Sunday, April 30, 2023

Steely-Vented Hummingbird

I saw the steely-vented hummingbird at Tinamu Reserve in Colombia, outside Manizales. It is found only in portions of Colombia and Venezuela and has three subspecies. We saw the nominate subspecies. 
Steely-vented hummingbird range (the map shows portions of Panama, Colombia and Venezuela) - from Wikipedia.

Both males and females have a black bill with a pinkish-reddish base on the lower bill. Males have golden-green upperparts, a blue-black tail and uppertail coverts, golden-green underparts with a greenish to steel-blue undertail coverts. Females have some white on their throat feathers and grayish-brown undertail coverts.
This shows the pinkish-reddish lower bill.

This photo reveals golden-green upperparts and blue-black tail. 

This appears to be a female as it appears to have white on its throat. I love the white leg feathers.

Unfortunately I did not get any photos of the front which would show the undertail coverts. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

White-Vented Plumeleteer

The white-vented plumeleteer is a hummingbird found in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru. There are five subspecies, four of which are found in Colombia. 
White-vented plumeleteer range - from Wikipedia
Wikipedia notes: "Males have mostly dark metallic green upperparts with a bronzy tinge to the crown and coppery bronze uppertail coverts. Their upper breast is bluish, lower breast bright metallic green, the lower belly whitish, and the undertail coverts long and white. Their tail is blue-black with a bronze gloss on the central feathers...[F]emales are paler metallic green above and gray below with green speckles on the side. Their tail is like the males' with the addition of dull gray tips on the outer feathers."

This photo shows the blue on the neck and the fluffy-white undertail covert.

This photo shows the blue-black tail.

I saw them at Tinamu Reserve in Colombia, outside Manizales. They were distinguishable by their white undertail-covert. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Green Hermit (Hummingbird)

Our first day at Tinamu Reserve in Colombia we were with an English speaking guide for the afternoon and took a walk in the forest just outside of the main lodging and eating area. We spent quite a bit of time watching a golden collared manakin, which was fabulous, but weren't seeing anything else. Then our guide spotted a green hermit and seemed quite excited about it. The guide said it is one of the hummingbirds that does not go to the hummingbird feeders near the lodge. 

The green hermit is found: (a) from Costa Rica south to northwestern Colombia near the border with Panama; (b) on both slopes of the three Andean mountain ranges in Colombia; (c) in the Andes of Venezuela; (d) in the coastal ranges of Venezuela; and (e) on the eastern slope of the Andes through Ecuador to southeastern Peru. 
Green hermit range - from Wikipedia.
The male is dark green with a blue-green rump; has a dark mask through the eye with buff stripes above and below and down the center of the throat; the central feathers of the tail are relatively short and white-tipped; the bill is reddish, long and decurved (the curve of the bill has the tip pointing down). The females is sooty gray, rather than green below; has a longer bill and a much longer tail. 
This photo shows the green coloration.
As with all hummingbirds, the light plays tricks with their colors. Although green, in some photos they appear blue, including my own. 
This photo makes it look blue, but also shows the red in the bill. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird

I saw rufous-tailed hummingbirds at Tinamou Reserve and Montezuma Rainforest Lodge. I'd previously seen one in Ecuador, and really loved it, but was unable to get any good photos. That was rectified on this trip. Some of my photos are below:
It has a rufous tail and a pink-red bill with a black tip. 

It generally has a green body.

It has white feathers covering its legs.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Palm Tanager

I saw just a couple of palm tanagers in Ecuador last year and got just two photos. This year I saw more in Colombia at Tinamu Reserve. At first the palm tanager looks quite drab, but in the right light it is quite pretty.  
The palm tanager is grayish or blueish with glossed plumage with shades of olive, yellow, green and brown and similar in ways to the blue-gray tanager.  
It is found in Central America (Nicaragua and south) and about two thirds of the north of South America, less large portions of the western coast that grow wider as it goes south.

