific slope of Panama during the dry
season.

Family CIIARADRIIDAE: Plovers, Turnstones
CHARADRIUS SEMIPALMATUS Bonaparte: Semipalmated Plover,
Chorlito Semipalmado
Charadrius sentipalmatus BONAPARTE, Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia,
vol. 5, August 1825, p. 98. (Coast of New Jersey.)
These plovers were common on the beaches, one being taken Janu-
ary 18. Shortly after the middle of January there was a considerable
increase in their number, dozens being recorded where only one or
two had been noted earlier. This status continued to the end of tlhe
month when their abundance was reduced to the earlier level.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


CHARADRIUS WILSONIA BELDINGI (Ridgway): Wilson's Plover,
Chorlito Piquigordo
Pagolla wtilsonia beldingi RIDGWAY, U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 50, pt. 8, June 26,
1919, p. 112. (La Paz, Baja California.)
At Juncal on January 30 I shot one as it ran across the broad sand
beach. This bird, a female with undeveloped ovaries, was the only
one seen.

SQUATAROLA SQUATAROLA (Linnaeus): Black-bellied Plover, Chorlo Gris
Tringa Squatarola LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 149.
(Sweden.)
The black-bellied plover fed regularly on the beaches in groups
of 3 or 4 to 25. One was taken January 12.

ARENARIA INTERPRES MORINELLA (Linnaeus): Ruddy Turnstone,
Vuelvepiedras
Tringa Morinella LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 12, vol. I, 1766, p. 249. (Coast
of Georgia.)
Turnstones ranged daily over the broad flats of Bahia Damas when
these were laid bare by low water, or ran along the sandy margins
when the tide was full. It was amusing to see how expertly they
flipped over small stones or shells to search underneath, and also to
hear their low chattering calls when feeding in close company during
rain. At low water they came back among the mangrove roots at the
mouths of the rivers.
Two birds, male and female, were taken January I I and 27.

Family SCOLOPACIDAE: Snipe, Woodcock, Sandpipers
EREUNETES PUSILLUS (Linnaeus): Semipalmated Sandpiper,
Playerito Gracioso
Tringa pusilla LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 12, vol. I, 1766, p. 252. (His-
paniola.)
These small sandpipers scattered far out over the bare flats at low
tide, where they often passed unnoticed until driven in to the beach
at high water. They seemed to vary in abundance; many were
recorded January 18 and 20.

EREUNETES MAURI Cabanis: Western Sandpiper, Playerito Occidental
Ereunetes Mauri CABANIS, Journ. fUr Orn., vol. 4, 1856 (1857), p. 419. (South
Carolina.)
On January 18 I recorded four western sandpipers among the
many semipalmated and shot one, a female, for a specimen. Several


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


were seen two days later. The longer bill serves to identify them
when they are feeding with the other species. It is probable that
they were much more common than these two observations indicate.

EROLIA MINUTILLA (Vieillot): Least Sandpiper, Playerito Menudo
Tringa minutilla VErLLo'r, Nouveau dictionnaire d'Histoire naturelle, nouv. ed.,
vol. 34, December 1819, p. 466. (Halifax, Nova Scotia.)
Specimens were taken on January 14 and 18 from among the abun-
dant semipalmated sandpipers.

CATOPTROPHORUS SEMIPALMATUS INORNATUS (Brewster): Willet,
Playero Aliblanco
Symphemia semnipalnmata inornata BREWSTER, Auk, vol. 4, No. 2, April 1887,
p. 145. (Larimer County, Colorado.)
This migrant from the north apparently is of casual occurrence on
Coiba. January 8 I noted a number along the beach, but did not see
them again until January 20, when I shot one of several seen at
Maria.

CROCETHIA ALBA (Pallas): Sanderling, Playero Arenero
Trynga alba PALLUS, in Vroeg, Catalogue raissonne d'oiseaux. Adumbratiun-
culae, 1764, p. 7. (Coast of the North Sea.)
Occasionally at high tide sanderlings appeared on the beach at
the Colonia Central, sometimes alone, sometimes two or four together.
Here they ran back and forth, as usual following the receding waves
and then retreating quickly as the water returned. Two were taken
for specimens February 3.

TOTANUS FLAVIPES (Gmelin): Lesser Yellowlegs, Playero Chi!l6n Chico
Scolopax flazipes GMELIN, Systema naturae, vol. I, pt. 2, 1789, p. 659. (New
York.)
I saw one near the mouth of Rio Catival on February 2.

ACTITIS MACULARIA (Linnaeus): Spotted Sandpiper, Playerito Coleador
Tringa macularia LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 12, vol. I, 17(6, p. 2\j.
(Pennsylvania.)
This bird of the north is so prevalent on beaches and around more
open bodies of water in IPanama, many nonl)reeding indlividluals re-
maining throughout the year, that it is almost a native species. On
Coiba spotted sandpipers were scattered singly along the shuire, ur
along the inland streams where these ran past open banks in cleared


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


areas. Usually from one to a dozen were seen daily, teetering ahead
of me, or flying with quick, short wingbeats low over the water.
At high tide, when much of their normal feeding ground on the
beaches was under water, I saw them perched on the gunwales or
prows of boats anchored in the bay, or on logs and rocks above the
water, where they rested quietly with none of the nervous body move-
ments that normally draw attention to them. At the convict camps
located near the shore, they came familiarly along the paths and
about the houses in search of food.

NUMENIUS PHAEOPUS HUDSONICUS Latham: Whimbrel,
Zarapito Trinador
Nuionctus hudsonicus LATHAM, Index ornithologicus, vol. 2, 1790, p. 712. (Hud-
son Bay.)
These large curlews were scattered along the beaches everywhere,
regardless of whether the surface was the edge of a rocky reef, or a
smooth stretch of sand. As they are hunted to a certain extent, they
were rather wild, flying out ahead of me with the loud calls that give
them their Spanish name of trinador. Occasionally I found one in the
marshy open pastureland at Baja Espafia, near the mouth of the
Rio Catival, but the shore, even among the mangroves, was the
normal habitat.

Family STERCORARIIDAE: Skuas, Jaegers
CATHARACTA SKUA CHILENSIS (Bonaparte): Skua, Salteador Grande
Slercorarius antarcticus b. chilensis BONAPARTE, Conspectus generum avium,
vol. 2, 1857, p. 207. (Chile.)
On the return trip to Balboa on February 6 I recorded between
15 and 20 skuas at sea between Punta Mala and the area where the
islands of Otoque and Bona were barely in sight to the north. All
were flying low above the water among the terns and other sea birds.
None were recorded on January 6 when I crossed these same waters
on the voyage to Coiba.
While these records, like my earlier observations of skuas in the
Gulf of Panama in 1944, are placed under the subspecies chilensis
on the basis of probability, it must be noted that no specimens have
been taken as yet in these waters. One or two seen near at hand
seemed to show the characters of chilensis, so far as could be told
without the bird in hand. I was interested, however, to have a brief,
distant view of one that appeared very light in color.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


Family LARIDAE: Gulls, Terns
LARUS HEERMANNI Cassin: Heermann's Gull, Gaviota de Heermann
Larus Heernmanni CASSIN, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, vol. 6, Dec. 31,
1852, p. 187. (San Diego, Calif.)
On February 6, when the crash boat was about 3 miles south of
Otoque, three of these gulls rose from the water near at hand, giving
me a clear view of their colors and color pattern. The species has
been recorded south in winter only to Champerico and San Jose on
the Pacific coast of Guatemala, so that it was a distinct surprise to
see them in the Gulf of Panama.

LARUS ATRICILLA Linnaeus: Laughing Gull, Gaviota Reidora
Larus atricilla LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 136. (Bahama
Islands.)
On January 6 I recorded Laughing Gulls at sea throughout the
journey from Balboa, and at Coiba one or two came daily to the beach
in front of the Colonia Penal. I was interested to see one that was
tearing at a small bird body on the beach stand its ground and drive
off a black vulture that attempted to crowd it away from the food.
As related above, on one occasion a laughing gull was killed rather
wantonly by a peregrine falcon.
A male taken January 9 had begun to molt on the back, scapulars,
and wing coverts, but in the main was still in worn winter dress.

THALASSEUS MAXIMUS MAXIMUS (Boddaert): Royal Tern,
Gaviotin Real
Sterna maximna BODDAERT, Table des planches enlumineez, 1783, pl. 58. (French
Guiana.)
Scattered royal terns fished daily over the bay, or gathered in little
groups to rest on the beaches. In journeys by boat I saw them stand-
ing on drift floating on the water, often on bits of stick or board
barely large enough to support them. One day I watched with interest
while a frigate-bird pursued one of these terns for five minutes, but
was so completely outmaneuvred that finally it gave up the chase.
A female tern in winter plumage was taken January I8.

STERNA ANAETHETUS NELSONI Ridgway: Bridled Tern, Gaviotina Monja
Sterna anaetheta nelsoni RIDGWAY, U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 50, pt. 8, June 26,
1919, pp. 487 (in key), 514. (Sihuatanejo, Guerrero.)
On February 6, as our boat passed the two rocks of Frailecs del
Sur, off Punta Mala, suddenly scores of terniis appeared, wheeling


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


over the sea, and looking back I saw hundreds more, circling in
apparent confusion but in their usual manner over the barren sum-
mit of the larger of the two islets. They continued in numbers
until we were opposite Isla Iguana, and an occasional one was sighted
farther north to within 15 miles of Isla Otoque. None was seen when
we passed on January 6, and apparently they had arrived only re-
cently at their nesting grounds at the Frailes, to judge from their
actions. The presence of this large tern colony here has not been
reported so far as I am aware.
A few that came near appeared to be the present species, an
identification that is probable because of the immature specimen in
the National Museum collections captured by Charles L. Fagan on
September 24, 1922, aboard a ship when the vessel was abeam of
Punta Mala.5

CHLIDONIAS NIGER SURINAMENSIS (Gmelin): Black Tern,
Gaviotina Negra
Sterna surinamensis GMELIN, Systema naturae, vol. I, pt. 2, 1789, p. 604. (Suri-
nam.)
On January 6, while passing Punta Mala I noted two flocks of
about 40 each resting on the sea 3 miles offshore.

Family COLUMBIDAE: Pigeons, Doves
COLUMBA CAYENNENSIS PALLIDICRISSA Chubb: Pale-vented Pigeon,
Torcaza Comuin
Columba pallidicrissa CHUBB, Ibis, ser. 9, vol. 4, January 1910, p. 60. (Costa
Rica.)
The torcaza was present in fair numbers, scattered singly through
the forest, where for most part they remained in the tops of the
taller trees, so high as to be beyond gunshot. While we heard their
guttural calls daily, it took careful stalking and watching to see them,
and then usually they were out of reach. Finally we secured a male
on January 28, and a female two days later.

COLUMBIGALLINA TALPACOTI NESOPHILA (Todd): Ruddy Ground Dove,
Tortolita Colorada
Chaetnepelia rufipennis nesophila TODD, Ann. Carnegie Mus. vol. 8, May 8,
1913, p. 590. (Isla El Rey, Archipie1ago de las Perlas, Panama.)
The ruddy ground dove was found in the pastures where I saw
them daily, feeding in little groups on the ground where the grass

5 See Wetmore, Condor, vol. 25, Oct. 3, 1023, p. 171.


34


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


was short, or where it grew in scattered tufts on stony soil. As I
approached the doves crouched motionless until I had passed; or if
I came too near, they rose quickly with a flash of bright reddish brown
from their wings, often to perch on shaded branches in the small,
scattered trees in these locations. I heard them calling occasionally,
and January i i flushed a female from a nest placed 6 feet from the
ground on the summit of a tree stump standing in the border of
swampy woodland. The nest was a flat, fairly well-built platform of
twigs, hidden among tall, green shoots sprouting from the top of
the stump. The two eggs were white, bluntly ovate in form, and
measured 22 x 16.9 and 22.2 x 16.9 mm. The following day a con-
vict brought me another nest with two eggs that he had found in
the top of a palm while gathering coconuts, but these were nearly
ready to hatch, and could not be saved.
On the Pacific slope of Panama these doves prefer open lands.
They enter thickets or groves readily, but usually do not penetrate
forested areas beyond the immediate borders. The pastures cleared
around the convict camps are definitely favorable to them so it is
apparent that they must be more common now than formerly, when
they were restricted to the borders of the swamps and the shoreline.
At present this species is the only common bird in the man-made
environment of these pasturelands, which are frequented otherwise
only by kingbirds except along their borders. Two males and two
females were prepared for specimens.
On comparing these birds with others, it was noted immediately
that the females were definitely darker on the lower surface than
the mainland series; and also that they agreed in this darker color
with skins from San Jose and Pedro Gonzalez Islands in the Archi-
pielago de las Perlas, which represent the race named nesophila by
Todd. It is highly interesting to note this resemblance between the
Coiba population and that of this other island group. Bangs 8 stated
that Todd's type of nesophila, from "San Miguel" (Isla El Rey) was
an immature male with the sex wrongly marked as female by the
collector, and therefore placed nesophila in the synonymy of C. t.
rufipennis, in which he has been followed by Peters and by I ellnmayr
and Conover. However, in 1944 when I secured four females from
the Perlas Islands I found that these clearly upheld the validity of
Todd's race.7 An occasional immature bird from the mainland,
freshly molted from juvenal plumage, may approach nesophila in
SBull. Mus. Comp. Zool61., vol. 70, 1930, p. x65.
T See Wetmore, Smithsonian Misc. Coll., vol. Io6, No. r, Aug. 5, 1946, pp.
36-37.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


depth of color, but in a considerable series I have seen only one that
could not be separated easily on close examination, and that single
specimen does not agree entirely with the island series.

CLARAVIS PRETIOSA (Ferrari-P6rez): Blue Ground Dove, Tortolita Azul
Peristera pretiosa FERRARI-PEREZ, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., vol. 9, Oct. 2, i886,
P. 175. (Brasil.)
These handsome little doves, of shy and retiring habit, were found
sometimes in swampy woodland, as in the area near Catival, and
sometimes along the more open trails on the upland where the larger
trees of the forest had been cut. In early morning they were en-
countered in plantations of plAtanos and yuca. Occasionally, while
moving quietly, I had brief glimpses of them as they walked on the
ground under the shelter of leaves and branches, but more often they
were not observed until they flushed and flew with swift, direct
flight, traveling low down, usually to drop in some spot that was
difficult of access. Three males were taken on January II, 25, and 31.

LEPTOTILA PLUMBEICEPS BATTYI Rothschild: Gray-headed Dove,
Paloma Cabeciceniza
Leptoptila battyi W. ROTHSCHILD, Bull. Brit. Orn. Ckib, vol. 12, Dec. 30, 1901,
P- 33. (Coiba Island, Panama.)
The gray-headed dove was one of the common birds in the forests
of Coiba Island, so abundant in fact that in spite of their secretive
habits I saw them nearly every day, sometimes in the swampy wood-
lands back of the mangroves near the river mouths, sometimes in the
great forest of the interior. They live and feed on the ground, usu-
ally two or three together, rising to low perches on logs or branches
when flushed if not too badly frightened, or, if startled, flying swiftly
to secure cover. Occasionally I had random glimpses of them walk-
ing with bobbing heads among the shadows, or standing completely
motionless, when it was difficult to distinguish them in the dim light
of their haunts. In early morning they came out into the open trails,
but when startled darted at once to cover.
Some of the males were calling, a single hooting note, so highly
ventriloquial that we never succeeded in following it to see the actor
perform, though we were certain of the source. Usually the birds
when calling appeared to rest on low perches near the ground, where
they were completely concealed; when we came too near they became
silent and flew or walked away. But always the impression was that
the sound came from the trees rather than from the undergrowth
near at hand.


