Monday, April 8, 2013

Colibris and More Crushed at La Cinchona

Hello Ms. Coppery-headed Emerald, how does it feel to be COMPLETELY CRUSHED? Did I even know what you were before you were flying around mere feet in front of my face? No. Complete and utter brainbird. This was one of the signature species at La Cinchona, where some of the finest geriatric birding of the trip went down. And believe me, we did a lot of geri birding.

You have not experienced life until you feel the mighty wind of a VIOLENT SABREWING thrusted into your ear. I may have had an ear drum blown out by this oversized and highly dominant hummingbird, but my life has gotten a lot better.

Of course, they are actually called Violet Sabrewings, but my camera's flash rendered them a sort of intense blue in every good sun, they are a completely different color altogether. We had these birds at a number of sites (including away from feeders, believe it or not) and we grew to love them not only for their impossible size and color, but because they were the only hummingbird who had the balls to chase off Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds, widely regarded as the most annoying hummingbirds in Costa Rica.

Here it is...the Fifth Zonotrichia. This sparrow, who has broken the shackles of The Economy of Style, is incredibly common in Costa Rica. We were thankful, but wished there was more than one sparrow species around most of the time.

White-bellied Mountain-Gem.Green head, blue throat, white belly, mind = blown. I don't know much more about them other than that. La Cinchona was the only place we had this tricolored goodness.

Ghost, Green Hermit was another whopping hummingbird that blew everyone away. Before visiting La Cinchona I had seen all of one. This is a monstrous bird for a hermit, the curlewesque bill and fancy tail plumes have implications that we may all be better off ignoring. And yes, this is a lekking species, so watch out.

This bird wasn't getting the oohs and ahhs from people that some of the other birds were, but I was more than happy to stare at all the Green-crowned Brilliants coming to the feeders. The fact that they were one of the less camera-shy birds definitely helped.

This is a humbly-feathered hembra, I'll put some photos of el macho up in the next La Cinchona post. Still, I think she's a lot better looking than most other hummingbirds out there, don't you think? The bill length and thickness seems pretty unique.

"GODDAMMIT COMMON BUSH-TANAGER! This is my banana! That's your banana! Don't even look over here with that bizarre half eye-ring!" - Silver-throated Tanager.

I'm not sure how I went for the whole blog without saying it, but isn't this thing facemelting? Christ, that is a well put-together bird. Addicted to bananas yes, but completely stunning.

Well, I'm out here on Santa Cruz Island without my computer (the battery completely gave up, so its in a coma), without my birdcrusher (Nikon is fixing it) and without time to bird, blog or take photos...but I'm getting paid to watch birds, so its practically pura vida out here!


  1. I needed my face melted off this morning and you do a great job at that!

    Cold, nasty, raining and possible snow flurries are predicted for tonight. That is why I needed a facemelt.

    1. Thanks Mia, a melty face always does a body good.

  2. The fifth zono! Damn, the finest one for sure. I really don't even know what to say about all the rest of those birds. I am impressed with their names as much as their appearances...

    1. It's a damn fine sparrow. Good singer too.

      The further south you go, the better the hummingbird names get.

  3. Geez I need to stop coming here and being ruined by crushed birds. It makes it really hard to focus on work throughout the week. Of course, that's no issue for you Seagull, lucky Bastard.

    Those Hummingbirds are almost too much; in fact they might be, because I'll go ahead and say my favorite bird of the post is the Sparrow. LBJ was a bad president, but his birds are the best.

    1. President Lincoln's sparrow is pretty good though.