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Hummingbird Pictures 
Hummingbird with green face and purple 'bib'
Male Purple-Bibbed White-Tip (Urosticte benjamini)
 

Green-backed ummingbird with golden fawn underparts and glittering coppery throat patch
Male Fawn-Breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides)

Dark green hummingbird with white 'boots' and dark tail ending in 'rackets'
Male Booted Racket-Tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)


Hummingbird Cam from
the World Land Trust:


www.wildlifefocus.org



Blue, green and white hummingbird in Mindo, Ecuador
Male White-Necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora)

Small green and white hummingbird perched on scarlet and yellow tropical flower
Female Green-Crowned Woodnymph
(Thalurania fannyi)

Green headed greenish-blue hummingbird in flight
Male Green-Crowned Woodnymph
(Thalurania fannyi)





Humming bird with long, straight bill and white "collar"
Collared Inca
(Coeligena torquata)

Blue/green hummingbird with white underparts, perched on wire
Andean Emerald
(Amazilia franciae)

Greenbacked hummingbird with white underneath, at feeder
Andean Emerald
(Amazilia franciae)

Useful Hummingbird Links:

World of Hummingbirds

www.audubon.org



Baron's hermit hummingbird hovering
Baron's Hermit
(Phaethornis baroni)

White-whiskered hermit swooping down to feeder with tail fanned and wings swept forward
White Whiskered Hermit
(Phaethornis yaruqui)

Tiny woodstar hovering at feeder with dark hummingbird with twisted tail and white bar across back
Male Purple-Throated Woodstar (Calliphlox mitchellii)
and Male Green Thorntail (Popelairia conversii) (I think)






Green hummingbird with purple throat, white band across chest
Male Purple-Throated Woodstar (Calliphlox mitchellii)

Short hummingbird with upturned tail hovering at feeder
Female Purple-Throated Woodstar (Calliphlox mitchellii)

Colourful hummingbird with blackish 'hood', green back and white on tail
Velvet Purple Coronet (Boissoneaua jardini) (I think)

Green and white hummingbird hovering near bright pink flowers
Andean Emerald
(Amazilia franciae)

 Ecuador is one of the best countries in the world in which  to watch hummingbirds.  Even non bird-watchers enjoy seeing the jewel-bright 'hummers'.


