Hummingbirds of Costa Rica

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Vibrant photos and fascinating text bring Costa Rica's hummingbirds to life.

Hummingbirds of Costa Rica features 44 of the 45 species of hummers that inhabit Costa Rica. (The Plain-capped starthroat, the missing species, lives only in the highest treetops. The authors have never encountered one at a height low enough to photograph.) Each bird is depicted in its natural habitat and with the flower with which it naturally associates. Hundreds of detailed close-ups show each bird's...

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Overview

Vibrant photos and fascinating text bring Costa Rica's hummingbirds to life.

Hummingbirds of Costa Rica features 44 of the 45 species of hummers that inhabit Costa Rica. (The Plain-capped starthroat, the missing species, lives only in the highest treetops. The authors have never encountered one at a height low enough to photograph.) Each bird is depicted in its natural habitat and with the flower with which it naturally associates. Hundreds of detailed close-ups show each bird's unique features and allow the reader to fully appreciate these stunning marvels of nature.

Featuring the work of internationally acclaimed nature photographers Michael and Patricia Fogden, this richly illustrated guide covers:

  • Biology
  • Predators
  • The relationship between hummingbirds and flowers
  • Feeding strategies
  • A year in a hummingbird's life
  • Hummingbird site guide.

More than 90 plant species — belonging to 34 families and over 60 genera — are featured along with the hummers, so Hummingbirds of Costa Rica is also a useful guide to an astonishing diversity of Costa Rican flora.

Beautifully detailed photographs bring the exquisite creatures to life, and scientifically accurate and accessible text provides a comprehensive reference to Costa Rica, its hummingbirds and their ecosystem.

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Editorial Reviews

Outdoor Photographer
Hundreds of detailed close-ups show the birds' unique features.
Shutterbug
This educational book is broken down into chapters that make it simple to absorb the facts while feasting your eyes on the glorious images.
Alauda
A splendid documentation on American hummingbirds.
Shutterbug
Educational... simple to absorb the facts while feasting your eyes on the glorious images.
Outdoor Photographer
Hundreds of detailed close-ups show the birds' unique features.
Alauda
A splendid documentation on American hummingbirds.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554071630
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/12/2006
  • Pages: 154
  • Product dimensions: 9.75 (w) x 10.75 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael and Patricia Fogden are world-acclaimed nature photographers who have doctorates in zoology from Oxford and London Universities, respectively. They have been photographing Costa Rica for over 25 years and their work has appeared in books and magazines worldwide.

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Table of Contents

Preface What is a Hummingbird?

  • Relationships
  • Biggest and Smallest
  • The Hummingbird's Tongue
  • Iridescence
  • Flight
  • Energetics
  • Feather Care
  • Predators
Hummingbirds and Flowers
  • Hummingbird Flowers
  • Bat Flowers
  • Moth Flowers
  • Bee and Butterfly Flowers
  • Exotic Flowers
Feeding Strategies
  • Flowers and Bills
  • High-Reward Trapliners
  • Low-Reward Trapliners
  • Teritorialists
  • Marauders
  • Filchers
  • Piercers
  • Competitors
The Hummingbird's Year
  • Nesting: Hermits
  • Nesting: Typical Hummingbirds
  • Molt
  • Seasonal Movements
  • Hummingbirds and Global Warming
The Hummingbirds of Costa Rica
  • White-Tipped Sicklebill
  • Bronzy Hermit
  • Band-Tailed Barbthroat
  • Long-Tailed Hermit
  • Green Hermit
  • Little Hermit
  • Green-Fronted Lancebill
  • Scaly-Breasted Hummingbird
  • Violet Sabrewing
  • White-Necked Jacobin
  • Brown Violet-Ear
  • Green Violet-Ear
  • Green-Breasted
    Mango
  • Violet-Headed Hummingbird
  • White-Crested Coquette
  • Black-Crested Coquette
  • Green Thorntail
  • Fork-Tailed Emerald
  • Crowned Woodnymph
  • Fiery-Throated Hummingbird
  • Blue-Throated Goldentail
  • Beryl-Crowned Hummingbird
  • Blue-Crested Hummingbird
  • Mangrove Hummingbird
  • Steely-Vented Hummingbird
  • Snow-Bellied Hummingbird
  • Cinnamon Hummingbird
  • Rufous-Tailed Hummingbird
  • Striped-Tailed Hummingbird
  • Black-Bellied Hummingbird
  • White-Tailed Emerald
  • Coppery-Headed Emerald
  • Snowcap
  • Purple-Crowed Fairy
  • Red-Footed Plumeleteer
  • White-Bellied Mountaingem
  • Gray-Tailed Mountaingem
  • Purple-Throated Mountaingem
  • Green-Crowned Brilliant
  • Magnificent Hummingbird
  • Starthroats
  • Magenta-Throated Woodstar
  • Scintillant Hummingbird
  • Volcano Hummingbird

Hummingbird Site Guide
Index of Hummingbird Photographs
Index of Flower Photographs
Scientific Names of Hummingbirds
Further Reading

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Preface

excerpt from Preface

To those who have the happy ability to find adventure among little things, I recommend the hummingbirds. In no other warm-blooded animals, perhaps in no other living creatures of any kind, has nature managed to compress so much beauty, vitality, animation, and complex behavior into so small a compass.
- Alexander Skutch (1977)

Of all animated beings... the most elegant inform and brilliant in color. The stones and metals polished by art are not comparable to this gem of nature. She has placed it in the order of birds, but among the tiniest of the race... she has loaded it with all the gifts of which she has only given other birds a share.
- Compte de Buffon (1749)

This book is a celebration of the beauty, vivacity, and extraordinary biology of Costa Rica's hummingbirds. Our interest in these captivating birds began more than twenty years ago, when we came to live in Monteverde. Most mornings we breakfast on our veranda, overlooking a profusion of flowering shrubs that attract many hummers. We augment the nectar supply with feeders containing sugar water that are visited by hundreds of hummingbirds during the day. Sugar water is sometimes said to be bad for hummingbirds and also to make them neglect their role as pollinators of plants. Not so; sugar water is simply a quick energy source that allows them more time to search for insects. It is especially valuable in bad weather, when many flowers are damaged or produce little nectar. On wet, windy days, the feeders are crowded with a multitude of hummers arriving and departing in a steady stream. The feeders are also busy just before dusk, when birds come to top up before going to roost. Nectar is their preferred choice and the hummingbirds do not neglect the flowers around our house. As well as sugar, nectar contains trace amounts of amino acids and vitamins. In spite of the feeders, or perhaps because of them, our flowers get lots of visitors, have a high rate of pollination, and produce abundant fruit. Nor do the feeders affect the timing of the local movements or migrations of our hummingbirds. They continue to arrive and depart at their normal times.

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