Ecuador Birds 2012

A hummer that is not that much of an altitude specialist apparently. Bangs up against the foothills but prefers the range just off that level. Does not occur out into the true lowlands. They were fever pitch numbers at Sumaco in February. This is the female Golden-tailed Sapphire, Chrysuronia oenone. Medium sized 11 cm hummers. They were not daunted by the larger species. Looked like they could fly rings around them frankly. Note the strong bronzy red tail and tail coverts.

This appears to be a juvenile male though he is close to full colored. The head in Ecuador becomes almost all blue in males. And full colored males have all greenish breasts down to the belly. Bronzy tail and coverts seen here as well. Tails in both sexes just barely notched centrally.

Definite male who is a bit farther along. Not quite perfection. Nicely reflective blues here. You can see the individual green feathers coming in. Looks a bit unkempt but he will get there. Dark feet.

Very nice female. The green spackling seems to be variable over the upper breast. Some hints of blue on the brow but never close to the males blue tones.

And the Guango Angel. These things were the most entertaining birds there. High speed, active, slightly crazy birds. This is the Tourmaline Sunangel, Heliangelus exortis. The only place we saw them was Guango. And they are 2200 to 3000 meter birds. Only occur on the east slope in Ecuador, replaced on Peruvian slopes by other Heliangelus. Very difficult to catch the crown and throat colors but the males have an intense throat patch. They look jet dark in the shadows. This is as close as I got to color flashing.

Turn away and the colors are gone. The white vent shows. The short beak. They flash their wings up to show possessiveness and they cock them up at each other and right after they land, usually on a branch near the feeders. This one is just pulling his down. The devil to catch the wings up with the shutter.

There is that crazed look. And again, no color showing. I flashed the crap out of these things. Sigh. To rare avail, or to blurriness. As I said, crazy things.

Almost some red here. That puffy white vent. Beak no bigger than the depth of the head.

Interesting shot only from the aspect of the usual leering Tourmaline Sunangel with a background Tyrian Metaltail, showing the green throat flash and the purple-red see through tail.

The females replace the red throat patch with white and are distinctive. Less active. The few females tended to hide down low and sneak to the feeders when they were quiet.