Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tapichalaca's Hummingbirds

In addition to Tapichalaca Reserve's stellar resident, the Jocotoco Antpitta, many fine hummingbirds buzz around the feeders at Casa Simpson. The robust Chestnut-breasted Coronets dominate, certainly in numbers. They have the distinctive habit of holding their wings open for a moment when they alight.

Chestnut-breasted Coronets (Photos by Narca)

Although common, little Speckled Hummingbirds are unobtrusive and easier to overlook.

Speckled Hummingbird

We find Rufous-capped Thornbills at flowers away from the lodge. This hummer is rare and local in southern Ecuador, and often clings to flowers as it feeds.

Rufous-capped Thornbill

A few dazzling Long-tailed Sylphs and the more demure Fawn-breasted Brilliants jockey for a place at the feeders.

A male Long-tailed Sylph

A female Fawn-breasted Brilliant shows two white marks by her eyes

Among my favorites are the two lovely sunangels. Both are Andean species, but the Amethyst-throated ranges all the way south through Peru to Bolivia, whereas the dazzling Flame-throated only occurs locally in montane habitats of southern Ecuador and northern Peru.

Amethyst-throated Sunangel

Flame-throated Sunangel

Tapichalaca is definitely hummingbird country! In all, 29 species of hummers are known to grace the reserve.

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