Awe and Reverence

There are around 350 species of hummingbirds in the Americas (no where else!) but, incredibly, 150 species in the tiny country of Ecuador. Here are a few I was privileged to behold, starting with the one that sent me into ecstasy, the Amethyst-Throated SunAngel.

Amethyst-Throated Sunangel

Amethyst-Throated Sunangel

SunAngel hummingbirds tend to live in isolated pockets.  The Amethyst-Throated is found deep in the south near the Peru border in the province of Zamora, which where it appeared to me as an iridescent revelation! I also got to experience the Flame-throated SunAngel, though I cannot locate any photo that does justice to the way its throat feathers glinted and glimmered, shimmered and flashed, as it caught the light.

Flame-Throated, or Little Sunangel

The Coronets  are the clowns of hummingbird families.Coronets love to wrestle each other, and they always land with wings up, hold them in place a brief second, then perch comfortably. I saw many Chestnut-Breasted Coronets.

Chestnut-Breasted Coronet

Chestnut-Breasted Coronet

The Brilliants have long, thick beaks, strong bodies. All the hummingbirds are tough little creatures—their hearts beat 1,600 times per minute by day but that goes down to 200 at night to help them survive cold temperatures. I saw a Fawn-Breasted Brilliant like this one.

Fawn-Breasted Brilliant

Collared Incas like these fed at the Tapichalaca Reserve feeders, where I watched them in awe and reverence.

Collared Inca

Collared Incas

And there was one beautiful blue being at the feeder who was not a hummingbird, a tanager called the Masked Flower-Piercer. Every name of every bird was poetry in my mouth! Enjoy.

Masked Flower-Piercer

photography by Susa Silvermarie

These are only a few, the species I myself saw. If you want more, watch the video below. And give thanks to Gaia, the magnificent homeplanet we share with all the creatures of earth.

 

 

 

 

 

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