Tufted Coquette

Jet Eliot

Tufted Coquette, male, Asa Wright Nature Centre Tufted Coquette, male, Asa Wright Nature Centre

One of the smallest hummingbirds, when this little orange bullet zooms by, you’re not sure if it’s an insect or a bird.

Tufted coquette, male Tufted coquette, male. See the pollen on the tip of his bill?

Plumes and polka dots, metallic green, a spikey rufous crest, and a red bill–this bird has jazz.

Lophornis ornatus–even the Latin name implies decoration. More bird info here.

We saw them on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, but they are also seen in the humid rainforests, gardens, and plantations of Venezuela, Guiana, and northern Brazil. Measuring 2.6 inches (6.6 cm) long, the genders of this tiny species do not look alike.

Like many hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, this bird trap-lines while feeding; meaning they repeatedly check the same nectar source, like a trapper checking their traps.

If it wasn’t for the vervain plant they predictably visit for nectar, they would have been impossible to observe or photograph…

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