Violet-crowned woodnymph here at last

The male woodnymph startles with his blue-green combination

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to record a new species for the San Antonio list, but this week a beautiful male Violet-crowned woodnymph (Thalurania colombica)  hit the window.  Fortunately, it recovered nicely, and neighbours were able to take some reasonable photos with their cellphones.  The introductory photo is from Richard Garrigues’ collection.  I’d suspected that this species would turn up since it is quite common at San Rafael, barely two kilometers away, but at a similar altitude.  San Antonio resident and nature guide Jorge Fernandez has never seen the species here, however, so it’s a good addition to our local sightings.

The female is a little trickier to identify. It does not have the blue/green contrast on the chest and belly.  Instead it has a white throat over a dark belly, but the individual we banded and photographed down at CATIE still showed plenty of blue on back and shoulders.  Unfortunately, the photos came out very blurred and I cannot use them.

Nearly all my hummers are the common Rufous-tailed, but lately I have had plenty of sightings of Violet sabrewing and White-necked jacobin.   Green-breasted mango and the two hermits found in this area (Green hermit and Stripe-throated) have not appeared lately, though the hermits can easily be found up at Bar Las Truchas and down at San Diego.  San Diego is proving to be the best birding spot within walking distance of San Antonio and I will dedicate a post to it very shortly.

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