36


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


The flesh of these doves was esteemed highly for the table and
the convicts trapped many and sold them alive, the usual price being
6o cents a dozen.
This is the most handsomely marked of the races of this species,
the darker colors, in contrast with the paler hues of the other sub-
species, following the characteristic pattern of increased depth in
color found in the other forms that are peculiar to Coiba Island.
Until now this race has been represented in collections by a male
and two females (the type series) in the American Museum of
Natural History, and a female in the British Museum (Natural
History) taken on Coiba by H. J. Kelsall Sept. 4, 1924.
Following are measurements of eight skins that I prepared: Males
(2 specimens), wing 139.2-143.5, tail 89.2-89.4 (89.3), culmen
from cere 8.5-8.9 (8.7), tarsus 31.2-32.6 (31.9) mm. Females (6
specimens), wing 134.0-142.2 (138.2), tail 82.5-90.2 (86.o), culmen
from cere (5 specimens) 8.0-9.0 (8.6), tarsus 29.9-33.2 (32.1) mm.
The soft parts in a female taken January 17 were colored as fol-
lows: Bill black; bare loral area dull red; rest of bare skin on side
of head dull neutral gray; iris dull yellow; tarsus and toes dull red;
claws wood brown. The sexes are alike in color and in size, the
resemblance extending to the incised tip of the outermost primary,
which averages very slightly broader in the females than in the
males, but varies in length of the attenuated portion apparently with-
out regard to sex. Immaturity in age may be a factor among those
in which it is shortened, since in one bird that had just attained adult
body plumage this feather is only slightly narrowed toward the end.
An immature specimen in the American Museum of Natural His-
tory, collected by J. H. Batty, May II, i9goi, has a few feathers of
the juvenal plumage remaining on the forehead, crown, neck, and
upper breast that are wood brown* edged with cinnamon. The greater
wing coverts have an indistinct subterminal bar of dark neutral gray
and a narrow tip of cinnamon.

GEOTRYGON MONTANA MONTANA (Linnaeus): Ruddy Quail-Dove,
Paloma Montafiesa
Columba montana LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. io, vol. i, 1758, p. 163. (Ja-
maica.)
This quail-dove, widely distributed in the American Tropics, was
fairly common in the heavy forests where, as usual, it lived on the
ground in the shadows of the undergrowth. Occasionally one flushed
ahead of me, when it was readily identified by its shorter tail and
general form, even when the colors were not clearly seen; but when


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


I detected a dove walking amid the low cover below the undergrowth
I was often uncertain which of the two forest-inhabiting species was
before me. Two males in adult plumage and two females in immature
dress were taken. One of the latter, collected February 4, was shot
on Isla Rancheria as it walked along a steep, fairly open slope back
of the beach.

Family PSITTACIDAE: Parrots, Macaws
ARA MACAO (Linnaeus): Scarlet Macaw, Guacamayo Rojo
Psiltacus Macao LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. 96. (Lower
Amazonas, Brasil.)
Each morning, when the sun was above the horizon, groups of
macaws, traveling in pairs, came flying over the forest and the


LA


.,.-* .7


FIG. 3.-Scarlet Macaw, Guacamayo Rojo.


pasturelands from the southern part of the island, and each evening
as sunset was near they returned. Often the low-lying sun was at
a proper angle to light their brilliant colors, and always whether


38


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


near or far, they made an attractive sight as they crossed the sky
with steady wing beat, and long tail streaming behind. During the
day I encountered them about fruiting trees of various kinds, feed-
ing usually high above the ground, sometimes wary and sometimes
quite tame, usually calling raucously whenever I came near. At the
beginning of February the pairs were often increased to trios as
young birds, with the longer tail feathers not quite grown, began to
accompany their parents. Though they appeared to gather at night
to roost in some special area in the southern end of the island, during
the day they scattered to the farthest forests. On February 4 I saw
several on Isla Rancheria. Male and female were collected January 8
and 15 for specimens.
The restricted type locality, "Baixo Amazonas" designated by
Pinto,8 is to be accepted (Linnaeus having written only "America
meridionali"), rather than the proposal of HellmayrO who selected
Pernambuco, as in Brasil the bird is found only in the northwestern
section, in Amazonas, Para, and northern Mato Grosso.

AMAZONA FARINOSA INORNATA (Salvadori): Mealy Parrot, Loro Verde
Chrysotis inornata SALVIN, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., vol. 20, 1891, pp. 269 (in key),
281. (Veraguas, Panama.)
These, the conspicuous parrots on Coiba, ranged in pairs and flocks
everywhere through the forest. Their calls greeted me constantly,
and at times, when fruiting trees caused them to congregate, their
noise was such that few other bird sounds could be heard above it.
In early morning they were active in flying about until they had lo-
cated a feeding area for the day, when they tended to move only
through limited areas. The guards responsible for the work camps
often stationed men around fields of ripening corn for two hours
or so after sunrise, when the parrots were flying from their roosts,
to move the birds along to the forests by shouting and making other
noise, as if not driven away the birds caused much damage. Several
were heard and seen on Isla Rancheria February 4.
The four prepared for specimens all agree with skins from the
mainland from Veraguas eastward in having the crown clear green
with the back of the head and upper hindneck rather dark blue. The
edge of the wing (the carpal area) in all four shows the line of red
usual in this race, though in one it is reduced in extent. They show
no resemblance therefore to Amnazona farinosa zircnticcps which is
8 Catalogo das ayes do Brasil, pt. I, 1938, p. 182.
0 Abh. Kon. Bayerischen Akad. Wiss., KI. 2, vol. 22, pt. 3, 1906, p. 577.


NO. 9







40 SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS VOL. 134

found in the lowlands of western Chiriqui (Bugaba, Divala) and
Bocas del Toro (Almirante), which has the crown bluish green, the
hindneck lighter blue, and the edge of the wing marked with yellow,
only rarely with a tinge of red.

AMAZONA AUTUMNALIS SALVINI (Salvadori): Red-fronted Parrot,
Loro Frentirojo
Chrysotis salini SALVADORI, Cat. Birds Brit. Mus., vol. 20, 1891, pp. 271 (in
key), 300, pI. 7, fig. 3. (Lion Hill Station, Canal Zone.)
I was certain that this species was present on Coiba as at times I
believed that I could distinguish the notes of these birds among the
myriad parrot calls of the forest, but in spite of much scanning of
feeding and flying birds I was not able to find them. The only one
identified was a captive bird that had been taken on the island. The
Batty collection in the American Museum of Natural History in-
cludes eight skins labeled Coiba Island, taken May 5, iI, and 14, 1901,
in which the locality given is assumed to be correct.

PIONUS MENSTRUUS (Linnaeus): Blue-headed Parrot, Casanga
Psittacus menstruus LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 12, vol. I, 1766, p. 148.
(Surinam.)
Blue-headed parrots were as common on Coiba as the larger
species, but were less conspicuous because of their smaller size and
less raucous voices, their higher-pitched calls being lost on many
occasions amid the shrieks and gutturals of the loro verde. Where
casangas found an abundant supply of food they tended to remain
quietly through the day, being conspicuous only when disturbed, or
during their morning and evening flights to their roosting places.
Often they relied on their green coloration for concealment, allowing
me to pass close at hand, even when they were low down in banana
plantations. They did much damage in the cornfields, so that it was
necessary frequently to drive them out by shooting. Sometimes I
found them feeding alone, but where food was abundant, 40 to 50
congregated in scattered flocks. Two males were preserved for
specimens on January 7 and 19.

BROTOGERIS JUGULARIS JUGULARIS (Miiller): Orange-chinned Parakeet,
Perico Comfin
Psittacus jugularis P. L. S. MiLLER, Vollstiindigen Natursystems, Supplements-
und Register-Band, 1776, p. 80. (Bonda, Magdalena, Colombia.)
This small parakeet, familiar as a household pet throughout the
Republic, is fairly common on Coiba, though not nearly so abundant


A







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


as in many mainland localities. Occasionally I heard them calling
from the high forest crown, where they were hidden from view by
the screen of leaves, or saw little groups in flight near the work
camps. But it was not until the guayabo trees scattered through the
pastures came into blossom that I recorded them regularly, as then
they came in bands of a dozen to 25 to feed at the blossoms. Three
that I shot for specimens on January 26 at one of these trees had the
throat completely filled with nectar.

Family CUCULIDAE: Cuckoos, Anis
CROTOPHAGA ANI Linnaeus: Smooth-billed Ani, Garrapatero Comfin
Crotophaga Ani LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. Io, vol. I, 1758, p. 105. (Ja-
maica.)
Anis in the usual little groups of 6 to 12 or so were found in the
low thickets in abandoned fields, or around the borders of the pas-
tures. They were restricted to the cleared areas, and, though only
fairly common, probably were more abundant now that some of the
land has been cleared than they were formerly when the island was
completely forested. Two were taken for specimens January 21
and 26.
Family STRIGIDAE: Owls
BUBO VIRGINIANUS MAYENSIS Nelson: Great Horned Owl,
Gran Buho Cornudo
Bubo virgimanums mayensis E. W. NELSON, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, vol. 14,
Sept. 25, 1901O, p. 170. (Chichen Itza, Yucatan.)
On February 4, on Isla Rancheria, I came on one of these birds
resting in a large-limbed, open tree standing at the edge of a swamp.
The bird was only a short distance from me, as at the time I was
climbing along the face of a steep bank, high above the muddy, level
ground. While I had a clear view of the owl for a minute or so, I
failed to secure it for a specimen owing to one of those mishaps that
torment the naturalist when a quick snap shot is necessary, since my
footing on the slippery bank was treacherous. My disappointment
was the greater since I knew at the moment that the only record of
this species for Panamia was that of a bird taken by Enrique Arce
at Chitra, Veraguas, in 1868. As the bird was near at hand I could
see that it was quite dark in general coloration.
From examination of available material, including that in the
British Museum (Natural History), I agree with Griscom 10 that the
10 Ibis, 1935, pp. 546-547.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


great horned owls of southern Mexico and Central America include
only one race, to be called mnaycnsis. Under these circumstances I
have listed this observation under the subspecific name though it is
only a sight record.
Owls were reported as occasional on Coiba, but search for them
by day and by night was unsuccessful. Whether the present species
or others were involved is therefore unknown.

Family CAPRIMULGIDAE: Goatsuckers
CAPRIMULGUS RUFUS MINIMUS Griscom and Greenway: Rufous Nightjar,
Chotacabras Morena
Caprimnulgus rufus minimus GRISCOi and GREENWAY, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zo0l.,
vol. 81, May 1937, p. 424. (Panama City, Panama.)
It was a pleasant experience to find this interesting goatsucker
fairly common on Coiba, particularly since the omnipresent Nyc-
tidromus encountered throughout the lowland coverts of the main-
land, was entirely absent. In traversing the forest I came across them
resting on the ground, usually in sections where the surface was
somewhat hilly or undulating. They rose on noiseless wings and
flew swiftly through the undergrowth where, in the dim light, it was
difficult for the eye to follow them. I soon learned to move quietly
ahead in the general direction that they had taken, and by watching
carefully often saw them perched on a log or a low vine, where it
was easier to see them than when they were on the ground. In
flying they did not rise more than 10 to 20 feet, and usually traveled
at a much lower level. In the evening I heard them calling in the
distance from the forest border above the pastures, whit-wit-we-oo,
uttered rapidly, repeated after a slight pause, and continued steadily
for several minutes. The sound was low but resonant, so that the
notes carried for a considerable distance. Male and female shot
in company on January io were not in breeding condition, but
on January 19 a female taken in the forest near the Punta Damas
trail was nearly ready to lay. January 29 I shot another female
that flew up to perch on a log, and then discovered that she had risen
from her nest. This was on the ground, in a little space free of
undergrowth beside a fallen log. A single egg was placed in the
center of a thick, brown-colored dead leaf that measured 4 by 7
inches. On this dark background the light-colored egg stood out
clearly with no semblance of concealment. Two small, freshly
plucked green leaves had been laid alongside on the larger leaf, ap-
parently as decorations. The egg, oval in shape, measures 30.8 x 23.5


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


mm. The general ground color is somewhat glossy white, marked ir-
regularly over the entire surface with spots of French gray to lilac
gray, with a lesser number that are cinnamon drab, some of these
scattered over the surface, but most of them grouped as a poorly
outlined wreath around one end. Many of the spots are highly ir-
regular in outline. On skinning the parent I found that she contained
a second egg ready for the shell, so that the complete set is twvo, as
it is in the related chuck-will's-widow (Caprimulgus carolinensis)
that nests in the southeastern United States.
The five skins from Coiba Island probably represent a race peculiar
to the island, since they are definitely brighter, more rufescent brown
on the crown and hindneck than four others, two from the Province
of Panama, and two from northern Colombia, that are at the present
moment available. The Coiba series includes specimens in the two
color phases, one grayer and one browner, usual in this species, and
the difference indicated holds in both. However, in view of the con-
siderable individual variation in the rufous nightjar it seems desira-
ble to see further mainland specimens before reaching final decision
on the Coiba series.

Family APODIDAE: Swifts
STREPTOPROCNE ZONARIS ALBICINCTA (Cabanis): White-collared
Swift, Vencejo Cuelliblanco
Hcmiprocne albicincta CABANIS, Journ. fur Orn., vol. 10, M.ay 1862, p. 165.
(Junction of Haiama Creek and thle Demerara River, British Guiana.1")
On January 14 I shot two from a small flock that came to drink
at the little fresh-water lagoon at Catival. As no others were seen,
this occurrence may be taken as an example of the wide range of
territory covered by the fast-moving flocks of swifts, since it is
assumed that they had crossed from the mainland. Both of the speci-
mens are immature. One, a male, has the breast band restricted in
size and dull white. In the other, in which I was not able to de-
termine the sex, the feathers of the upper breast are tipped so lightly
and so narrowly with white that the band seems to be completely
lacking until the bird is examined closely.
"1 In the original description Cabanis proposed this name for the birds found
from "Mexico bis Guiana" without selecting a type. Zirnmmcr, Amcr. Mus. Nov..
No. 1609, Feb. 25, 1953, p. 3, has designated the type locality as given above.
It is to be noted in this connection that Ridgway, U. S. Nat. Mus. Bull. 50.
pt. 5, 1911, p. 698, in discussion of this race had already suggested "Guiana."


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


CHAETURA VAUXI OCHROPYGIA Aldrich: Vaux's Swift,
Vencejo Oscuro Comfin
Chaetura vauxi ochropygia ALDRICH, Sci. Publ. Cleveland Mus. Nat. Hist.,
vol. 7, Aug. 31, 1937, p. 68. (Paracote, i mile south of the mouth of the
Rio Angulo, Montijo Bay, Veraguas, Panama.)
These small swifts were seen constantly over the open pastures and
around the groves of coconut palms, usually in groups of a dozen or
more. They ranged over the entire island, as I saw them also flying
high over the unbroken forest. Hundreds of them were present on
Coiba. February 41 recorded many along the shores of Isla Rancheria.


FIG. 4.-Vaux's Swift, Vencejo Oscuro Comuin.


While on many occasions they flew high in air, near the shores
and over the pastures they circled lower, sometimes quartering like
swallows barely above the ground. From the regularity with which
small groups flew around the coconut palms after the sun had set I
had the impression that they sought roosting places in these trees,
but this I was not able to ascertain with certainty. Sometimes as they
passed I heard low, wheezy, chattering calls that had little volume or
carrying power, but ordinarily the only impression of them was of
their angular wings, beating rapidly as they passed at high speed.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


Three taken on January o10 and 15 are typical of the present race,
marked by light-colored rump and upper tail coverts.
Family TROCHILIDAE: Hummingbirds
PHAEOCHROA CUVIERII SATURATIOR (Hartert): Cuvier's Hummingbird,
Colibri de Cuvier
Aphantochroa cuvieri saturafior HARTERT, Bull. Brit. Orn. Club, vol. 12, Dec.
30, 1901, p. 33. (Coiba Island, Panama.)
This large species was found only in the stand of white mangroves
in the swampy area bordering the mouths of the San Juan and
Catival Rivers. They came so quietly among the other hummers to
feed at flowering trees that, with their dull coloration, they attracted
little attention, and it was only when they were in clear view that
they were distinguished by their size. They were not common, and
it required much watching to collect the two males and two females
that I obtained.
These four bear out fully the characters assigned in the original
description, being decidedly darker both above and below when com-
pared with the two races of this species known respectively from
eastern and western Panama. Measurements are as follows: Males
(2 specimens), wing 78.7, 75.8, tail 45.5, 45.0, culmen from base 24.7,
25.6 mm. Females (2 specimens), wing 70.2, 74.1, tail 46.7, 45.2,
culmen from base 25.9, 24.7 mm.
Hartert believed that a longer bill might be one of the characters
of this race but this is not true.

