Reserva Las Gralarias: June 26, 2010

A short visit to Reserva Las Gralarias was a twitch in the truest sense of the term. An active nest of the Hoary Puffleg had recently been found along one of the reserve's trails, so I simply had to stop by for my first looks at this difficult Choco endemic hummingbird, which resides in dark forested ravines and hardly ever visits feeders. Interestingly enough, this year in January the puffleg was regularly seen at one of the reserve's feeder stations that is heavily surrounded by vegetation, although I neglected to see it myself, as the twitch didn't seem as urgent as it does now that I have less than two weeks left in Ecuador.

The nest itself is cup-shaped and hanging from an exposed fern growing right along the trail. When I first arrived on site, the female was not on the nest, and when she arrived went through a noisy distraction act, perching nearby and calling loudly to draw my attention away from the location. After taking in quick but good looks at this subtle puffleg, which appears a little like a hermit with its tail curled inwards in flight, I retreated for a few minutes. Returning stealthily to the nest area, I observed the female seated on top of the nest, not inside, where one downy nestling lay. It's difficult to say whether this brood will be reared successfully (there were originally two eggs), but I'm confident I didn't hurt its chances with my observations.

Notable birds seen: Velvet-Purple Coronet, Hoary Puffleg, Spotted Barbtail, Flame-Faced Tanager.

3 comments:

Chris said...

Hi Derek,
You got a beautiful blog over here that I found through Network blog nature. Congrats!

Derek Kverno said...

Thanks, Chris! I'm moving on to Tanzania in a few weeks, though. Once I get my feet on the ground, I'll put up a new blog on my birding experiences in east Africa.

Best regards,

Derek

Christine Lane said...

Hi Derek,
What bird guide would you recommend for Ecuador?
Thanks.

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