Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's a Little Hermit

Most hummingbirds are brilliant in jewel-like colors. Even though this little hummer is more plainly colored, it is readily seen around Chan Chich Lodge. It's a Little Hermit (Phaethornis longuemareus) also known these days, as the Stripe-tailed Hermit. It's tiny, at about 3.5 inches.

The males congregate in "leks," where they show off in an effort to attract females with lots of tail-flashing and squeaky little songs. With their slightly decurved bill, hermits are well suited to feed in heliconia flowers such as make up some of the natural landscaping at Chan Chich. Thanks to Alan Dahl for sharing yet another exceptional image!