CHLOROSTILBON ASSIMILIS Lawrence: Allied Emerald,
Colibri Esmeraldino
Chlorostilbon assimilis LAWRENCE, Ann. Lye. Nat. Hist. New York, vol. 7, Janu-
ary 1861, p. 292. (Atlantic side of the Isthmus of Panamna, along the line of
the Panama Railroad.)
This was the least prominent of the hummingbirds, the few noted
being found in the forest, or at the forest border. The three males
and two females secured do not differ from mainland specimens. On
January 16, when I obtained a pair in swampy woods along the Rio
Catival, I found that the female was laying.
LEPIDOPYGA COERULEOGULARIS COERULEOGULARIS (Gould):
Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Colibri Zafirino
Trochilus coeruleogularis GOULD, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, pt. 18, i850 (Feb.
28, 195), p. 163. (Near David, Chiriqui, Panarnmi.)
These handsome hummingbirds were encountered only in the bor-
ders of the mangrove swamps, where they were feeding at flowering
trees. They seemed rather quiet, and also somewhat timid as they


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


fled from the attacks of the more aggressive goldentail, even though
that species is smaller. The series of four males and three females
from Coiba does not differ from birds taken on the mainland.

HYLOCHARIS ELICIAE (Bourcier and Mulsant): Blue-throated Goldentail,
Colibri Cola de Oro
Trochilus Eliciae BouncTn and MULSANT, Ann. Sdci. Phys. Nat. Agr. Ind. Soc.
Roy. Lyon, vol. 9, 1846, p. 314. (Type locality unknown.)
This was a common hummingbird, found in small numbers in the
lower level of branches in the high forest, and more abundantly in
the mangroves and the swampy woodlands bordering the river
mouths. Possibly flowering trees were the attraction that drew them
to the latter habitat, as toward the end of my stay on Coiba I found
them about blossoming guayabo trees that grew scattered through
open pasturelands. They seemed more aggressive than other species
of the family here, and especially toward other hummers. The light-
colored base of the bill, which is pale reddish in life, shows clearly
as they move about, even in the dim light of heavy forest. They
seemed to seek shaded haunts, except when lured into the open by
especially attractive flowers. The series collected includes one bird
from Isla Rancheria. A female taken January 24 was laying.
When compared with mainland series the Coiba birds appear to
average very faintly darker, but there is no clear-cut distinction
between specimens from the two areas.
Carriker 12 suggests that the type locality of this bird, which was
not indicated in the original description, may be Guatemala since
the authors of this species describe another hummer from that
country in the same paper.

AMAZILIA EDWARD NIVEOVENTER (Gould): Snowy-breasted
Hummingbird, Colibri Pechiblanco
Trochiilus niczoventer GOULD, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, pt. 18, 1850 (Feb. 28,
1851), p. 164. (Near David, Chiriqui, Panama.)
This handsomely marked hummingbird was one of the least com-
mon kinds of the family. I found it mainly at the borders of the
swampy woodlands near the river mouths, where one came occasion-
ally, with other species, to the flowers of white mangroves, or was
found alone. The bushy growths of old fields, as at San Juan, were
also attractive, and when the guayabo trees in the pastures came into
12 Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, vol. 87, Dec. 27, 1935, pp. 422-423.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


bloom the birds congregated about them in some numbers. A female
shot January i i was laying. The three males and three females pre-
pared for specimens agree with mainland examples.

AMAZILIA TZACATL TZACATL (De la Llave): Rieffer's Hummingbird,
Colibri Colimorena
Trochilus Tzacatl DE LA LLAVE, Registro Trimestre, vol. 2, No. 5, 1833, p. 48.
(Mexico.)
This species, easily identified by the rufous-brown tail, is the most
abundant hummingbird, ranging from the open borders of the low-
land swamps back into the heavy shade of the high forest. They
were especially abundant at the flowers of the white mangroves, and
at the blossoms of the guayabo trees growing in the open, but were
observed elsewhere at almost any herbaceous plant or shrub that
was in bloom. The flowers of the mangroves were so large that to
feed on them easily the summers usually perched on the ends of the
petals, or on adjacent blossoms, and then reached over with long bills
to probe the centers. In early morning I found this hummingbird in
the warm sun on open branches, often in small dead trees along the
beaches. Part at least were nesting during January, and I was in-
terested to have one male scold me with loud chirping calls. On Janu-
ary 8 I found a nest in a small, broad-leafed tree growing beside a
coconut palm back of the beach. The bird had built on a shaded
horizontal branch about 7 feet from the ground, the entire structure
being formed of fine shreds of plant fiber, of coarser form exteriorly
on the immediate surface, but aside from this quite uniform. The
outer surface was light grayish brown, decorated with a few bits of
lichen. The nest measured 42 by 44 millimeters externally, being
somewhat flattened by the two well-grown young, a week or more
old, that it contained. These had two lines of clay-colored down
along the dorsal pteryla. The female perched on the edge of the nest
beside them, striking steadily with her bill at large ants that ran back
and forth along the branch supporting the nest. This hummer was
common also on Isla Rancheria.
The series of 12 adult birds, viewed as a whole, averages very
faintly darker on the lower breast and abdomen than the excellent
representation available from the mainland. None of the Coiba birds
is as light as the average from Pananuia proper, but numerous speci-
mens from the mainland are equally dark. The island series also is
uniformly deep green above, again being equaled by occasional skins


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


from the other series, though most of the latter have a distinctly
brassy sheen. There seems to be an incipient difference, but not one
that would merit a special name.

Family ALCEDINIDAE: Kingfishers
MEGACERYLE TORQUATA TORQUATA (Linnaeus): Ringed Kingfisher,
Martin Pescador Grande
Alcedo torquata LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 12, vol. I, 1766, p. i8o.
(Mexico.)
A few of these kingfishers ranged along the lower courses of the
Rio San Juan and the Rio Catival, where the tidal part of these
streams traversed the great lowland swamps.
A male was collected January 12.

CHLOROCERYLE AMERICANA ISTHMICA (Goldman): Green Kingfisher,
Martin Pescador Verde
Ceryle americana isthmica GOLDMAN, Smithsonian Misc. Coll., vol. 56, No. 27,
Dec. I, 1911, p. I. (Rio Indio, near Gatun, Canal Zone, Panama.)
Green kingfishers lived along the lower courses of all the streams,
large and small, that flowed into Bahia Damas. In early morning they
rested on sticks, or on projecting points of rock exposures where
small creeks came down to the beaches, but as soon as the sun was
high they retreated inland where the water flowed between shaded
banks. Along the larger rivers they ranged through the mangrove
swamps. As they fly near the surface of the water in these dimly
lighted places it is only the white marking of the tail and lower
abdomen that allows the eye to follow them.

CHLOROCERYLE AENEA AENEA (Pallas): Pygmy Kingfisher,
Martin Pescador Enano
Alcedo aenca PALLAS, in Vroeg, Beredeneerde catalogs, . Vogelen,
Adumbratiunculae, 1764, p. I. (Surinam.)
A male, taken low down among the roots of the white mangroves
in the swamp at the mouth of Rio Catival, was the only one seen.

Family PICIDAE: Woodpeckers
CENTURUS RUBRICAPILLUS Cabanis: Wagler's Woodpecker,
Carpintero Rayado
Cenlurus rubricapillus CABANIS, Journ. fuir Orn., vol. 10, 1862, p. 328. (Bar-
ranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia.)
This is the common woodpecker on the island as it is throughout
the Pacific lowlands of mainland Panama' from the Costa Rican


48


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


border to western Darien. On Coiba I was interested to find it mov-
ing regularly over the forest crown throughout the heavy woodland
of the interior of the island, in addition to its common mainland
habitat of trees in the open pastures and plantations. In the higher
branches of the tall forest it finds the same conditions of light and
sun that it enjoys around savannas and clearings elsewhere, which
suggests that this may have been a considerable part of its original
haunt on the mainland, and that because of its life in the open tree-
/
/





















FIG. 5.-Wagler's Woodpecker, Carpintero Rayado.

tops, above the shadowy depths of the lower levels, its manner of
living was not unduly disturbed when the great lowland forests of
Veraguas and eastern Chiriqui were cut down. The chattering calls
and drumming of these birds were a daily accompaniment to my ob-
servations, both around our quarters and in the field. In the forests
they came down occasionally from the higher levels to scold at me,
or to search for food. On February 4 I recorded them on Isla
Rancheria.
I was attracted immediately by the darker color of my first speci-
mens, in comparison with the bird of the mainland, a distinction tlat
has merited description as a race that is new to science.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


CENTURUS RUBRICAPILLUS SUBFUSCULUS subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Centurus rubricapillus rubricapillus Ca-
banis,13 but decidedly darker throughout; blacker above, with the
white bars reduced in width, and the black bars correspondingly
broader; under surface and side of head definitely darker, more gray-
ish olive; crown in male deeper red; white markings on rectrices
somewhat reduced in extent.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 460784, male, Isla Coiba,
Panama, collected Jan. 18, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig, No. 20311):
Forehead olive-buff, with the plumes behind the nostrils apricot buff,
fading immediately into the background color of the forehead; crown
and hindneck slightly darker than spectrum red; back black, barred
narrowly with white, the light bars being one-third or less the width
of the black ones; remiges dull black, the secondaries and inner
primaries notched and barred rather narrowly but prominently with
white; three outermost primaries dull black, with the outer webs
unmarked; rump and upper tail coverts white, with scattered freck-
ling and spotting of dull black; rectrices black, the central pair barred
on the inner webs, and lined broadly on the outer webs, with white;
side of head grayish olive; throat citrine-drab, changing to light
brownish olive, with an overwash of isabella color, on foreneck, this
color continuing over breast and sides; center of abdomen dull nopal
red, merging at the sides into isabella color which covers the rest of
the abdomen; under tail coverts and lower part of flanks dull white,
barred narrowly with dark neutral gray; under wing coverts white,
barred irregularly with dark neutral gray; inner surface of remiges
dark neutral gray, barred rather broadly with white. Bill dull black;
tarsus and toes blackish slate (from dried skin).
Measurements.-Males (ii specimens), wing iol.8-1io8.5 (105.0),
tail 48.7-55.9 (52.0), culmen from base 23.1-27.3 (25.2), tarsus 17.8-
20.2 (18.9) mm. Females (4 specimens), wing 99.3-101.8 (100.4),
tail 49.2-50.5 (49.4), culmen from base 22.0-23.4 (22.9), tarsus 17.5-
18.2 (17.7) mm.
Type, male, wing 103.5, tail 50.0, culmen from base 26.8, tarsus
19.0 mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba and Isla Rancheria, off the Pacific coast of
Veraguas, Panama.
Remtarks.-The bird in habits and in actions is the counterpart of
Centurus rubricapillus rubricapillus of the adjacent mainland. A
18 Centurus rubricapillus Cabanis, Journ. fiir Orn., vol. o10, 1862, p. 328. (Bar-
ranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia.)


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


nearer approach in color is found in Centurus rubricapillus seductus
of Isla El Rey in the Perlas Islands of the Gulf of Panama, which
differs also from the typical form rubricapillus in generally darker
color above and below, in heavier bill, and in paler red on the crown
of the male. The bird of Coiba Island, C. r. subfusculus is separated
from seductus as it is from rubricapillus by still darker coloration, the
under surface especially being decidedly darker. In addition the
crown in the male subfusculus is much darker red. It is interesting
to observe that there is a general resemblance in the two island forms,
which suggests that darker color may be a more primitive stage which
has been preserved in the limited confines of offshore islands while
modification has come in the extensive mainland range.
The Romans recognized a brunette as "mulier subfuscula." It
seems appropriate to use their adjective as the name for the present
form, the darkest race of the species.
Study of the bird from Coiba Island has led to an examination of
the series of the species that is now available from the entire range.
It may be observed in the beginning that the writer believes it useful
to treat the Centurus group of species as a separate genus, rather
than to merge it with the allied Melanerpes, as Peters and some others
have done. Aside from the pattern conformation found in the regu-
larly barred back, the feathers of the throat are soft and blended, not
hairlike as in typical Melanerpes.
As another matter, the races of Centurus rubriventris Swainson
appear specifically distinct from rubricapillus in the much narrower
barring of the back, and in the proportionately much longer tail. It
may be observed in this connection that Picus flazifrons Vieillot ap-
pears to belong with true Melanerpes, so that this genus thus includes
Picus rubriventris Vieillot (1818) for the race Melanerpes flavifrons
rubriventris. With Centurus recognized as a distinct genus the spe-
cific name rubriventris of Swainson (1838) remains available for the
Mexican species, and the name rubricomus Peters (1948), necessary
if Centurus is united with MAelanerpes, is not required4
The following summary outline covers the races of Centurus rubri-
capillus.
Centurus rubricapillus rubricapillus Cabanis:
Centurus rubricapillus CABANIS, Journ. fur Orn., vol. io, 1862, p. 238. (Bar-
ranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia.)
Centurus terricolor BERLEPSCII, Ibis, 188o, p. 113. (Orinoco district, or Trini-
dad.)
14 See Peters, Check-list of the Birds of the World, v'ol. 6, 1948, p. 164.


NO. 9








SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


Melanerpes Wagleri SALVIN and GODMAN, Biologia Centrali-Americana., Aves,
vol. 2, 1895, p. 416. (Lion Hill, Canal Zone.)
Melanerpes smibelegans neglects RICHMOND, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., vol. 18,
Aug. 12, 1896, p. 668. (Bogota, Colombia.)
Melanerpes wagleri sanctae-martae BANGS, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, vol. 12,
June 3, 1898, p. 134. (Santa Marta, Colombia.)
Centurus ruibricapillus costaricensis ALDRICH, Sci. Publ. Cleveland Mus. Nat.
Hist., vol. 7, Aug. 31, 1937, p. 81. (El Pozo, 25 feet, Rio Terraba, Pun-
tarenas, Costa Rica.)
Characters.-White and black bars on back nearly equal; under
surface pale.
Measurements.-Male, wing ioo.8-1i14.5 (108.2), culmen from
base 21.6-27.6 (24.7) mm. Female, wing 95.9-112.6 (105.1), culmen
from base 19.8-25.1 (22.5) mm.
Range.-Pacific slope from southwestern Costa Rica (Uvita, and
the valley of Rio Diquis) across Panama (in western Chiriqui to
5,000 feet elevation) to the mouth of Rio Tuyra (Punta de la Sa-
bana), extending northward through the broad depression traversed
by the Panama Canal to the Caribbean coast between the Rio Indio
(El Uracillo, Cocle; Chilar, Col6n) and Porto Bello including the
valley of the Rio Chagres (to Madden Dam); northern Colombia
from the Rio Sinui (Tierra Alta) through the drainage of the Rio
Magdalena (including the Rio Cauca and the Rio Cesar), the north-
ern slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, and across Norte
de Santander (Convenci6n, Ocafia, Cuicuta) ; through northern Vene-
zuela (except northern Falc6n) south to the Rio Orinoco, including
Margarita Island; and Trinidad and Tobago.
The series now available in the U.S. National Museum covers this
extensive range in sufficient detail to show that none of the supposed
races that have been separated may be maintained, as there are no
constant color differences. Birds from Colombia average slightly
smaller, especially in the females, but local variation in measurements
is such that no line of demarcation may be drawn. The range in
size is shown by the following summary of wing measurements:

MALES
Costa Rica (ii specimens 15), 105.0-113.0 (109.7) mm.
Panama (31 specimens), 105.7-114.5 (110.6) mm.
Colombia (23 specimens), 100.8-111.4 (105.1) mm.
Venezuela (12 specimens), 104.4-113.2 (io8.i) mm.
15 From the description of C. r. costaricensis by Aldrich.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


FEMALES
Costa Rica (4 specimens a), 104.5-113.0 (107.5) mrm.
Panamai (25 specimens), 103.7-112.6 (o105.1) mm.
Colombia (15 specimens), 95.9-106.7 (ioo.6) mm.
Venezuela (5 specimens), 104.4-108.8 (i06.o) mm.
The range in Panama, from present information, is separated from
that in western Colombia by Darien and the lower Atrato basin.

