The Torrent Duck is very special and one of the highlights of our trip to Colombia. They are only found living in the high courses of rapid flowing streams, with lots of rocks that serve as anchorage and resting places for them; most other ducks prefer calm waters and lakes to spend their time. This duck chooses a spot downstream for resting during the night, and at the morning it swims upstream against the strong current, until it finds a preferred feeding area. It then begins a cycle: Either the male or female mount guard from a comfortable rock, while the other feeds in a small pool or river region that has light current. When the food is gone, they both jump to the current and get dragged downstream until they reach the next feeding area, where again one of them mounts guard while the other one feeds. This is very unique behavior, one we could observe from very close at Yarumo Blanco SFF.
The Collared Inca is a large hummingbird, one we saw both at Rio Blanco Natural Reserve, and at Tatamá National Park. The bill is particularly long and thin, able to feed from deep flowers than other hummingbirds can’t. Its most striking feature is the black head with a white throat, and a body that mixes black, green and blue. The legs are light pink and it has some partially white feathers on the tail, which can be seen at times during flight. The female has less black and a lighter green coloration than the male, but size and shape are identical between both. The wing flapping speed of hummingbirds is so fast, that even at 1/1600 seconds of shutter speed, the wings are not entirely frozen.
As most warbler species, the Yellow Warbler moves very fast and frantically while foraging in small trees, giving out its characteristic “chip” song, which it repeats at length. It is very difficult to keep the bird in focus as it moves from place to place. It becomes a very common sight near home during September and October, when they migrate to the south, and during March and April when they return back to North America. The eye is deep black, which contrasts very nicely with the bird´s all-yellow body.