28 January 2010, El Valle, Cocle Province, Panama


This skulker visited the feeders only occasionally and briefly. When
venturing into the open they twitch their wings and jerk their tails
nervously making them a challenge to photograph. Males and females are
alike.


Two races are recognized, both occurring in Panama. This is nominate
cassinii which ranges over most of Panama into Columbia. It is slightly
brighter and lighter than the western subspecies M. c. costaricensis which
replaces cassinii in Costa Rica and extreme western Panama.


Genetic data indicate that the genus Mitrospingus is not a true tanager and
does not appear to be closely related to any other family group. For this
reason the genus is currently placed "Incertae Sedis" in between the
Tanagers (Thraupidae) and the Sparrows (Emberizidae), along with a
hodgepodge of other species such as Bush-Tanagers, Galapagos Finches and
Saltators whose relationships remain unclear.


Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Nikon FieldScope 3 | 30X WA | hand-held
(no adapter)