Ecuador Birds

A Brilliant that was really the only competitor for the Buff-tailed Coronets at the Tandayapa Lodge feeders at about 6000 feet. Just slightly smaller. This is the Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Heilodoxa rubinoides. Male and females are pretty close. Males with a strong pink throat patch. Both sexes dark tailed with a green scaled back.

Definite female here. And when they are on the feeder they guard. Unlike the Coronets, they do not hold the wings upstretched after landing or when threatening. Note the big beak with the slight curve. And the relatively long wings. Males more green-winged at the base over the secondaries.

Female also here. Note the creamy inner wing edges. And the light throat. A very nice hummer.

This is what I called the 'stinkeye' pose. The females at the feeder would stretch their necks and glare at any other Brilliants that came close. They were tolerant of other species. Note the underpants of the Booted Rackettail on the next feeder hole. This shows the female bronzy shoulder patch well. The males are green on that patch.

A really fine Brilliant species. Spectacular really as stated by Ridgely. The male Empress Brilliant, Heliodoxa imperatrix. Scarce compared to the other species. And there are seven Heliodoxa in Ecuador. I don't recall seeing a single female. About one male per day would visit the Tandayap level feeders but Paz de las Aves had several coming to the feeders, which is where this was taken. This has the longest, most impressive forked tail and is only found in the northwest. Males are golden bellied with a sharp purple reflective throat.

A male also at Paz area. Golden belly prominent here. And the small purple throat mark is clear. Tail far exceeds Green-crowned length which also occurred in the northwest though not common either compared to Costa Rica. No other Heliodoxa in the NW except the above species.

A male Green-crowned Brilliant, Heliodoxa jacula, from Costa Rica for direct comparison. Small blue throat mark instead of purple. Dark short tail with no golden belly tones. This species came about 2 or 3 times a day at the Tandayapa feeders.

And a female H. jacula, also from Costa Rica. (I saw no females of this species in Ecuador). Tail is about equal to wing length. Tail exceeds it in Empress female. And the throat is significantly whiter in the Empress.