Amethyst Woodstar – A Precious Avian Jewel

Amethyst Woodstar – A Precious Avian Jewel

Posted by Eric Dempsey, With 0 Comments,

Several people have contacted me to ask more about that Amethyst Woodstar which I mentioned  a few days ago

So I thought perhaps that an image might help. I have to admit, it’s not exactly the best photograph I have ever taken…it was dull light as evening descended and the feeders that it was attracted to were in shadow. As well as that, the bird was beating its wings at 80-100 beats per second (yes, I said per second). Imagine trying to follow and photograph a dragonfly in flight…that’s what photographing flying hummingbirds is like!

A Lightweight

This bird weights in at 2.5 grams (a bag of crisps is 30 grams!). It has a body that is only 3cm in length (6cm when you include tail and bill). Think about it…inside that 3cm is the bird's brain, it’s eyes, throat, heart, air sacks (birds don’t have lungs like we do), stomach, gut and gizzards, other organs, digestive and reproductive tracts, a skeleton and special muscles to drive those wings at such fast speeds. That is all packed into that 3cm. Can you imagine that? Now imagine how tiny their chicks must be? Look at the nail of your little finger…that is the size of a Woodstar chick when it first emerges from the egg and inside that is the birds brain, heart, organs etc.

So I make no apologies for my Amethyst Woodstar image…seeing such a bird is a wonderful experience. Managing to capture such a moment is very special. Hmm, looking at that bird really has me thinking about Bee Hummingbirds. I really must plan a return visit to Cuba some day……


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