Centurus rubricapillus subfusculus Wetmore:
Characters.-Decidedly darker above, with the white barring re-
duced; under surface much darker; red on crown of male darker.
Measuremnents.-Male, wing loi.8-io8.5 (105.0), culmen from
base 23.1-27.3 (25.2) mm. Female, wing 99.3-101.8 (100.4), culmen
from base 22.0-23.4 (22.9) mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba and Isla Rancheria, off the Pacific coast of
Veraguas, Panama.

Centurus rubricapillus seductus (Bangs):
MAfalanerpes (sic) seductus BANGS, Auk, vol. 18, No. I, January 1i9o01, p. 26.
(San Miguel, Isla El Rey, Archipielago de las Perlas, Panama.)
Characters.-Similar to C. r. subfusculus, but less dark above, and
paler below, but darker both above and below than C. r. rubricapilluis;
lower breast and sides of abdomen distinctly light buff; bill averaging
slightly longer and definitely heavier than in any of the other races.
Measuremnents.-Male (8 specimens), wing 101.0-105.0 (103.5),
culmen from base 26.0-27.2 (26.6) mm. Female (7 specimens), wing
101.0-104.0 (102.2), culmen from base 22.4-24.7 (23.7) mm.
Range.-Isla El Rey, Pearl Islands, Panama.

Cnclurus rubricapillus paraguanac Gilliard:
Centurus subclegans paraguanac GILLIARD, Amer. Mus. Nov., No. 1071, June 5.
1940, p. 7. (Cerro Santa Ana, ParaguanA Peninsula, Venezuela.)
Characters.-Decidedly lighter above than C. r. rubricapillus, es-
pecially on the upper back and scapulars; red of crown and hindneck
in male often broken or completely interrupted across hindneck.
Measurements.-Males (6 specimens), wing o106.5-111.4 (loS.3),
culmen from base 25.6-28.3 (26.8) mm. Females (3 specClnens),
wing 101.2-106.0 (103.1), culmenle from base 22.4-25.1 (23.6) mim.
Range.-Guajira Peninsula (Rioliacha to Nazaret), Cultil;lia;
Paraguani Peninsula and adjacent northern Falc(in (Casig.na to
Cumarebo), Venezuela.
From the clescrilition of C. r. i'slurtriccnsis )y Aldfrich.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


The paler coloration of these birds separates them clearly from
the typical form. The tendency toward reduced red on the head of
the male is found occasionally in specimens of C. r. rubricapillus
from the more eastern part of its range in Colombia and from the
western section in Venezuela. It seems probable that the area in-
habited by paraguanae is continuous around the western shore of the
Gulf of Venezuela in extreme northern Zulia.

VENILIORNIS KIRKII CECILII (Malherbe): Red-rumped Woodpecker,
Carpintero Rabadillaroja
MAlesopicos Cecilii MALHEREE, Rev. Mag. Zool., ser. 2, vol. I, November 1849,
p. 538. (Colombia.)
As I found these birds on four occasions only it was my assump-
tion that few were present, though this may be erroneous since they
live amid leafy branches where it is difficult to see them. The three
secured were shot in the lower forest growth near the shore, as they
climbed along the smaller branches. Near Catival two were seen in
company, but elsewhere the birds appeared to be alone. Probably they
range also through the high woodlands inland, as I saw one at the
forest edge above the Colonia Central. In such haunts they would
escape detection, except occasionally, because of their subdued colors
and quiet movements. I was somewhat troubled to find that the
crown feathers were so loosely attached that there was some slipping
in spite of every care in preparation of my specimens.
The three taken are identified with the form found in Darien and
the Comarca de San Bias in eastern Panama, which ranges south
through Colombia to western Ecuador, an interesting fact since the
darker-colored V. k. neglectus of western Chiriqui and southwestern
Costa Rica geographically is a near neighbor, much closer at hand.
The Coiba specimens appear to be slightly smaller, with smaller bills,
but are not sufficiently different to warrant separation on basis of the
present series. One of the three, taken January Ii, is a fully grown
juvenile with barring on the lower surface averaging faintly narrower
than in the other two.

Family FURNARIIDAE: Ovenbirds, Spinetails
CRANIOLEUCA VULPINA (Pelzein): Rusty Spinetail, Coli-aguda Rojiza
Synallaxis zdlpina PELZELN, Sitzungsb. Kon. Akad. Wiss. Wien, math.-nat. Cl.,
vol. 20, 1856, p. 162. (Engenho do Gama, Rio Guapore, Mato Grosso.)
This is a bird of forest tangles and dense undergrowth where it
clambers quietly but actively through creepers or matted branches,


54


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


searching carefully through the leaves for food. I found them in
such areas as the border of swampy woods near the lower Rio
Catival, in the higher, unbroken forest inland, usually ranging from
the undergrowth to the lower branches of the trees, and at the
borders of thickets. I noted them also at berry-bearing trees, in
company with honeycreepers and fruit-eating flycatchers and mana-
kins. They were solitary in habit, and though apparently fairly
common, they remained so closely under cover that it was difficult to
see them. Their method of progression was by climbing through
dense cover, rather than by hopping about in more open branches, a
mode of travel for which their large, strong feet are eminently
suited. In general, they resembled Cranioleuca erypthrops rufigenis
of the mountain forests on the Volcan de Chiriqui.
The species is one that has not been found previously outside South
America, where its more northern representatives range north only
to the Orinoco Valley in southern Venezuela and southeastern Colom-
bia, so that it is remarkable to find this colony on Coiba Island, where
its presence has been wholly unsuspected. The Coiba birds represent
a distinct race, which is described herewith.

CRANIOLEUCA VULPINA DISSITA subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Cranioleuca vuldpina alopecias (Pelzeln)18
but bill slightly heavier; no indistinct streaking on chest and fore-
neck; much brighter brown on lower surface.
Description.-U.S.N.M. No. 460809, male, Isla Coiba, Panama,
collected Jan. 21, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20353): A few
tiny feathers on forehead, immediately behind nostril, dull white on
external webs, dark neutral gray on inner webs, producing a barely
distinguishable mottling; pileum russet; hindneck, back, scapulars
and wings, including coverts, between tawny and russet; rump snuff
brown; tail russet; lores dull white; a very narrow superciliary pink-
ish buff; sides of head dull cream-buff, with faint edgings of dusky
neutral gray, producing slightly indicated streaks; throat white; sides
of neck light chamois with a band of tawny along lower edge; breast
and abdomen dull chamois; sides dull isabella color; flanks isabella
color; under tail coverts tawny; edge of wing and under wing coverts
cinnamon-buff, with edgings of tawny; inner webs of primaries and
secondaries dark mouse gray, edged widely toward the base with dull
"Synallaxis alopecias Peizelin, Sitzungsb. Kon. Akad. Wiss. Wicn, math.-nat.
Cl., vol. 34, 1859, p. ioi. (Forte do Sao Joaquim, Rio Branco, Brasil.)


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


tawny. Maxilla fuscous; mandible deep olive-buff; tarsus and toes
Chaetura black; claws drab (from dried skin).
Measuremnents.-Males (3 specimens), wing 62.8-65.8 (64.1), tail
59.6-61.4 (60.3), culmen from base 14.0-15.4 (14.8), tarsus 17.2-18.0
(I7.7) mm. Females (3 specimens), wing 61.6-62.4 (61.9), tail 58.2-
60.3 (59-5), culmen from base 14.6-15.3 (15.1), tarsus 17.0-17.8
(I7.4) mm.
Type, male, wing 65.8, tail 61.4, culmen from base 14.9, tarsus
17.2 mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Remarks.-The general appearance of this bird, a remarkable ad-
dition to the Panamanian avifauna, is that of the group of forms
allocated under the species name Cranioleuca vulpina (Pelzeln),
though the decidedly brighter brown of the lower surface separates it
from them so definitely as almost to warrant species status. The
distribution of C. vulpina is mainly in Brasil, the most northern of
its races previously known, C. v. alopecias (Pelzeln) and C. v.
apurensis Zimmer and Phelps, extending only into the Orinoco
Valley. In southern Venezuela, it is recorded from San Fernando de
Atabapo and the Apure and Arauco Rivers to the lower Orinoco,
coming barely within the limits of eastern Colombia at Maipures,
near the mouth of the Rio Vichada. The population resident on Isla
Coiba thus is separated from its nearest relatives by the entire width
of Colombia and the greater part of Panama.
The name given to the bird found on Coiba is taken from the Latin
dissitus, lying apart, or remote.
The allocation of the race described above has entailed a survey
of Cranioleuca vulpina as a species. In the course of this I have
noted especially the bird described originally as Synallaxis vulpecula
by Sclater and Salvin from the Rio Ucayali, Periu, now recognized
as a member of the genus Cranioleuca and currently allocated as a
subspecies of C. vulpina. Compared with the other geographic races,
vulpecula differs widely in the decidedly heavier bill, and in the much
more distinct pattern of spotting and streaking on the under surface.
As a character of lesser value, the rump is nearly concolor with the
back, instead of being quite different in color. On the whole it
appears that the sum of these differences warrants recognition of
vulpecula as a separate species, distinct from any others of the genus.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


Family FORMICARIIDAE: Antbirds
THAMNOPHILUS DOLIATUS (Linnaeus): Barred Antshrike, Pavita Rayada
Lanius doliatus LINNAEUS, Museum Adolphi Friderici Regis, vol. 2, 1764, p. 2.
(Surinam.)
It was no surprise to find the barred antshrike on Coiba, since
the species is one that I had seen earlier on the islands in the Archi-
pielago de las Perlas, distant from the mainland. They were en-
countered immediately on my first day afield, usually in pairs, and






















FIG. 6.-Barred Antshrike, Pavita Rayada.

remained as one of the birds that I heard and saw daily during the
entire period of my work on the island. I found them in the begin-
ning in tangled growths bordering the vegetable gardens, and in
thickets back of the beaches, as well as in the swampy woodland
near the river mouths, these being the usual mainland habitats. As
I became more familiar with Coiba I learned, to my surprise, that
they ranged also in tangles of vines in tlhe crowns of the tallest trees
throughout the high upland forest, often so far above the earth that
they were beyond gunshot with the heaviest shotgun loads. I came
therefore to believe that, like the common woodpecker of Coiba, this
may have been a normal home for them on the mainland, from which
they were able to descend, when the forests were cut, to live in second-


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


growth thickets (rastrojo) and other similar ground cover. At the
end of January there was such a decided increase in their singing that
I believed that their main nesting season was at hand.
They were secretive, but at the same time alert, so that by quietly
waiting it was usually possible to draw them out from the denser
coverts to places where they could be seen. Usually the pair came
together, peering about with neck outstretched and erected crest,
presenting a highly attractive appearance. In the higher trees I found
them at times somewhat of a bother, since, against the brighter light
above, birds were seen only in silhouette so that I was continually
deceived by the antshrikes while searching for pepper-shrikes and
other wilder game.
This antshrike was another of the birds apparently long resident
in Coiba that had darkened so in color in comparison with those of
the mainland that this was easily seen as soon as the first examples
came to hand. They represent a hitherto unrecognized race which I
now describe.

THAMNOPHILUS DOLIATUS EREMNUS subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Thamnophilus doliatus nigricristatus Law-
rence,17 but definitely darker in both sexes; male with black bars
broader below, the throat heavily streaked with black, and the white
markings reduced on the dorsal surface; female decidedly darker
brown both above and below, the darker coloration being especially
prominent on the lower surface, where it spreads to the throat and
under wing coverts.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 460815, female, from Isla
Coiba, Panama, collected Jan. 22, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig.
No. 20389): Crown auburn, merging to Mars brown on the tips of
the feathers; hindneck russet with indistinct shaft streaks of dark
to dusky neutral gray; lower hindneck, back, and scapulars auburn;
lower rump cinnamon-buff; inner webs of remiges and of wing
coverts dusky neutral gray; outer webs, and a narrow edging on
inner webs, russett; upper surface of rectrices russet, lower surface
verona brown, with a faintly indicated subterminal central wash of
neutral gray forming an indefinite spot; frontal feathers immediately
behind nostril light buff, with whitish bases; the rather bristly loral
feathers likewise whitish basally, but with dull black tips; somewhat
indefinite superciliary and side of head behind eye warm buff, with
17 Thamnophilus nigricristatus Lawrence, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia,
vol. 17, 1865, p. 107. (Lion Hill, Canal Zone.)


58


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


a line of dusky neutral gray along the feather shafts; circlet around
edge of eyelids light buff, barred lightly with dusky neutral gray on
upper lid; malar region and side of neck warm buff; throat and fore-
neck warm buff, with the feathers light buff at base, a few with an
indistinct shaft streak of dark neutral gray; chest, sides, and under
tail coverts ochraceous-tawny; lower breast and abdomen slightly
darker than ochraceous-buff; edge of wing russet; under wing cov-
erts ochraceous-buff, the distal ones slightly paler. Maxilla dull black;
mandible fuscous, grayer at tip, with the cutting edge drab-gray;
tarsus and toes dusky neutral gray (from dried skin).
Measurements.-Males (7 specimens), wing 69.9-72.3 (71.0), tail
54.2-57.7 (56.o), culmen from base 20.3-22.7 (21.1), tarsus 26.4-
27.8 (27.1) mm. Females (8 specimens), wing 66.9-71.0 (68.9), tail
53.0-58.5 (54.7), culmen from base 20.9-22.4 (21.5), tarsus 25.7-27.8
(26.7) mm.
Type, female, wing 69.8, tail 55.6, culmen from base 22.4, tarsus
26.7 mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Remarks.-The definitely darker coloration that marks this race
when compared with Thamnnophilus doliatus nigricristatus, though
readily evident in both sexes, is particularly outstanding in the female.
For this reason it has seemed desirable to select a female specimen
as type. The male has the black bars of the lower surface wider
than in nigricristatus, and also has the markings extended across the
abdomen with little diminution in amount, so that this area is only
slightly, if at all, less heavily barred than the rest of the lower sur-
face. The throat also is more heavily marked with streakings of
black. The birds agree with nigricristatus, and differ from T. d.
pacificus in having only a relatively small amount of white concealed
in the bases of the black crown feathers.
While comparison in the diagnosis has been made with T. d.
ngricrislatus of the adjacent mainland, the darker coloration is
rather more similar to the condition found in the distantly located
T. d. intermedius, which ranges from eastern Costa Rica and eastern
Nicaragua north to Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosi. The male inter-
medius, however, has extensive white markings concealed in the
crown, and also averages larger, except in the bill, which is slightly
heavier in the birds from Coiba. The female of crcmnus differs from
intermedius, as it does from nigricrislatus, in much darker color.
The subspecific name of the form here described is taken from
the Latin adjective crimnus, swarthiy, or dark.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


Family COTINGIDAE: Cotingas
ATTILA SPADICEUS CITREOPYGUS (Bonaparte): Yellow-rumped Attila,
PAjaro Grit6n
Dasycephala citreopyga BONAPARTE, Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci. (Paris), vol. 38,
1854 (not earlier than April 3), p. 657. (Nicaragua.)
Judging from their calls, attilas were fairly common, both in the
swampy areas at the mouth of the Rio Catival, and in the high forest
inland, but as usual the birds remained hidden. They were less vocif-
erous than is common, and after calling once or twice ordinarily they
became quiet so that some time lapsed before I was able to collect
one. On January 22 Vicente and I located one somewhere among
fairly low branches and after half an hour of intensive scrutiny of
the tree, leaf by leaf and twig by twig, Vicente's keen eye detected
a slight movement, and with binoculars I could make out the side of
the head and part of the bill of the bird through an opening in the
screen of leaves. This was a male nearly in breeding condition, and
the only one taken. Though we spent much time in looking we saw
no others. Some of the men who worked in the edge of the forest
were familiar with the excited calls of these birds, but were uncertain
as to their source.
The one taken is in greenish phase, with only slight indication of
brown on the lower back and tertials, and the fore crown quite gray.
The measurements are as follows: Wing 92.2, tail 71.0, culmen
from base 28.1, tarsus 24.1 mm. In wing length it agrees with the
form of Central America, being larger than A. s. sclateri of the
eastern half of the Republic of Panama.

