Well what about the birds? Ecuador is a small country on the Pacific Ocean at the equator. It is between Arizona and Nevada is size at just under 110,000 sq miles. But it has a huge bird list with just under 1700 species (130 species hummers!). This was my first trip to Ecuador and it was a blow-out - 2 Tinamous, 35 hummers, 7 antpittas, 4 cotingas. Most were seen, a few heard only and many photographed. Pablo was an excellent guide and worked diligently to locate the birds and try to bring them to good viewing and photo range. The lodges all had hummingbird feeders, banana feeders for tanagers and some had photo blinds with feeders for secretive birds.
Interestingly, many of the birds were confined to one slope or the other. Most of the Central American birds I was familiar with were on the Pacific (west) slope at Buenaventura. The birds on the east slope were mostly all new.
How is this for a hummingbird feeder? This monstrous feeder is actually a 12" flower pot saucer that they have rigged up in a metal ring. This was at Buenaventura. They had 3 or 4 of these on the balcony and there were probably 100 hummers of various species flitting around and perching on the nearby branches.
|Hummingbird Feeder - Buenaventura Reserve Ecuador|
The Amazilia genus of midsized hummingbirds has numerous species with 2 in the USA (Buff-bellied and Violet-crowned). They typically have a partially red lower mandible and the sexes are similar. One bird is actually called the Amazilia Hummingbird (Amazilia amazilia). The bird was on the Pacific coast on the drive to Buenaventura the first day.
|Flame-throated Sunangel - male|
The Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Heliangelus amethysticollis) obviously has a pink-purplish throat. The female here just has a central purple patch.
|Amesthyst-throated Sunangel - female|
|Purple-throated Sunangel - female|
Thorntails are hummingbirds in which the males have long thin extensions to their tails. I had seen the Green Thorntail (Discosura conversi) in Costa Rica but I needed better photos. There were literally a dozen birds all day long at the feeders at Buenaventura. They also have a white stripe across the lower back.
|Green Thorntail - male|
|Wire-crested Thorntail - male|
|Golden-tailed Sapphire - male|
Happy birding and photography,
photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald
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