Monday, 2 January 2017

Cuban Emerald (Émeraude de Ricord)

     Cuban Emerald Chlorostilbon ricordii is one of two endemic hummingbirds on Cuba, and is widespread through the island and surrounding cays. We saw this species every day during our visit.



     The male, measuring 10.5 - 11.5 cm, has a slightly decurved upper bill, the upper mandible is black, the lower mandible red, tipped black.



     Upper parts are dark, shining green, with a small white/greyish post occular spot.



     The tail is deeply forked, although this character is often hard to detect when the bird is perched and the tail feathers are held together.


      
     The female averages about 1 cm shorter than the male with a longer post ocular spot with a pale breast and tail less sharply forked.








     Cuban Emeralds feed on the nectar of flowering shrubs and trees and insects are caught in the air by hawking.



     This species readily adapts to habitats disturbed by humans and we saw it daily in and around the resort wherever flowers provided nectar. At first light we could always be sure that one of the first birds to welcome the day would be a Cuban Emerald, often several of them squabbling and jostling for position at the flowers. It was delightful to sit and watch them as we sipped our first coffee of the morning. 
     As I look outside at a snowy back yard and a temperature around minus 12° the memory seems ever sweeter!

35 comments:

  1. Espectaculares las fotos del colibrí, me han encantado. Un fuerte abrazo desde España. FELIZ 2017!!!

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  2. Love humming birds, they always amaze me with the wing speed. It is a bird I miss here. We had sunbirds in South Africa, and although not the same family feed in a similar manner and fascinating to watch. Hope all is well, all the very best fr 2017 Diane

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    1. It is for sure that Sunbirds in the old world occupy the same niche as Hummingbirds in the new world. They are both equally brilliant and amazing in my experience.

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  3. Hi David.

    Beautiful photos of this beautiful bird.

    Groettie from Patricia.

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  4. Hello David, First of all a happy New Year for you and your loved ones. I hope 2017 will bring you happiness, good health and a great birding year.
    I went trough your previous blogs and I am amazed at all those birds you saw in Cuba, inculding your latest blog with those amazing humming birds. The captures are beautiful. Hope you and your family had a great Christmas. The blog with the different Egrets is also wonderful.
    Warm regards,
    Roos

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  5. Oh you are very lucky with Frank, what an amazing bird.
    Thank you very much David !

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  6. Wow. Great photos. Hummingbird is a stunning bird. Greetings.

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  7. Beautiful and emerald is such a pretty colour.

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  8. Nice tiny bird, resembles a bit to a female of C. lucidus, common hummingbird here

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  9. Hummingbirds are spectacular to watch, and you've show this well in this post.

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  10. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures of the hummingbirds.
    Perfect photographed, my compliments.
    I wish you a very happy and healthy 2017
    Best regards, Irma

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  11. Hi David and just in case you didn't find the video of me.

    http://www.hovis.co.uk/

    I can see why Cuban Emmeralds are in Cube but could never understand why hummingbirds occur in Canada. Especially so when I was freezing my ba##s off off on a May morning and breathing on torpid Ruby-throats to bring them back to life.

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    1. Aah, you don't have much use for them anymore anyway!

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  12. Hi Both, I would think with your temperatures at the moment you wish you were back in Cuba. What a super set of images of the Hummingbird, a bird I have never seen. We have seen Sunbirds in Afrca. All the best to you both. Regards John

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  13. Absolute stunners David, great photos!

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  14. Great bird photos! This hummingbird is different from the ones that visit my garden.

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    1. Hummingbird are found only in the Americas, Nancy. I suspect you have sunbirds in your garden.

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  15. What a wonderful bird - I wonder if the next few years will see Cuba become rather more accessible - Ihope so!

    Cheers and (a slightly belated) Happy New Year - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  16. Love hummingbirds.. lovely set of pictures.. Happy new year David.. :-)))

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  17. Hummingbirds are such wonderful creatures, David. I envy you having them in Canada. Those Cuban Emeralds are a bit special, and Franc has done a great job with capturing them in his camera.

    Love to you and Miriam, together with our best wishes for 2017.

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    1. Franc worked hard at this, Richard. He started with about two or three hundred pictures of this species and culled many of them. What he was left with are certainly exceptional in my opinion. Franc and Carol are in Arizona right now and contact us regularly. I can't even imagine the number of pictures he is going to come back with after five weeks down there!

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  18. I love these tiny birds in beautiful colors. :)

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  19. Indeed a jewel of a bird.
    Thank you (and Franc) for the wonderful photos!

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  20. Hi David,
    such a wonderful litlle bird in this fabulous color ! Great photos !
    I wish you and yours all the best for the New Year 2017.
    Best regards, Synnöve

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  21. Hello David,
    This is really great. Fantastic pictures of these wonderful hummingbirds.
    So very nice.
    I wish you all the luck and health for 2017!!

    Greetings, Marco

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  22. Ohhhhhh ...... what great to see these beautiful hummingbird !!!!!
    I think this is really a beautiful bird and you have this really nice photographed. Now I turn to see green and look jealous. I wish I so; n beautiful bird in real life to see. David really great! My compliments!

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  23. Hi David!
    Although Franc's photos are stunning, it's yours I want to see up here! LOL!
    What a lovely humming bird, it must have been fantastic to see it daily!
    Keep well and enjoy the end of the week :)

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    1. There will be a few coming up, Noushka. Franc is away until early February.

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  24. Amazing pictures, they are all wonderful! Hummingbirds are beautiful birds.

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  25. Now I am in love with the Cuban Emerald. Like you said, it must be real fun to watch them squabble early in the morning.

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  26. Oh my god !! These birds are just beautiful !!
    Happy New Year !!

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