The preternatural call of the Black-faced Solitaire
July 27th, 2014 
With more than 900 species of birds found in Costa Rica, the sheer number of calls and songs can be over-whelming to the novice birder and seasoned professional alike. Ranging from the soft cheep! cheep! of the Bannaquit to the almost sub-aural rumbling bellow of the Great Curassow, the variations are captivating.
Of these 900 calls, few come close in originality to the curious call of the Black-faced Solitaire.
Black-faced Solitaire (Myadestes melanops)
Recorded in early 2014 during a birding hike along the beautiful Quetzal Trail (Sendero Los Quetzales) in Panama's Volcán Barú National Park situated in the western highlands, this eerie call could be heard at multiple locations and in a variety of habitats, penetrating the densest of the cloud forest's vegetation.
This otherwise discreet member of the Thrush (Turdidae) family is distinguished by having orange legs and bill and a slate gray body the titled black face. Endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama, it is a delight to hear this bird in it's natural habitat.