Simply Brilliant


WC’s desktop computer is in the shop for repairs. Which means WC is working from his laptop right now. After a 27 inch screen, it’s hard to make do with 13 inches. So you get an abbreviated post the next few days.

WC will try to make it up to his readers by starting with hummingbirds, the western Hemisphere’s flying jewels. And, specifically, the genus Helioxa, the Brilliants.

Empress Brilliant

Empress Brilliant

West slope of the Ecuadorian Andes, photographed in January 2014.

Fawn-breasted Brilliant, showing the amazing hummingbird tongue

Fawn-breasted Brilliant, showing the amazing hummingbird tongue

Also on the west slope of the Andes, photographed in January 2014. The tongue is twice as long as the bill. Which leads to an obvious question. That WC has already answered.

Green-crowned Brilliant, making a dominance display to another male

Green-crowned Brilliant, making a dominance display to another male

Perhaps the most handsome of the Brilliants. Photographed in Peru in 2016.

Violet-fronted Brilliant, Southern Ecuador, 2011

Violet-fronted Brilliant, Southern Ecuador, 2011

This is a female, slight less spectacular than the male. No. the birds don’t always cooperate with WC when he is trying to get photos.

Brilliants are birds of the forest interior. They are not commonly found at feeders, which makes them more challenging. WC has seen about eight species of Brilliants, but has only managed photos of four of them. They’re tough.

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2 thoughts on “Simply Brilliant

  1. WC
    PBS in recent months had a couple of shows about hummingbirds that were fantastic. One was a more general interest presentation about their tremendous flying and their role in nature. The other related to a researcher who was studying them at high altitudes. Since it was on PBS, the showings may have been specific to the service area and not nationally shown. But the PBS store would likely have them on offer.
    Paul Eaglin

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