Antillean Crested Hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus)

The Antillean Crested Hummingbird (Orthorhyncus cristatus) is a species of hummingbird in the Trochilidae family.  I saw this one as we were driving up to the Syndicate Forest.  I think it’s a female as the crest isn’t that bright blue colour.

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They are found in found in the Caribbean Islands of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, north-east Puerto Rico, Saba, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Eustatius, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Lesser Antilles.  The only island where I saw one was Dominica.

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These clips really show the beauty of the male bird’s crest!

 

 

And this one is trying to have a drink and a bath at the same time!

Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis)

The Purple-throated Carib (Eulampis jugularis) is a beautiful species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae found in the Caribbean islands.

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They have a wide distribution in the Caribbean.  I personally saw them in St Lucia & St Vincent.  They are very striking when the sun highlights their purple throats!

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Se what a beauty he is, they even put a slo-mo sequence at the end!

A little privacy please, can’t you see I am taking a shower?

 

 

Tufted Coquette ( Lophornis ornatus )

The Tufted Coquette ( Lophornis ornatus ) is a tiny hummingbird that has a rufous head crest and a coppery green back with a whitish rump band that is prominent in flight. The forehead and underparts are green, and black-spotted rufous plumes project from the neck sides. The tail is golden rufous.

I was lucky enough to see this tiny beauty at Asa Wright Nature Centre where I tried to get some photos but these birds are FAST!

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They range throughout eastern Venezuela, Trinidad, Guiana, and northern Brazil.  I saw a few at Asa Wright’s and they can also be found at Yerette in Trinidad.

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Very nice mini-doco on Tufted Coquettes.

 

Theyr’e gorgeous and they know it, this time they cooperated with the videographer.  The one at the end is a female.

 

 

Lodge Review: Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad

To be specific, I am reviewing the public areas accessible on a day visit but just want readers to be aware they have accommodation as well.  Asa Wright Nature Centre is a gorgeous eco-lodge situated in a beautiful rainforest habitat and is one of the highlights of birding in the Caribbean.  There are two ways of visiting AWNC, as an overnight guest or as a day visitor.  While I would have much preferred to stay overnight and wake with the birds, I wasn’t in a financial position to overlook the benefits of using Club Carlson points for a free stay at the Radisson.  Any other time, we would have stayed at AWNC, booking instructions are here.

The next best thing is making a day visit.  They allow  day visitors during the hours of 9am – 5pm. Guided walks with their professional naturalist guides are conducted daily at 10:30am and 1:30pm. The walk lasts about 1.5 hours.  I’ll post about that separately as there are way too many photos.  For now, lets see the public areas of the lodge.

It takes about an hour to drive from the airport or as we did from the Aripo Livestock Station.

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Driving onto the property, we passed several hiking trails and some beautiful scenery.  Cabins are scattered around the property.dscn3857 dscn3860 dscn3862 dscn3863

There is a car park for day visitors and then you check into the reception, pay the fee, then proceed to the fabulous Asa Wright verandah.dscn3864 dscn3865 dscn3866 dscn3868 dscn3870 dscn3871

And here it is, where all the hummingbird action is found!  Just sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacle!dscn3872 dscn3873 dscn3946

There is a set lunch menu each day which you can pay for separately if you wish or order sandwiches if you can’t tear yourself away from the verandah.dscn3948 dscn3949

The gift shop has some nice handicrafts & other bird themed gifts. dscn3950 dscn3951

I bought this hummingbird necklace.dscn3953

Example of postcard available – Tufted Coquette, meet them in person on the verandah!dscn3954

It was tough to tear ourselves away, it is such a beautiful, relaxing place but we did have a flight to catch so no choice but to say farewell earlier than we would have liked.dscn3955

Birding The Verandah At Asa Wright Nature Centre

Whether you are a lodge guest or a day visitor at Asa Wright Nature Centre, you will be amazed at the beauty and variety of birds seen on the verandah.  Lazy birding at it’s best!  Hummingbirds need to feed every 15 minutes so don’t worry if you miss one, he’ll be back so you can keep trying for those stunning photos!  There are guides available to help you identify the birds.  This is my eBird list, not bad for about 5 hours!

