Purple-crowned Fairy and Gartered Trogon

One of the prettiest of Costa Rica’s 50 hummingbird species is the Purple-crowned Fairy (Heliothryx barroti). Identification is relatively easy because it’s the only Costa Rican hummer with all-white underparts. I have not found it here in San Antonio, a little higher up at this species’ elevation limit (1300), but it is regular at San Diego (1000 m).


Female Purple-crowned Fairy, courtesy of Larry Waddell

The crown is purple only in the male, so I assume that today’s bird was a female.

This most recent trip down to San Diego turned up relatively few species, with virtually none on the waterfall path (under repair) until the last hour of the afternoon. However, Larry, Vera and I had numerous close-up looks at a handsome male Gartered Trogon (Trogon caligatus). This is the area’s commonest and smallest trogon species, but all trogons are beautiful birds. At least two birds were calling. Below is one of Larry’s best photos, showing the male’s yellow eye-ring:


This male Gartered Trogon (previously Violaceous Trogon) posed nicely on several occasions

Here is the day’s species list for San Diego:

  1. Gray-headed Chachalaca
  2. Cattle Egret
  3. Black Vulture
  4. Turkey Vulture
  5. Roadside Hawk
  6. Red-billed Pigeon
  7. White-collared Swift
  8. Purple-crowned Fairy
  9. Violet Sabrewing
  10. Crowned Woodnymph
  11. Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
  12. Gartered Trogon
  13. Black-cheeked Woodpecker
  14. Golden-olive Woodpecker
  15. White-crowned Parrot
  16. Streak-headed Woodcreeper
  17. Yellow-bellied Elaenia
  18. Dusky-capped Flycatcher
  19. Great Kiskadee
  20. Social Flycatcher
  21. Piratic Flycatcher
  22. Tropical Kingbird
  23. Brown Jay
  24. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  25. House Wren
  26. Plain Wren
  27. White-breasted Wood-Wren
  28. Tropical Gnatcatcher
  29. Clay-colored Thrush
  30. Black-and-white Warbler
  31. Tennessee Warbler
  32. Chestnut-sided Warbler
  33. Wilson’s Warbler
  34. Passerini’s Tanager
  35. Golden-hooded Tanager
  36. Silver-throated Tanager
  37. Bananaquit
  38. Yellow-faced Grassquit
  39. Black-striped Sparrow
  40. Rufous-collared Sparrow
  41. Summer Tanager
  42. Great-tailed Grackle
  43. Baltimore Oriole
  44. Montezuma Oropendola

2 thoughts on “Purple-crowned Fairy and Gartered Trogon

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