TITYRA SEMIFASCIATA COSTARICENSIS Ridgway: Masked Tityra,
Borreguito
Tityra semifasciala costaricensis RIDGWAY, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, vol. 19,
Sept. 6, 19o6, p. 119g. (Bonilla, Atlantic slope of Costa Rica.)
These cotingas were found in the higher branches of the forest
trees, especially those with dead limbs, where they rested in the sun,
or peered into cavities of various sizes. It is probable that they are
more common than the few records that I made of their occurrence
indicate, since they range regularly on or above the higher tree
crowns, where they are hidden from below by the screen of leaves.
Most of them were noted along the trails where the forest growth
was more open. The two males and one female taken for specimens
agree in color with skins from the western half of Panama. As


6o


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BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


they are birds of strong flight it is possible that they cross back and
forth to the mainland.
The name "borreguito" is given to them from the light-colored
plumage of the male. They are also called puerquito or pAijaro
chancho, from their curious grunting calls.


FIG. 7.-Masked Tityra, Borreguito.


Family PIPRIDAE: Manakins
CHIROXIPHIA LANCEOLATA (Wagler): Lance-tailed Manakin, Toledo
Pipra lanccolata J. WAGLER, Isis (of Oken), 1830, col. 931. (Cerro Turumiquire,
Sucre, Venezuela.)
The attractive lance-tailed manakin, the only one of its family that
I found on Coiba, was common in undergrowth everywhere on the
island, ranging through the shadows of the high forest, in brush in
the swampy woods near the mouths of the rivers, and in the low
rastrojo of abandoned fields. Their musical, whistled calls came to
us daily in our work afield, though it was necessary to watch closely
to observe the musicians, as they remained behind cover. When not


NO. 9


t--







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


alarmed they came into open branches where the males postured,
called, and drove at one another in harmless threats of combat. In
these displays the full skin of the back of the neck is distended by an
air sac that fills the space between the shoulders and the base of the
skull, so that this region appears greatly enlarged. The musical note
to-le-do, which gives them their common name, somewhat shortened
in utterance, is easily imitated, and often serves to decoy the birds
into view. They are known also as soldado. The series collected is
similar in size and color to birds of the mainland.

Family TYRANNIDAE: Tyrant Flycatchers
MUSCIVORA TYRANNUS MONACHUS (Hartlaub): Fork-tailed Flycatcher,
Tijereta Sabanera
Tyrannus (Milmduis) monachus HARTLAUB, Rev. Zool., vol. 7, June 1844, p. 214.
(Guatemala.)
One seen at the San Juan work camp is attributed to subspecies
on the basis of probability. The record has definite significance, as
the casual presence of this flycatcher on an island so far from the
mainland is indicative of some migratory movement, a matter that
has been questioned. The species must be regarded as of irregular
occurrence, since it is only in recent years that clearings have made
a suitable habitat for it on Coiba.
They are called Tijereta de Palo also. Country people usually
shorten the name to Tijereta, though it must be added that this same
name is sometimes used for the frigate-bird. When there may be
confusion the latter is called Tijereta del Mar. Golondrina is another
country name often wrongly applied to this flycatcher.

TYRANNUS MELANCHOLICUS CHLORONOTUS Berlepsch: Tropical
Kingbird, Pechi-amarillo Grande
Tyrannus chloronotus BELEPSCH, Ornis, vol. 14, 1907, p. 474. (Temax, Yuca-
tan.)
The tropical kingbird was found commonly on dead limbs and
other perches in the lower brush, among the growths bordering the
beaches, resting always when it had a clear view from which to
watch for the insects that form an important part of its food. The
extensive pastures back of the convict camps were favorite haunts,
and it is one of the two species of birds seen regularly in this com-
paratively new open habitat. Undoubtedly it is more abundant, now
that such areas have been opened, than it was formerly when the


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BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


forests restricted it mainly to fringing areas near the beaches and
around the river mouths. On January 17 I recorded a mated pair in
evident search for a nest site.


FIG. 8.-Tropical Kingbird, Pechi-amarillo Grande.


MYIODYNASTES MACULATUS DIFFICILIS Zimmer: Streaked Flycatcher,
Piquigordo Rayado
Myiodynastes maculatus difficilis ZIMMER, Amer. Mus. Nov., No. 963, Nov. x8,
1937, p. 9. (Bebedero, Costa Rica.)
The streaked flycatcher was found on few occasions, usually in
the trees along the forest trails, or occasionally in the border of
mangrove swamps at the river mouths. As they called seldom at this
season they may have been more common than the five specimens
collected may indicate, since it was not easy to see them in the leafy
branches amid which they usually rested.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


MEGARYNCHUS PITANGUA MEXICANUM (Lafresnaye): Boat-billed
Flycatcher, Pico Canoa
Scaphorhynchus mexicanus LAFRESNAYE, Rev. Mag. Zool. (Paris), ser. 2, vol. 3,
October 1851, p. 473. (Mexico.)
One was observed on Isla Rancheria on February 4. Countrymen
usually include this species under the all-inclusive name of pechi-
amarillo.

MYIARCHUS CRINITUS BOREUS Bangs: Great Crested Flycatcher,
Pechi-amarillo de Paso
Myiarchus crinitus boreuw BANGS, Auk, vol. 15, No. 2, April 1898, p. 179.
(Scituate, Mass.)
A male taken on the Punta Damas trail January 19 was the only
one recorded. In Panama, attention is drawn to this bird by its clear
call note, and when seen it is readily distinguished from its close
relatives by the cinnamon-brown tail.

MYIARCHUS FEROX PANAMENSIS Lawrence: Short-crested Flycatcher,
Pechi-amarillo Comun
Myiarchus Panamensis LAWRENCE, Ann. Lyc. Nat. Hist. New York, vol. 7,
May 186o, p. 284. (Atlantic slope of Canal Zone on the Panama Railroad.)
This was the most common species of the flycatcher family, found
in the crown of the high forest, in brush back of the beaches, and in
the wooded swamps near the river mouths. The birds move about
deliberately, watching for insects, and also come to berry-bearing
trees. Though they are active in seizing prey in the air, they regularly
search for food, rather than rest in one spot waiting for insects to
pass. I saw one fly out at a butterfly which, however, it missed. The
call note is a high-pitched whee-ee-ee, a sound with little carrying
power. Two were taken on Isla Rancheria February 4.
The specimens obtained on Coiba Island resemble those from
Veraguas and Chiriqui in being slightly darker, more grayish above,
than typical specimens from the Province of Panama eastward into
Colombia, and thus show some approach to the grayish Myiarchus
ferox actiosus Ridgway of southwestern Costa Rica. All the Pana-
manian birds, including those of Coiba, are much brighter yellow on
the lower breast and abdomen and darker gray on chest and foreneck
than actiosus.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


CONTOPUS CINEREUS (Spix): Tropical Pewee, Cazamoscas Tropical
Platyrhynchus cinereus SPIX, Avium species novae . Brasiliamn, vol. 2, 1825,
p. II, pl. 13, fig. 2. (Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.)
This friendly little flycatcher rests on low perches in forest areas
relatively free of undergrowth, where it can see clearly in order to
watch for its food of small flying insects. When its keen eye sights
such prey it darts out quickly and seizes it, often with an audible
snap of the bill. It then wheels gracefully to return to a perch,
frequently the same twig from which it had made its sally. Often it
is encountered in shaded areas of subdued light where its dull colors
blended closely with the dark background. It is especially common
along semi-open forest trails, and at times I found it in the brush
back of the beaches. More rarely I sighted one in the high treetops,
though it may have ranged regularly in the forest crown, where the
leaves concealed it.
Those familiar with the wood pewees of the north will recognize
it without difficulty, and will also note its smaller size and darker
colors. The birds were entirely silent.
The specimens from Coiba are distinctly darker than those of the
mainland, and are to be distinguished by the following name:

CONTOPUS CINEREUS AITHALODES subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Contopus cinereus brachytarsus (Sclater)18
but decidedly darker, more olive above and below; edge of wing
washed with cinnamon.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 460992, male, Isla Coiba,
Panama, collected Jan. 19, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20326):
Pileum fuscous-black; back, rump and upper tail coverts hair brown ;
wings, including the coverts, Chaetura drab, with middle and greater
coverts tipped indistinctly with hair brown, and greater coverts, in
addition, edged lightly on ends of outer webs with dull white, the
anterior wing bar being indistinct, the posterior one definite: tertials
and secondaries edged lightly with dull white, which extends around
the distal end ; outermost primary also edged with dull white; rectrices
Chaetura drab, the outer webs edged with hair brown basally; lores
and feathers on margin of lower eyelid white; side of head hair
brown; upper foreneck white, with the feathers on chin and throat
basally, and on sides, mouse gray, producing indistinct streaks; chest
light mouse gray, with a wash of deep olive-buff, shading on lower
18 Empidona.r brachytarsus P. L. Sclater, Ibis, vol. I, October 1859. p. 441.
(C6rdoba, Veracruz.)


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


breast to dull cream buff, and in turn to ivory yellow on the abdomen;
under tail coverts hair brown, margined with olive-buff; sides hair
brown, becoming light grayish olive on the flanks; edge of wing and
tips of outermost under wing coverts dull cinnamon; innermost under
wing coverts edged with dull cream-buff. Maxilla black; mandible
olive-buff, the sides of the rami colonial buff; tarsus, toes, and claws
black (from dried skin).
Measurements.-Males (II specimens), wing 65.2-71.5 (68.7),
tail 54.0-61.1 (57.o), culmen from base 14.8-15.9 (15.4), tarsus 11.5-
12.9 (11.9) mm. Females (6 specimens), wing 63.2-68.4 (66.4), tail
52.8-57.9 (55.4), culmen from base 14.8-16.1 (15.4, average of 5),
tarsus 11.5-12.7 (11.9) mm.
Type, male, wing 71.5, tail 58.6, culmen from base 15.4, tarsus
11.9 mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Remarks.-While there is some individual variation, the paler
specimens in the series are separable at a glance by definitely deeper
olive color from the darker ones in the numerous skins available from
the mainland range of C. c. brachytarsus. In average size C. c. aitha-
lodes is slightly smaller, but there is overlap in the larger measure-
ments with those of brachytarsus.
The subspecific name is taken from the Greek aLOaXw8?R, sooty,
black.

TODIROSTRUM CINEREUM FINITIMUM Bangs: Common Tody-flycatcher,
Piqui-ancho Comfin
Todirostrum cinereum finitimum BANGS, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, vol. 17,
May 18, 1904, p. 114. (San Juan Bautista, Tabasco, M6xico.)
This tiny tody-flycatcher, marked by its yellow breast and broad,
elongated bill, ranged in shrubs, the lower woods, and the trees back
of the shoreline. Usually they are found in pairs, male and female
hopping about near one another, moving through the branches with
the narrow-feathered tail cocked over the back like little wrens. They
are active in pursuit of insects and adept at snapping up the prey
that they encounter among the twigs and leaves. Occasionally I found
them among mangroves. One that I shot in such a location was
seized and carried off by a large black lizard the instant it touched
the ground.
The six prepared for specimens in series are very faintly deeper
yellow on the lower surface than skins from the mainland, but
individually they may not be separated.


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BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


CAPSIEMPIS FLAVEOLA SEMIFLAVA (Lawrence): Yellow Tyrannulet,
Moscareta Amarilla
Elainea semiflava LAWRENCE, Ann. Lyc. Nat. Hist. New York, vol. 8, November
1865, p. 177. (David, Chiriqui.)
In the edge of the forest I found a few coming to low berry-
bearing trees in company with other small birds, and also noted them
in thickets at the border of mangroves and in old fields that were
covered with brush, this being a common habitat with them on the
mainland. They move about actively, usually in the lower branches
or near the ground, often twitching the long tail like a gnatcatcher.
The four taken resemble specimens from the mainland.

ELAENIA CHIRIQUENSIS CHIRIQUENSIS Lawrence: Lesser Elaenia,
Mofioncita
Elainea chiriquensis LAWRENCE, Ann. Lye. Nat. Hist. New York, vol. 8, Novem-
ber 1865, p. 176. (David, Chiriqui.)
I found this small elaenia visiting berry-bearing trees in company
with manakins and other small birds, feeding in guarumo trees in
the forest, and also ranging in low second growth bordering the
cultivated fields, these being usual haunts of the species. In addition,
they ranged over the forest crown in the summits of the tallest trees,
where it was only occasionally that I could secure one for a specimen
because of the great distance above the ground.
The nine specimens obtained agree in color with skins from
Veraguas and Chiriqui. Two taken have the merest trace of white
in the crown. In more or less worn plumage in the nesting season
they become much darker above than when freshly molted.

ELAENIA FLAVOGASTER SILVICULTRIX Wetmore: Yellow-bellied
Elaenia, Mofiona Pechi-amarilla
Elaenia flavogaster silvicultrix WETMORE, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, vol. 59,
Mar. II, 1946, p. 5S. (Isla San Jose, Archipielago de las Perlas, Panama.)
These elaenias were more common than the smaller species, and
also were more prominent because of their louder calls. I found
them regularly at trees bearing small ripening drupes, also in the
thickets around the cultivated fields, and in the swampy forests along
the lower courses of the rivers. Inland they were seen in the forest
crown high above the ground, descending lower at times to feed in
the guarumo trees. They are easily distinguished from the smaller
moniona of the same genus by yellower abdomen and more prominent
crest. The larger size also is evident on many occasions.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


The excellent series of 16 skins from Coiba agrees so closely with
the race that I have named earlier from the Pearl Islands in the Gulf
of Panama that they must be identified under that name. The Coiba
birds, when compared in series with birds from Isla San Jose, Isla
Pedro Gonzalez, and Isla El Rey in the Archipielago de las Perlas,
average slightly darker but not sufficiently so to warrant their separa-
tion. It is interesting, however, to observe that this heavier pigmenta-
tion, when compared with the race of the adjacent mainland Elaenia
flavogaster pallididorsalis, follows the pattern of darker coloration
that marks other resident forms found on Coiba.

MYIOPAGIS VIRIDICATA ACCOLA Bangs: Orange-crested Elaenia,
Mofiona Copete-anaranjada
Myiopagis placens accola BANGS, Proc. New England Zool. Club, vol. 3, Jan. 30,
1902, p. 35. (Boquete, Chiriqui.)
This is primarily a forest species, found from the lower under-
growth to the intermediate branches of the higher trees, though I
saw it occasionally in the platano plantations, in more open localities
along the forest trails, and in fruiting trees with other small birds. It
moves methodically among the smaller twigs, usually alone, and is
often overlooked because its greenish and yellowish colors are not at
all conspicuous in the subdued light of its forest haunts. There is
seldom any hint of the brilliant orange of the crest until the bird is
in the hand. It was fairly common.
The 12 skins taken on Coiba agree in color with birds from
Chiriqui.

SUBLEGATUS ARENARUM ARENARUM (Salvin): Scrub Flycatcher,
Mofiona Ceniza
Elainea arenaruzm SALVIN, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, August 1863, p. 190o.
(Puntarenas, Costa Rica.)
These flycatchers were found in scrub growth back of the beaches,
and in the border of mangroves, never in the densely shaded high
forest. They were encountered alone, resting on leafy twigs, or
occasionally feeding in fruiting trees with other birds. They moved
quietly among the thickets, flying across small openings with undulat-
ing flight, and were silent. Though not timid it was difficult to see
them because of their subdued colors.
The over-all similarity in color in this species throughout its ex-
tensive range makes careful study necessary to determine the geo-
graphic races. Twelve years ago, when I was studying collections


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BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


from San Jose and Pedro GonzMaez Islands in the Perlas group, the
comparative material available from the mainland and from Colombia
was so meager that my identification of skins from the island locali-
ties as arenarum was purely tentative. In the interim a fair series
has been assembled through my own work in Panama. and through the
collections made by M. A. Carriker, Jr., across northern Colombia,
so that now it is possible to deal with these birds with some certainty.
In brief, the 19 skins from Panama now at hand are quite uni-
formly gray on the dorsal surface, clear, light gray on the chest and
foreneck, and paler yellow on the sides, with the axillars somewhat
more yellow, being similar in these colors to typical S. a. arenarum
from southwestern Costa Rica. The six obtained from Coiba Island
agree with arenarum, as do also two from Taboguilla Island. The
mainland series, which is uniform, includes skins from the eastern
side of the Azuero Peninsula (Paris, Parita, Monagrillo, Los
Santos), Canal Zone (Farfan, Corozal) and the eastern half of the
Province of Panama (Chico, Chepo, Maje).
The race S. a. atrirostris (Lawrence), with type locality Cartagena.
northern Bolivar, Colombia, compared with arenarumn, has the dorsal
surface darker, slightly olive-gray, the crown cap slightly darker, and
the sides darker, more grayish yellow. The fresh material now at
hand in the National Museum collections includes a pair of topotypes
from Cartagena, and a series of 12 others from Bolivar and northern
Magdalena. The 10 adults that I took on San Jose and Pedro Gon-
zalez Islands, Archipielago de las Perlas, in I944 agree with atriros-
tris and are so identified. They would seem therefore to represent
an ancient establishment of the species, perhaps from the time when
the formicariid Formicivora grisea, common across northern Colom-
bia but found nowhere on the mainland of Panama, also reached the
same islands.

