Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hummingbirds of Yanacocha

As I said in my last post, I reserved all my hummingbirds' pics from Yanacocha Reserve in order to show them to you in this gallery.  Ecuador is a blessed country, heart of the hummingbirds diversity, and Yanacocha offers a nice selection of them!  Even before reaching the feeders, we were counting several species feeding by the trail, including extravagant Black-tailed Trainbearers, aptly named Shining Sunbeams, and showy Rainbow-bearded Thornbill.  The thornbills are specialized for sucking the nectar of tiny, high Andean flowers, sometimes even "walking" from one flower to another!
Our first encounter with my life Buff-winged Starfrontlet almost ended in tragedy!  This male flew so furious directly to me that I thought he wanted to popped-out my eye!
One of the most common hummer was the Tyrian Metaltail.  Usually, it looks plain and non-attractive, but  with the right light angle PAM!, you got a very different bird (notice the individual at the feeder, along with a female Buff-winged Starfrontlet).
Once in the feeder, the activity was simply insane... tons of furious hummingbirds (and flowerpiercers) zipping everywhere.  The Golden-breasted Puffleg is a big one, not the best pic, because I had to use flash... and the hummingbirds pics with flash are quite tricky!
The Sapphire-vented Puffleg was a little bit more colorful than his cousin the Golden-breasted.  His long, fork tail, the sapphire-colored vent and his brilliant blue crown make this hummingbird a real flying gem!
We saw many pufflegs, metaltails, starfrontlets and even a male Mountain Velveltbreast for a second, but only a pair of Great Sapphirewing were attending the feeders... huge and colorful... nice combination!
However, there is an emblematic hummingbird at these feeders that makes you wonder how Mother Nature designed these little beasts... the Sword-billed Hummingbird is simply out of this world!  Despite how marginal is my photo, it shows well his marvelous and most significant characteristic: its disproportionally, crazy bill!  I hope you like this gallery... wait for more soon!

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