08 July 2009

Ecuador’s Hummingbird Mountains…(Tandayapa, NW Ecuador): June 2009

Have been “camped out” at the lodge hummingbird feeders at Tandayapa Lodge for the days with a group of professional photographers, including “photo professors”, John and Barbara Gerlach who teach this stuff for a living. These are some of the results from their impromptu “workshop”. We were photographing them using a series of four flashes, and a whole lot of other paraphernalia! The top bird is a male Purple-throated Woodstar, that sounds a lot like a bumble when it flies in, and the vivid green number with the violet face patch is a Green Violet-ear (the ears of which can be flared out when excited or in battle with another hummer for the same feeder), while the last one with the chestnut “armpits” is a Buff-tailed Coronet, the most aggressive of all the Tandayapa hummers that often stands guard by their chosen spot. Trouble is there are just too many hummers to keep in check, and so many other birds get into the feeders in spite of this exhausting, energy-sapping strategy by the coronet!

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