CAMPTOSTOMA OBSOLETUM (Temminck): Southern Beardless Flycatcher,
Mofiona Lampiia
MAuscicapa obsoleta TEMMINCK, Nouveau recueil de planches coloriees d'oiseaux,
livr. 46, 1824, pl. 275, fig. i. (Curytiba, Parani, Brasil.)
The mofiona lamnipifia is so small that it is probably more common
on Coiba than is indicated by the four specimens obtained. One of
these was secured in high virgin forest, the others in or near the
mangroves along the beaches. Apparently they range across the high
forest crown, as well as in the lower growth. They move rather
quietly among the leaves, and when they fly usually disaplpcar behind


69


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


cover. The Coiba specimens are so much darker than those of the
adjacent mainland that they require a name.

CAMPTOSTOMA OBSOLETUM ORPHNUM subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Camptostoma obsoletum flaviventre Sclater
and Salvin,19 but darker, more olive, above, particularly on the crown.
Description.-Type, male, Isla Coiba, Panama, collected Jan. 29,
1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20521): Pileum and upper hindneck
Chaetura black, the tips of the longer feathers edged lightly with deep
olive; lower hindneck, back, and scapulars deep olive; rump and
upper tail coverts grayish olive; wing coverts and remiges blackish
mouse gray; lesser wing coverts edged lightly with deep olive; middle
and greater wing coverts tipped with white, forming two well-marked
wing bars; tertials edged narrowly with white; secondaries edged
lightly with Marguerite yellow; rectrices dark mouse gray, edged
faintly with deep olive toward the base, and tipped narrowly with dull
white; throat and upper foreneck dull white; lower foreneck and chest
primrose yellow, changing to dull naphthalene yellow on lower breast
and abdomen; sides of breast grayish olive; under tail coverts, edge
of wing, and under wing coverts Marguerite yellow, the outer series
of the last-mentioned being mouse gray centrally; inner webs of pri-
maries and secondaries edged narrowly with dull white. Bill fuscous,
except for the base of the mandible, which is wood brown, and the
gape, which is honey yellow; tarsus and toes dull black (from dried
skin).
Measurements.-Males (2 specimens), wing 52.0-52.1 (52.0), tail
39.2-39.3 (39.2), culmen from base 9.9-10.1 (io.o), tarsus 13.2-13.9
(13.5) mm. Females (2 specimens), wing 47.1-47.2 (47.1), tail 35.0-
35.2 (35.1), culmen from base 9.7-10.4 (io.o), tarsus 13.6-14.0
(13.8) mm.
Type, male, wing 52.0, tail 39.3, culmen from base 9.9, tarsus 13.9
mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Remarks.-Darker coloration sets the four specimens of this race
off definitely from the series of 37 Camptostomna o. flaviventre that I
have had available for comparison. In addition the bill appears very
faintly larger, a minor difference that perhaps would disappear in
a larger series of measurements, since it is equaled by the larger
specimens of flaviventre.
The subspecific name is taken from the Latin orphnius, dark, dusky.
19 Camptostoma flaviventre P. L. Sclater and 0. Salvin, Proc. Zool. Soc. Lon-
don, 1864 (February 1865), p. 358. (Panama.)


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


LEPTOPOGON AMAUROCEPHALUS Tschudi: Brown-capped Leptopogon,
Mofiona Coronimorena
Leptopogon amaurocephalus TSCHUDI, Fauna Peruana, Aves, 1846, p. 162. (Sio
Paulo, Brasil.)
These birds were found on only two occasions, on January 31 and
February 3, inland in high forest, on a broad ridge at about 500 feet
elevation. On the first day two moved rather slowly through the
middle branches, where it was difficult to see them in the dim light
filtering through the leaves high overhead. One, that in the hand
proved to be a male in breeding condition, called at intervals, a low
trilling pree-ee-ee, while it trembled its partly open wings. On the
second occasion another breeding male was taken in the same general
area as it moved quietly among the branches above the higher under-
growth. In life, from this limited observation, there was little to
distinguish these birds from the orange-crested elaenia (Myiopagis
viridicata) that also ranged in this dimly lighted zone in the forest,
as the two are quite similar in form and movement. In the hand, the
relatively small feet of the leptopogon immediately attract attention.
Following is a description of bill, feet, and eyes taken from the
adult male shot January 31: Iris light brownish yellow; maxilla and
tip of mandible dusky neutral gray; base of mandible dull Marguerite
yellow; tarsus and toes neutral gray; claws fuscous. I was interested
to note that the elongated median apterion, characteristic of birds of
this and related groups, found down the center of the expanded
dorsal feather tract, was so narrow that close scrutiny was required
to distinguish it.
The two specimens differ so definitely from the race of this species
found on the mainland of Panama that I have no hesitance in
describing the Coiba Island bird as a race new to science.

LEPTOPOGON AMAUROCEPHALUS IDIUS subsp. nov.
Characters.-Generally similar to Leptopogon amnaurocephalus
faustus Bangs 20 but decidedly grayer throughout; much paler yellow
below, and more grayish green above; no prominent dark area on
the auriculars; wing bars paler; under wing coverts lighter.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 460975, male, Isla Coiba,
Panama, collected Feb. 3, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20587):
Small feathers immediately behind nostrils dull white; pileum clove
brown, the feathers margined indistinctly with sepia; hindneck, back,
scapulars, and rump grayish grape green; upper tail coverts light
20 Leptopogon amnaurocephalus faustus Bangs, Auk, vol. 24, no. 3, July 90'7,
p. 300. (Boruca, Costa Rica.)


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


brownish olive; lesser wing coverts grape green; middle and greater
coverts varying from hair brown to Chaetura drab, tipped with dull
cream-buff to form two prominent wing bars; outer web of the large
alula buffy brown; primaries and secondaries Chaetura drab, with the
outer web edged with light yellowish olive; innermost tertial light
brownish olive at tip and in a narrow line along shaft, varying
through cream-buff to cartridge buff on the outer margins of the
webs; rectrices dull light brownish olive, with the outer webs mar-
gined lightly with buffy olive; anterior lores deep olive-buff, with the
bristly feather tips dark neutral gray; loral area immediately in front
of the eye indistinctly hair brown, with shaft lines of dull Marguerite
yellow; anterior segment of eye ring dull chamois, posterior segment
dull Marguerite yellow, produced slightly as an indistinct line behind
the eye; side of head grayish olive, the tips of the feathers very
faintly darker, and the shafts faintly paler, not, however, producing a
distinct patch or spot; throat and upper foreneck light olive-gray,
with the sides of the feathers spotted indefinitely with dull Margue-
rite yellow, producing an appearance of irregular streaks: lower fore-
neck and chest light grayish olive, washed with light yellowish olive;
lower breast, abdomen, and under tail coverts primrose yellow, be-
coming Marguerite yellow at sides of abdomen; sides dull vetiver
green merging gradually into the lighter color of lower breast and
abdomen; edge of wing dull colonial buff; under wing coverts be-
tween cartridge buff and cream-buff; inner webs of secondaries
cream-buff, becoming light vinaceous-buff in the inner webs of the
secondaries. Bill dusky neutral gray, becoming dull olive-buff on the
mandibular rami; tarsus and toes fuscous (from dried skin).
Measurements.-Males (2 specimens), wing 64.3-65.3, tail 57.4-
57.5, culmen from base 13.7-13.8, tarsus 14.4-14.5 mm. (The first
measurement in each case is that of the type.)
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panami.
Remarks.-Endemism found in the birds of Coiba Island, where
these differ subspecifically from their respective mainland populations,
is expressed in the main in definitely darker coloration, or in greater
extension of the more heavily pigmented part of the plumage pattern.
It is therefore of especial interest to note in the present bird a paler,
grayer appearance when it is compared with its nearest mainland
congener. Actually the two skins from Coiba are more similar in
appearance to L. a. orenocensis Zimmer and Phelps from the Rio
Orinoco in southern Venezuela, from which however they are easily
separated by lighter color.
The specific name is taken from the Greek, 78toq, peculiar, distinct.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


PIPROMORPHA OLEAGINEA LUTESCENS Griscom: Ochre-bellied
Flycatcher, Moscareta Vientre Canelo
Piprotmorpha oleaginea lutescens GRISCOM, Amer. Mus. Nov., No. 280, Sept. 10xo,
I927, p. 9. (Santa Fi, Veraguas.)
These small birds rest on open perches in the tops of the under-
growth, or in the lower branches of trees. As they are found in
shaded forest, their subdued colors make them inconspicuous in their
shadowed haunts, particularly since they tend to rest quietly for
minutes at a time. On Coiba I saw them in heavy forest, and in
more open woodland behind the mangroves.
The four specimens from Coiba are very faintly duller green above
than mainland examples. The three males also have very slightly
longer wings and tails than those from Veraguas and eastern Chiriqui.
The differences however are too tenuous to warrant a name.

Family HIRUNDINIDAE: Swallows
PROGNE CHALYBEA CHALYBEA (Gmelin): Gray-breasted Martin,
Golondrina de Iglesia
Hirundo chalybea GMELIN, Systema naturae, vol. I, pt. 2, 1789, p. 1026. (French
Guiana.)
The gray-breasted martin was seen regularly in and around dead
trees standing in the clearings behind the convict camps, or flying
about the plantations of coconut palms. On February 4, while in a
cayuco a mile offshore and to the south of Isla Rancheria, one flew
past in a line that led back to distant Isla Canal de Afuera, indicating
that these birds of strong flight cross easily between the widely
separated islands of these waters. Three males in nonbreeding stage
were prepared as specimens.

HIRUNDO RUSTICA ERYTHROGASTER Boddaert: Barn Swallow,
Golondrina de Paso
Hirundo erythirogastcr BODDAERT, Table des planches enlumin~ez, 1783, p. 45.
(French Guiana.)
The barn swallow, an abundant migrant and visitor from the north
on the mainland of Panama, appears to wander over the adjacent
waters. On Coiba Island I collected a female bird from the telephone
wire near Bajo Espafia January 12. Another appeared January 25
at the Colonia Central during a rain, and January 27 I saw two near
the mouth of the Rio Catival. Since I had these areas under regular
observation and saw no others, it appears that these swallows are of
only casual occurrence.


NO. 9


73







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


IRIDOPROCNE ALBILINEA (Lawrence): Mangrove Swallow,
Golondrina Manglatera
Petrochelidon albilinea LAWRENCE, Ann. Lyc. Nat. Hist. New York, vol. 8, May
1863, p. 2. (Atlantic slope near the Panama Railroad, Canal Zone, Panama.)
These small swallows, of pleasing color in their contrast of white
lower surface and rump and steely blue-green head, wings, tail, and
back, are found always near or over water. On Coiba I recorded
two January 27 on the flats laid bare by the tide at the mouth of the
Rio Catival, and February 2 I collected a pair flying over a wet
meadow at Bajo Espania.
A race of the mangrove swallow has been described by van
Rossem 21 from southern Sonora with range south to Nayarit. I am
not able to recognize this from the fair series in the National Museum
and the American Museum of Natural History. The material that
should represent rhizophorae includes seven specimens from southern
Sinaloa (Mazatlan, Los Lates near Rosario, Escuinapa) and seven
from near the coast of Nayarit (Tuxpan, San Bias). From Panamat,
the type locality of albilinea, there is a good series, including birds
collected personally that I know to be breeding, so that with these the
possibility of migrants from northwestern Mexico is eliminated.
Three birds from Los Lates near Rosario, Sinaloa, in freshly molted
dress, are very distinctly greenish above, being equaled in this only
by a skin in similar stage from Aguadulce, Province of Cocle,
Panama. As the season advances the dorsal color, through wear, be-
comes steadily bluer. A pair from the Rio San Pablo, near Sona,
Veraguas, Panama, that represent the breeding stock of that area,
are slightly bluer than any I have seen from Sinaloa, so that the dif-
ference in darker blue of the northern birds, listed by van Rossem,
does not hold.
The distinction of greater amount of frontal and loral white pro-
posed as one of the prominent characters of the northwest Mexican
race varies decidedly in the Panamanian series, several from the
latter group being as white as the northern birds, others less so. In
some the frontal feathers are pure white at the base, this color be-
coming exposed by wear. Specimens with this character include
birds shot in Panama December 16, February 2 and 23, May 29, and
June 2, so all of them could not be considered migrants from the
north. There is similar individual variation in the rump color, and in
size of the bill. I am forced to conclude that the population of
northwestern Mexico may not be separated by name.
21 Iridoprocne albilinea rhizophorae van Rossem, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington,
vol. 52, Oct. IX, 1939, p. 155. (T6bari Bay, Sonora.)


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


The status of the little-known Iridoprocne stolzmanni (Philippi),
described from the coast of Periu, also requires further study, since
the characters ascribed to it appear to represent such a considerable
difference from albilinea, that it should be treated as a separate
species. I have therefore listed the Panamanian birds under the
specific name, since no subspecies are apparent.

Family TROGLODYTIDAE: Wrens
TROGLODYTES AEDON Vieillot: House Wren, Ruisefior
Troglodytes aedon VIEILLOT, Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de l'Amrique
septentrionale, vol. 2, 18o7 (i8o8?), p. 52, p1. 107. (New York, N. Y.)
The house wren was widely distributed since on Coiba it is a forest
inhabitant, as it is on the islands in the Archipielago de las Perlas.

















FIG. 9.-House Wren, Ruisefior.

It was common in the brush near the beach line, also in the swampy
woods back of the mangroves, and was encountered regularly
throughout the high interior forest. Normally, I found the birds
around fallen trees or in masses of vines in the undergrowth. When
they ranged occasionally in the higher branches this seemed to be
unusual. In the forest areas they were shy and often difficult to
find, though they might call near at hand; but they had learned to
come about the buildings of the headquarters and the penal camps
to search around the roofs and walls and the crowns of the coconut
palms, and then were more confiding.


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


It has long been my opinion that the southern house wrens are
better songsters than their representatives in the United States, as
their songs include fewer harsh, rattling sounds, and the bird on
Coiba definitely excells its mainland relatives. Their rolling, trilling
notes were pleasing to the highest degree, and as they sang regularly
their music was a constant delight to me, both in my morning ex-
cursions afield, and in the afternoons when I was occupied in our
quarters. The birds truly merited their name of ruisefior, borrowed
from the nightingale, famous for its song in Spain. The wrens were
nesting at this season, and well-grown fledglings were brought to me
on January 26.
With the considerable increase in information in recent years on
house wrens as a group there is no longer reason or value for the
separation of the southern races under the specific name musculus,
since there is no clear-cut character that distinguishes these birds
from those of farther north. The darker coloration of the Coiba
population was noticeable at once when I first encountered the birds
in life. The description of this race follows.

TROGLODYTES AEDON CARYCHROUS subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Troglodytes aedon intermedius Cabanis,22
but darker, brighter brown; bill much larger and heavier.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 461091, male, Isla Coiba,
Panama, collected Jan. 21, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20373):
Crown Prout's brown, the centers of the feathers dusky neutral
gray, forming irregular dark spots; hindneck and back bister, the
feathers with faint concealed bars of dark neutral gray; rump and
upper tail coverts russet; lesser and middle wing coverts Prout's
brown, with partly concealed bases dark neutral gray; greater wing
coverts and outer webs of secondaries russet, barred with dusky
neutral gray; primaries dull black, barred narrowly on outer webs
with clay color; tail Mars brown, becoming Verona brown on the
outer rectrices, barred narrowly and irregularly with dull black; lores
pinkish buff, the feathers with very faint tippings of Saccardo's
umber; circlet of feathers around edges of eyelids pinkish buff; an
indistinct superciliary, more plainly indicated behind the eye, dull
cinnamon-buff, bordered below, behind the eye, by a line of bister;
rest of side of head dull pinkish buff, with the feathers tipped and
edged narrowly with bister; throat, upper foreneck, and abdomen
22 Troglodytes intermedius Cabanis, Journ. fuir Orn., vol. 8, 186o (May 30,
1861), p. 407. (San Jose, Costa Rica.)


