Saturday, October 28, 2017

Striped-tailed Hummingbird

The Stripe-tailed Hummingbird’s tail stripes are hard to see. They are best identified by their copper wing patches. Males defend flowers and are aggressive. They occasionally pierce flower bases, thereby robbing longer-billed species that specialize on larger flowers. This hummingbird is found in mountains from sotuhern Mexico to Panama.

Costa Rica recently passed a law forbidding the feeding of wildlife. The law is probably well-meaning. Feeding changes eating habits. An abundance of bread and popcorn does wildlife no good. Feeding may also attract wildlife to roadsides, with potentially disastrous consequences of both animals and people.

Presumably this law includes prohibiting bird feeders at hotels and refuges. Many studies conclude that feeding birds results in no harm. Feeding birds also greatly enhances the ecotourism experience for bird and nature loving tourists of all nationalities who flock to Costa Rica. Ecotourism is a large contributor to Costa Rica economy. Far more injurious to birds than bird feeders is deforestation, monoculture, and urban sprawl. Curiously, those activities do not seem to be included in the wildlife law.

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