03 March 2014

Banding in Moka

November, 2013 continued:

The rest of our time in Moka was spent searching for birds on the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program property and banding what birds we could. We set up nets at the edge of agricultural land and running up along montane riparian forest. Overall, it was a highly successful couple of days. You can view my general birding checklists for the two days here and here.

Platysteira chalybea

One of the more regularly encountered uniquely-African birds at the field station was the Black-necked Wattle-Eye (Platysteira chalybea). Part of the endemic African family Platysteiridae, Wattle-Eyes are aptly named, and always fascinating to watch as they forage in the forest.

Terpsiphone rufiventer tricolor

Part of the predominately Australasian radiation Monarchidae, Paradise-Flycatchers are a much sought-after group by birders. This particular individual is a Black-headed Paradise-Flycatcher (Terpsiphone rufiventer tricolor). This subspecies is endemic to Bioko.

Cyanomitra oritis poensis

One of the most beautiful bird families in the Old World is the Nectariniidae. There are dozens of species worldwide, with some more colorful than others. This particular individual is a Cameroon Sunbird (Cyanomitra oritis poensis), a large taxa endemic to the Cameroonian Highlands and Bioko.

Cinnyris reichenowi preussi

A much more colorful sunbird on Bioko is the Northern Double-Collared Sunbird (Cinnyris reichenowi preussi). This was the first species of sunbird I ever saw in Equatorial Guinea; ironically, the first species I ever saw in South Africa was the Southern Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris chalybeus)!

Elminia albiventris albiventris

While in Equatorial Guinea, I was able to experiment with vocal recording for the first time. One of the highest quality recordings I was able to obtain was of a singing White-bellied Crested Flycatcher (Elminia albiventris albiventris), available HERE. Just moments before getting this recording, we managed to catch one as well, allowing us to obtain a complete multimedia experience for this fascinating bird.

Eurillas virens virens

One of the most widespread groups of African birds is the Greenbuls. Members of the family Pycnonotidae, Greenbuls can be maddeningly frustrating, and their calls and sounds were a constant companion on our trip. One of the most common species in Bioko was the Little Greenbul (Eurillas virens virens).

Sheppardia bocagei poensis

Last, but not least, is Bocage's Akalat (Sheppardia bocagei poensis). This enjoyable little bird was often flushed from trails in the forest, and was an enjoyable bird to have in the hand.

This is but a small sampling of the avifauna of West Africa, and an excellent look at some of the fascinating taxa that exist in the more remote reaches of Bioko, Equatorial Guinea.

More to come!

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