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


white, washed with pinkish buff; sides of neck and breast pinkish
buff; sides tawny-olive; flanks sayal brown bordering abdomen,
changing to snuff brown toward the rump, barred faintly and spar-
ingly with neutral gray; under tail coverts clay color, barred broadly
with dusky neutral gray; under surface of tail olive-brown, with
indistinct bars of dark neutral gray; edge of wing and under wing
coverts pinkish buff, the latter white distally. Maxilla fuscous-black;
tip of mandible hair brown, base pale olive-buff; tarsus and toes dark
hair brown (from dried skin).
Measurements.-Males (ii specimens), wing 51.5-53.5 (52.2), tail
34.0-37.1 (35.5), culmen from base 16.9-19.1 (17.8), tarsus 18.6-20.5
(19.4) mm. Females (2 specimens), wing 49.0-50.1 (49.5), tail 31.5-
33.2 (32.3), culmen from base 17.3-17.4 (I7.3), tarsus 19.4-19.9
(19.6) mm.
Type, male, wing 52.4, tail 35.2, culmen from base 17.8, tarsus
19.1 mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Remarks.-The decidedly darker coloration of this race as com-
pared to the house wren of the Panamanian mainland was evident
immediately when I first saw the birds about the buildings at the
Colonia Penal. In fact, it is so different from the other house wrens
of Central America not only in color but in larger bill that it might
be considered a distinct species, if it were not for the marked di-
versity of form found in the related subspecies in South America
and the Lesser Antilles. Three juvenal birds from Coiba, secured
as they were about to leave the nest, compared with young of equiva-
lent age of T. m. inquietus from the provinces of Veraguas and
Panama, are decidedly more brown on the lower surface, especially
on the sides, flanks, and under tail coverts. The brown of the upper
surface is slightly warmer, particularly on the rump, while the crown
is slightly darker than the back instead of equivalent in color. Com-
pared with juvenals of T. n. interminedius from Costa Rica the Coiba
birds are more similar but differ in somewhat warmer brown on the
sides, flanks, and under tail coverts, lighter, brighter color on the
rump, and darker crown color.
The new form in color, as indicated in the diagnosis, appears some-
what similar to T. m. interinediuts, but has the bill very much larger
and heavier.
The subspecific name carychrous is taken from the Greek
Ktxpooc, nut brown.


77


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


Family TURDIDAE: Thrushes
TURDUS ALBICOLLIS COIBENSIS Eisenmann: White-throated Robin,
Zorzal Gargantiblanco
Turdus assimilis coibensis EISENMANN, Auk, vol. 67, No. 3, July 1950, p. 365.
(Coiba Island, PanamA.)
The white-throated robin is the most common bird in the forest
undergrowth, ranging into the intermediate branches of the trees, but


F


\a


FIG. 1o.-White-throated Robin, Zorzal Gargantiblanco.


seldom going higher. They were encountered from the borders of
the mangroves inland, but always in forest cover. One was taken on
Isla Rancheria February 4. Sometimes, when I called with the usual
"squeaking" technique, as many as a dozen came flying into the
branches about me, where they remained motionless until they
detected some movement, when they flew to some denser cover.
Their flight is direct and rapid. When at all alarmed they remain
closely hidden among leaves, more often in the lower undergrowth
than in higher cover. It was interesting to find them common in these


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


tropical lowlands, since elsewhere in Panama the species inhabits the
mountain areas in the high tropical or subtropical zone, though there
are exceptions, as for example at San Felix in eastern Chiriqui, where
I found them at an elevation of a little over ioo meters.
On Coiba, as elsewhere, these robins came to feed in berry-bearing
trees, and at such times might range much higher above the ground
than is their normal custom. Occasionally I noted them searching
for food among dry, fallen leaves on the forest floor. Often I heard
their complaining notes from the undergrowth, a low whining
pree-ee-er or a slightly harsher chur-r-r. In the latter part of January
they began to sing, the song suggesting that of the mainland clay-
colored robin (Turdus grayi casius), but with notes higher and de-
livery slower.
As Dr. Eisenmann remarked in his original description, this race,
peculiar to Coiba, is most similar in color and size to Turdus a.
daguae, found from the highlands of eastern Darien through western
Colombia to northwestern Ecuador. T. a. coibensis is larger, more
olive above and grayer below, with the unmarked white area on the
foreneck less in extent. The Coiba form is completely different from
T. a. cnephosus of western Panama, which is its near neighbor geo-
graphically, that bird being decidedly grayer above and on the sides,
whiter on the abdomen, and decidedly larger. In life the bare edge
of the eyelid in coibensis is dull yellow, as it is in the mainland race.
Since coibensis was described from only two specimens it is useful
to give measurements from the series that I collected:
Males (8 specimens), wing 107.5-117.5 (iII.7), tail 76.8-89.1
(84.0), culmen from base 20.5-22.9 (21.6), tarsus 29.7-31.8 (30.4)
mm. Females (6 specimens), O108.0-113.4 (112.1), tail 79.5-86.8
(82.6), culmen from base 21.0-23.3 (22.2), tarsus 29.0-31.0 (30.3)
mm.
As material of these white-throated robins has accumulated in
museums, supposed distinct species have been found to merge, until
now it is evident that there is no clear-cut line on which to divide
them in the vast area between Mexico and northern Argentina,
though variation geographically is extensive. All are to be included
under the specific name Turdus albicollis.

Family SYLVIIDAE: Old World WVarblers, Gnatcatchers
POLIOPTILA PLUMBEA (Gmelin): Tropical Gnatcatcher, Cazajejfn
Todus plumbcus GMELIN, Systema naturae, vol. I, pt. I, 1788, p. 444. (Surinam.)
This was another common species found in leafy cover that ranged
indifferently from low second-growth thickets near the shore to the


79


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


summits of the tallest forest trees in the interior of the island. In-
variably they were moving about among the twigs and leaves in
unceasing activity in pursuit of tiny insects, often so high above the
ground that I could barely detect their tiny forms. The slender body,
with long, narrow tail held at an angle above the back, and their
quick, nervous movements, mark them even when the gray and
white plumage is not clearly seen. I found them in pairs, and near
breeding at this season. January 21 one male was much excited by


FIG. ii.-Tropical Gnatcatcher, Cazajej'n.


my squeaking, and came to perch within a dozen feet of me while it
sang repeatedly a series of high-pitched notes of the usual gnatcatcher
quality, barely audible to my aging ears, mingled with beautifully
clear, warbling phrases of much louder sound that would have graced
the gifted song of a mockingbird.
Darker coloration separates the birds of Coiba definitely from
their mainland neighbors, as shown by the following description.

POLIOPTILA PLUMBEA CINERICIA subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Polioptila plumbea bilineata (Bonaparte)23
but dorsal surface, including the wings, decidedly darker gray; lower
2 Polioptila bilineata Bonaparte, Conspectus generum avium, vol. I, x85o,
p. 316. (Cartagena, Colombia.)


8o


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


foreneck and breast gray (instead of white as in bilineafa) ; sides
darker gray; bill averaging broader.
Description.-Type U.S.N.M. No. 461129, male, Isla Coiba,
Panama, collected Feb. I, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20558):
Pileum, hindneck, and upper parts of sides of neck black, with a tiny
white feather or two behind the nostril; back, scapulars, rump, and
wing coverts somewhat darker than slate-gray; tips of the gray upper
tail coverts faintly white; primaries and secondaries dusky neutral
gray, with outer webs edged with slate-gray, except for the two
outer primaries; tertials edged broadly with white on outer webs,
the edging becoming pale neutral gray toward the tip; tail black
centrally, the two outermost rectrices white, except for the base, the
next ones tipped broadly, and the fourth narrowly, with white; lores
and a broad superciliary white; eye ring black on lower eyelid, white
on upper; a conspicuous black line extending from the eye to the
back of the nape; rest of side of head, throat, ventral area of sides
of neck, abdomen, and under tail coverts white; lower foreneck,
breast, and sides pale neutral gray; edge of wing white, mixed with
dusky neutral gray; under wing coverts, and inner webs of primaries
and secondaries, toward the base, white. Maxilla and tip of mandible
dusky neutral gray; base of mandible neutral gray, becoming pallid
neutral gray from the anterior part of the gonys back along the lower
margins of the rami; tarsus and toes black (from dried skin).
Measurements.-Males (9 specimens), wing 46.2-49.7 (48.5), tail
41.8-46.3 (44.1), culmen from base 13.0-14.9 (14.0), tarsus 16.6-
17.8 (17.2) mm. Females (6 specimens), wing 45.1-47.4 (46.6),
tail 41.9-45.3 (44.o), culmen from base 13.8-14.8 (14.4), tarsus 16.2-
17.5 (17.O0) mm.
Type, male, wing 49.7, tail 44.9, culmen from base 14.7, tarsus
16.9 mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific Coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Renarks.-Females, like the males, differ from the same sex of
bilineata in darker color above. Below, the distinction is less striking,
but still is evident.
In citing these birds as races of Polioptila pliminbca I have followed
current usage, though not entirely satisfied that this is the proper
treatment. The birds of this section of the genus are in need of
detailed study.
The subspecific name of the race described above is from the Latin
cinericius, ash colored.


NO. 9








SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


Family CYCLARHJDAE: Pepper-Shrikes
CYCLARHIS GUJANENSIS COIBAE Hartert: Yellow-breasted Pepper-shrike,
PAjaro Perico
Cyclorhis coibae HARTERT, Bull. Brit. Orn. Club, vol. 12, Dec. 30, 1901, p. 33.
(Coiba Island, Panamai.)
The pepper-shrike was fairly common but on my arrival at the
beginning of the dry season their songs had become infrequent, and
without these notes as a guide they are difficult to find. While they
are robust in body, they move about behind leafy cover in such
leisurely manner, resting for minutes with only slight movements of
















FIG. 12.-Yellow-breasted Pepper-shrike, Pajaro Perico.

the head, that it is only casually that one is seen. They are birds of
the high forest crown, but come also about clearings, even into the
low second growth called rastrojo, or to the borders of mangrove
swamps. At the Maria work camp I found one feeding in mango
trees and cocoanut palms standing isolated in the extensive clearing.
The song is loud with strongly accented notes, and ends abruptly,
when there is a pause of varying length, often of several minutes,
before it is repeated. The first two or three syllables are uttered
rather slowly, followed by a rapidly given louder phrase. The notes
carry for several hundred yards, and, if the song is continued,
eventually the bird may be located, though the process of finding one
may require half an hour. The three males that I collected represent
many hours of search, since, as already stated, during January the
birds were not singing steadily.


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


In the original description, written 55 years ago, when relatively
few specimens were available, Hartert compared the Coiba bird with
the race of Cozumel Island, off the coast of Quintano Roo, Mexico,
which was suggested by the duller colors of coibae. Actually, the
subspecies of Coiba Island is more closely similar to the forms of
the Panamanian mainland from which it differs in very decidedly
darker, duller colors, the breast and sides being distinctly greenish
instead of bright yellow, the dorsal surface duller green, and the
crown browner.
A male taken February 3 had the soft parts colored as follows:
Iris wax yellow; maxilla mouse brown; mandible neutral gray;
tarsus and toes avellaneous. Following is a summary of measure-
ments based on males, including the two in the type series, now in
the American Museum of Natural History. No females have been
collected.
Males (5 specimens), wing 70.4-73.0 (71.8), tail 51.7-53.4 (52.5),
culmen from base 17.5-18.6 (18.1), tarsus 20.7-23.1 (21.8) mm.
The type specimen, taken by Batty April 20, i9oi, an immature
bird as is shown by the dark, almost black, bill, is browner on the
crown than adult specimens. The Batty collection contains another
skin (Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist. No. 505408) labeled "Hicaron Island,
e, Jan. 14, 1902." As this is an unmistakable specimen of Cyclarhis
gujanensis subflavescens, found in the lower mountains of Chiriqui,
the locality given certainly is erroneous. Isla Jicar6n lies immediately
to the south of Coiba, distant about 4 miles, with Coiba between it
and the mainland, so that if Cyclarhis occurs there it would be ex-
pected to find it the same as, or at least closely allied to, C. g. coibae.

Family VIREONIDAE: Vireos
VIREO FLAVOVIRIDIS (Cassin): Yellow-green Vireo, JuliAn Chivi
The yellow-green vireo reached Coiba on its return from "winter"
quarters in northern South America on January 19, when a small
flight arrived, so that singing males were scattered at sunrise through
the woods along the Punta Damas trail. Two days later several were
found in the low forest back of the beach near the mouth of the
Rio Catival, and from that time they were recorded almost daily
throughout the forest, ranging in the high trce-crown area of the
taller trees as well as in the lower woodland near the river mouths.
They were common on Isla Rancheria February 4. Two races are
represented in the eight specimens taken.


83


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


VIREO FLAVOVIRIDIS FLAVOVIRIDIS (Cassin)
Vireosylva flavoviridis CASSIN, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, vol. 5,
June 30, 1851, p. 152, pi. i1. (San Juan, Nicaragua.)
Four from Isla Coiba were shot January 20, 29, 30, and 31. One
secured January 29 in high forest was evidently on its breeding
ground as it was displaying and pursuing another.
The problem of the identity of the yellow-green vireos that breed
in western Panama still is not clear. The birds available that appear
to have been on their nesting grounds, including those from Coiba,
seem brighter colored than V. f. insulanus from the islands in the
Gulf of Panama, the Canal Zone, and the area to the eastward. They
thus seem closer to typical flavoviridis, and are so identified.

VIREO FLAVOVIRIDIS HYPOLEUCUS van Rossem and Hachisuka
Vireo olivaceus hypoleucus VAN ROSSEM and HACHISUKA, Proc. Biol. Soc.
Washington, vol. 5o, Sept. 30, 1937, p. 159. (1,200 feet elevation in San
Francisco Canyon, lat. 27 N., eastern Sonora, Mexico.)
The two birds taken on January 19, on the first day of the return
of this vireo from the south, have the characters of this race, particu-
larly in the lighter, brighter yellowish green of the sides and flanks.
They thus resemble the breeding bird of northwestern Mexico, and
are so identified.

VIREO PHILADELPHICUS (Cassin): Philadelphia Vireo, Virio de Filadelfia
Vireosylvia philadelphica CASSIN, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, vol. 5,
June 30, 1851, p. 153, p1. 10, fig. 2. (Philadelphia, Pa.)
A female of this migrant from the north was shot January 23 at
the border of a mangrove swamp.

HYLOPHILUS FLAVIPES Lafresnaye: Scrub Greenlet, Verdecillo Comfin
Hylophilus flavipes LAFRESNAYE, Rev. Zool., vol. 8, September 1845, p. 342.
(Bogota, Colombia.)
These were among the more common of the small birds, though
seen infrequently because they ranged among screening leaves and
creepers. They were found in the scrub growths back of the beaches
and at the borders of mangroves, and came also into the brushy
rastrojo of old fields, habitats similar to those inhabited by other
forms of the species in mainland localities. On Coiba I found that
they lived also in the high crown of the inland forests, though it was
near the end of my stay before I verified this, owing to the difficulty
of detecting small birds in such situations. They move actively among


84


VOL. 134







BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


the leaves and twigs, almost as quickly as wood warblers, and when
seen often appear very close at hand. Occasionally I found them
feeding on small drupes of fruiting trees. The yellowish-white iris
of the adult birds is often apparent as they climb and hop among the
smaller branches. The darker colored immature birds have dark
eyes. The song, given in low tones, usually has three similar notes,
swee, suwee, swee, which are easily imitated by whistling.
The birds of Coiba described below are so much darker than the
nearby mainland race that they might almost be treated as a distinct
0
species.