It is quite common and does not elicit much excitement from the birding community. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Clay-Colored Thrush

I just did a post on the black-billed thrush, a bird we saw a lot of at Tinamu Reserve in Colombia. There was another similar bird, the clay-colored thrush, I was looking for. The primary difference between the two, as far as I knew, was a black bill for the one and a clay or lighter colored bill for the other. I left Tinamu and Colombia pretty certain I'd gotten a number of photos of the clay-colored in addition to the black-billed. However, as I started looking at my photos I was dismayed to find that birds I'd thought were clay-colored were actually black-billed, with banana smeared on their bills from the feeding stations. I ultimately determined that I'd seen no clay coloreds. Then this evening as I was looking through the photos again, getting ready to delete them, I spied what I thought might be a clay-colored and got a positive result on iNaturalist. I'm thrilled!
The clay-colored thrush is the national bird of Costa Rica. It is found as far north as south Texas and northern Mexico down to northern Colombia. 
Clay-colored thrush range - from Wikipedia.
It looks quite similar to the black-billed thrush except for the bill that is greenish-yellow with a darker base instead of black. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Black-Billed Thrush

One of the most common birds we saw at Tinamu Reserve in Colombia was the black-billed thrush. We also saw at least one at Montezuma Rainforest Lodge. It is very plain and unremarkable in contrast to many birds we saw, but there was something about it that was quite regal and handsome. 
Birds of the World describes it as a "fairly drab, dark billed species" of a branch of thrushes with its "lack of clear field marks being its most diagnostic feature." It goes on to describe it as "fairly non-descript." There are three subspecies. I saw the nominate subspecies (ignobilis) which is found from western Venezuela into Colombia into the central and eastern Andes. 
Range of the black-billed thrust - from Wikipedia
It is "olive-brown above, paler below, with a slightly darker face, brown-streaked off-white coat, whitish mid-belly to vent; black bill and legs." 

At Montezuma Rainforest Lodge, I got a photo of another subspecies (goodfellowii) found in the west slope of the west Andes and Cauca Valley of western Colombia. It is "warmer and darker above than the nominate." 
The third subspecies (debilis) is found in the Amazon floodplain and a range that looks like it extends beyond the bounds of the Wikipedia range map, including eastern Peru and Bolivia. 

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Flame-Rumped Tanager

There are two subspecies of flame-rumped tanager which some treat as separate species. One subspecies, often called the lemon-rumped tanager, has males that are black with a bright lemon-yellow back and rump. This subspecies is found in most of the range which runs from portions of Panama, Colombia, and Ecuador into northern Peru. I saw lots of them in Ecuador last year and posted on it here
This is a female yellow-rumped tanager seen in Ecuador. 

This is a male yellow-rumped tanaager seen in Ecuador. 
The flame-rumped subspecies, the nominate subspecies, looks similar to the lemon-rumped, but flame-red-scarlet replaces the lemon-yellow. Its distribution is much more limited. It is only found in Colombia in parts of the Departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, Valle Del Cauca and Cauca, mostly on the eastern slopes of the West Andes and the western slopes of the Middle Andes. 
This is the range of the flame-rumped tanager subspecies, all in Colombia - from Wikipedia. 

This is a map of the Colombian Departments - from Wikipedia. 
I saw photos of them last year when we were in Ecuador and wanted to see them. Fortunately, that wish came true this year! On the margins of the range there is interbreeding between the two subspecies. Tinamu Reserve is in the Department of Calda and Montezuma Rainforest Lodge is in the Department of Risalda, but I'm not certain where they fit into the mapped range. However, we saw yellow-rumped and flame-rumped tanagers at Montezuma and I believe we saw mixtures of the two at both Montezuma and Tinamu. 
This female yellow-rumped and the male below, were seen at Montezuma.

This and the following four photos are flame-rumped tanagers at Montezuma, or at least crosses, because they do have some yellow. 

I believe this is a cross because it has both yellow and red. 

This and the next two photos are of the same bird at Tinamu. I'm not sure if it is a full flame-rumped or a cross. 

This is a female and looks like a full flame-rumped tanager. The next photo is of the same bird. 

The flame-rumped subspecies is prettier than the lemon-rumped subspecies.