Hummingbirds – Flying Jewels
Hummingbirds are one of my favorite subjects to photograph. It also very challenging and a good mix of several techniques, including multi-flash photography is necessary to successfully do it.
Hummingbirds are specialized nectarivores and are tied to the ornithophilous flowers upon which they feed. Some species, especially those with unusual bill shapes such as the sword-billed hummingbird and the sicklebills, are co-evolved with a small number of flower species.
Many plants pollinated by hummingbirds produce flowers in shades of red, orange, and bright pink, though the birds will take nectar from flowers of other colors as well.
There are several places to photograph hummingbirds in Costa Rica, I specially like the cloud forest and the low lands like Braulio Carillo and Sarapiqui because there are a lot of variety at those areas.
Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla). Endemic from Costa Rica. Its the smallest hummingbird of Costa Rica with only 6.5–8 cm long.
Snowcap (Microchera albocoronata) hummingbird its one of the most unique hummingbirds of Costa Rica. Its normally around porterweed plants (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis) and its relatively easy to see near the Braulio Carrillo National Park and nearby areas.
Stripe-throated Hermit (Phaethornis striigularis) its the smallest hermit that we have in Costa Rica, and a personal favorite of mine.
Green Thorntail (Discosura conversii) male has an impressive tail. Its also pretty small and nimble.
Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) are also endemic from Costa Rica (And a little part of Panama). They are very territorial and can be seen fighting around feeders or gardens.
Volcano Hummingbird (Selasphorus flammula), its also super small. The male has this beautiful colorful throat that changes from purple to pink depending on the region or “Volcano” that you go to.
Long-billed Hermit (Phaethornis longirostris) are also very territorial, and can be seen trying to push everything from their territory including bigger insects like Praying Mantis and even snakes.
Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti) are spectacular. They are very quick and will normally be found in gardens around the Sarapiqui and Braulio Carrillo Area.
Black-crested Coquette(Lophornis helenae) feeding from flowers at Braulio Carillo
The White-throated Mountaingem (Lampornis castaneoventris) can normally be seen in the cloud forest and highlands of Costa Rica. San Gerardo de Dota is normally a great place to see and photography these guys.
The White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora) is a low land hummingbird, and can be found in areas like Sarapiqui, Braulio Carrillo, Turrialba among others
White-tipped sicklebill (Eutoxeres aquila) feeds mostly from heliconia flowers. Its not easy to see but looking for the Heliconia flowers in low land areas is a good start.
Magenta-throated Woodstar (Calliphlox bryantae) male feeding from flowers at the highlands of Costa Rica
White-bellied Mountaingem (Oreopyra hemileucus) defending its territory in flight at the highlands of Costa Rica
Violet-crowned Woodnymph (Thalurania fannyi colombica) feeding from flowers at San Ramon.
Green Hermit (Phaethornis guy )feeding in the rain at Cinchona, Costa Rica.
Green-fronted lancebill (Doryfera ludovicae) can also be seen near rivers at the cloud forests and highlands of Costa Rica
Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer (Chalybura urochrysia) male feeding from flowers at the rain forest of Costa Rica, Guapiles Cope Wildlife
The White-crested Coquette (Lophornis adorabilis) is endemic from Costa Rica and Panama. Feeding from flowers at Perez Zeledon.
Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus) feeding from flowers at San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica.
Black-bellied Hummingbird (Eupherusa nigriventis) feeding from Flowers at Cinchona, Costa Rica.