Saturday, February 28, 2009

Because They Don't Know the Words

Feeling like I haven't posted anything about birds lately I dug into my photos from last month's trip and found this pretty little thing. It's a Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys)I had the privilege of watching at a cloud forest lodge in Ecuador. Where I live, we only have one hummingbird that you can count on seeing with any frequency, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris.) It's a gorgeous bird but suffers from the same indiginity as the Speckled Hummingbird--a relatively plain name. Many of their South American cousins have been granted beautiful and evocative names like Sylph, Woodstar, Sun Angel, Emerald and Brilliant. Watching these flying jewels it's easy to understand how even the most dedicated ornithologist could be swept up in their beauty and stray into the realm of poetry when naming them.

To see some great Ecuadoran hummingbirds LIVE! visit this webcam. The more visitors they get the sooner they can upgrade to full screen view with sound!

(In case you don't know it, the title of this post is the punchline to a classic joke "Why do hummingbirds hum?")

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