Glowing Puffleg (Eriocnemis vestita)

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Glowing Puffleg (Eriocnemis vestita). Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga.

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Glowing Pufflegs frequently cling to flowers with their feet instead of hovering while they feed. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga.

A common shrub in the family Ericaceae (the cranberry and blueberry family) is in bloom right now, attracting many species of hummingbirds in our middle-elevation reserves. The most faithful visitor to this bush right now is the Glowing Puffleg, Eriocnemis vestita, a common hummingbird at elevations from around 2100m up to the treeline in the eastern and southwestern Andes of Ecuador. It has white leg puffs, a bright green rump and belly, and purple vent. Like many high-elevation birds, this species is oblivious to humans. One of these even joined me in my outdoor shower once, landing at my feet while I washed. The photos in this post were taken today while the bird was about 2m away, sometimes even closer. I made no attempt to hide, and moved around with it.  It is a nice feeling when a wild creature does not treat a human as a threat!

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Glowing Puffleg. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga.

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Glowing Puffleg at my feet, directly beneath me. It doesn’t care. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga.

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Glowing Puffleg taking off less than a meter from me. Photo: Lou Jost/EcoMinga.

 

Lou Jost, EcoMinga Foundation

 

 

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