Identify this hummingbird

Here's a first view

Here’s a first view

Photo number 2

Photo number 2

Friend Wiet Wildeman took three nice close-up shots of this hummingbird at her feeders in San Rafael, 2 km away.  This new arrival had her stumped because it doesn’t look like any of her usual visitors.

Hummers swarm to her veranda daily, with often as many as 15-20 at a time in late afternoon.  Her usual species are White-necked jacobin, Rufous-tailed hummingbird, Green-breasted mango, Violet-crowned woodnymph and Green-crowned brilliant.  We think the photos here are of a juvenile male of the latter species, but the extensive buffy brown on the upper parts leaves us in some doubt.  We are unable to find similar photographs, since all the images and illustrations we have seen of juvenile male Green-crowned brilliants merely show a buffy malar stripe extending to the chin.


It’s noticeable that the bird prefers to perch in order to eat, a common habit of this species.  In addition, the remaining main field marks (straight dark bill, forked tail, violet throat-patch, white post-ocular spot) match very well the descriptions in the guides.  Here, for comparison purposes, is Wiet’s final photo, and then the shot of the immature male that I used in an earlier post.

Photo number 3

Photo number 3, the sparkling green belly is particularly noticeable

You'd never think they were the same species.

You’d never think they were the same species.

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