Another Costa Rican hummer

Identification discussion on South American Birds

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4adiva
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Another Costa Rican hummer

Postby 4adiva » Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:07 am

Not sure if this should go under South America or North America (my son insists Costa Rica is N America) but since there's another CR posting here under S America, I'll go with the flow.

This hummer was photographed at the Peace University, just west of San Jose.
The problem is that it has a red bill AND red feet.

Garrigues & Dean indicate the Blue-throated goldentail has a "thick, coral-red bill." Aha! And one online birding report indicates that this species is common at this site. Double aha!

However, our bird also has red feet. The BT goldentail does not.

The Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer has "diagnostic pinkish-red feet" but no red bill.

Opinions?
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gordon
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Re: Another Costa Rican hummer

Postby gordon » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:59 am

Hi 4adiva,

Welcome to the forum!

Not too sure myself on this one as I don't know the birds for that area well enough.. and having just moved country I haven't unpacked boxes yet to get access to my bird books.

Hopefully someone will be along soon and let you know what it is.

Cheers,
Gordon
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Re: Another Costa Rican hummer

Postby nkgray » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:55 pm

Well, Costa Rica has a list of at least 50 hummingbird species. However, very few have red bills. The only other that could maybe have been considered along with the two you have mentioned is the Cinnamon Hummingbird, which also has a black-tipped red bill, but overall the colouring is wrong.

I'd suggest that you are correct with the Blue-throated Goldentail[or Sapphire]. When photographing backlit subjects there is often some colour aberration particularly on the bare parts - legs, feet, bills. A good example in southern Africa is the indigobirds - if you are seeing them in very bright light don't necessarily believe the colour of bill and feet you are seeing, as white bills and feet can often appear pink.

In your second photo the feet appear pink underneath but greyer/dirtier on top. Compare that with the one in which you have circled the feet and there is a huge difference in apparent colour - on what I assume is the same bird. So rather go on a combination of verifiable identifiers such as the black-tipped red bill (not black) and overall plumage colours, and always look at distribution and local abundance.

The nearest I have been to Costa Rica is Ecuador, so I don't claim to be any sort of expert. However, I see no reason why this not a Blue-throated Goldentail. Don't let apparent feet colour throw you off.


Neil
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4adiva
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Latest Lifers: Violet sabrewing, purple-throated mountain gem, green-crowned brilliant, green violetear, rufous-tailed hummingbird--all in Costa Rica
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Re: Another Costa Rican hummer

Postby 4adiva » Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:55 am

Thanks for the input. Goldentail it is.


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