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Bananaquit, Violaceous Euphoniadscn3875

Turquiuse Tanagerimg_7123a img_7154a img_7159

Blue-grey Tanagerimg_7474 img_7165

Purple Honeycreepersimg_7148 img_7141 img_7194a img_7197 img_7187a img_7183

Silver-beaked Tanagerimg_7181 img_7279 img_7423

White-chested Emerald img_7430 img_7436a

Copper-rumped Hummingbird img_7450 img_7464 img_7506

Crested Oropendulaimg_7649a img_7641a img_7639a img_7632a

Palm Tanagersimg_7480 img_7482 img_7491 img_7502

White-necked Jacobinimg_7516 img_7129 img_7136

Crested Oropendulaimg_7170a img_7173 img_7249
Long-billed Starthroat img_7256a img_7260a img_7267 img_7268 img_7271 img_7146 img_7212

Tufted Coquettesimg_7238 img_7294a img_7295a img_7519a img_7520a img_7523a img_7530a img_7532a img_7533a img_7552a img_7559a img_7560a img_7561a img_7583a img_7562a

 

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis)

The Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) is a mainly South American hummingbird species.

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They have a huge range from Venezuela and the Guyanas, south to central Brazil,  Peru, Ecuador and northern Bolivia; also from Colombia into southern PanamaYerette in Trinidad is a good place to see them.

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Why is everyone looking at me?

 

Quick visit to a feeder

Yerette Hummingbird Sanctuary, Trinidad

Theo & Gloria Fergusson, the owners of Yerette must have one of the best lifestyles in the world!  Their beautiful home high atop a hill in the lush Maracas Valley in Trinidad is a sanctuary for 1000’s of brilliant glittering hummingbirds!  Out of all the bird species we don’t have in Australia, hummingbirds are the one I miss the most so I like to take any opportunity to see them overseas.  The general consensus on Trip Advisor is “magic” and I have to agree!

The word “Yerette” means hummingbird  in the original Amerindian language.Trinidad even features them on the national Coat of Arms, currency and passport, as the hummingbird is an important symbol of the country.  Caribbean Airlines has the hummingbird as their logo as well.

At Yerette, visitors are able to see and observe 13 of the 17 hummingbird species recorded in this country, of hummingbirds at a very close range. These include:

1.Black-throated Mango

2.Blue-chinned Sapphire

3.Brown Violetear

4.Copper-rumped Hummingbird

5.Green Hermit

6.Green-throated Mango

7.Little Hermit

8.Long-billed Starthroat

9.Ruby Topaz

10.Rufous-breasted Hermit

11.Tufted Coquette

12.White-chested Emerald

13.White-necked Jacobin

I managed to see 10 out of the 13 (bolding) and did my best to identify the photos below but many are too dark or blurry.  I did get Tufted Coquette at Asa Wright’s so it’s really necessary to visit both places to see as many Trindadian hummingbirds as possible.

The price of admission is $TT150, and includes a light meal, interesting presentation by Theo on the hummingbirds and access to all the hummingbird feeders in the garden where you can TRY to take photos of these rapidly flittering flying jewels.  Theo has photos for sale which are better quality than most people will get on their own.  You need to book in advance by calling 1-868-663-2623 as there are sessions at different times of day.  They will email you precise directions when you book.  It doesn’t matter which session you choose as hummingbirds must feed every 10 minutes throughout the day.

The area where Yerette is located.

