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12 Nov 2018  Hummers


A photo-rich blog dedicated to some of the hummingbirds enjoyed on my recent Colombia trip (for the background to whichsee here). I am withholding images of the rarest hummer, however. You'll have to wait to see what the Critically Endangered Glittering (aka Dusky) Starfrontlet looks like. Patience, patience.

Female White-necked Jacobins are very different and, if I've got my identification correct, rather variable.

Purple-throated Woodstars are gloriously tiny. Getting an image of one in flight is near-impossible, given poor light. And even getting a suitable flash of throat coloration can be tricky. That's my excuse, anyway.

Collared Inca was the commonest hummingbird up high at Montezuma. 

Next up the glorious Velvet-purple Coronet. I have only seen this Choco endemic at Mashpi Lodge (Ecuador) previously, so was delighted to find it so abundant at Montezuma. 

Andean Emerald and Black-throated Mango also delighted us.

South America does hummingbirds brilliantly, and nowhere does them more extravagantly than the Andes. Hummingbird feeders are a common sight at lodges; indeed, it is an unusual ecolodge that does not have them. There was a stash at the Recinto del Pensamiento, where the South American Bird Fair was held and a monton at Montezuma Ecolodge (and more at various elevations up to the very top of the mountain) - but (surprisingly) none at Otun Quimbaya or Rio Claro. The following images are therefore largely from the first two sites. Let's start with one of my favourite sugar-lovers, White-necked Jacobin. The male looks like this.

Then there's Violet-tailed Sylph. Males and females are so spankingly different! I failed to catch a fully tailed adult male, sadly, but no bother...

And then there was Tourmaline Sunangel - a big-altitude exclusive and second only to Glittering Starfrontlet on my 'swoon list'. For the latter species, however, you still have to wait...

White-tailed Hillstar was a treat. Sadly I failed to get my lens on a Purple-bibbed Whitetip. Too fast, too restless.

We had two species of Violetear at Manizales: Sparkling (the first two images; feisty buggers) and Green.

Wildlife

James Lowen 

Buff-tailed Coronets were also up here.