Hummingbirds of Ecuador Photo Gallery

Hummingbirds abound in Ecuador, which is a wonderful place to watch them.  It has around 130 different types of hummingbird and you can see them almost all over the country, from the lowlands on both sides of the Andes to surprisingly high up in the mountains.  A few types are even found in the streets and urban parks of the capital, Quito - look out for sparkling violet-ears and black train-bearers.  Many of Ecuador's hummingbirds are brightly-coloured and some, such as the booted racket-tail below, are so distinctive than even the most inexperienced bird-watcher can easily identify them.
Tiny bright-green hummingbird with white leg puffs and two long tail feathers ending in 'rackets'
Male booted racket-tail hummingbird (Ocreatus underwoodii) at Bellavista
Hummingbirds are the only type of bird which can fly backwards.  They can also hover in mid-air and can even fly upside down.  Although the 'elbow' and 'wrist' joints are fused so the wings do not bend in the middle, hummingbirds have 180º of motion at the shoulder joint.  The distinctive humming noise is made by their wings, moving at up to 70 or 80 beats per second for the smallest hummingbirds.  The Giant hummingbird beats its wings only around 10 times per second.  Most middle-sized hummingbirds flap their wings at around 20-25 beats per second, or 1200 to 1500 beats per minute.
Dark greenish hermit hummingbird with white face stripes and long, curved bill
White Whiskered Hermit (Phaethornis yaruqui) hovering in Mindo  
Photographing hummingbirds is not easy - they move incredibly fast and seem to take great delight in hovering really close to you just when you're changing the camera battery or otherwise unable to take a photo.  Having said that, I'm not a professional photographer and managed to take the hummingbird photos on this page with a fairly ordinary digital camera.  The strategy is take as many photos as possible and then delete the ones that show an empty space where a hummingbird was just a fraction of a second before...  To get the images here, I took over a thousand shots.  
Glittering green and blue hummingbird in flight
Green and blue hummingbirdHummingbird with glittering turquoise head
Male green-crowned woodnymphs (Thalurania fannyi)
can appear to be turqoise-crowned, depending on the angle of the light
Identifying the different types of hummingbird takes some practice.  The best book by far for bird identification, in my opinion, is the huge, wonderfully detailed and beautifully illustrated The Birds of Ecuador: Field Guide: Field Guide Vol II (Comstock Book), by Ridgely and Greenfield, which has six pages of "hummers". (It may be cheaper to get the Birds of Ecuador Field Guide shipped from the United States, even if you live in the U.K).  As you watch a single hummingbird, it may appear to change colour from blue to green, or a drab-looking bird may suddenly seem to glitter and sparkle, because of the light reflecting from the feathers.  
Brown hummingbird with wings extended, violet 'ears'Brown hummingbird with glittering green and blue throat patch
The Brown Violetear hummingbird (Colibri Delphinae)
can look quite drab until you see its sparkling blue-green throatpatch.
Start by looking out for common and distinctive hummingbirds such as the rufous tailed - pink beak, green body and red tail, males and females look the same, though females are a little duller coloured.  Rufous tailed hummingbirds are often seen chasing other hummingbirds off 'their' flower or feeder.  Bear in mind that the green can appear quite dull or brightly glittering, depending on the light.  Juveniles sometimes seem to have paler underparts.  
Green hummingbird with red tail, feeding on nectar
Tiny hummingbird with red beak & glittering emerald green breast, sat on huge leafDark green hummingbird with rusty red tail and pink billGreen hummingbird with pink bill and dark wings, perched at feederGreen hummingbird with pink bill and dark wings, perched at feeder
Rufous tailed hummingbirds (Amazilia tzacatl).
The red tail can sometimes be hidden by the wings when perching.
Bear in mind that some species of hummingbird show sexual dimorphism, i.e. the males look very different from the females.  The male white-necked jacobin is unmistakeable and the male booted racket-tail is unique with his little fluffy white legs and long spatulate tail.  However, the female white-necked jacobin looks nothing like the male and does not even have a white neck.  The female booted racket-tail does have 'boots' but does not have a racquet tail.
Small, dark green hummingbird with dark racket-ended tail and fluffy white legsSmall green-backed hummingbird with white chest and white 'boots'
Male (l) and female (r) booted racket-tails (Ocreatus underwoodii)
Hummingbird with speckled, whitish underparts and dark backWhite-necked jacobin hummingbird hovering at feeder
Female (l) and male (r) white-necked jacobins (Florisuga mellivora)
The posture of a hummingbird can help indicate which family it belongs to.  The hermits have long curved bills and tend to tuck their tails slightly under making them look as if they are curved forwards. They often hover with their bodies in a nearly vertical position.  Woodstars, generally very small with shortish tails and straight bills, tend to hold their bodies more horizontally with their tails sticking upwards.
Silhouette of small, short-tailed hummingbird in flightHovering hummingbird with curved bill and downward-pointing tail
Typical postures for a woodstar (left) and hermit (right)
- not to scale, woodstars are actually about half the size of hermits.
Hummingbird feeders, especially the type with little perches, are a great way to persuade the birds to stay in one place for a while.  Just because hummingbirds are able to hover in midair doesn't necessarily mean they want to...  
Dark green-blue hummingbird with white behind eye, with nectar dribbing from end of bill
Green-Crowned Brilliant (Heliodoxa jacula) slurping nectar from a feeder in Mindo
Nectar is the preferred hummingbird food and many resorts and hotels in Ecuador put out feeders full of nectar which attract hundreds of hummers.  One hotel I know refills the feeders up to six times a day and the tiny hummingbirds get through a whole sack of sugar in just a couple of months.  Hummingbirds don't survive on nectar alone though - most also eat small insects.
Hummingbird with green back and fawn breast
Fawn Breasted Brilliant hummingbird (Heliodoxa rubinoides) at Bellavista
If you're lucky enough to live in an area with hummingbirds and decide to put out hummingbird food (either commercially-sold nectar, or sugar and water mix), you need to continue.  Hummingbirds use huge amounts of energy flying and have a 'flight plan' to flowers or feeders where they know they can feed.  If the food supply just suddenly stops, the birds will suffer or even die if they are at the end of their energy reserves.  It's important to follow the instructions on your hummingbird feeder to provide the correct mix of sugar and water (don't add colouring or anything else) and also to keep the feeder clean (avoid chemical cleaning products though).
Green hummingbird with white-striped face and curved bill
White Whiskered Hermit (Phaethornis yaruqui) at a feeder in Mindo
If you'd like to see and photo these hummingbirds for yourself, Mindo is one of the easiest birding destinations in Ecuador to visit and you will definitely see at least half a dozen different types within an hour or two there.  Please respect the fact that the hummingbird pictures, like all photographs on this site, are copyrighted and not to be used without permission.



Ecuador in Photos: Hummingbird Pictures
Hummingbird heaven!  Hummingbird facts, hummingbird food and images of some of Ecuador's hummingbirds to help with bird identification.  Photographs taken by Sarah Clifford at hummingbird feeders and in the wild in various Ecuador locations including San Luis de Pambil, Mindo and Bellavista.