I went completely loopy a few weeks in the past. Since my botanist buddy Nacho (Ignacio) was on trip, I did back-to-back main birding outings with him. Because it occurs, I had not gone out in any respect the week earlier than, so I gave myself particular permission.
Nacho is a brand new birder, and I’m nonetheless within the strategy of displaying him my finest spots. He joined the unique membership of birders who’ve seen the Sinaloa Martin the primary day. And now, I hoped to introduce him to a different very particular hen on day 2.
All hummingbirds are visually spectacular, however some are extra spectacular than others. Right here in Michoacán, the prize for many lovely hummer would most likely need to go the to Glowing-tailed Woodstar. (eBird insists on calling it the Glowing-tailed Hummingbird, however I am going right here with the extra evocative title, utilized by Wikipedia… for literary affect.)
Sadly, this isn’t a species that I can reliably promise to my friends; typically it’s there, and typically it’s not. However I do know a few spots the place it’s considerably more likely to flip up, so off we went.
I had first met this species within the type of a feminine, seen at a 3rd website, at which I’ve by no means seen it once more. In case you had not studied the species, you’d most likely not guess the female and male had been in any respect associated:
The feminine is usually brown and has a really quick tail.
The male is just about the precise reverse of that description.
As luck would have it, a male did present up for us today. In truth, it confirmed up on the identical spot the place I noticed my first male, a few years in the past — on the very same bush. Fairly a climb round this bush allowed us to get the solar behind our backs, ensuing within the above photograph. Glowing-tailed Woodstars prefer to perch on excessive branches, and all my earlier images had been severely backlit.
Since we nonetheless had extra time to hen, I then took Nacho to a decrease spot, the place I hadonce seen a pair of Woodstars, and on a unique go to, a complete tree buzzing with feminine and/or immature Golden-crowned Emeralds. On this go to, we obtained to find that Woodstars are apparently very site-specific. For there, on the exact same small tree the place I had seen that first pair of Woodstarswas one other male… then the feminine… then two extra males making an attempt to chase the male off of what’s apparently a really fascinating, although mostly-dead, tree.
After which, victorously perched on his primo department, the male in query did one thing I had by no means seen earlier than. The “glowing” a part of this hummer’s tail consists, clearly, of a pair of white bands that create the optical phantasm of a discontinuous tail, when this hangs downward. But it surely seems that they will additionally create a really completely different sample:
These images are all by Ignacio Torres. Thanks, Nacho!
One biologist buddy steered that this conduct was most likely a show meant to intimidate (or impress) different males. I say the hen was simply displaying off.
I spent a couple of minutes looking out all of the Glowing-tailed Woodstar photos I may discover on-line. Curiously, just one photograph (out of dozens) confirmed something like this show. So now that you’ve got additionally seen the show, you are able to do some displaying off of your personal.