Cerro de San Juan / Pine-Oak Forest Birds

Bumblebee Hummingbird (female)

After my one-day bout with whatever it was, I rejoined the group for a side-trip to higher elevations to see a variety of small birds. The few that weren’t small wound up that way in my pictures for the most part, being very far away.

I was delighted to manage a few shots of the Bumblebee Hummingbirds which were very tiny.

Most accommodating were one or two White-eared Hummingbirds.

I couldn’t find Red-headed Tanager on our triplist, but that’s definitely what this is. It’s likely it was on the list and I just wasn’t back up to speed enough to stay on top of Steve’s rapid-fire recitation of what we saw at the end of the day. As far as I can tell this is still a tanager and hasn’t been reclassified, which seems to be happening constantly.

Warblers were present. It was difficult to get a clear shot of the Rufous-Capped but these are good enough for identification anyway. Notice the similarities between the Townsend’s and the Black-Throated Green below it…

Black-throated Green Warbler

I was very happy to get such good looks at a Grace’s Warbler. This is another first-timer for me.

Grace’s Warbler

Our daily Western Flycatcher…

And another new wren!

We get Hepatic Tanagers sometimes in migration. This one seemed to be attracted to a gate resembling its own color.

A coy Black-throated Magpie Jay…

Another bird we see in the spring and fall…Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

I nearly didn’t find this next bird in my photographs but when I did, even though it’s not fully visible, the beautiful contrast between the blue on its back and the yellow on the throat made me glad I managed to capture it at all.

Crescent-chested Warbler

I vaguely remember seeing a Cordilleran Flycatcher in Texas… And nice to see again a little bit better perhaps this time.

It’s always a bit of a surprise to see a bird that’s relatively common at home in the summer or during migration, like this Eastern Bluebird, and the Chipping Sparrow below it…

Chipping Sparrow

Bullock’s Oriole was another species I saw first in Texas.

Sudden escape of a Broad-winged Hawk…

I wish I lived closer to Acorn Woodpeckers.

There’s a distant Bat Falcon perched on the tree. I included this photograph more for the habitat.

Grosbeaks are so…distinctive!

Black-headed Grosbeak
American White Pelicans flying overhead

I like Pewees…

Well I think I have two more days of photographs to sift through from this trip. Meanwhile, the real-time days keep getting longer here farther north. And the birds have taken notice. I have been hearing cardinals singing on sunny mornings at least for the past two weeks, but I have never heard what I heard this morning. My Northern Cardinal was practicing his entire repertoire. He sang four different songs, one right after the other, as if he was making sure they were all still there. Wish I could have recorded it but probably no one would have believed I didn’t edit it anyway. ūüôā

Extreme Hummingbirds…!

Long-Tailed Sylph

Long-Tailed Sylph, Reserva Rio Blanco

I’m sorry it’s taking me so long to get back in the swing of blogging… I’m nowhere near halfway going through the pictures from my trip to Colombia. But I thought a few incredible hummingbirds might offset the disclaimer… To top it off, I’m¬†ignoring chronological order.

Tourmaline Sunangel

Tourmaline Sunangel, Reserva Rio Blanco (adult male)

Whatever the reason these birds have evolved into such flashy specialists, you have to wonder if there really is any way to explain such intense beauty. I prefer to just chalk it up to¬†the “Wow” factor.

Sword-Billed Hummingbird 04-1-15-4440

Sword-Billed Hummingbird, Termales del Ruiz

I’ve seen a Sword-Billed Hummingbird before, likely in Peru, but not as well as at the feeders behind the restaurant/spa at¬†Termales del Ruiz. While the hot springs were tempting, the hummingbird feeders were even more so.

Buff-Tailed Coronet

Buff-Tailed Coronet, Reserva Rio Blanco

Buff-Tailed Coronets were everywhere at our first hummingbird heaven, the feeders at Rio Blanco, and yet they are beautiful even after you’ve seen so many of them. They also tended to pose nicely, perhaps because they considered themselves to be less conspicuous (safety in numbers).

Buffy Helmetcrest

Buffy Helmetcrest, Paramo, Los Nevados

The Buffy Helmetcrest was a Paramo target bird that proved easy to find the moment we got out of the vehicle that took us up to its preferred heights.

I don’t have much more to say at this point, except that perhaps Sunday I will manage to get through enough pictures to make more sense of the trip, seeing as how our weather¬†forecast is for rain which makes yard work and birding less likely. So for the moment, I leave you with a few more pictures of these great birds.

Sword-Billed Hummingbird

Long-Tailed Sylph 03-31-15-3159Buffy Helmetcrest 04-1-15-3666

The Land of Frilled Coquettes

Male Frilled Coquette

The bird that drove my desire to visit Brazil is this fancy little hummingbird, the Frilled Coquette.

The best opportunity to see this bird was at the famous Ruschi feeders in Santa Teresa, state of Espirito Santo.

This was barely the beginning. There were many more birds to see.

But for now, I must go back to reality. I came home yesterday morning to a very messy aviary and spent all day cleaning, unpacking and getting organized. I am too exhausted to write more at this point! I will be back soon with more from my enchanted trip.