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Black-faced Solitaire - Elusive Singer

Featuring Roger Melendez

In wet mountain forests of Costa Rica, a slate-gray bird like this one sings as it moves furtively in the dense understory. It’s the Black-faced Solitaire. Naturalist and birding guide Roger Melendez has been listening to its eerie and gorgeous song for over 20 years. But even Roger has a hard time finding the singer! Maybe there’s a reason the solitaire is so hard to locate: Whereas some birds sit in one place and sing over and over, the solitaire moves to protect itself. 

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Black-faced Solitaire: Elusive Singer

Featuring Roger Melendez

Interviewed in Costa Rica by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!

[Rain dripping from leaves, song of Black-faced Solitaire]

In wet mountain forests of Costa Rica, a slate-gray bird sings as it moves furtively in the dense understory. It’s the Black-faced Solitaire. 

[Song of Black-faced Solitaire]

Naturalist and birding guide, Roger Melendez has been listening to its eerie and gorgeous song for over 20 years and even he has a hard time finding the singer. Still, among more than 800 bird species in Costa Rica, the Black-faced Solitaire is one of his favorites. 

[Song of Black-faced Solitaire]

Maybe there’s a reason the solitaire is so hard to locate. Whereas some birds sit in one place and sing over and over, the solitaire moves to protect itself. 

Here’s Roger:  

“I mean if somebody is looking for the birds to eat, like a raptor…for sure I will tell you, that it’s not easy to find…so I think this is how they can protect themselves. They are very close to the ground, so there are many eyes up on top of the trees looking down to see where the noise comes from, and it’s so confusing, they never spot where they come from…so this is hard to get the locations where the bird can be.”

[Song of Black-faced Solitaire]

Perhaps you too have a beautiful, elusive singer in your life… 

[Song of Black-faced Solitaire]

You’ll find us at birdnote.org

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Song of Black-faced Solitaire [53937 and 53936] recorded by D.L. Ross.

Rain dripping on leaves [Essentials 10] recorded by Gordon Hempton of QuietPlanet.com 

BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org  May 2013  Narrator: Mary McCann.

ID#  BFSO-01-2013-05-15 BFSO-01       Sony Costa Rica G 35 2:07

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