VICKSBURG, MISS. — Today’s Ecuador feature highlights the Great Sapphirewings we encountered at Yanacocha Reserve near Quito.
At 6 inches long (or more than seven if you include its bill), the Great Sapphirewing (Pterophanes cyanopterus) is one of the largest hummingbirds in the world. It is larger than all of the other hummingbirds in its habitat and many other species as well, including flowerpiercers, conebills, and chat-tyrants.
The sapphirewing’s scientific name, Pterophanes cyanopterus, is derived from Greek words combined to mean “bright wing” and “blue wing.”
Pinkish-brown underparts identify this bird as a female. When sapphirewings hover, their wingbeats are so slow that they look like large moths fluttering.
This post is part of a series on Ecuador and was included in Bird Photography Weekly #75.
- Sword-billed Hummingbird, Ensifera ensifera
- Northern (Great Grey) Shrike in southwest Missouri
- Ecuador will blow your mind
- ¡Voy a Ecuador!
- Big river birds make for great CBC