Posts in Category: hummingbird

Costa Rica! Violetear acrobatics

Lesser Violetear Hummingbird: Batsu Gardens, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — a few more shots from the flower set-up at Batsu Gardens, on the mountain- side high above Savegre Mountain Hotel and Spa. On the day we visited, in the misty rain, it was mostly Talamancas and Lesser Violetears. The Lesser Violetear is probably the most common hummingbird in Costa Rica at all elevations up to Cloud Forest. They are super active and aggressive defenders of nectar sources. OM System OM-1 with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 570mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator and assembled in FrameMagic.

Costa Rica! Talamanca in the rain

Talamanca Hummingbird: Batsu Gardens, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — Batsu Gardens, high on the mountain-side above Savegre Mountain Hotel and Spa in San Geraldo de Dota, was specifically designed for bird photography. There are two permanent metal roofed awnings for shelter from the rain when it comes…one primarily purposed for Hummingbird photography and one facing the moss covered structure against the backdrop of the mountains across the valley designed for the fruit and seed eaters. Generally Felipe Chacon, grandson of the original settlers in the Savegre Valley, and the garden’s creator, picks you up at the Hotel in a 4 wheel drive van for the sharp climb to the gardens, and then sets out an array of fresh flowers from the gardens to attract hummingbirds against a backdrop of the slope behind. You can have a cup of coffee or use the clean and pleasant rest rooms close by while you wait. He also puts out fresh fruit in front of the other pavilion, so you have your choice. There will always be hummingbird action near both awnings. We drew a partially rainy day with not the best light, but it is still possible to photograph the hummers without flash. This the Talamanca coming in to the set-up flowers in the rain. OM System OM-1 with M.Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 506mm equivalent (the hummingbirds are close!). Program mode with my custom birds in flight and action modifications. In the low light I was shooting at ISO 25600 to 32000 to get a shutter speed of 1/1600. I would, of course, have preferred a lower ISO and even higher shutter speed but we work with what we are given. Processed in Photomator and assembled in FrameMagic.

Costa Rica! White-throated Mountain Gem

White-throated Mountain Gem: Feathers Garden, Savegre Mountain Hotel and Spa, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — There are three Mountain-gems in Costa Rica. The females of the White-throated (common at higher elevations) and the Purple-throated (more common at foothill and mid elevations) are almost identical, with rufous breasts, green upper side, and a bold white eye-stripe, but the males are distinctive, one with a white gorget and the other, as you might guess, with a purple gorget. Both male and female White-bellied Mountain-gem would not be confused with the other two. They are all smallish hummingbirds with active, feisty personalities, and though always smaller in number, they keep up with the Lesser Violet-ears and Talamanca where they occur together. This is the White-throated Mountain-gem, both male and female, from two consecutive days at Feathers Garden at Savegre Hotel. OM System OM-1 with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! the angle is everything

Talamanca Hummingbird: Feathers Garden, Savegre Mountain Hotel and Spa, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — Most of the most colorful feathers on the throat (gorget) and head (helmet) on most hummingbirds are actually black until the light refracts at just the right angle…and then you see the colors flash. This Talamanca Hummingbird from Feathers Garden at Savegre is a good example. This might be the only photo I have that shows the gold that you can sometimes see in the gorget. OM System OM-1 with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Scintillant Hummingbird

Scintillant Hummingbird: Feathers Garden, Savegre Mountain Hotel and Spa, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — This is the other small hummingbird of the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica and Panama (and the higher volcanos of the Central Range in Costa Rica). The Scintillant replaces the Volcano at lower elevations, according to the guides, but I seen both up to 8000 feet. At 11,000 it is only Volcanos. I posted Volcanos from this same garden at Savegre earlier this week. The bright rufous tails and the extensive rufous vests on these makes them unmistakably Scintillant. OM System OM-1 with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds-in-flight and action modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Volcano?

Volcano Hummingbird: Feathers Garden, Savegre Mountain Hotel and Spa, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — There at two very small hummingbirds, both endemic to the mountains of Southern Costa Rica and Northern Panama, and so similar that they are always a challenge to separate where they overlap…as they do at Savegre. Generally the Scintillant is found at lower elevations and is replaced by the Volcano at higher elevations…however there appears to be a broad area of overlap in the Talamancas. Males have different colored gorgets…orange for the Scintillant and violet for the Volcano, but I have seen far fewer males than females, and, indeed, saw no males this past December. I am pretty sure both of these shots are the female Volcano. I have shots taken only a few moments later from the same chair at Feathers Garden, of what is clearly the Scintillant (with I will post another day). Compared, the Scintillant has an obviously rufous tail and more rufous under the wings and is very slightly smaller (but we are talking really small hummingbirds already). OM System OM-1 with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Lesser Violetear

Lesser Violetear Hummingbird: Feathers Garden, Savegre Mountain Hotel and Spa, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — Another hummingbird who frequents the Feathers Garden at Savegre: the Lesser Violetear. It used to be the Green Violetear, until the name gods changed it to the Mexican and Lesser Violetear…and, no, there is no Greater Violetear. ?? This is a feisty little hummer that attempts to dominate the feeders wherever you find it…and it is common from the upper reaches of the Rainforest right up through Cloud Forest, at least to 8000 feet where I have seen it often. OM System OM-1 with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Green-crowned Brilliant

Green-crowned Brilliant Hummingbird: Feather’s Garden, Savegre Mountain Hotel, Spa and Reserve, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — After our lunch and the amazing bird show at the Miriam’s Quetzals, the rest of the group took jeeps up into the Cloud Forest for a walk high above Sevegre Mountain Hotel. I have done that walk many times and decided to stay behind and spend the afternoon at Feather’s Garden, a small back yard garden that is maintained by Melvin, a guide who lives on the Resort grounds. I have stayed at Sevegre many times, and somehow never knew this garden existed. It is designed for photography, with a small shelter in case of rain, chairs to sit in and watch the birds come and go. It is well through out, well maintained, and attracts all the birds common at the 7500 foot elevation of Sevegre, including this Green-crowned Brilliant. You can have high expectations for any hummingbird named Brilliant and the Green-crowed (or Green-breasted as it sometimes called) does not disappoint. OM System OM-1 with M. Zuiko 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom bird modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! shades of Talamanca

Talamanca Hummingbird: Miriam’s Quetzals, San Geraldo de Dota, Costa Rica, December 2023 — There were probably only a few male Talamanca Hummingbirds at Miriam’s when we visited, but they were aggressively defending the feeders and their territories, so it felt like a lot of birds. I have grouped shots here of males, to show off the various shades of violet and blue that the changing light brings out. Each photo is worth a look on its own for the details. OM System OM-1 with 100-400IS zoom at 800mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Photomator.

Costa Rica! Star of the show

White-necked Jacobin: Dave and Dave’s Costa Rican Nature Park, La Vergin, Costa Rica, December 2023 — Very much the star of the hummingbird show at Dave and Dave’s. If the White-necked Jacobins had their way, no other hummingbirds would visit the flowers at Dave and Dave’s. Ever. They seem to spend more time and energy defending the feeding spots than they do feeding. OM Systems OM-1 with ED 100-400mm IS Zoom at 506mm equivalent. Program mode with my custom birds in flight modifications. Processed in Photomator.