BT: Shining Sunbeam

The Shining Sunbeam, also known as the Copper-winged Hummingbird, was one of my favorites in Wayqecha.


I was lucky enough to have caught a handful of these guys while I was mist netting and the coloration and variety on them is absolutely beautiful. My favorites part of their plumage was the purple patch on their backs. This one wasn’t as big, but still gorgeous!


This species is unlike other hummingbirds because it is not primarily green. They are almost completely copper colored except for the feathers on their gorget and back. The chest, or gorget, feathers were stunning.


This species is found in three countries, Peru, Columbia and Ecuador and not endangered or threatened. They are like most hummingbird species where the babies are taken care of only by the mother, eating regurgitated food from her and fledging after 20 days in the nest. Unlike American hummingbirds who’s nests are mostly drab looking, this species camouflages theirs with moss and keep them on thin branches to protect the young.


I really enjoyed working with these birds and definitely can’t wait to see more of them next year. Hopefully I’ll be able to see the other sunbeam also! We didn’t have the chance to see one this year at this site!

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3 Responses to BT: Shining Sunbeam

  1. Sarah says:

    How are you able to keep them calm when you hold them? The only time I’ve seen hummingbirds is in my backyard growing up, and they were obviously always so speedy!

    So you plan to do the trip on a yearly basis?

    • Melissa says:

      Hummingbirds are actually pretty calm in the hand. They sometimes are grabby with their feet and squirm a bit but aren’t hard to hold onto!

      Im hoping to come back next year, we shall see!

  2. Biz says:

    So cool Mel!! Hope you have an awesome weekend!

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