Ecuador Birds 2012

There are hummers that make you look every time they appear. I have to classify the Collared Inca, Coeligena torquata, in that group. These are 2000-3000 meter birds and Guango has a nice flight group of them. They are fast and feeder fearless with some 14 cm of hummer under command. The flashy white in the tail and throat are instantly recognizable. Apparently geographically variable, the Ecuadorian males on the east slope are, as you can see, deep dark green, appearing black in lower light, with a big slightly upsloping beak. They occur all down the eastern Peruvian slopes as well on the east side.

You can see some greener reflections here and the big flashy tail patches are in view. Also on the east slope only, you can see the slight violet blues in the crown patch. Jet black wings.

Almost Sabrewing sized terminal primaries and long wings. Always odd to me to see hummer wings motionless. Color here almost tuxedo black in this light.

The Tyrian Metaltail was a Guango continuous bird. See the shots from Yanacocha in the 2011 collection. A very fidgety species. Hard to catch in the right light to show the throat marking which reflects some intense offset greens from the rest of the bronze and green body.

In the shade at Guango with both Sunangels (see next page) and these Metaltails zinging around they can be mistaken for each other. Tyrians always have some paler brown and mottled coloration on the belly. And this green throat reflection is Tyrian and not Tourmaline. Short sharp beak with a relatively large eye. Bronzing on the wing coverts is characteristic also. 

And the Sylph on the east side is considered a different species from the Sylph on the west side. This is the Long-tailed Sylph, Aglaiocercus kingi. Habits seemed similar and they were fairly common at San Isidro and less common at Sumaco. I don't think we saw one at Guango. This bird was a repeated visitor on the feeder that was next to our cabin porch at San Isidro. That tail, again, is a wonder.

Here is a juvenile male. The females have a normal sized tail and a white malar mark. This one has not gotten all his body greens in yet and that tail is about half length.

And here a full male that is flashing the crown at us and showing some of the blue throat mark. Not easy hummers to ignore and the photographers dream to catch with the fully flared tail in flight. Still a dream.