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Help with Hummingbirds

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Old Saturday 2nd March 2019, 17:22   #1
Victor Soares
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Help with Hummingbirds

I have just returned from a most fantastic trip to Panama where I got to see hummingbirds for the first time in my life. I was using a very well illustrated book: THE BIRDS OF PANAMA by Angehr and Dean but needless to say I am still very much lost with all the little details of the different hummers (and there are so many different hummers too). Therfore please could you assist with the attached. My comments are as follows:

A
Confused as to whether this could be a VERAGUAN MANGO or a RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD:
Veraguan Mango
YES - Location: Boca Chica, Chiriqui
YES – Photo shows bill dark and decurved (as in book)
YES – Photo is possibly of a Female or Immature showing mostly white belly and throat (as in book)
NO – Photo does not show white tips on tail (as shown in female Veraguan in book)

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
YES - Location: Boca Chica, Chiriqui
NO - Bill is dark and decurved (book shows reddish bill)
NO - Book does not show white belly or throat

B - sorry, I know this photo is completely out of focus, but I am still hoping to get an ID
Think this may be the same bird as in A and again shows a white belly and throat and a longish decurved black bill

C
Think this is a male RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD but book shows the bill as reddish whereas the photo shows a blackish bill

D
This may also be a RUFOUS-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD but the deep red lower bill contrasting with the dark upper bill is confusing – could this be a young bird?

E
Think this is a SNOWY-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD due to the obvious white belly although the lack of rufous colour on the tail (photo 4) is confusing – this may also be a young bird
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Old Saturday 2nd March 2019, 23:07   #2
Victor Soares
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Is anyone able to assist with these please ... if not could you refer me to someone or some website that possibly could? Thanks
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 00:19   #3
THE_FERN
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I think a) is rufous-tailed hummingbird with either an odd bill or your photo distorts it somehow. The shape [of the bill] is OK for the mango, but the central tail feathers should be green and the rump area too. The deep red colour on the tail is unusual for rufous-tailed which usually looks red-brown (i.e. rufous) but obviously depends on the light and there are photos which look similar.

I think b) is female white-necked jacobin and almost certainly not the same individual as a). c) and d) are rufous-tailed hummingbird; assuming the brownish/rufous vent I can see on e) is genuine (branch is in the way in every case), then this should be snowy-bellied hummingbird. The bill of the last looks curved in your photos, but I think this is an artefact.
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 02:53   #4
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I have to disagree on A , I feel it looks ok for a Mango. I feel there should be more rufous on the tail coverts for RtHu. Which mango is a different question.

Niels
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 10:05   #5
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I haven't travelled to Central America, but I have quite a lot of experience with Rufous-tailed, and I would agree with The Fern that this is a good call for a, c and d.

In the gallery there's another shot of that species taken in Panama where there's no red showing in the bill (and since that is most pronounced at the base I would expect to see that although much of the bill is obscured).

Andrea
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 10:13   #6
THE_FERN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
I have to disagree on A , I feel it looks ok for a Mango. I feel there should be more rufous on the tail coverts for RtHu. Which mango is a different question.

Niels
I understand where you're coming from and if shape were the only criterion then a short tailed, short necked mango might be a good call. But all the material I can find suggests that rump area and central tail feathers should be green for any of the possible mango species—green-breasted / veraguan/s [HBW calls it veraguas], or black-breasted. Here are 2 links to photos of veraguan:

https://www.hbw.com/ibc/photo/veragu...be-right-place
[this is a male but female is not different with respect to rump]

https://www.greatbigcanvas.com/view/...-rica,1133081/

Note also body proportions/relative tail length, and fact that Ridgely notes that female veraguan should have "tail mostly blackish with outer feathers tipped white." He says black-throated female has white-tipped tail too. Photos suggest that the white can be more or less (un-)apparent. Another feature which is often present in female mangos is a white post-ocular spot. This isn't here where (if it's anything at all) it's rufous.
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 11:59   #7
Victor Soares
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
I have to disagree on A , I feel it looks ok for a Mango. I feel there should be more rufous on the tail coverts for RtHu. Which mango is a different question.

Niels
Quote:
Originally Posted by THE_FERN View Post
I understand where you're coming from and if shape were the only criterion then a short tailed, short necked mango might be a good call. But all the material I can find suggests that rump area and central tail feathers should be green for any of the possible mango species—green-breasted / veraguan/s [HBW calls it veraguas], or black-breasted. Here are 2 links to photos of veraguan:

https://www.hbw.com/ibc/photo/veragu...be-right-place
[this is a male but female is not different with respect to rump]

https://www.greatbigcanvas.com/view/...-rica,1133081/

Note also body proportions/relative tail length, and fact that Ridgely notes that female veraguan should have "tail mostly blackish with outer feathers tipped white." He says black-throated female has white-tipped tail too. Photos suggest that the white can be more or less (un-)apparent. Another feature which is often present in female mangos is a white post-ocular spot. This isn't here where (if it's anything at all) it's rufous.
Thanks for the help everyone. I am happy with the suggestions for b, c, d and e
I would like to try add a little more detail (if possible) to make sure of the ID for "A" :
1 - the only mango it could be is a Veraguan based on location - this was in Boca Chica, Chiriqui, Panama almost on the pacific coastline
2 - of the three (really bad) photos I did get during this burst, none of them show the white tail tips of the Mango ... I add them here as the were out of camera (only cropped) purely for reference but be warned that they are bad!

