Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hummingbird Update - Part One

I had a couple of posts a few months ago about the hummingbirds we have seen at the feeder we put out at the front of the cabana near the hibiscus where they feed (here and here).  
A hummingbird approaches the "ocean view" feeder just off the front veranda
We put up another feeder on the back deck in a more sheltered spot that just happens to be right outside our bedroom window.  :-)  Once the ruby-throated hummers started coming, it took about 2 weeks for the cinnamon hummingbirds, that feed on the hibiscus flowers year 'round, to realize that the feeder was also a good source of food.  Then the floodgates opened and we got 2 more species as regulars at the feeders - the green-breasted mango and the rufous-tailed hummingbirds.  Today's post is the first in a series and it highlights our old friends, the ruby-throated hummers.
You can see the post-ocular white spot that is characteristic of the ruby throats. Notice the drying laundry in the background.  :-)
As you can see, it is also adjacent to our clothes line, which makes for a handy perch at times.
They fan their tails out for aerial maneuvers and displays.
This female ruby-throated hummer is showing its characteristic outer three white-tipped tail feathers.
Nice profile view.
There are at least two other species of hummingbirds in Belize with similar looking females, but the ruby-throated is the only one with a totally black bill.  The others have black upper and red lower.  Whewwww - that saves me a tough session of keying out the other species.  Just in case you are wondering, the other 2 are the female white-bellied emerald (larger and with dingier greyish-white tips) and the female Canivet's emerald (smaller and with a post-occular white streak instead of spot).
Sometimes they take a quick sip without perching.
We have seen at least 2 immature males (photos in a previous post) and numerous females, but no adult males with their stunning ruby throats.  Not sure why that is.  The adult males have a slightly different migration schedule than the females and the immatures, so maybe they just haven't found our feeders listed on the hummingbird equivalent of Trip Advisor yet.  Surely we must have a good rating for abundant, fresh nectar, choice of ocean view or sheltered seating, and the featured local cuisine of hibiscus and flamboyant tree flowers!
And sometimes they sit and stay for a while.
We get lots of return business, too.
They always keep on alert for predators and competition at the feeders.  These birds may be small, but they are feisty.
Stay tuned for the next installment featuring the lovely cinnamon hummingbird.

8 comments:

  1. I'm still following your blog with keen interest.

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    1. Glad that you are, David. Thanks for the comment!

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  2. What a wonderful post this is! Fantastic photographs. I am fascinated by beautiful hummingbirds of every kind. Thank you for sharing this!!

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    1. Thanks, Nan. The hummingbirds here are endlessly entertaining.

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  3. Nice hummer and nice towel (?) too.................

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    1. Keen eyes, Stuart! ;-) Yet another towel shows up in the next post.

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  4. Lovely shots of such intresting birds.

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    1. Thanks, John. I can (and do!) spend hours just looking at them.

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