More on the Humming Birds at The Leatherback Lodge
Courtesy Theo and Gloria at the
Yerette Humming Bird Centre.. a must see tour.
Hi FolksThe iridescence derives
from the refraction of light in air trapped in microscopic melanin
platelets located deep in the feathers of the birds. The rapidly
changing jewel-like colours come from the interplay of light - both
intensity and angle. The shimmering effect is further exaggerated by
a rapidly beating (500-1200 bpm) jumbo-sized heart, giving the
feathers a magical fluttering effect when viewed through a long lens
or powerful binoculars.
highlight the iridescence of the Copper-rumped Hummingbird, the most
common of the 13 species of hummingbirds at Yerette. Also, it is our
most aggressive hummingbird and the name Bejeweled Warrior is well
The many hues and tones of the rich
metallic emerald greens make this hummingbird a living jewel of the
natural world. The copper-coloured rump and metallic-blue tail of
this hummingbird stand in sharp contrast with the brilliant greens.
I never cease to be amazed by its jewel-like brilliance. No wonder
human beings in the 19th century could not resist the temptation to
wear the iridescent feathers of hummingbirds as jewelry.
Also, I find it amazing that the bird
has finely-tuned control over the angle of display of its feathers
thus giving it the ability to turn its iridescence on and off at
will by rapidly changing the angle of interception of light. It is
as though they have "brighters" in the same way that we have
"dimmers" for controlling the brightness of light in our homes.
Thus, the Copper-rumped Hummingbird (like other hummingbirds) have
the ability to display controlled flashes of their glowing
iridescence in acts of defense, aggression and courtship.
I stand in awe of this living gem.
Attached are four
photos that illustrate the iridescence of the Copper-rumped
Hummingbird - our
By the way, I am now unable to identify, Jonathan,
our favourite Copper-rumped Hummingbird, since he matured and
blended in among the other mature birds. He is now 14 months old and
should be a fully iridescent Bejeweled Warrior..
Copper Rumped Humming
Bird dazed after bumping into a window. He was fine after a few