Wednesday, April 27, 2022

White-Necked Jacobin

My favorite hummingbird of the many hummingbirds I saw in Ecuador was the white-necked jacobin. I saw them only at the Bird Sanctuary in Milpe, both times I visited. 
Admittedly, I was intrigued by the name "jacobin" which transports me back to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror where the name was applied to terrorists, but came from their original association with Dominicans who were known as Jacobins. I can't find why the name "jacobin" was applied to this bird, but my best guess is that it is because the white belly and underparts of the bird look like the white habits of the Dominicans who wore black cloaks over a portion of them. Look at this photo of St. Dominic in his white habit partially covered by his black cloak. Doesn't he kind of look like this hummingbird?
St. Dominic with his white habit - photo from Wikipedia "Dominicans". 
I also loved this hummingbird because of the color of the males. Males have a beautiful deep-blue hood, above their white underparts, flashy green upperparts, like a very nice jacket, a white collar at the nape (which gives it its name), separating the blue head from the green back, and a mostly white tail. 

This photo shows the white nape that gives this hummingbird its name. 

Females are variable, but most have green upperparts, a blue-green throat and breast with white scales and white belly, and a mostly green tail with a blue end. 

Unlike most of the birds I've been looking at recently, the white-necked jacobin has a much broader range. It is found in most of the upper half of South America, through much of Central America and up into southern Mexico. 

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful bird, and I love the comparison to the Jacobin robes.