I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Christmas. Rebecca Bowater pointed out that she was the first to celebrate Christmas as New Zealand’s Christmas Day comes 18 hours before anywhere in the U.S.
In the past two editions of Mike’s Monday Pics I focused on Jamaican endemic species but I purposely left a few for last – the hummingbirds. There are four species of hummingbirds living in Jamaica (three of which are endemic). Today I’ll be sharing photos of three of those species – the Black-billed Streamertail, Mango Hummingbird, and Vervain Hummingbird. The fourth species, the Red-billed Streamertail, will be presented later as I caught some special moments of it I want to highlight.
Our very first stop on our Field Guides’ led birding tour was on Ecclesdown Road, a road in disrepair and overgrown yet still traversed by motorcycles and avid birders. As soon as we got out of the van our guide Jay spotted a Black-billed Streamertail in a tall tree beside us. It tended to stay in the interior of the tree and above us so it was difficult to get a good shot of it. Here’s the best I could do in that situation – but note the long twin tail feathers streaming beneath the bird.
Luckily we got a better look at this stunning bird on the grounds of our lodging, the Mockingbird Hill B&B. Here you can see the black bill and the long tail again (and its tongue sticking out). The Black-billed Streamertail was only found on the east side of the island (the Red-billed found on the the west side).
A second hummer, the Vervain Hummingbird was active at our lodging as well. This small bird is also found on Haiti and the Dominican Republic so was not technically a Jamaican endemic. I took this shot early one morning in low light so my shutter speed was only 1/125th of a second; impossible to stop the action of the wings at that slow of a speed so they appear blurred, seemingly transparent.
The Jamaican Mango is a Jamaican endemic and we saw it in several of the places we visited. This larger hummer had beatiful shades of green and rust on it.
The final Jamaican hummingbird, the Red-billed Streamertail, will be highlighted next. Have you ever seen a hummingbird take a bath in a tree? Land on your finger? I did and have pics to prove it.
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