img_7868This hummingbird feeder is BIG – it holds about a quart of sugar water. But lately we’ve had to fill it every day, thanks to the voracious little beasts that have taken over our back terrace.

Pretty much any time of year we can count on an invasion of Rufous-tailed hummingbirds, ubiquitous in Panama. But in the past few days we’ve been enjoying some new visitors, a flock of red-legged honeycreepers. The males are conspicuous by their cobalt blue plumage and a dazzling spot of turquoise right on the crowns of their little heads, and the females are a more camouflage-able yellowish green. Not being much of a birder, I had assumed the honeycreepers were migrating from parts north as the season changes, but my friend Wikipedia assures me they’re native to this area. As are many other types of tanagers.

We’ve been enjoying their antics. While the Rufous-tailed hummers can be nasty little things (one in particular likes to hog the feeder and aggressively buzzes everyone else away), the honeycreepers seem more social and more willing to break bread (or suck nectar) together.

(Thanks to our friend Lin for helping us with bird IDs, and to fellow blogger and friend By for the inspiration!)

10 Comments

  1. If you’re not a “birder” now, you may be an expert one soon.

  2. I love the honeycreepers! Those colors are amazing. We didn’t get our feeders out in time for the hummers this year and I missed them.

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