Daily Archives: August 21, 2019

Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird

Almost the first hummingbird I saw at the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge feeders, on the Manu Road in southern Peru, and certainly the first hummingbird I really looked at that afternoon, was the Booted Racket-tail. It is, of course, a hummingbird I have wanted to see for years, spectacular in every way, but I was really surprised by how small it is. In the guides you see that great long tail and I somehow assumed that it was a much bigger bird. Without the tail it is not much bigger than a Ruby-throat and certainly not as big as an Annas, at least by impression. I did not have one in the hand to measure. It was certainly small compared to many of the other hummers at Cock-of-the-Rock, including the dominant Sparkling Violetear. After my first shots of the bird at the feeder, showing off both its color and its booties very nicely, I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to catch one away from the feeders. Not easy! Wherever they perched when not feeding, it was well out of sight from the porch of the lodge, and they only came swooping in for seconds at a time. Pepe, my guide on the Amazon Journeys Birding the Manu Road adventure, said that they are “submissive at the feeders.” Only when we were leaving, waiting up by the road for our driver to finish a pick-up soccer match at the staff quarters up the hill, did I find a Booted Racket-tail feeding in the flowers of the upper garden, and managed a decent set of shots. Sony RX10iv at 1200mm equivalent (2X Clear Image Zoom). Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. Processed in Polarr.