Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bulletin 235 - Costa Rica #13 - Hummers part 2

I started the Costa Rica bulletins with the hummingbirds part 1. I will end Costa Rica with hummingbirds part 2. They are certainly on of my favorite bird families.

The 5" White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) is a widespread hummer from Mexico to Amazonia. The male is easily IDed by the blue head, pure white belly and tail and a white collar.

White-necked Jacobin - male
Another common hummer is the 4" Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl). It has a range from Mexico to Ecuador. This is all green with a beige belly and bright rufous tail.

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

A Costa Rican endemic is the 3" Coppery-headed Emerald (Elvira cupriceps). Here is the female. She is green with white underparts. The male would have a copper colored crown.

Coppery-headed Emerald
The male 4" Crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania columbica) is a beautiful bird with a green gorget, purple belly and green back. It comes in 2 color morphs. This northern one has a purple crown. The southern birds have a green crown. They were considered separate species previously.

Crowned Woodnymph - male

The 5" Green-breasted Mango (Anthracothorax prevostii) is readily IDed like most mangoes by the central black stripe on the underparts. The female has white on either side of the black stripe. The male would be all green on the underparts.

Green-breasted Mango - female
The male 5" Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) is all green with a purple throat patch. The female is duller and lacks the purple patch.

Green-crowned Brilliant - male
I also saw the juvenile male of this species. He differs by having a rufous chin and stripe below eye.

Green-crowned Brilliant - juvenile male
There are 2 species of hummers of the selasphorus genus in Costa Rica, both resident in the mountains. This genus is well known in the USA by the Allen's, Rufous, Calliope and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. So one would expect to see some rufous on the birds. The male 3 " Volcano Hummingbird (Selasphorus flammula) ahs a purple-red gorget with the rufous speckling on the flanks.

Volcano Hummingbird - male
The very similar 3" male Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla) has an orange-red gorget. However, I just saw the female and she has a spotted throat, but the orange spots on the flanks indicate the genus.

Scintillant Hummingbird - female

The Green Thorntail (Discosura conversii) is a green hummer with a white band across the rump. The 4" male (not shown) has a long spiky tail. The female is just 3" and lacks the longer tail. She also has a white malar stripe.

Green Thorntail - female
The 5" male Magnificent Hummingbird (Eugenes fulgens) is well named. He has a purple crown, turquoise throat and green overall. Both the crown and gorget are iridescent and it is seldom that the angle is just right that they light up simultaneously, but I got him this time. This bird can also be found in SE Arizona.

Magnificent Hummingbird - male
Coquettes are tiny hummers in the genus lophornis. There are 10 species total and usually they have crests or plumes on the gorget. They are always on the 'wanted' list for birders. The 3" male Black-crested Coquette (Lophornis helenae) has black plumes on his crest and throat. His bill is red. It has a range from Mexico to Costa Rica and is in the mountains.

Black-crested Coquette - male
The last bird is probably the most amazingly colored hummer I have ever seen. The male 4" Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) is an endemic in Costa Rica and western Panama. It is found above 6000' in the mountains. I don't need to tell you how to ID this bird. See for yourself, there is nothing else like it. It is a monotypic genus.

Fiery-throated Hummingbird - male
Bird Families...I have grouped my photos online by country and/or trip report. I now have a substantial number of photos of birds in several of the families and I know sometimes you would just like to see more of them in 1 place.

So I have put together the first of these..the hummingbirds. There are 340+ species and I have now photos of 72. Click this link to take you to the gallery. Then you can hit ALL to see all the species or just click on the top left photo to  see the first photo and then click NEXT on the top or bottom right to scroll through. I have also put the scientific name and range of the bird below each photo. I will use the most colorful photo I have ...usually a male, but if I don't have that, then a female or juvenile.

Others in the works are tanagers, cardinals, woodpeckers, sandpipers etc. If you have a group you really like and and would like to see them, let me know. Currently I only have birds from the New World.

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

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