Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae)

The Brown Violetear is a medium-sized hummingbird which has a violet ear patch, not surprising given its name. The body is mostly brown in coloration, with darker wing and tail feathers. It possesses a patch of green to blue iridescent feathers in the throat, something the Green Violetear does not possess. The black bill is relatively short and straight, which it uses to sometimes catch small insects on the flight. It is found in mid to high altitudes, particularly in humid areas where “Rabo de Gato” flowers are plentiful.

“Rabo de Gato” is a plant that attracts many hummingbird species, with its brightly colored flowers. Here a Brown Violetear perches on one of its branches, resting after having been foraging for nectar.
As it moved the head from one side to another, it displayed the colorful patch on the throat, which looks marvelous.
A Brown Violetear perched while displaying both its ear patch and iridescent throat, which in this individual was very colorful.
An individual perched during light rain, waiting its turn at the feeder.
An individual perched during light rain, waiting its turn at the feeder.
Their small size and light weight let them perch in delicate branches without breaking them.
Now it perched on a sturdier branch covered in a bit of moss. The green plants behind make for the perfect background.
This one was already well damp after staying for too much time under the rain.
It is important to show a little bit of the natural environment where birds live. It helps to provide variety in a portfolio of pictures, but also to understand more of the bird itself.
A closer look of the same individual. Among the four that visited the feeder, only this one perched on the tip of this leaf.
If I got too close, this hummingbird would fly away and not return to the leaf until I had gone far away.
Rain does not have to stop a photographer from capturing wildlife pictures, in fact it can help unique images, like this hummingbird being hit by rain drops as it perches.
I am frequently asked if those smooth green backgrounds are some kind of photoshop trick (spoiler: They are not). Half of the trick is the equipment, which means having a lens with plenty of reach helps to produce smooth backgrounds.
The other half is technique, or how to get close enough to animals without disturbing them in their natural setting, as the closer you get, the smoother the background.
Another view of the hummingbird perched on the same leaf.
In-flight pictures of birds are very difficult, although that’s not necessarily true for hummingbirds in particular. Once you have determined which flowers they prefer to drink nectar of (or placed them in a strategical position), it becomes a matter of positioning yourself with a good background, focusing on the flower, and taking as many high-speed pictures as possible. Sometimes a huge pile of 200 pictures gets discarded, in order to post a single one that stands out.
That also means that the shots are planned, instead of the usual chase and stealth techniques that one uses for other birds. Slowing down and being patient might very well be the most important attitude for these types of pictures to succeed.
Brown Violetear - Colibri delphinae - Colibrí Pardo (4)
The violet ear patch is clearly seen in this picture from one side of the hummingbird
Brown Violetear - Colibri delphinae - Colibrí Pardo (3)
The rest of the body is dull brown to gray, with the rump feathers featuring orange tips
Brown Violetear - Colibri delphinae - Colibrí Pardo (2)
The feathers covering its vent are whitish, as well as some of the throat feathers surrounding a small colorful patch in the center
Brown Violetear - Colibri delphinae - Colibrí Pardo
This hummingbird shows a hunchbacked appearance on this frame
Brown Violetear - Colibri delphinae - Colibrí Pardo (2)
At first glance it may look like a dull brown hummingbird, until you see the violet ear patch and purple feathers down the throat
Brown Violetear - Colibri delphinae - Colibrí Pardo (3)
Its bill is fairly short and black from base to tip. Overall the body is smaller than the Green Violetear
Brown Violetear - Colibri delphinae - Colibrí Pardo
The vent can be appreciated here and is light in coloration

One thought on “Brown Violetear (Colibri delphinae)

  1. Pingback: Green Violetear (Colibri thalassinus) | The Nature Admirer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s