For sheer colorful splendor, no animal beats the tropical hummingbirds. They’re like tiny animated gems, and are adorable. I had the pleasure, as a grad student, of mist-netting some of these in Costa Rica (you have to get them out of the nets quickly, or they die from starvation or dehydration), and of holding their tiny bodies in my loose fist, feeling their hearts drumming a mile a minute.
Reader Bruce Lyon sent a bunch of hummingbird photos, and I’ll put up only a few today:
On my annual family trip to Costa Rica I spent a couple of days at Monteverde, a cloud forest site well known to both biologists and tourists. Cloud forest and the wet montane habitat just downslope of cloud forest have a very high diversity of hummingbirds. The single hummingbird feeder at the place we stayed at attracted seven species, often at the same time. At times…
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