Collared Inca (Coeligena torquata)

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.

Inca Dove (Columbina inca)

The inca dove is a small dove that forages mainly in the ground; it is very common in Ciudad Colón, along with the bigger White-winged Dove. They frequently perch in groups of three or four in branches, and groom each other with their bills. It has a scaled look, which helps them to camouflage in the ground, specially during the dry season when the grass turns yellow. Their iris is red and lacks any distinct orbital skin.

In Costa Rica, there is a legend that essentially considered this species’s song a premonition of the death of a relative. Elders would say that if this dove was singing, then someone on the family would die. Due to this fame, they were hunted for much of the twentieth century by people who believed in the story. Nowadays, their song is very much melancholic, but the legend has not been carried on for the younger generations, so they no longer face this threat.