Tuesday, September 17, 2013

More small hummingbirds

Bumblebee Hummingbird
Very similar to the Wine-throated Hummingbird of the previous entry is Bumblebee Hummingbird, which replaces it north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. I myself went north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec last week, on a business trip quite similar to the one I undertook in March of this year. This time I visited the Veracruz River of Raptors project, a project I worked for in 2008, 2009 and 2011. I got one day of birding in the pine-oak forests of La Joya in, just west of Xalapa. Bumblebee Hummingbird is locally common there.

Unlike the male Wine-throated Hummingbird, which perches conspicuously and vocalizes constantly, flashing his brilliant gorget in all directions, the male Bumblebee Hummingbird is more low-key, and apparently perches inside the vegetation, where it was difficult to find. Every once in a while, a conspecific would fly by and mouse-like squeaks emanated from the vegetation, while the producer of those squeaks remained invisible. They were more easily seen when feeding, moving slowly but constantly like a bumblebee from flower to flower.

Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird
A similar feeding style is seen in Sparkling-tailed Hummingbird. This morning I photographed this female as it fed quietly in a flowerbed on the top of Cerro de Hula (Honduras).

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