No, you won’t see that bird today, though it’s constantly in my sight (in fact, it’s sitting on my desk). But here are some gorgeous shots 0f another bird from reader and biologist Lou Jost. His comments are indented.
Here is a different species of Violetear than the one I rescued (though I’ve had this one stuck in my house as well). It is the Sparkling Violetear, Colibri coruscans (the genus name was apparently the local word for “hummingbird” among the extinct Taino tribe on Haiti, where Europeans would have made early contact with hummers. Today “colibri” is also the most common Spanish term for “hummingbird” used in the highlands of Ecuador).
This one has a violet-blue belly while the other local violetear, the Green Violetear, is smaller and has a green belly.
The Sparkling Violetear is the dominant hummer here, and he has taken over the abutilon I planted in front of my kitchen window. He mostly just sits there resting, or chasing away other birds, and flashing his violet ears when excited; he hardly seems to take the time to actually eat. Maybe he is staking out this high-value tree in order to attract a mate. Some male hummers allow females access to their defended resources in exchange for sex, so maybe he is waiting for a mate to wander by.
The golden crown is just pollen from the abutilon [JAC: the flower]. His head is plastered with it.
Sometimes when he is not in sight, another species, the Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens), visits the same tree but sticks its head into the flower above the stamens, instead of below them like the violetear (you can see how the violetear does it in my flight photo). This gives the coronet a golden pollen-dusted throat instead of a golden crown.
The photos are all taken in natural light through the glass of my kitchen window, so not as sharp as they could be. The camera is a Panasonic Lumix FZ200. This is an interesting camera, with the equivalent of a 600mm f2.8 lens, something unheard of in 35 mm photography (though these “equivalents” aren’t really fair, as the comparison to 35 mm lenses should also include the number of pixels in the sensor). It is a wonderful camera for casual bird pics, and weighs next to nothing (a 600mm lens for 35mm photography weighs many kilograms!)