Monday, January 10, 2011

Not Suitable for a Field Guide Painting?

Rufous tail of Violet-capped Hummingbird
Neither Ridgely & Gwynne (in A Guide to the Birds of Panama) nor Hilty & Brown (in A Guide to the Birds of Colombia) illustrate the female Violet-capped Hummingbird (Goldmania violiceps), even though the species is "Fairly common to locally common in humid forest foothills" in "Central Panama to extreme northwestern Colombia." according to Ridgely. Yes, both guides have paintings of the male, but the female looks not that similar. Sure, they describe her in the text, but when one is trying to figure out the identity of yet another small green & white female-plumaged hummer, one typically goes to the plates, not the text. We have found the hummingbirds to be a particular challenge down here, and we need all the help we can get.

This time, we showed Marco's video (below) and a still capture (above) to our friend Darien Montanez, who reeled us in and set us straight.

We still see her coming to the feeders once in a while. She has to sneak in while the Rufous-tailed boys are off chasing each other.

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