Thanks again
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 12:27   #8
Victor Soares
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Also if someone could help with this one too (labelled: F) ... again not great photos (sorry) and a challenge :( also unfortunately only got photos looking down on the bird with no view of the tail or rump :(

This was taken in Gamboa, Colon (near Panama City), Panama - from the top of the observation tower

My observations (as noted by lines on the 2nd image) are as follows, but they may not all be accurate ... just my thoughts:

- I think this is still a young bird as the colour definitions are not quite formed (pure hummingbird novice deduction!)
- the bill is short and straight, with the upper mandible being black, lower being red,but tipped black
- there may be a different (or darker) color developing in the center of the chest
- the crown seems a darker green than the rest of the head
- belly seems white
- shoulders are green

I know all these images make ID a challenge and the quality does not help much so I really do appreciate your valued input.

Thanks very much
Victor
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Last edited by Victor Soares : Sunday 3rd March 2019 at 12:40.
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 13:36   #9
njlarsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE_FERN View Post
I understand where you're coming from and if shape were the only criterion then a short tailed, short necked mango might be a good call. But all the material I can find suggests that rump area and central tail feathers should be green for any of the possible mango species—green-breasted / veraguan/s [HBW calls it veraguas], or black-breasted. Here are 2 links to photos of veraguan:

https://www.hbw.com/ibc/photo/veragu...be-right-place
[this is a male but female is not different with respect to rump]

https://www.greatbigcanvas.com/view/...-rica,1133081/

Note also body proportions/relative tail length, and fact that Ridgely notes that female veraguan should have "tail mostly blackish with outer feathers tipped white." He says black-throated female has white-tipped tail too. Photos suggest that the white can be more or less (un-)apparent. Another feature which is often present in female mangos is a white post-ocular spot. This isn't here where (if it's anything at all) it's rufous.
I would like to remind that the central tail feathers could be moulted and that being the reason for the missing green. I should have written that in my first post. Having said that- I accept the other arguments against mango for A.

Niels
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 14:04   #10
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B.sapphire throated hummingbird
E.snowy bellied hummingbird
others rufous tailed hummingbird
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 14:24   #11
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Originally Posted by arcadillor View Post
B.sapphire throated hummingbird
E.snowy bellied hummingbird
others rufous tailed hummingbird
Could you please explain why you say Saphire for "B" ... no one else has suggested that but it may well be the correct identification. I will see if I have slightly better images but I don't think I have any.
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 14:24   #12
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B.sapphire throated hummingbird
E.snowy bellied hummingbird
others rufous tailed hummingbird
.... any suggestions on "F" ?
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 16:47   #13
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.... any suggestions on "F" ?
I have not seen F before
F is a juvenile,not rufous tailed
but I cant confirm what species
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 16:52   #14
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Could you please explain why you say Saphire for "B" ... no one else has suggested that but it may well be the correct identification. I will see if I have slightly better images but I don't think I have any.
the bird has white throat and green flank,deep blue tail
its a Amazilia like hummingbird
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 18:24   #15
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I should add one more thing: Contra the field guide, Green-throated Mango has been seen on the Pacific side of Panama, for example around Playa las Lajas. So geography is not completely certain for ID anymore, the this is still a rare species there. Given the bird is not a mango, this was just FYI

Niels
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Old Sunday 3rd March 2019, 19:23   #16
Victor Soares
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njlarsen View Post
I should add one more thing: Contra the field guide, Green-throated Mango has been seen on the Pacific side of Panama, for example around Playa las Lajas. So geography is not completely certain for ID anymore, the this is still a rare species there. Given the bird is not a mango, this was just FYI

Niels
Thanks for the extra info ... very interesting. It is not even mentioned as a vagrant in my book :)

Are you able to assist at all with number "F" ?

Thanks
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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 00:08   #17
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F: I agree it is likely a juvenile and I don't feel I can add anything.

Niels
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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 10:42   #18
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Originally Posted by arcadillor View Post
the bird has white throat and green flank,deep blue tail
its a Amazilia like hummingbird
I don't see some of these features in these images. However, the first does look like it has a white throat and a greenish moustachial streak which would make it sapphire-throated.
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Old Monday 4th March 2019, 10:45   #19
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Thanks for the extra info ... very interesting. It is not even mentioned as a vagrant in my book :)

Are you able to assist at all with number "F" ?

Thanks
If your book is Ridgely & Gwynne it's in the supplementary hummingbirds section, the second set of plates. I couldn't find a plausible candidate for F.
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