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Purple Honeycreeper male, Trinidad

Purple Honeycreeper male, Trinidad
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I still have photos to go through and post from the last one and a half days of our Trinidad & Tobago trip. It looks like I will be doing this during the winter months! Decided to grab a photo last night - not the best quality image, but just about fit to post, especially as many of my photos came out far worse.

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 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.

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 - 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! We were so lucky with our flights, as we were just in time to get Black Friday prices, which were 50% off!

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 were familiar with some of the birds. There was a lot more to see on 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 that are right by the huge, open veranda, and the trees of the rain forest high up the 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 many accounts of this road, lol! There was 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 five weeks, 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.

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.

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.
Date: 2017-07-29 16:14:18
Trinidad island Caribbean West Indies Asa Wright Nature Centre nature wildlife ornithology avian bird birds Purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpes caeruleus Tanager family purple/blue male perched tree branch back/side view bokeh outdoor 16 March 2017 FZ200 FZ200#4 annkelliott Anne Elliott © Anne Elliott 2017 © All Rights Reserved Excellence AvianExcellence

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Rolando Procupez-Schtirbu 2017-07-29 17:01:17
Such an intense blue.
Janet 59 2017-07-29 17:11:45
Marvelous bird- love those yellow legs!
qt flickr 2017-07-29 17:20:39
There's nothing whatsoever wrong with this image! I can't really imagine how it could be any better.
That is an incredibly vivid blue and the cute, butter yellow legs make it look even more appealing. Love it!
snowinglightly 2017-07-29 19:00:45
Love that blue !!
jimgspokane 2017-07-29 20:33:34
Cool little bird Anne!
altamons 2017-07-29 21:28:13
Really you had a fantastic fays in Trinidad.
Pretty bird !
The figure of it's pose is lovely !
Shinji.Nagashima 2017-07-29 21:38:42
Thanks so much, everyone! Really appreciate your visits, comments and faves.
annkelliott 2017-07-29 23:42:38
Bela imagem, show
JJSantosphoto 2017-07-30 00:46:04
Wow... what a gorgeous capture !!!!!!!!!!

Avian Excellence I think this bird image is really excellent. You are invited to post it to Excellence In Avian Photography. Please read the
rules before posting your image.
Julie Auffrey 2017-07-30 01:18:56
Wow, what an amazing, glorious photo! Looks like a perfect shot to me {grin}!
Synapped 2017-07-30 01:38:11
Beautiful colors and nice background, Anne. Love the legs!
Bonnieg2010 2017-07-30 02:34:36
Well done Anne, excellent shot!
Glenn R Parker 2017-07-30 02:42:31
Gorgeous !
Snowdrops PamJ 2017-07-30 06:23:39
Lovely capture Anne.
Don Delaney 2017-07-30 16:46:07
Lovely creature!!
Lostash 2017-07-30 18:36:00
Awesome shot !!
patricia.hoedts 2017-07-31 03:45:34

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