What happened to the Violet Sabrewings? This was a question I repeatedly asked myself for the first five months of this year, 2017, because until May 12 I did not have a single local sighting of this stunningly beautiful hummingbird. The Violet Sabrewing (Campylopterus hemileucurus) is the largest Costa Rican hummingbird, with a length of 6 inches and a weight (males) of around 11.6 grams. Compare this with the smallest and the subject of an earlier post, the Scintillant Hummingbird (Selasphorus scintilla), whose males weigh in at barely 2 grams with a length of 2-1/2 inches. The sabrewing has until this year been a rather frequent visitor to my garden and is referred to locally, without too much justification, as the colibrí de montaña, “mountain hummingbird”.
Fortunately, I have now begun to see this lovely bird with some frequency again, most recently both here at the heliconias in the garden and a little lower down at the San Diego cabins. To close this post, here is John Beer’s photo from his garden in nearby Santa Rosa.