Friday, January 1, 2016

Bulletin 247 - Ecuador #9 - More Hummingbirds

There are 131 species of hummingbirds in Ecuador and I saw 34 of them on this trip in basically just 3 locations. Some were the same species I had seen previously, but many were new species and lifers. I showcased a number of them in Ecuador #1.  Here are the rest.

Among the more unusual hummers are the 2 species of sicklebills. They have unique almost semicircular bills. They feed on heliconia flowers and cling to the flower while feeding. They do not come to feeders and thus are harder to find. I missed this one in both Costa Rica and Panama. However, as we were getting ready to leave Buenaventura Lodge, one flew into the dining room and I was able to get photos before he was caught and released. The 4.75" White-tipped Sicklebill (Eutoxeres aquila) has a streaked breast and white on the tips of the tail feathers.

White-tipped Sicklebill
The 4.5" Green Hermit (Phaethornis guy) is unusual for hermits as most are brown. This one came to the feeder at Copalinga Lodge. Most hermits have long white central tail feathers that allows ID as to genus.

Green Hermit
The Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti) is an old friend as I had seen it in Panama and got great photos in Costa Rica. The male has a purple head, but the ID mark is the white spot behind the eye. This one was feeding at a flower and appeared to turn and look at me.

Violet-headed Hummingbird - male
The 4" male Fork-tailed Woodnymph (Thalurania furcata) is green with a purple belly.

Fork-tailed Woodnymph - male
An similar colored species is the male 3" Violet-bellied Hummingbird (Damophila julie). 

Violet-bellied Hummingbird - male
The 3.25" Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) came to the feeder at Tapichalaca Lodge. It is a monotypic genus.

Speckled Hummingbird
Brilliants are large hummers that the guide book describes as 'readily coming to feeders' and most male are 'exceptionally attractive'. The 4.5" male Green-crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) occurs on the west slope and was photographed at Buenaventura Lodge.
He is all green with a purple throat patch.

Green-crowned Brilliant - male

The 4.5" male Violet-fronted Brilliant (Heliodoxa leadbeateri) occurs an the east slope and has a purple forehead. The juvenile male shown here has a blue forehead, bronze face and lacks the solid green underparts.

Violet-fronted Brilliant - juvenile male
The next 3 species are all residents of the cloud forest on the east slope and were photographed at Tapichalaca Lodge. The 4" male Chestnut-breasted Coronet (Boissonneaua matthewsii) is green with a bright rufous breast and belly.

Chestnut-breasted Coronet - male

The 4.25" Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata) is dark green with a white chest and long bill.

Collared Inca
The 7.25" male Long-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingii) is green with a blue crown and long turquoise tail.

Long-tailed Sylph - male
The last 2 birds are called woodstars. They are tiny bee-like hummers. They usually have white flank patches. The 2.5" female White-bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant) has a white throat and central white belly with rufous sides. The white flank patch is clearly seen on this bird with her tongue protruding.

White-bellied Woodstar - female
The 2.5" female Purple-collared Woodstar (Myrtis fanny) is green with mostly rufous underparts.

Purple-collared Woodstar - female
Happy birding and photography,

David McDonald

photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald

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