An Amazing Close-Up View Of A Fiery-Throated Hummingbird

An Amazing Close-Up View Of A Fiery-Throated Hummingbird

Whenever a colorful, beautiful bird lands at my window in the morning to stare at its reflection, I’m reminded of the sheer excellence in nature’s artistic skills. 

One of the most stunning birds I’ve ever seen is the fiery-throated hummingbird. From a distance, it looks like a randomly rainbow-colored little bird, but a close-up view is all you need to fall in love.

After spending several hours in the Talamanca Mountains of Costa Rica, Canadian nature photographer, Jess Findlay captured hundreds of photos of the fiery-throated hummingbirds from different angles.  He went viral online after sharing his selection of the best photos, and like most other hummingbird species, people were amazed by the fan-like design of its feathers. Close up, the bird simply looks like a giant rack for storing ultra-tiny hand fans, and the stunning colors will blow your mind.   

Findlay said to This is Colossal, “Several of these hummingbirds were visiting a nectar feeder. As they fed hungrily, often quarreling with one another, occasionally one would get displaced onto a nearby branch. I waited by the branch for a couple of hours, staying very still. I used a telephoto lens with a special attachment that allowed me to focus on close subjects. What made this a challenge was how fidgety these birds can be and the fact that the full spectrum of color is only seen when they pause at a very specific angle.” [1]

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Findlay is a true bird enthusiast and you can enjoy more of his amazing shots on Instagram. He also organizes a host of workshops for his local photography community.

Nature’s splash of color

The Fiery-throated Hummingbird (Panterpe insignis) is a common to abundant species native to Western Panama and Costa Rica. [2] The birds are often found at elevations as high as 4600 feet (1400m) in montane forests, and this is why they are especially difficult to capture on film. 

The males and females appear similar, with a dominantly green-colored body that turns iridescent in the sun. They have a blue crown that stretches from the center of the head to the top of the pointy beak, a dark blue-black tail, a yellow-bordered dusty orange throat, a small blue chest patch, and dusky-colored feet.

The sides surrounding the blue crown are black and there’s a pure white spot behind each eye.

Like other hummingbirds, they “hum” by the intensely rapid flapping of their wings. At 10 beats per second, the naked eye cannot detect these flaps. These birds are one of the few in nature that can fly backward. 

Reproduction and feeding

Like other hummingbirds, the fiery-throated group is not a pairing or flocking species. They live a solitary life where the only connection between the males and females is actual mating. After dancing in u-shaped motions in front of the female, the male mates with her and disappears into his territory. He does not participate in nest-making or child protection and the female is likely to mate with other males.

While preparing to lay her eggs, the females find a safe, elevated location where she makes a strong nest for her babies. She may also fortify the nest with spider webbing to make it elastic because her chicks will need more room as they grow. She’ll lay two eggs per clutch and incubate them for 15–19 days. When the eggs are hatched, she broods the chicks for a week or two, protecting them from predators and seeking out food by herself. At 20–26 days, the chicks may be allowed to leave the nest and start their own solitary lives.

Hummingbirds are great pollinators since they feed on nectar from flowers. They favor the sweetest flowers and would fly to very high elevations for the sweet-scented nectar. Locals may leave sugar water in feeders to attract the birds to their backyards or restaurants.  The birds may also eat worms and insects such as spiders and moths, especially during the breeding season as a source of protein.

References

  1. A Spectacular Close-Up View of a Fiery-Throated Hummingbird.” This is Colossal. Christopher Jobson. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  2. Fiery-throated Hummingbirds.” Beauty of Birds. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  3. Jess Findlay.
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