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Entering Yerette and the hummingbird garden.dscn3622 dscn3623 dscn3624 dscn3625 dscn3626 dscn3627

Theo’s presentation on the hummingbirds.dscn3646 dscn3628 dscn3633

Green-throated Mango dscn3639a dscn3641

Green-throated Mango dscn3650 dscn3658

White-necked Jacobin dscn3661

Copper-rumped Hummingbird dscn3670

Little Hermit dscn3684

Black-throated Mango dscn3688

Rufous-breasted Hermit dscn3692 dscn3699

Ruby Topaz dscn3702

Ruby Topaz dscn3702a

Ruby Topaz dscn3703a

White-chested Emerald dscn3704

White-chested Emerald dscn3705a

Brown Violetear dscn3708 dscn3710 dscn3715

Purple Honeycreeper

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Green-throated Mango dscn3724 dscn3727 dscn3732

Ruby Topaz Hummingbird? dscn3740a

Blue-chinned Sapphire dscn3744

Black-throated Mango img_6938a

Ruby Topaz Hummingbird? img_6927 img_6925 img_6918 img_6911

White-necked Jacobin img_6898aYellow Oriole img_6856 img_6851

Blue-chinned Sapphire dscn3749 img_6840 dscn3747

It started raining as we headed back down the steep hill, you can see how high it is.

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Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani)

The Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) is a species of hummingbird in the Trochilidae family.  They can be found in the high paramo in cold high altitude areas.  They have an interesting way to survive the cold.  They enter a nightly hibernation called torpor, where their body temperature, breathing, and heart rate drastically slow so they conserve most of their energy.  My photos don’t do this gorgeous little bird justice as i didn’t get him head on to show the beard but at least I DID get a few shots at the feeders!

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They are found in Ecuador Andes regions & Colombia  in the high paramo south of  Manizales.  The best place to see them is in the gardens of the Termales del Ruiz.   You will be at 3500 metres so plan for altitude sickness.

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Now you see him, now you don’t!

The trick is to get him facing you with the sun behind you to show off his iridescent beard, not an easy task!

 

Birding The Termales Del Ruiz Garden

High in the Nevados del Ruiz, the hotel at the Termales del Ruiz has a lovely little garden with lots of hummingbirds.  You have to pay 18,000 COP admission to the thermal pool to enter the gardens even if you aren’t planning to swim.  I wouldn’t have minded a swim but the high altitude was making my husband woozy so I just ran in for about 20 minutes to see the hummingbirds and any other birds that happened by.

It’s quite an attractive hotel and I would have liked to spend a night here if it weren’t for the 3500 metres altitude.

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Great view of Manizales!dscn3272 dscn3274 dscn3277 dscn3278 dscn3275 dscn3276

I should have prayed harder for those elusive photos!dscn3303 dscn3305 dscn3307 dscn3308 dscn3314 dscn3316 dscn3315 dscn3313 img_6168

Even a quick walk around the garden produced hundreds of hummingbirds that were buzzing around everywhere!  I couldn’t keep up with them and the guide didn’t speak English or know all the species even in Spanish.  He wasn’t a birding guide, just a hotel employee.

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Shining Sunbeam dscn3286

Black-thighed Puffleg dscn3295

Buff-winged Starfrontlet dscn3298 img_6161 img_6163 img_6166 img_6176 img_6177 img_6185 img_6190

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill img_6197 img_6198 img_6202 img_6203 img_6226 img_6230 img_6238 img_6239 img_6242 img_6250 img_6251 img_6254 img_6269 img_6271 img_6295 img_6313 img_6326 img_6335 img_6352 img_6364 img_6374

When I first entered, I had shown a picture of a Rufous-fronted Parakeet to the guide and asked him to be on the lookout for the “periquitos”.  We had heard them in the trees down the road from the hotel but didn’t get a good look.  So I was really excited to hear some parrot-y squawks while walking through the garden.   I asked the guide “periquitos” and he nodded and led me to a better vantage point.  I barely had time to watch a pair of Rufous-fronted Parakeets zoom overhead and disappear into the fog.  Unfortunately “Hail Mary” wasn’t on my side that day as all I got was this shot.img_6368

At least I did see them, albeit very briefly!  I wanted to get Ina back down to a lower altitude so we left right afterwards and headed back to Manizales.  When we got back, the drive got a call just as we were about to go to the bus station with the news that the Golden-plumed Parakeets were at Rio Blanco, so off we went!