Amazing Amazilia

It's been a while since my last post. Too much work kept me away from blogging and visiting other sites. I believe some of you will like this one.

Last Sunday evening Tommy and I had a family meeting. To be honest, we were tired and not very excited about it, and at one point we decided to go to the front yard and explore a little bit.

What a great decision!! We found the most popular tree we've ever seen. Birds all over.

I like hummingbirds. They are small colourful beauties, some sort of flying jewels with their iridiscent feathers, fast wings and long thin beaks.

We found an Amazilia Amazilia perched quietly on one of the higher branches. At the beginning it was quite hard to photograph, as it was very hard and our camera is not exactly birds friendly, but then we realized that close by there was a balcony on a second floor and asked for permision to get there. And we got it!

The pictures are not too close (click to enlarge for details) but we managed to capture a sequence of a behaviour we've never seen in person before. This bird was taking care of its feathers, keeping a couple of other Amazilias away that came too close to the tree. It wouldn't bother about other birds, just its own kind.

The Amazilia is the most common hummingbird in Lima. Feathers are mostly cinammon brown with the head and neck in a bright iridiscent green. The belly is light brown going orange and the tail is brown and short. It has a white patch on the lower side of the neck. The beak is black with a red point.

Amazilias live in arid zones with bushes along the coast of the Pacific ocean, less than 2,000 meters above sea level. It has adapted pretty well to living in parks and gardens of cities along the coast.

These birds like to 'take baths' and sit in the sun to dry. They love nectar and when they are flying they need to feed every 10 to 15 minutes.

This particular species can be found along the coast from Ecuador and Peru (down to Nasca, 306 Km./191 miles south of Lima)

Watching this little bird you can't argue with its name, as Lynne says, you just have to love a bird called Amazilia.



Today we had a family meeting.

The day was cold and the light at 3pm wasn't much.

We took some pictures at aunt Charo's.

Not many colours to capture but some silhouettes to guess about.

Do you know about any online resourse to id birds upon silhouette? (At least the family)
I would really appreciate any suggestion.


The only bird I get to see these days

Work, work, work. I'm getting home quite late these days.

ALC-UE is here, in Lima. What is here?? The V Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union Summit (LAC-EU for its inicials in English). It will gather 60 European and Latin American Heads of State and Government.

Streets around the major hotels and museums where the Summit is taking place have been closed all week! If it was hard enough to get home from work before, imagine about 40 more minutes to the trip... On Monday it took me over 2 HOURS to get home!

These past few weeks have been full of challenges and have me exhausted and with no opportunity to see daylight and the colour and birds I love to find. Internet connection hasn't been too good either, so I couldn't even visit friends and their gardens.
Good thing I have the new edition of I and the Bird to enjoy! at Gallicissa.

A few nights ago I decided to do something about it, I decided I would do some bird-related activity... I found this picture on a Jigsaw Puzzle program that Tommy got me some time ago (I can even do jigsaws with my own pictures!!), chose the largest amount of pieces possible (over 500 pieces) and started. This is the bird I've been secretly watching every night...

Anyone care to id??


¡Feliz día de la Madre!

Just a small note, as today we celebrate Mother's day here in Peru, to say to the moms that visit me, even if you don't celebrate it the same day...


May all your blessings and talents multiply in your children and their children.

This post is also intended to salute all the moms you may know: your own, your aunts or grandmas, your sisters, nieces, daughters, friends...


Handsome fellows

As I've been working from about 8 to 8, I haven't been able to post anything.
I had no trips or daylight to enjoy. But my love, Tommy, did.
He decided it was about time for him to start a blog (I think he did it because he's been taking most of the pictures I've post since I started working full time, hehe)
I love his post on Vermilion Flycatchers!!! I know some of you like those cute guys ;)
I want to invite you to visit his super brand new blog and enjoy some pictures of a handsome guy (Tommy's cute too, hehe) here.


What about lunch?

Egretta Thula (White egret)

If you've been following this story, you know that in less than a 3 day period over 2 tons of fish died mysteriously in the small lagoon not far from my house.

Fish are gone but the birds are still there. They are looking for lunch in the water, algae, worms in the mud, swimming guys that are there no more...

Results on the water and other samples are going to take a while, but these birds keep on trying to feed there.

Gallinula chloropus (Common Moorhen)

Yes, this one is picking on a dead fish.

I REALLY hope that the death ends up with the fish and doesn't take other creatures, like my dear birdies :(


UPDATE - Something fishy

Yesterday we visited the lagoon again, trying to find some answers and hoping for good news. We were not expecting this at all.

We found the fish that two days before were struggling for air.
They were dead.

Some of them at the bottom, some of them on the shore. A few small ones still fighting, breathing heavily and swimming on their sides.

The smell was very strong and the sight was sad, sad, sad.

Still nothing on the news. I don't want this to just dissappear. Last night I talked to my friend Yolanda, she's a young student and an activist for conservation of native flora and fauna. I met her a few months ago at the Wildlife Brigade. She said she was going to get a couple of friends from the university to go there and test the water, collect samples, and try to find out what is going on.

I recorded a short video too.


Something 'fishy' going on

A couple of days ago we woke up to a funny smell in the air... something a bit 'fishy'.
It was strange until we saw the news: They found almost 2 Tons of dead fish. Where??? The lagoon Tommy and I have been visiting!!! If you are a regular reader, it is the one on the post about a Sunday afternoon and also the one with ducks 'reading' the signs.

I was running late for work, but Tommy found some time during the day to pay a visit. The fish (Tilappia) was already removed, only a few small guys were still there, washed on the shore.

Tommy says the smell was still horrible, and he was surprised to find the remaining 'living' fish trying to 'breath air', at least that is what it looked like.

Note from Tommy: The side of the lagoon accessible to the public is around 70 metres of the perimeter (I guess the whole lagoon is a little over 500 metres). The pictures you see are from all around this stretch, and it was all the same scene - literally THOUSANDS of fish appearing to gasp for air around the shoreline. A sad sight, just seemed so 'unnatural'.

No authority explained what happened: Pollution? Failure on airing the water? (It is not a natural lagoon, needs some maintainance on the human side), Someone dumped something bad in the water? Algae took over?

I wasn't there to see what Tommy experienced, but looking at the pictures I do feel frustrated and impotent. I want to know and nobody is talking!! It's so annoying!!

There was an unusual smell on the air all over Lima yesterday, I felt it outside the office (one and a half hours from home), and I can't help wondering if some other ponds or lagoons had suffered the same fate... Or maybe it was just a coincidence...

Nobody knows, not even this Egret. The only one seen at the lagoon while Tommy was there... I try to figure out what's going on in its mind... Does it know? Will it have a problem later on?
I bet it is puzzled too.

Egretta Thula (White egret)

I'll try to keep you posted on this, if I manage to find some information.

To finish up with a happier note (I do need it!!), I leave you with this Vermilion Flycatcher Tommy found close to the site.

Pyrocephalus rubinus (Vermilion Flycatcher)