An Introduction to the Birds of Tropical America


Most of the 40 different 'orders' in the classification system of birds are obvious even to the non-ornithologist. Hummingbirds, however, are in the order Apodiformes, which also includes the very different Swifts. Swifts will be described elsewhere.

Violet-headed Hummingbird
Violet-headed Hummingbird (Klais guimeti)
Copalinga, Zamora, Ecuador

Velvet-purple Coronet
Velvet-purple Coronet (Boissonneaua jardini)
Sachatamia, Mindo, Ecuador
The Velvet-purple Coronet may be the most iridescent of all hummingbirds. It is called the seven-colored hummingbird in Spanish, but it is hard to be sure because the colors change from every angle.

Violet-tailed Sylph
Violet-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus coelestis)
ProAves Tangaras Reserve, El Carmen de Atrato, Choco, Colombia

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill
Rainbow-bearded Thornbill (Chalcostigma herrani) Male
PNN Los Nevados, Colombia
A spectacular male found in high altitude ecosystems where there are fewer trees and many flowers.

Blue-chested Hummingbird
Blue-chested Hummingbird (Amazilia amabilis) Female
Bahia Solano, Choco, Colombia
Many hummingbirds make cup nests out of lichens. Others, especially hermits, use a lot of spider webs.

© Tom Friedel - All Rights Reserved.