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Honduras hummers

Photo of a blue-tailed emerald hummingbird having a snak

Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird having a snak

On the mosquito coast, the skeeters are bigger than the hummingbirds but the hummers outnumber the skeeters, which is good news for mosquito bait gringos like me.

The blue-tailed emerald hummingbird (Esmeralda de Cola Azul in Spanish) averages 7.4 cm in length and weighs around 2.6 g. They are abundant here.

Photo of a blue-tailed emerald hummingbird taking a quick rest

Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird taking a quick rest

The male’s plumage is mostly brilliant green. He has white thighs and a forked metallic blue tail. The female’s plumage is grey-white below. She has a blackish ear patch, a short white line above eye and white-tipped outer tail feathers.

Photo of a blue-tailed emerald hummingbird showing off his white thighs

A blue-tailed emerald hummingbird showing off his white thighs

 

 

 

If any bird has ADHD, it’s the hummingbird. These little perpetual motion machines are always on the move as they need to eat often during the day. They feed every ten to fifteen minutes and potentially visit 1,000 flowers a day, lapping up nectar at the rate of 13 licks per second.

 

The hummingbird heart pumps at about 1,200 beats per minute in flight and 200 beats per minute at rest. Even when sitting on a branch, the hummingbird is moving. Swaying and bobbing on a sugar rush, it prepares itself for its next hunt for nectar.

 

Photo of a blue-tailed emerald hummingbird exploring

Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird exploring

It’s easy to see hummers here. All you need to do is find a shrub with red flowers (it seems like they all have a resident hummingbird or two) and wait a few minutes. Soon enough, you’ll hear the hummingbird’s distinctive buzzy chatter, a slightly metallic ticking that repeats steadily, and the hum of its wings. A moment later you’ll see one …. or two or three.

Photo of a blue-tailed emerald hummingbird drinking

Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird drinking

 

The hummers here seem playful and don’t appear to be afraid of people. Darting in and out of the branches like flashing emerald missiles, they chase each other under and around the luscious green leaves of the exotic tropical plants that are everywhere.

 

To take these photos, I shot at 300 mm, f5.6, ISO 400, 1/800 shutter speed. I also took a few photos with the flash synched at 1/320, with the same zoom and aperture settings.

Photo of a blue-tailed emerald hummingbird from the top

Blue-tailed emerald hummingbird from the top

What an incredible day I had taking these photos in this amazing place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Rob Wiebe

Photo enthusiast, music lover

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