John Winnie Jr.

Photo of the Month: January 2020

Photo of the Month: January 2020

Jan 1, 2020|Where we travelHolbrook in the Field| by Holbrook Travel

Our group was out birding in the Mindo area, when we spotted this Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) flitting about the vegetation alongside the trail. Its iridescent blues and greens rivaled many of the birds we'd been seeing and photographing, and we all scrambled for our macro lenses. We took turns making images as it moved from plant to plant, and I got lucky when it landed on this beautiful fern to sun itself in light that made its colors come alive. 

With bodies about two inches long and weighing barely more than a penny, White-bellied Woodstars (Chaetocercus mulsant) are among the smallest hummingbirds in Ecuador. They are slow, methodical feeders, often pausing while they seem to contemplate the flower they are about feed from. We'd been photographing birds at and near the feeders at Guango Lodge for most of a rainy day, when I decided try for some woodstar images at nearby flowers. This is surprisingly difficult to do, as there are always beautiful birds coming to the feeders, whereas flowers only get a visit every 20 minutes or so. So, staying focused on a flower for 20 minutes, while your companions are ooh-ing and aah-ing over birds at the feeders is a major test of willpower. This male woodstar worked his way towards the flowers I had focused on and proceeded to methodically visit each one along the stem. The wait paid off!

John Winnie, Jr.
Ecuador | Birding and Photography