Ecuador Birds

A distinctive hummer of the west Andes. And moderately common at the Tandayapa feeders. This is the male Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Urosticte benjamini. East Andes has U. ruficrissa, which lacks the purple throat mark of this species. In this shot it appears dark. The central upper white tail tips are distinctive in the male. Only about a 9 cm hummer so deferential to the larger Brilliants and Coronets at this altitude. 

Better light on the male throat patch. Reflective green above purple. You can still see the white tail mark even in this frontal shot.

Male side shot showing the strong posterior eye mark. Which is much more prominent that any of the Brilliants. Again the flag that says 'whitetail' strongly visible.

And the female with her rufous edged tail that lacks the white tip. She does retain the very strong eye mark which is distinctive otherwise. Her belly spotting is much more extensive than any other northwest species.

The west slope has five hummers in the genus Amazilia. Of those, only two are mountainous. This is the first and it is a simple but lovely design for a hummer. This is Amazilia franciae, the Andean Emerald. Many of the Amazilia have plain bellies. This one is shining white beneath. In fact, the degree of shiny whiteness is distinct for the NW. It is a trap-liner and loves blooming tree tops that it guards very vocally. Both sexes are fairly similar but the female lacks the blue glitter on the head of this male. The lower beak is generally visibly red as seen here as well.

The flanks have some golden and copper colors that are only visible in wing extended position. Note again the arsenic white belly to the vent. Small posterior eye mark. You can just see the lower red mandible as well.

The noisy and obstreperous Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Amazilia tzacatl. It ranges all the way into upper Central America. It apparently wanders up to Tandayapa heights from the lower lands, but in March it was definitely in the 6000 foot range in numbers. Has a distinctive raspy harsh call when flying and fighting. Note the red upper and lower mandible base. Very bright red tail when unfurled. Flashes it like a ''back-off'' sign.

Note the glittering green of the throat. Sexes are similar but I think the upper bird here is a female. White belly and vent. The beak is broad at the base. Considered a non-forest hummer. But certainly untrue at these feeders.

This is very likely the male and you can see the red vent and tail cocked here and the much brighter red beak upper and lower. Again, that is a stout bill base. Once you hear them chattering about, you grow to like them.