Readers’ wildlife photos

October 20, 2023 • 8:15 am

Today’s photos come from Jim Roper, who describes himself as a “former visiting professor (ornithologist, ecologist).”  His ID and notes are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

Wildlife Photos

These photos come from in southern Brazil (if you want to see where on a map, the coordinates are, -25.5217, -49.0925), and about 1,000 m elevation on the western side of the Serra do Mar (the Coastal Mountain Range), in the Atlantic Forest. Below you’ll see that some species have similar-sppearing sexes, but it turns out that we found that all species tested have sexual color differences in ultraviolet light, and so they seem to see differences among themselves that we can’t see.

They’re mostly hummingbirds, and I’ll go from small to large.

Amethyst Woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina). Male, ~2.4 g. Also only a warm weather visitor:

Festive Coquette (Lophornis chalybea), peering at me around the feeder. A male, weighs in at ~3.4 g. Only visits in early spring. Females don’t have the beard:

Purple-crowned Plovercrest (Stephanoxis loddigesii). Male, ~3.7 g. Comes and goes throughout the year:

Glittering-bellied Emerald (Chlorostilbon lucidus). Male, ~3.8 g. Found most of the year, but not in the coldest part of the winter (we get frost every now and then):

Versicolored Emerald (Chrysuronia versicolor). Sexes look alike (at least to us), 4.4 g. It was placed until recently in the genus Amazilia, which has now been separated into several genera. This one isiting a species of coral bean tree – genus Erythrina. This is our second most abundant hummer:

Violet-capped Woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis). A male, ~4.8 g. Very iridescent at the correct angle:

White-throated Hummingbird (Leucochloris albicollis). Sexes alike, ~6.2 g. Our most abundant hummer, found all year long. Seems to be endemic to the Araucaria Pine forest within the Atlantic Forest. Shown with a Violet-capped Woodnymph for scale:

White-vented Violetear (Colibri serrirostris). Sexes alike, but behavior suggests this might be a male. ~6.9 g. Found most of the year:

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis). Male, 7.3 g. We see it only during Summer, but it’s very widespread in South America:

Brazilian Ruby (Heliodoxa rubricauda). Male, ~7.9 g. Until recently placed in its own genus, Clytolaema; now it’s the only Heliodoxa in eastern South America:

Black Jacobin (Florisuga fusca). Sexes alike, ~8.0 g. Common, mostly in Summer. Surprisingly, all nests have been found on the horizontal surface of an introduced, invasive plant (Nespero):

Nest of the Black Jacobin with two nestlings:

Swallow-tailed Hummingbird (Eupetomena macroura). Sexes alike, ~8.6 g. Our largest hummingbird:

9 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Stupendous birds! Of course, up here in Rochester, NY, we only get the Ruby Throat–nice, but . . . sigh. At least I get to see terrific pics!

  2. What a beautiful set of hummers! I’ve never seen a tuxedo hummer like the Black Jacobin- what a striking bird that is. They’re all new to me and thanks for sharing these jewels of nature.

  3. These are beautiful shots, especially of the Violetear with its ear tufts raised. They are especially interesting because we rarely see photos of the hummers from the eastern Brazilian forests.

    I’m very interested in the ultraviolet sex differences you mentioned. I would like to look for this in our Ecuadorian hummingbirds.

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