Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager

Remember my limitations

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I sometimes have a tendency to forget my “age” limitations. That can be a good thing, but other times it gets me in trouble. While in Ecuador last summer, I spent 4 days at Zuro Loma Reserve. This is an absolutely wonderful place to photograph some of the great high altitude birds (8000 feet) that live there. One of the birds I wanted to photograph was a Green-tailed Trainbearer, a spectacular long tailed hummingbird. My friend and guide, Dario, said he knew a place where I had a good chance to see and photograph one. The only problem was that we would have walk a mile or so to get there. I was wary, but he said the spot was approximately the same altitude as Zuro Loma. I assumed that meant the walk was “flat”. I was wrong-there was a 750 foot canyon (walk down and then back up) between here and there. By the time I realized my mistake it was too late. Have to realize that “flat” to a 26 year old that was born and raised at 8000′ is different than a 75 year fat old man. Anyway, I did see and photograph the Green-tailed Trainbearer and will post pictures later, but this is my favorite shot from the trip. This is a Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager. Truly one of the spectacular high altitude Tanagers.

Shot with a Canon R5, 100-500 zoom lens at 324 mm, ISO 2500, SS 1/1600, f/7.1. Slight crop from L and bottom. Processed with DXO PR, PS, and Topaz DeNoise AI.

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Mike Warner

A great pic of the Scarlet-bellied Tanager. Thanks so much for including your story about getting there.