Green-crowned brilliant

Green-crowned brilliant, by Wiet Wildeman

Green-crowned brilliant, by Wiet Wildeman

A quick visit to Wiet Wildeman’s cabin at San Rafael brought me a hummer that I haven’t seen before, the Green-crowned brilliant.

Wiet is very conscientious about keeping her hummingbird feeders stocked, and as a result she has a host of visitors every day.  The commonest species in terms of numbers, curiously, are the White-necked jacobin and the Green-breasted mango, with the Rufous-tailed hummingbird, which is found everywhere in our region, only a distant third.

However, she regularly receives other species, and I was lucky yesterday to be on hand for a very close-up look at the Green-crowned brilliant.

Male Green-crowned brilliant with its distinguishing mark, the purple patch on the throat.

Male Green-crowned brilliant with its distinguishing mark, the purple patch on the throat.

Here’s the female for comparison, both pictures courtesy of Karel Straatman:

Female Green-crowned brilliant; note the short malar stripe

Female Green-crowned brilliant; note the short malar stripe

The female is easily confused with the female White-necked jacobin, but when you are at Wiet’s cabin the hummers are right in your face as you eat her excellent home-made bread, so it’s a great place to get familiar with the local hummingbirds.

Female White-necked jacobin for comparison, courtesy of Richard Garrigues

Female White-necked jacobin for comparison, courtesy of Richard Garrigues

I have identified only 8 hummingbird species in San Antonio, but I have seen a further 14 species in the Turrialba area.  More Turrialba hummingbirds are sure to appear.

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