Five species of birds compose the Cinclus genus, all of which have a very unique characteristic: They dive underwater to catch small fish and invertebrates, along with their eggs and larvae. They are most commonly found along river banks and fast flowing streams. Being able to swim underwater, they bear adaptations for this purpose. For instance, their bones are solid to reduce buoyancy, while the feathers are dense and covered in oil that repels water, which has two effects: Maintaining the body dryers, and capturing a small layer of air around its body. The White-capped Dipper in particular is dark gray on the upper side, white on the underside and shows a white cap that goes well with its common name.
The Black-capped Tanager is a member of the Tangara genus, and as such it is pretty similar in size and shape to other members of this genus that we spotted in Colombia, like the Golden Tanager and the Saffron-crowned Tanager. The adult male has a distinctive blueish plumage, darker on the wings, with a black cap and turquoise throat; the juvenile is similar but with overall duller colors and the head and throat colors not well defined. The female has greenish plumage instead and lacks the black cap. For all the Tangara species we saw at Finca Alejandría, this and the Scrub Tanager were the rarest ones.
The Gray-capped Flycatcher is one of the birds with yellow chest that can easily be mistaken by one another. Size and a gray cap (as the name implies) are the main identification marks, tough it can be difficult to recognize the gray cap if the bird is perched above eye level. They look very similar to the Social Flycatcher, although it is more streamlined and the gray head is diagnostic, along the song more similar to the Great Kiskadee’s. It also resembles both the Great Kiskadee and Boat-billed Flycatcher, but both of those species are bigger and stockier, featuring different songs as well. The Tropical Kingbird is also similar, given its gray head, but it is bigger and has grayish upperparts, while the Gray-capped’s upperparts are brownish.