Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Green-crowned Brilliant

Green-crowned Brilliants were also abundant at Monteverde’s Hummingbird Gallery on 5 July 2017. These large hummingbirds are found from southern Central America to northwestern South America. Across their range, these relatively high-elevation inhabitants often visit local bird feeders. The first of these photos is of a male, the second—a female.

This species often uses a trapline feeding technique. Here birds follow a specific route to visit flowering plants. Presumably this strategy helps reduce competition among nectar-feeders by spacing them apart. Trap-lining, named after human trappers who check trap lines, has been described in various hummingbirds and also bees, bats, rats, and other fruit-eating mammals. Clearly, however, the hoards of competing hummingbirds at the Hummingbird Gallery do not force brilliants into trap-lining—although I suppose they may parade from one feeder to the next.

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