Saturday, September 19, 2009

Red-crowned Woodpecker

Today being Saturday, and the others in my group being away on a "cultural activity" I chose to skip, I was free to do a little birding. I was told by a friend who lives here in Barranquilla about a restaurant along the shore of the Magdalena River whose owner takes visitors out to an island where he has another restaurant near a large natural area. My taxi driver found the restaurant and the boat, but because of recent rains the island is under water today. So... what to do? The driver did not know of any parks with natural areas in the city, but suggested the zoo. Knowing that wild birds sometimes hang around zoos, maybe for company but more likely for the chance to sneak in for some easy food, I agreed to go there. It paid off for me in the form of this Red-crowned Woodpecker, a new bird for me, although it appears to be very similar to the Red-bellied Woodpeckers I've seen in Pennsylvania. It even has a red belly patch, slightly visible in the photo below.

Also hanging out at the zoo were some opportunistic Black Vultures, stealing dead fish that had been offered to the turtles, although I saw only one turtle that seemed to be interested in eating a fish.


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