Mountain Elaenia

Elaenia frantzii


Paul A. Schwartz
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Isla Margarita (above El Valle)
Nueva Esparta, Venezuela
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Latitude and Longitude 11.0, -63.88 Map

Age and Sex
Age not specified, Sex not specified
Dawn Song; Song
; ;
Not Used


NOTES: Neotropical Institute Cut # 12. Bulk reel: 458. Weather: Thin foggy. Natural dawn song. This is the neighboring bird to that of Cut 10. Quality: 2. Level: +3. 209 tape. Xiphorhynchus guttatus heard prominently. Also many cocks 1-2 km away, down in the town of El Valle which was in the line of focus. Notes re: Elaenia frantzii on Isla Margarita - July 1976 Shortly after my arrival in the cloud forest I heard the calls of this species in the late mid-afternoon @ the 630-640 m. road level. The calls came from the few scattered trees remaining in the "clearing" below the road (caused by the "landslide" of earth resulting from the cutting through of the road on the steep hillside). This is at the lower limit of the "permanent" cloud forest. One bird (*that of Cut 12) apparently had its territory there and was subsequently heard singing dawn song there, some of which was later recorded (Cut 12). All other birds noted were at "forest edge" at or above the "permanent" cloud forest's lowest level (~ = 600 m). 1) ~ 100 m down road from my 600 m. camp. Occasional calls and, on one occasion, dawn song. Subsequent checks there at dawn disclosed no bird! 2) Several (>3) birds @ the 630 m. level were noted one AM (in conflict?) but only one pair seemed "fijo" (Cut 10); they were neighbors of the bird of Cut 12. 3) Other male @ 630 m. [= * above]. 4) Calls @ 640-650 m. (Cut 11). 5) Calls in the elfin forest on leeward side of "pass" @ 800 m. [later 32/7) I called in a pair there and collected the male]. 7/7 - 26/7 Although it would seem there must have been other birds in this region, during almost three weeks I encountered only those indicated. My work was, however, limited to the roadside areas (except for the excursion up from the 425 m. level) but this did not take me higher than ~ 520 m. and in any case was through continuous woodland and therefore probably not appropriate habitat (open, broken woods and edge seem to be the habitat wherever I've encountered this species in Venezuela). Specific notes: 1) The male of Cut 10 reacted fairly actively to playback the first day (13/7) at dawn and up to ~ 8:00 AM. A playback attempt at ~ 8:30 AM on 16/7 brought no reaction. @ 7:30 AM, 17/7, I tried playback. This brought bird from where it had been to some 30 m. closer but still only to inside the edge of the woods and it would not come out to vegetation near me nor on opp. side of road (to where it had gone on one or two occasions on 13/7). It remained there, foraging and calling occasionally and was soon joined by another bird (app. its mate) who also foraged (flycatching) and called occasionally. Both birds often used the same base perch and I could not tell which was which, with the result that I shot a bird and it turned out to be the female (female 16.3 g. @ 8:00 AM) (with ovaries app. beginning to develop: largest ovule 0:8 mm but well formed). At dawn 19/7 I tried playback during the dawn song period but got no apparent reaction by the male; it did not even come closer to me from its song perch. At dawn 20/7 the same thing, so in order to collect it I had to go to it. It proved to have enlarged testes! (male 14.7 g. @ 5:45 AM) (L. 8.5 x 4.5; R 8 x 4 mm). 2) The male of Cut 12 (21/7) did not react strongly to playback (after recording, at dawn); only gave a few calls in reaction and did not approach to me. 3) At noon of 21/7 I tried playback at the 800 m. level. Although the birds were not in evidence when I arrived there, very shortly after beginning the playback a male arrived, very excited. Although it neither called nor sang, it flew excitedly about, looking all around, coming very close to me several times. With it, and after following it in its flying around, was another bird, presumably its mate. The male was collected and proved to have enlarged testes (L. 8 x 4; R. 7 x 4.5 mm). After the male was collected I again tried playback, but the presumed female was not interested by it; it remained in the area a short while (calli

Background Species

Buff-throated Woodcreeper - Xiphorhynchus guttatus

Technical Information

Sennheiser MKH 405
Parabola 91.4cm (36in)

Archival Information

15 Jul 2003 by Annette Nadeau
5 Mar 2009 by Jessie Barry
by David L. Ross, Jr.

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