Birdwatching: Hummingbirds

Panama’s birds are not shy.  Depending on the season, location and luck you can expect to see many different species in one day.   Of all the vast variety of bird species in Panama, the hummingbirds are of our favorite.  There are more than three hundred species of hummingbirds in Panama constituting the family Trochilidae, many of which have romantic names, such as the green-crowned brilliant, the purple-throated mountain gem and some other with more beautiful names.   The fiery-throated hummingbird, for example is a glossy green, shimmering iridescent at close range, with a dark blue tail, violet-blue chest, glittering coppery orange throat, and brilliant blue crown set off by velvety black on the sides and back of the head.  Some males take their glamorous plumage one step further and are bedecked with long streamer tails and iridescent mustaches, beards and visors.

These little, high-speed animals are so named because of the hum made by the beat of their wings; at up to one hundred beats per second, the hummingbird’s wings move so rapidly that they are often undetectable by the naked eye.  Hummingbirds are often seen hovering next to flowers, from which they extract nectar and insects with their long, hollow, and extensile tongues forked at the tip.  Alone among birds, they can generate power on both the forward and backward wing strokes, a distinction that allows them to fly backwards.

Hummingbirds are loners and they bond with the opposite sex only for the few seconds it takes to mate.  Many, such as the fiery-throated hummingbird, are violently territorial.  With luck, you might witness an impressive aerial fight between males defending their territories.   Come to Panama for birdwatching this season!  Contact us for more information at info@ecocircuitos.com

 

 

 

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