Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 06/23/2017


Photo taken on March 19, 2017



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nature
FZ200
annkelliott
Anne Elliott
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purple/blue
Purple Honeycreeper
Cyanerpes caeruleus
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© Anne Elliott 2017
Asa Wright Nature Centre
Tanager family
19 March 2017
side view
West Indies
Caribbean
birds
male
bokeh
bird
island
outdoor
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adult
ornithology
perched
avian
Trinidad
Genus: Cyanerpes
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Purple Honeycreeper male, Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad

Purple Honeycreeper male, Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad
I think this was my favourite bird to see during our five day stay at the Asa Wright Nature Centre, on the island of Trinidad (off the coast of Venezuela). I had seen photos of them before six friends and I went on this adventure, and I was hoping so much that we would see one. I need not have worried, as there were so many of these small, purple/blue birds each day. Just love their bright, yellow legs and feet.

"The purple honeycreeper (Cyanerpes caeruleus) is a small bird in the tanager family. It is found in the tropical New World from Colombia and Venezuela south to Brazil, and on Trinidad. A few, possibly introduced birds have been recorded on Tobago.

The purple honeycreeper is 4.5 in (11.5 cm) long, weighs 0.42 oz (12 g) and has a long black decurved bill. The male is purple with black wings, tail and belly, and bright yellow legs. Females and immatures have green upperparts, and green-streaked yellowish-buff underparts. The throat is cinnamon, and there is a blue moustachial stripe. The call of purple honeycreeper is a thin high-pitched zree.

This is a forest canopy species, but also occurs in cocoa and citrus plantations. At the upper limit of its altitudinal range, it frequents premontane rainforest, usually rather low-growing (33–50 ft/10–15 m) and full of epiphytes and mosses.

The purple honeycreeper is often found in small groups. It feeds on nectar (particularly from bromeliad and similar flowers, to which its bill shape is adapted), berries and insects, mainly in the canopy. It is a bold and inquisitive bird, responding readily to the call of the ferruginous pygmy owl (Glaucidium brasilianum) by coming out of cover and searching for the presumed predator to mob it. The female purple honeycreeper builds a small cup nest in a tree, and incubates the clutch of two brown-blotched white eggs." From Wikippedia.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_honeycreeper

This is a video that I found on YouTube, taken by Rigdon Currie and Trish Johnson, at many of the same places we visited on Trinidad and Tobago. Not my video, but it made me feel like I was right there still. Posting the link here again, so that I won't lose it.

youtu.be/BBifhf99f_M

I also came across the following 27-minute YouTube video of the flora and fauna of Trinidad, filmed by John Patrick Smith in February 2015.

youtu.be/6HHBm9MIxnk

This adventure was only the second holiday of any kind, anywhere, that I have had in something like 30 or 35 years! The other holiday was a wonderful, one-week trip with my great friends from England, Linda and Tony, when we went down south to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons in September 2012. I have had maybe half a dozen weekends away, including to Waterton National Park, which have helped keep me going.

Six birding/photographer friends and I decided that we would take this exciting trip together (from 12-21 March 2017), spending the first two or three days on the island of Tobago and then the rest of the time at the Asa Wright Nature Centre on the nearby, much larger island of Trinidad. We decided to take a complete package, so everything was included - flights (we were so very lucky to get Black Friday prices, which were 50% off!), accommodation at both places, all our food, and the various walks and day trips that we could choose from. Two of my friends, Anne B. and Brenda, saw to all the planning of flights and accommodations, which was so very much appreciated by the rest of us. I could never have done all this myself!

What a time we had, seeing so many beautiful and interesting things - and, of course, everything was a lifer for me. Some of these friends had visited Costa Rica before, so may have been familiar with a few of the birds. There was a lot more to see on the much bigger island of Trinidad, so we were glad that we chose Tobago to visit first and then spend a longer time at Asa Wright. It was wonderful to be right by the sea, though, at the Blue Waters Inn on the island of Tobago. Just gorgeous.

The Asa Wright Nature Centre, on Trinidad, is such an amazing place! We stayed in cabins up or down hill from the main building. Really, one doesn't need to travel away from the Centre for birding, as so many different species visit the Hummingbird feeders and fruit tables that are right by the huge, open veranda, as well as the plants and trees in this rain forest high up a mountainous road. The drive up and down this narrow, twisting, pot-holed road was an adventure in itself! Never would I ever do this drive myself - we had a guide who drove us everywhere in a van/small bus. I had read so many accounts of this road, lol! There was just enough room for two vehicles to pass each other, and the honking of horns was almost continuous - either to warn any vehicle that might be coming fast around the next bend or as a sign that drivers knew each other. The drive along this road, from the coast to Asa Wright, took just over an hour each way.

Even after three months, I still miss the great food that was provided every single day at Asa Wright and even the Rum Punch that appeared each evening. I never drink at all, so I wasn't sure if I would even try the Punch - glad I did, though, as it was delicious and refreshing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all served buffet-style, with a great variety of dishes from which to choose. To me, pure luxury. So very, very grateful to have been invited to be part of this amazing adventure.

Claudine Gaulier-Denis, Bruno Suignard, ROL/Photo, fifi and 9 other people have particularly liked this photo


11 comments - The latest ones
Yves Saulnier
Yves Saulnier
Magnifique!!!
8 months ago.
Anne H
Anne H
Amazing picture.
Thanks for all the background information!
8 months ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Yves and Anne, many thanks!
8 months ago.
Pam J
Pam J
GORGEOUS !!

Admired in ~ I ❤ Nature
8 months ago. Edited 8 months ago.
Peggy C
Peggy C
Fascinating -- info to go with this exquisite feathered creature !

Discovered in: EXPLORE ....
8 months ago.
Liliane LR
Liliane LR
Super
8 months ago.
Roger Dodger
Roger Dodger
Excellent.
8 months ago.
Dave Roberts 2014
Dave Roberts 2014
Wonderful colour.

Vu et admiré/Admired in
www.ipernity.com/group/nous.-nature
(translate into English)
8 months ago.
Fabien Yoga
Fabien Yoga
Magnifique
8 months ago.
ROL/Photo
ROL/Photo
WAOUHhh magnifique couleur pour ce superbe oiseau..
7 months ago.
Anne Elliott
Anne Elliott
Thank you all so much - much appreciated!
7 months ago.