HYLOPHILUS FLAVIPES XUTHUS subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Hylophilus flavipes viridiflavus Lawrence 24
but bill heavier; much darker below, being definitely buffy instead
of yellow; sides decidedly darker; darker green above.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 461170, male, Isla Coiba,
Panamai, collected Jan. II, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20155) :
Pileum, hindneck, back, and scapulars dark citrine; rump citrine;
wing coverts dull citrine; primaries and secondaries Chaetura black,
the outer webs edged with serpentine green; tail olive-citrine; lores
faintly olive-buff; sides of head citrine-drab; chin dull white; throat
and upper foreneck light yellowish olive, merging with the light olive
lake of the chest; lower breast, abdomen, and under tail coverts
between primuline yellow and wax yellow; flanks between strontian
yellow and yellowish citrine; edge of wing, under wing coverts, and
miatrgins of inner webs of remiges barium yellow. Maxilla buffy
brown; mandible deep olive-buff; tarsus and toes wood brown (from
dried skin).
Measuremnents.-Males (7 specimens), wing 55.8-58.3 (57.5), tail
47.0-50.9 (48.4), culmen from base 14.3-15.0 (14.7), tarsus 17.4-19.0
(18.6) mm. Females (6 specimens), wing 54.4-56.7 (55.9), tail 45.2-
49.3 (47.8), culmen from base 14.6-16.1 (15.I1), tarsus 18.2-19.4
(18.6) mm.
Type, male, wing 57.9, tail 48.1, culmen from base 14.3, tarsus
17.4 mm.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Remarks.-A juvenile female with wings and tail not quite fully
grown is more highly pigmented than the adults, being darker above
and below, with a wash of ochraceous-orange on the abdomen and
24 Hylophilus viridiflaius Lawrence, Ann. Lye. Nat. Hist. New York, vol. 7,
x86i, p. 324. (Atlantic slope near Panama Railroad, Canal Zone, Panami.)


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under tail coverts, and a fainter indication of this color on the breast
and back. The nearly grown bill in this bird is dark in color, and I
noted that the iris was dark. Another female, fully grown, with
light-colored bill, shows this same suffusion of ochraceous orange,
and I believe that this also is immature. The bill is actually heavier
at the base than in viridiflavus in addition to being slightly longer. In
15 males of viridiflavus the culmen from base varies from 13.1 to
14.2 mm., with an average of 13.6 mm. The iris in the adult H. f.
xuthus is light colored, as in the other races of flavipes.
The subspecific name comes from the Greek ouv&Q, brownish
yellow, tawny.

Family COEREBIDAE: Honeycreepers
CYANERPES CYANEUS CARNEIPES (Sclater): Red-legged Honeycreeper,
Azulito
Coereba carneipes P. L. SCLATER, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, 1859 (February
i86o), p. 376. (Playa Vicente, Oaxaca, Mexico.)
Conditions on Coiba seem especially favorable to the blue honey-
creeper as it is one of the more common birds. Dozens were found
at flowering trees in the mangrove swamps, dozens about fruiting
trees in the forests, and other dozens crowded the guayabo trees in
the pastures, when these came into bloom at the close of January.
The birds fly about in small bands, probe actively in flowers for
nectar and small insects, and then may rest quietly on dead twigs for
a brief period. They are birds of strong flight seen often passing
over or through tall trees. As they pass overhead the blue color of
the males is lost against the sky, and they appear black except for a
flash of lighter color from the yellow of the underside of the wings.
Commonly, they are called verdon, a name that may apply to the
female but is hardly applicable to the brilliant blue of the male.

COEREBA FLAVEOLA MEXICANA (Sclater): Common Honeycreeper,
Reinita Comfin
Certhiola mexicana P. L SCLATER, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, pt. 24, 1856 (Jan.
26, 1857), P. 286. (Southern Mexico.)
The active little yellow-breasted honeycreepers were common,
though not so abundant as the blue species. They were distributed
universally, ranging from the mangrove swamps and adjacent wet
woodlands back into the high forest, and at times I saw them in
shrubbery and palms around clearings. Males taken January 9 and


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15 were in breeding condition, and the birds were observed building
nests on January 27 and 30. One bird was taken and others seen
on Isla Rancheria February 4.
The Coiba birds in series are very faintly darker when compared
with skins from the Pacific slope of Panama and Costa Rica, but
are similar to specimens from Bocas del Toro. The heavier pigmenta-
tion common to Coiba residents thus is slightly indicated, but
insufficiently to merit a name.


















FIG. 13.-Common Honeycreeper, Reinita Comun.

Family PARULIDAE: Wood Warblers
PROTONOTARIA CITREA (Boddaert): Prothonotary Warbler,
Canario Protonotario
Motacilla cltrea BODDAERT, Table des planches enlumineez, 1783, p. 44. (Lou-
isiana.)
This handsome warbler, fairly common as a winter resident, was
found near the sea, mainly in the mangroves and adjacent thickets,
and also in the coconut palms. Specimens were collected January 8,
12, and 20.

VERMIVORA PEREGRINA (Wilson): Tennessee Warbler, Reinita Peregrina
Sylvia peregrina WILSON, American ornithology, vol. 3, 18ii, p. 83, pIl. 25,
fig. 2. (Cumberland River, Tenn.)
This migrant warbler was seen January 12, 16 (specimen), and 28,
in thickets near the sea.


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PARULA PITIAYUMI (Vieillot): Tropical Parula Warbler, Mariquita
Sylvia pitiayumi VIEILLOT, Nouveau dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle, nouv. ed.,
vol. II, June 21, 1817, p. 276. (Paraguay.)
On three occasions I saw pairs of these warblers moving quickly
among leafy twigs in the high branches of tall forest trees, so high
above the ground that they were barely within gunshot. Except for
their restless movements they would never have been detected in the
shaded light of these forest haunts. Only occasionally did they ap-
pear briefly in silhouette against some tiny opening that led to the
open sky. Probably they were fairly common, as the forest cover
of the entire great island was suited to their needs. The decidedly
darker coloration of four taken for specimens requires their descrip-
tion as an insular form.

PARULA PITIAYUMI CIRRHA subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Parula pitiayuma speciosa (Ridgway)25
but more heavily pigmented; lower breast and abdomen orange, con-
tinuous with the chest color; sides darker; side of head darker, with
the black of the lores and around the eye extended heavily beyond
the posterior margin of the ear coverts; greenish area of back
decidedly smaller; wing slightly longer.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 461218, male, Isla Coiba,
Panama, collected Jan. 31, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20542):
Line across forehead, lores, space about eye, and a narrow line on
side of neck black; auricular area black, with an overwash of deep
orient blue; forepart of crown Alice blue; back of crown and hind-
neck Columbia blue; back, scapulars, and upper tail coverts Tyrian
blue to dark Tyrian blue; patch in center of back Roman green; rump
cadet gray; lesser and middle wing coverts black basally, the tips
Columbia blue; greater wing coverts black, edged with light Tyrian
blue, except the central ones, which are edged and tipped with white
to form a conspicuous spot; remiges black, edged with light Tyrian
blue; rectrices also black, edged with light Tyrian blue, with a broad
subterminal patch of white in the inner web of the two outermost;
throat and upper foreneck lemon chrome; lower foreneck and chest
light raw sienna, a light wash of this extending farther forward
toward the throat; lower breast and abdomen light cadmium, merg-
ing without a break into the darker color of the chest; feathers of
sides bordering the chest black with the tips dark Tyrian blue; re-
25 Compsothlypis pitiayumi speciosa Ridgway, Auk, vol. g19, No. I, January
1902, p. 69. (Boquete, Chiriqui.)


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BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


mainder of sides and flanks Delft blue, with'a wash of yew green
where this meets the yellow of the abdomen; under tail coverts white,
this color spreading to the posterior part of the flanks; under wing
coverts and a narrow margin on inner webs of remiges white. Max-
illa black; mandible colonial buff; tarsus and toes olive brown (from
dried skin).
Measurements.-Males (2 specimens), wing 56.9-58.5, tail 40.5-
41.7, culmen from base 12.8-12.8, tarsus 16.9-16.9 mm. Females (2
specimens), wing 53.5-54.7, tail 39.2-39.8, culmen from base 11.7-
12.6, tarsus 16.7-16.8 mm.
The measurements of the type, a male, are the larger ones in the
male series, where a difference in dimension is present.
Range.-Isla Coiba, off the Pacific coast of Veraguas, Panama.
Remarks.-The deeper coloration in both male and female sepa-
rates this new form strikingly from the birds of the mainland. In
the males, the pattern of the under surface merges from breast to
abdomen with no distinct line of demarcation in the central area.
According to Ridgway the wing in males of C. p. speciosa (i i speci-
mens) measures 47.5-55.0 mm., and in females (2 specimens) 47.5
to 51.8 mm.
The subspecific name is taken from the Latin cirrhus, yellowish
orange, with reference to the predominating color.

DENDROICA PETECHIA XANTHOTERA Todd: Golden Warbler,
Canario Mangletero
Dendroica bryanti xanthotera TODD, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, vol. 37, July
8, 1924, p. 123. (Puntarenas, Costa Rica.)
I found these warblers fairly common in growths of red man-
groves on the shores of Bahia Damas, from the mouth of the Rio
Catival to near Boca Grande, beyond Playa Blanca, this being the
area in which mangrove swamps were extensive. They did not range
inland in stands of other forest as the allied Dendroica p. acquatori-
alis does on some of the smaller islands, e.g., on Taboguilla, and on
San Jose and Pedro Gonzailez in the Perlas group. On Coiba, during
January these birds were in resting stage, some in molt, and were
not singing. I found also that they would not decoy, though in the
display and nesting period they come quickly to a squeak, so that
my series of nine males and six females was obtained only by close
and careful watching. Rarely I found one or two in low trees or
shrubs immediately adjacent to the mangrove border, but most were
obtained directly in the swamps.


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90


While the Coiba series is listed under the subspecific name zantho-
tera this allotment for the present is tentative. For several years I
have obtained specimens of this warbler wherever practicable. On
the Pacific coast of Panama birds that represent D. p. aequatorialis
are available from the mouth of Rio Maje, near the western boundary
of Darien, west to the swamps of the Rio Chame below Bejuco, at
the western border of the Province of Panama. Beyond this point,
to the west, there is a different population. Specimens from the east-
ern side of the Azuero Peninsula, from the mouth of the Rio Vidal,
near the eastern boundary of Chiriqui, and from Isla Coiba, are
intermediate between aequatorialis and xanthotera. Males resemble
the latter in the darker brown of the head cap and the ventral streak-
ing, and the former in the heavier streaking of the breast and sides,
and the greater extension of the brown on the foreneck. They differ
thus from xanthotera in the decidedly greater extent of the brown
streaks and brown foreneck. It may be desirable to separate this
intermediate population by name, but judgment on this is held until
it has been possible to secure specimens from farther west, along
the coasts of Chiriqui.

DENDROICA PETECHIA AESTIVA (Gmelin): Yellow Warbler,
Canario de Paso
Motacilla aestiza GMELIN, Systema natural, vol. I, pt. 2, 1789, p. 996. (City
of Quebec, Canada.)
While the yellow warblers of the United States and Canada are
placed currently in the same species as the golden warblers of the
American Tropics it is convenient to list them separately, and to
recognize them as "yellow warblers" in the Republic of Panama,
where they are common during the period of northern winter, in
order to distinguish them from the quite different resident canarios
mangleteros. They were found in small numbers during my stay on
Coiba, mainly in low growth back of the beaches, and bordering
mangrove swamps, and also in abandoned fields grown to brush. The
English name expresses the yellow color that marks them from others
of like size as they appear momentarily among the leaves. When
encountered in the swamps they may usually be distinguished from
the golden warbler by smaller size and more active movements.
The seven taken include two geographic races, which ranged to-
gether. Specimens of the present subspecies were taken January 8,
II, 21I, and 26.


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BIRDS OF ISLA COIBA, PANAMA-WETMORE


DENDROICA PETECHIA AMNICOLA Batchelder
Dendroica aestiva amnicola BATCHELDER, Proc. New England Zool. Club, vol. 6,
Feb. 6, 1918, p. 82. (Curslet, Newfoundland.)
The two secured were shot January 16 and 27. The present form
is distinguished by darker color, particularly on the back.

DENDROICA PENSYLVANICA (Linnaeus): Chestnut-sided Warbler,
Reinita de Lados Castaflos
Molacilla pensylvanica LINNAEUS, Systema naturae, ed. 12, vol. I, 1766, p. 333.
(Philadelphia, Pa.)
Specimens of this warbler were taken January 12 and 29. No
others were identified.

SEIURUS NOVEBORACENSIS NOTABILIS Ridgway: Northern
Waterthrush, Pizpita Mangletera
Seiurus naevius nofabilis RIDGWAY, Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus., vol. 3, 188o, p. 12.
(Como Lake, Carbon County, Wyo.)
Waterthrushes ranged singly among the mangroves near the river
mouths, and in the low shrubbery in the swampy areas adjacent at
high tide when much of their usual range was covered with water.
Their habit is to walk quickly along the ground with rapidly vibrating
tail. When alarmed they call with a sharp note, and when flushed
often light on logs or low branches, still continuing the nervous tail
movement. It is this motion that brings them to attention as the
dark dorsal surface matches the background over which they range.
The seven specimens taken from January 8 to 28 are all of this
northern and western race.

OPORORNIS FORMOSUS (Wilson): Kentucky Warbler, Reinita Hermosa
Sylvia formosa WILSON, American ornithology, vol. 3, 18I1, p. 85, pl. 25, fig. 3.
(Kentucky.)
On January 19 I shot a female in low undergrowth along the
Punta Damas trail.

SETOPHAGA RUTICILLA RUTICILLA (Linnaeus): American Redstart,
Candelita
Molacilla Ruticilla LINNAI.US, Systema natural, ed. 10, vol. I, 1758, p. iS6.
(Virginia.)
Occasional individuals of this migrant were seen in high forest,
moving about as actively as when in their northern nesting grounds.
The bright patches of coh r in tihe tail and wings, vyellbiwn in fIlimiles,


NO. 9







SMITHSONIAN MISCELLANEOUS COLLECTIONS


orange in males, that flash as they dart out or drop through the
branches after flying insects, is attractive, and is the basis for the
name in Spanish. Females collected January 19 and 21 have the
lighter color that marks the typical race. Two adult males were
secured January 13 and 15.

BASILEUTERUS DELATTRII Bonaparte: Chestnut-capped Warbler,
Reinita Cabecicastafia
Basileuterus dclaltrii BONAPARTE, Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci. Paris, vol. 38, 1854,
p. 383. (Nicaragua.)
These warblers are inhabitants of undergrowth, where they feed in
low branches, or occasionally on the ground. On Coiba I encountered
them from near the shoreline back through high forest in the in-
terior of the island. They also came into thickets in abandoned
fields near the work camps. They were common, but of secretive
habit, keeping behind cover. As they frequently carry the tail at
an angle over the back they often suggest wrens as they move about
behind the screening twigs and leaves. At this season they were
silent except for an occasional chipping call. Usually they are found
in pairs, and during January most of those that I killed for specimens
were nearly ready to breed. The Coiba population is so different
from that of the mainland that it requires the following name:

BASILEUTERUS DELATTRII ACTUOSUS subsp. nov.
Characters.-Similar to Basileuterus delattrii mesochrysus Sclater,26
but bill larger, and coloration darker; back duller green; gray of
hindneck slightly darker; under surface duller yellow; sides and
flanks darker green.
Description.-Type, U.S.N.M. No. 461248, male, Isla Coiba,
Panama, collected Jan. 23, 1956, by A. Wetmore (orig. No. 20409):
Forehead black, with the feathers tipped lightly with deep neutral
gray; crown dark russet; hindneck between deep and dark olive-gray;
back and scapulars Roman green; lower rump, upper tail coverts and
wing coverts serpentine green; remiges and primary coverts between
deep and dark mouse gray, edged with serpentine green; rectrices
deep mouse gray, edged with light serpentine green; lores black; a
broad superciliary, extending to the nape, white; chin and malar re-
gion, extending back beneath eye, white; feathers on edge of eyelids,
and a line extending posteriorly to above the ear coverts, black; ear
26 Basileuterus mesochrysus P. L. Sclater, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, vol. 28,
186o, p. 251. (Bogota, Colombia.)


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