Sunday, November 8, 2015

Bulletin 241 - Best of 10 years #9 - Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are unique in the bird world in that they can hover, fly backwards and fly upside down and even fly backwards while upside down. The are 345 species and all are in the New World. These sparkling birds are the jewels of the bird world and include the smallest bird. Hummers are favorites of birders and non-birders alike, who often try to attract them to their yards with feeders. I have photographed about 20% of all the hummer species and I have picked 14 for this bulletin.

There are 18 species in the the Sibley North American guide, 4 of which are vagrants from Mexico. The best place to see the many species in the USA is in southeast Arizona during late summer when up to a dozen species can occur. The first 2 here were taken in Arizona.

The Broad-billed Hummingbird has a bright blue throat and red bill.

Broad-billed Hummingbird - male
The Costa's Hummingbird has a bright purple throat and crown.

Costa's Hummingbird - male
My trip to Costa Rica in March 2015 produced several favorites. The first is the Black-crested Coquette. The male has a wispy black crest. Coquettes are target birds for all birders.

Black-crested Coquette - male
The tiny male Snowcap with his reddish-purple body and white top of head is another target bird in Costa Rica.

Snowcap - male
The Fiery-throated Hummingbird has the most amazing multi-colored gorget.

Fiery-throated Hummingbird
The large male Violet Sabrewing is a stunning purple with a contrasting white tail.

Violet Sabrewing - male
Another large hummer is the Magnificent Hummingbird. This photo was taken in Costa Rica, but this bird also can be found in Arizona. The male is a beautiful with his turquoise gorget and purple crown.

Magnificent Hummingbird - male

The Violet-headed Hummingbird produced a beautiful photo as he fed on a heliconia flower.

Violet-headed Hummingbird
The recent Ecuador trip also produced its share of favorites. The Long-tailed Sylph is the first of the hummers with long streamer tails I have found.

Long-tailed Sylph
This Brown Violetear posed right up close so all his feather detail could be seen.

Brown Violetear
The Violet-bellied Hummingbird sat on a leaf.

Violet-bellied Hummingbird - male
The Andean Emerald has snow white underparts. I just like his expression, the way his head is cocked up to the right.

Andean Emerald
Lastly, I have a couple of hummers from my yard. The first is a Buff-bellied Hummingbird that wintered in my yard for 6 years in a row.

Buff-bellied Hummingbird
The other is a beautiful male Rufous Hummingbird who sat on a dead hibiscus leaf that matched his coloration.
Rufous Hummingbird - male

Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

To have these trip reports sent to your email, please email me at the above address and ask to subscribe.

No comments: